What is Rest/Pause Training, and how can it help you make more gains?
For those just reading this, I have been personally training for over 43 years now, and sadly it’s almost 44! I have been training others for over 26 years and soon to be 27. I hate getting old. I guess we cannot stop time. So I wanted to give you an “old school,” technique that can help you make gains in the gym. The technique is called Rest/Pause Training and it involves the stored muscle energy in our muscles.
Now to explain, I have to get a little nerdy, but I will keep it simple. To describe it, I must explain what ATP (adenosine triphosphate) is and what it does in the body. ATP, is the stored energy in the muscles. When we lift something, ATP is used as the primary fuel source. Unfortunately, there is very little of it, so when it is used, our bodies run out and we have to revert to the Krebs cycle to replenish it (I know nerdy). The problem is it takes the body longer to convert other body chemicals into ATP, so over time we get slower.
This is why a sprinter can come out of the blocks at blazing speeds, but slows over time. It is far more technical than this, but I wanted to keep the information simple. The same thing is true when lifting or doing anything physical. For the bench presser, the first 5 reps may be easy, but as they press on in reps, the lift gets harder and harder over time. Eventually, the body cannot produce enough muscle energy to continue the lift and we need a spotter to help.
As a side not, this is why athletes take creatine monohydrate as a supplement. The immediate back up for ATP in the body is creatine, so this allows you to push a few more reps out as the ATP is replaced quicker. Still, it is short in duration and the body cannot overcome the lack of stored muscle energy.
Now back to Rest/Pause. Rest pause is a technique used to overcome this chemical conundrum. You see if we do a simple cadence of up and down at the same speed, our ATP prevents us from pushing harder. We simply run out of muscle energy. But when we get tired at the bottom (resting phase of the lift,) and we take a few seconds for the body to replenish our ATP, we can get a few more reps in, which forces the body to grow. This is how we make gains by getting a few more pounds on the lift or a few more reps in. THIS is progress.
My friends, getting one more rep or pound of weight on each workout IS the key to success. This is what makes us grow. Rest/pause is an advanced technique that should be used sparingly, but use it in your routine. Once you see those subtle gains, you will thank me.
If you want to know more, go to garanfitnessconsulting.com, or Facebook at Garan Fitness Consulting or Garan Fitness Tactical Training. Additionally, visit my Youtube page, Garan Fitness Consulting for videos on different exercises and training tips. I am also doing online training so reach out if you are interested.