The Rest/Pause Method

The mind is the most powerful muscle in the body, for without the mind, your physical muscles are useless. The rest/pause method will test the limits of both your body and your mind, while allowing you to push your strength and endurance to new heights.

The rest/pause method involves taking short breaks during a long set in order to get more total reps. Instead of stopping after you reach a pre-determined number of, let’s say, push-ups, just rest at the top with your arms locked out once fatigue sets in. Take a breath or two, then keep pushing out one rep at a time, with several seconds in between reps if need be. This will allow you to push the boundaries of muscular failure.

Incorporataing the Rest/Pause Method

Push-ups are one of the best exercises to use this technique with, but rest/pausing works great with pull-ups, squats and even muscle-ups.

You can use this method when training with weights as well. Pick a weight that you can normally manage for 10 reps, then try to rest/pause your way to another 10 reps without setting the weight down. Make sure to use a spotter.

After an intense session using the rest/pause method, it’s important to have a rest day or a recovery workout the following day. Rest/pause workouts are best used as a shocking technique, so they shouldn’t be done more than once or twice a week.

The power of using your mind and taking it one rep at a time can often lead to groundbreaking workouts. The rest pause method recently allowed me to set a new personal best in muscle-ups. Luckily, I was able to get it on film!

Check out my brother Danny rest/pausing his way to an epic set of over 100 push-ups!

This entry was posted in Strength and Conditioning, The Mind/Body Connection. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.
  • Mattman

    Awesome guys! :D
    If I might nitpick a little though Danny, I’m sure you felt this, but around the 60-70 mark I noticed that you began to lift your ass up abit. Doesn’t make it any less good though that you did over one hundred pushups though :)
    The day I get to do 20 muscle ups in a row will be a joyous day indeed lol. Can only do 5-6 in a row at the moment.
    Though my last attempt at doing a max number of pushups and muscle ups was about 5 months ago, have almost definitely increased in strength since then.

    Keep it up :)

  • John

    Props Danny…. push-up 103 looked quick and easy, I hate that false sense of security doing these things….I am hopeful and confident that I will do 100 someday soon…. I’ll ad that to the long list of goals including one chin up.

  • John

    Al, I also love the one more…. Always gotta go for one more…..

  • Eddie

    Awesome stuff, wish I had one of them parks near me!

  • http://www.AlKavadlo.com/ Al Kavadlo

    Keep training hard, Matt! This method will help you get those numbers up.

  • http://www.AlKavadlo.com/ Al Kavadlo

    No matter who you are or how fit you get, there is always a new goal to reach for!

  • http://www.AlKavadlo.com/ Al Kavadlo

    Hell yeah, John – you know how we do it!

  • http://www.AlKavadlo.com/ Al Kavadlo

    It is a real treat to live so close to TSP, but you can do push-ups anywhere!

  • Eddie

    That’s true AL i agree I love doing them push-ups but that park looks so awesome; a playground for grown ups, someday Ill get there! :)

  • Anonymous

    Stop looking at my ass! But seriously, you have a very good eye. There’s always room for improvement. It’s just like we say… EVERY BODY NEEDS TRAINING. Even me!

  • Arcel Derosena

    awesome, can’t wait to do that.

  • http://www.AlKavadlo.com/ Al Kavadlo

    You don’t have to wait! Do it today!

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  • Eric

    Just got around to doing reading this particular article.  Discovered I’ve been using the “rest/pause” while doing squats for quite some time now.  Thought I was just being lazy, so I’m pleased to find I was actually doing an official technique.  :)

  • http://www.AlKavadlo.com/ Al Kavadlo

    Haha – glad I could legitimize your laziness!

  • Tom

    Great site, just bought your book! Most other training litterature says dont go to failure, keep a few reps in the bank and so on. Do you recommend going to failure every time you train? Great blog!

  • http://www.AlKavadlo.com/ Al Kavadlo

    Thanks, Tom!  I am a proponent of training to failure and beyond.  Just not every single workout.

  • Icon1988

    hey al whats up.  I have been using stuff from Pavel for a while, especially in the area of trying to improve pull ups, like GTG ladders, but I always seem to fatigue and my progress hit a fricking wall.  Fatiuge has always been a big issue.  Do you think this rest pause is the breakthrough needed to get me going?  I have tried so many different pull up workouts and nothing seems to get it done.  I leave for bootcmap in a few months and have got to get this taken care of.  Guess it is a bit confusing with Pavle saying never train to failure, in some of his workouts and other he does, and you say go to failur. anyways thanks man

  • http://www.AlKavadlo.com/ Al Kavadlo

    It could be.  Try it and let us know!