Here's what you need to know...
- The Double Rep Method (DRM) of rest-pause training can lead to massive improvements in muscle mass and conditioning in a short period of time.
- Rep out to max on an exercise. Rest briefly and then do another rep or two. Rest briefly again and perform another rep or two. Keep going until you've reached double the rep number of the first set.
- You can use DRM with any rep range you choose.
- Use DRM for every exercise in your workout, or use it to bring up lagging body parts.
Double the Pleasure, Double the Pain
The Double Rep Method (DRM) is a form of rest-pause training. It's a brutally effective way to increase muscle mass, build strength, and even burn some body fat.
Simply rep out to max on an exercise of your choice. Rest briefly and then churn out another rep or two. Rest briefly again and do another rep or two. Continue in this manner until you've reached double the rep number of the first set.
For example, if you did deadlifts for an 8RM, you'd rest 5-10 seconds and then try another rep or two. You'd again rest 5-10 seconds and then do another mini set, continuing in this manner until you hit 16 reps.
The idea is to work at reducing your rest periods to see how short you can get them while still performing reps with good form.
Contrast this method with a typical 5x5 routine. Traditionally, you might do two warm-up sets. That's fine. You then move on to 3 work sets. Great. You may then rest 3 minutes between sets... not so great, or at least not optimal if your main goal is building muscle mass.
So let's ditch tradition. How about replacing the traditional method and instead do 10 total reps DRM style rather than 15 reps 5x5 style? It's less time consuming, yet more effective.
How is 10 Reps DRM Better?
- Muscle excitability is high from the first rep of a 5RM, but it's even higher on the last one or two reps of a 5RM. Rest-pausing ensures you keep those last one or two reps primed throughout the entire exercise duration.
- Greater excitability means greater protein degradation, and greater protein degradation equals increased muscle growth (assuming nutrition is geared to that end of course).
- Increased muscle growth means a greater ATP demand. More ATP demand means greater fat oxidation.
- You can reduce the total amount of reps you'd normally do because this form of training derives a much greater effect from the reps you do perform.
Fitting It Into Your Training
DRM isn't a routine, it's a method, and it's a method you can use with any rep range you choose.There are two ways to fit DRM into your training:
- Use it for every exercise in your workout.
- Use it for bringing lagging muscle groups up to standard.
If, for example, you have a weak muscle group, you might do the following:
- Pick one or two exercises for that body part.
- Train them in a lower rep range of 6-12 on one day and then train them in a very high rep range of 40-60 on another day (see additional points below for an explanation of very high rep ranges).
Here's an example of how you might use DRM to build up a weak set of quads:
- A. Leg Press: 6-12 RM
- B. Leg Extension: 6-12 RM
The set/rep breakdown would look something like this: Do a 6-rep max, rest 20 seconds. Do rep 7, rest 20; do rep 8, rest 20; do rep 9, rest 20; do rep 10, rest 20; do rep 11, rest 20; and finish with rep 12.
- A. Leg Press: 40-60 RM
- B. Leg Extension: 40-60 RM
The sets/reps breakdown would look something like this: Do a 40-rep max, rest about 10 seconds. Do reps 41 and 42, rest a couple of more seconds; do reps 43 and 44, rest a couple of more seconds; do reps 44 and 45, etc., until you hit 80 reps!
For the 60-rep range, do 60 and then rest about 10 seconds before doing another 5 or so reps. Continue resting for 10-second periods and doing sets of about 5 until you get to 120.
Additional Points and Explanations
- The DRM is very effective but it's not an excuse to use sloppy form.
- This method doesn't have a limited life cycle. It can be used indefinitely provided you change the rep ranges and/or the exercises you perform every few weeks. For example, use a 5 RM for 2-4 weeks and then switch to a 12 RM for 2-4 weeks.
- The volume suggested isn't just an arbitrary number – the ranges correspond nicely to Prilepin's table.
- The benefits of higher rep ranges go beyond just an increase in muscle fibers. Higher rep sets that stimulate lactic acid production have been associated with stimulating the concentration and strength of collagenous tissues of the body.
- It's no wonder and no coincidence that the lifters at Westside Barbell use higher rep ranges regularly for this very purpose.
- Things get very interesting with the DRM method when you start hitting higher rep ranges. You may find you have a strong urge to quit before you've hit your rep total. Don't.
- Pushing yourself to hit that total number using the lowest amount of reps per mini-set will stimulate a rapid increase in muscle mass and even fat loss.
- This training is tough. Ease into it by using longer rest periods to begin with. This will enable you to get more reps per set until you hit your total.
- As the set progresses, cut the rest periods. By the end of the set, you should be doing singles in a highly fatigued state.
- What if the rest is too short to hit even one rep? Rest another 5 or 10 seconds or as much as you need to perform another single rep.
- How long should each person rest? That's entirely individual.
- For instance, if I do a 3-rep max on a squat, it takes me 30 seconds rest to repeat another rep. I should therefore use 30 seconds on average between sets of 3RM work until I hit 6 total reps.
Dig deep and try it out!