Prison Style Rest Pause - AnabolicMinds.com
    • Prison Style Rest Pause



      by Josh Bryant T-Nation

      Here's what you need to know...

      • Rest-pause training breaks down one set into several subsets with a brief rest between each.

      • This is great for busting through plateaus while teaching you to grind out reps.

      • Your muscle fibers will get hammered and thanks to the repetitive bouts with limited rest, you'll experience a growth-inducing pump.

      In the 1960s a gargantuan figure, Jim Williams, affectionately known in strength circles as the "Scranton Strongman," presided within prison walls.

      Williams, who was serving time due to a string of youthful indiscretions, turned his jail sentence into an opportunity to transform himself into the prison's strongest inmate, becoming just the second person to eclipse the 600-pound mark on the bench press and the first to notch 650 pounds in competition.

      And due to the limited equipment available in the Scranton weight pit, rest-pause training played a huge part in Williams' training.

      Rest-Pause Training Explained
      Rest-pause training breaks down one set into several subsets with a brief rest between each. It can be performed in a number of ways, depending on the intensity level and the desired outcome.

      Williams did 90% to 95% of his 1-rep max for a single, then waited 20 to 60 seconds and performed another single. He repeated the process for the maximum number of sets he could do that particular day, typically 6 to 8.

      Many old-time strength aficionados swear by this method and it certainly works. But as with everything in training, we need to weigh the risks and benefits. Rest-pause training is extremely taxing on the central nervous system and can be dangerous, especially as fatigue sets in.

      Furthermore, the adaptations of rest-pause training are more neurologically driven for strength than for increases in muscle size, so know what you're signing up for and proceed with caution.

      Science Confirms
      To help you make up your mind on whether or not to try this, recent research provides some interesting findings on the effectiveness of the rest-pause method. A study published in Journal of Science & Medicine of Sport had 14 subjects perform three different resistance training protocols involving 20 repetitions in the squat with 80% of their current 1-rep max.

      The first training protocol consisted of 5 sets of 4 reps with a 3 minute rest interval, while the second program had trainees doing 5 sets of 4 reps with 20 second rest intervals. The third group used a rest-pause method with the initial set performed to failure and subsequent sets completed after a 20-second rest interval.

      All training methods had similar decreases in maximal force and rate of force development post workout, but increased motor-unit recruitment was observed following the rest-pause protocol.

      Sure, it's only one study, but it just backs up what my lifters have experienced.

      Sample Rest-Pause Training
      A sample strength-based rest-pause workout on the bench press for someone with a one-repetition max of 350 pounds would be to hit 330 pounds for a single, rest 30 seconds, and then keep repeating for the daily maximum of sets.

      However, if hypertrophy is the goal, you must lighten the load but maintain the training intensity. In other words, you'd perform a set using a weight that will allow 6-10 repetitions, take a 20-second rest interval, and then repeat the same weight again. You'll probably squeeze out 2-3 reps. Repeat this process two more times for a total of three subsets.

      Sticking with the bench press scenario, a rest-pause series with an emphasis on hypertrophy might look like this:

      Set 1: 250 x 8 reps
      Rest 20 seconds

      Set 2: 250 x 3 reps
      Rest 20 seconds

      Set 3: 250 x 2 reps

      This method is great for busting through plateaus while teaching you to grind out reps. Your muscle fibers will get hammered and thanks to the repetitive bouts with limited rest, you'll experience a T-shirt tearing pump.

      Still, this method is taxing on the central nervous system (CNS), so it shouldn't be used every workout or for every set. Also, avoid using rest-pauses with highly technical movements like the Olympic lifts for the same reason.

      Rest-Pause Round Up
      Step 1: Determine Your Purpose. For strength, use 85%+. For size, use 70-85%. For muscle endurance, use less than 70%.

      Step 2: Set the Rest Intervals Between Subsets. For strength, use 20-60 seconds. For size, use 20-30 seconds. For muscle endurance, use 10-30 seconds.

      Step 3: Have a Spotter Monitor Rest Periods. You need to worry about lifting the weight and not the clock.

      Note: When in doubt, stop. Keep rep records – rest pausing is the ultimate form of density training. We're measuring reps for the duration of three subsets. If the last rep of a set of bench press was an all-out grinder, you'll perform poorly on subsequent sets, handicapping total rep count.

      Final Thoughts
      Rest-pause training is one of the few methods that synergistically blends auto-regulation with linear periodization. It's helped two of my very explosive, easy-gainer athletes, Big Al Davis and Vince Dizenzo, develop their ability to grind and become two of the best bench pressers in the world, and I'm certain it can help you too.

      Al Davis benching 670, raw.


