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.


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