If you put your mind to it, you can come up with several ways to perform reps for just about any resistance training exercise. One variation is pausing between reps on certain sets, and a study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine shows how the effect it can have on workload.

Researchers had subjects perform 4 sets of knee extensions for 12 reps using 70% of their one rep max. Some did continuous reps while others paused either 5 seconds or 10 seconds during reps in the middle sets. Pausing increased systolic blood pressure and cardiac output more than constant reps, but subjects reported a lower rate of perceived exertion.

True Strength Moment: Despite an elevated cardiovascular response, pausing during middle sets makes the effort seem easier. Give this strategy a try to see what it does for your weight room workouts. And check today’s Performance Blog to see what all-out 200 meter swimming alters.




Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in muscle. It’s considered conditionally essential because your body can produce an adequate supply under normal conditions. But the weight room has a way of taking normal to the extreme. A study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism suggests glutamine might help with eccentric exercise recovery.

Sixteen subjects performed 8 sets of knee extensions for 10 reps using 125% of maximum force with 2 minutes of rest between sets. Some supplemented with 0.3 grams of glutamine per kg of body weight for 3 days while the rest got a maltodextrin placebo. Men using glutamine produced greater peak torque post-workout compared to placebo takers, and both men and women using glutamine reported lower levels of soreness 72 hours after training.

True Strength Moment: Glutamine appears to help accelerate recovery from eccentric exercise. Men seem to regain muscular force faster than women when using this supplement. For research on how different carbs power endurance exercise, read today’s Performance Blog post.



Whey and casein are both milk proteins, with whey the faster digesting and casein taking a longer amount of time to be absorbed. This separates them into unique usage occasions for different aspects of workout recovery. A study published in The Journal of Nutrition suggests digestion rate isn’t the only area of differentiation between these dairy proteins.

Researchers incorporated each protein as 15% of the calories in a high-fat meal served to 10 healthy overweight men. Blood levels of glucose, amino acids and insulin weren’t very different after the meal, but post-meal triglycerides were reduced by around 20% with casein. The effect lasted for 6 hours.

True Strength Moment: It turns out that casein’s lower acidity compared to whey helps separate more protein from fat. With whey, protein tends to be suspended in fat globules known as chylomicrons which transport nutrients throughout the body.