Grow Muscles – Plan On Pain But Count On Gain
If you have reached a plateau or are just looking to mix up your weight lifting routine to grow muscles, rest-pause training, working muscles to failure, could be right for you. Make no mistake, these are intense ways to exercise, not for the meek at heart or those just getting into or back into weight training. However, there have been several studies showing using intense weights while utilizing large muscles while taking longer rests between sets can also increase metabolism and muscle growth. Moving forward, I’m not writing this to debate which is better, like I always say, just getting any form of exercise is awesome! But for the not meek at heart, here are some work to failure routines that will help you grow muscles. Remember, this work out is not just for Olympians anymore. Anyone in shape, lifting for at least 6 months and wanting to grow muscles can use these routine but use common sense and caution to avoid injury!
A few things to think about before starting this training method. You are going to work your focused muscle(s) to complete fatigue each set. You should have lifted weights enough to know how much weight you can get cleanly 5 times. This means you are capable of doing each rep properly but by the time you reach number 5 you can barely reach the top of the lift. Once you hit this failure point try to get one more rep. Only fail one time! As soon as you fail to complete a full rep, that set is over.
Keep everything as smooth as possible. Mix up your lifting counts for max muscle tension. You should not “jerk lift” at any point in the exercise. Instead use a steady 2 or 3 count to lift and a steady 2-5 count to lower (count in your head slowly 1,2,3 etc or 1 one thousand, 2 one thousand)
A Couple Of Different Rest-Pause Variations
There are a number of different rest-pause workouts you can use to grow muscles. Here are my two favorites-
1. Drop-Set Rest-Pause
This is the most demanding of the rest-pause variations in my opinion. You will be combining rest-pauses and drop sets. When you hit failure level you take weight off before continuing with the next set. After you complete your max reps meaning you cannot get one more rep due to muscle failure, (in this case I would start with a weight you can do 8 reps), you will now rest 10 seconds, then do another set going until muscle failure. This time, during your 10 second rest, you will be taking 20% to 25% of the weight off of the barbell. This will be your last set, do as many reps as you can until reaching failure. Rest 3-4 minutes, then move on to the next muscle group. If you decide you want to do the same exercise, never do more than two sets.
2. Stage Rest-Pause
You only want to use this with isolation exercises and pressing movements. Once again, you will be going to failure with set one, then you’ll be doing a second and third “mini set” using only partial reps until you reach muscle failure. What I mean by partial reps is exactly what it sounds, you are only going to lift half or a third of a full rep.
Use a weight you can get 5 reps with, triggering muscle failure on the 5th rep. Rest 10 seconds, then lift the weight 3/4 of the way to the top. Pause one second, then lower 1/2 way down. Pause one second, repeat until muscle failure. Rest 20 seconds, then do a third set exactly as you did the second. You should not repeat this exercise, the 3 sets is enough for whatever muscle group you worked. Rest 3-4 minutes before moving on to you next exercise.
It’s important to understand that to be effective, partial reps should be performed slower than full reps. The range of motion is short. If too much acceleration is used from the start the muscle won’t be under enough tension to be effective to stimulate growth. Do the partial reps with as little change of speed or acceleration as possible. Imagine that the partial reps have to last as long as a full rep.
There are other rest-pause methods you can use but these are my two favorites. I will probably write an article listing a few more down the road but if these don’t work for you, google rest-pause trying to grow muscles, I’m sure other articles will pop up.
What do you think of rest-pause training? Comments are always appreciated!