Tip: A Top Training Method for Size and Strength

So you want to be big AND strong? Well, it's hard to beat this training method. Take a look.

Concurrent Gains

Rest-pause training works well when trying to build size and strength concurrently:

  • On the final set of an exercise, leave one or two reps in the tank.
  • Rest only 15-30 seconds to replenish ATP-CPR stores.
  • Continue doing small sets with 15-30 second breaks until you double the number of reps or reach technical failure.

The result? You lift a heavier weight for more reps, created a greater overall training response. With rest-pause training you’ll lift heavy enough to train high-threshold muscle fibers and create progressive overload to build size and strength.

Here’s What To Do

  1. Pick your training focus for the day. Let’s say you have an upper-body workout and the bench press is your go-to lift.
  2. Warm up by doing 3 sets, ramping up in weight with 3-5 reps per set to fire up your central nervous system. Then move to the rest-pause set.
  3. Your rest-pause set will use about 85% of your one-rep max, or a weight you can do for 5-7 reps, depending on your strength levels and muscle fiber composition. Go a little heavier if you’re purely focused on strength rather than size gains. About 85% is the sweet spot for a mix of both.

Example if your 1RM is 315 pounds:


  • 65% x 5 = 205 pounds
  • 70% x 5 = 220 pounds
  • 80% x 3 = 250-255 pounds
  • 85% = 270 pounds

Rest-Pause Set

270 pounds x 5 reps, rest 15-30 seconds, then…

  • Do 1-3 reps, rest 15-30 seconds.
  • Do 1-2 reps, rest 15-30 seconds.
  • Do 1-2 reps or as many reps as needed until you double the rep goal.

Here’s what it looks like:

Use a spotter and stop sets earlier if your rep range is compromised or you reach technical failure. Once your rest-pause exercise is complete, you can rest easy knowing you’ve creating a stimulus for progressive overload. Maximize whatever time you have left in the gym to hit the other components of your workout.