      Source: http://www.t-nation.com/training/res...g-prison-style
      Comments 13 Comments
      1. pro520roost's Avatar
        pro520roost -
        Some of the biggest guys I know are in prison. They have 24 hrs a day to devote to getting big.
      1. snagencyV2.0's Avatar
        snagencyV2.0 -
        Originally Posted by pro520roost View Post
        Some of the biggest guys I know are in prison. They have 24 hrs a day to devote to getting big.
        what does that mean?

        you only grow when you are resting...surely ppl in the"real" world can have schedules that are just as conducive to rest/growth, and the training time required itself to "get big" ---- with the ADDED benefit of being able to eat (and supplement) correctly, instead of the substandard fare that is the day-to-day reality of their nutritional intake, as well as superior training facilities, personal coaches, access to more available training information via forums or internet, etc etc

        their size has nothing to do with "available time to devote"; rather everything to do with decent genetics combined with an inner fire & drive, an intensity (perhaps based on anger of the situation & environment they find themselves in), that drives them harder and farther than the "average guy" who does not possess such intensity and motivation
      1. Jakeoh's Avatar
        Jakeoh -
        Originally Posted by snagencyV2.0 View Post
        what does that mean?

        you only grow when you are resting...surely ppl in the"real" world can have schedules that are just as conducive to rest/growth, and the training time required itself to "get big" ---- with the ADDED benefit of being able to eat (and supplement) correctly, instead of the substandard fare that is the day-to-day reality of their nutritional intake, as well as superior training facilities, personal coaches, access to more available training information via forums or internet, etc etc

        their size has nothing to do with "available time to devote"; rather everything to do with decent genetics combined with an inner fire & drive, an intensity (perhaps based on anger of the situation & environment they find themselves in), that drives them harder and farther than the "average guy" who does not possess such intensity and motivation
        Sounds like the guys in prison have less distractions
      1. dieseljay74's Avatar
        dieseljay74 -
        Aren't they also locked down without time to train for 22-23 hours of the 24?
        More like 1 hour a day to train very intensely.
        Makes me also question how these guys who only eat once or twice a day and are limited macro wise to the available prison slop get big?
        Are we all overemphasizing how often we should eat!
        Makes you think.......
      1. pro520roost's Avatar
        pro520roost -
        The prison I was at which was a high level prison we had three hours a day of rec with more free weights than you have at local gym. Aside from food they gave us we had plenty of food we could buy from commissary. Peanut butter cheese fish oil and different supplements. Protein was not an issue.
      1. dieseljay74's Avatar
        dieseljay74 -
        Originally Posted by pro520roost View Post
        The prison I was at which was a high level prison we had three hours a day of rec with more free weights than you have at local gym. Aside from food they gave us we had plenty of food we could buy from commissary. Peanut butter cheese fish oil and different supplements. Protein was not an issue.
        Ok I didn't realize there was that much access to things.
      1. snagencyV2.0's Avatar
        snagencyV2.0 -
        Originally Posted by dieseljay74 View Post
        Are we all overemphasizing how often we should eat!
        in a generic reply to the context to the topic you mention here -- no
        diet and nutrition (and the steady influx of such nutrients) are the be-all/end-all to growth & development

        Originally Posted by pro520roost View Post
        The prison I was at which was a high level prison we had three hours a day of rec with more free weights than you have at local gym. Aside from food they gave us we had plenty of food we could buy from commissary. Peanut butter cheese fish oil and different supplements. Protein was not an issue.
        time to be consistent, and time to recover -- sure, I see the benefit
        still is not the easy answer here..

        as for nutrition you mention:
        yes commissary (and to smaller extent lucky you if you had access to supplements) can offset the substandard fare to some degree, but it is not on level of nutrition one needs to have this basis covered sufficiently to explain growth factors; further, it does not diminish the poor quality of the food you are served, ie most prisons when serving hamburger for instance, this is not really beef as we think of it, rather think of taco bell meat that is 80% soybeans etc...

        while I can acknowledge some legitimate benefits to the time allowances involved, I do not see a definitive cause-effect from the basic simple correlation you propose of getting big because in prison because they have time to dedicate to it..
        there is quite a bit more to it than that
      1. pro520roost's Avatar
        pro520roost -
        I agree it's more to it, and supplements I referred to was fish oil and caffeine manly. But genetics play a big part in it. when I was in that's was the main focus working out putting on muscle. We had plenty of time to strategize our workouts and food consumption.
      1. Clean gene's Avatar
        Clean gene -
        Is this a minimum security prison? Man, look at all the women in the back ground.

        Nice lift.
      1. pro520roost's Avatar
        pro520roost -
        My state has five levels five being maximum I was in level four 16 hour lockdown a day. Eight hours of school, programs, rec, church, ect. 23 hr. Lockdown is only on movies and for tha bad ass mutha fukas
      1. dieseljay74's Avatar
        dieseljay74 -
        Originally Posted by pro520roost View Post
        My state has five levels five being maximum I was in level four 16 hour lockdown a day. Eight hours of school, programs, rec, church, ect. 23 hr. Lockdown is only on movies and for tha bad ass mutha fukas
        Lol... I watch way too much TV apparently
      1. rpm57's Avatar
        rpm57 -
        I work in a federal prison in recreation. If you don't know how it works, inmates have more freedoms than any of us law biding , honest working, tax payers have any day of the week! We do not have a weight pile but get inmates on the regular that have come from institutions that have piles! Monsters!
        As another mentioned commissary offers carnation instant breakfast+milk+Peanut butter= close to 30g protein shakes with Vit and Min!
        Inmates have all the time in the world and no worries to get diets in check and work out...
        Now let's not forget they are not in prison for singing in the church choir... So the thoughts of sneaking in other supplements and possibly even GEAR are not out of the question!
        Now I'm not all negative on this topic because working out and weight piles burn energy and the more energy inmates burn the less they want to combat officers!!!
      1. pro520roost's Avatar
        pro520roost -
        Originally Posted by rpm57 View Post
        I work in a federal prison in recreation. If you don't know how it works, inmates have more freedoms than any of us law biding , honest working, tax payers have any day of the week!
        minus getting to go home every night and living on someone else's schedule

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