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Do you pause between reps to rest or get stronger for the set?

www.ironmanmagazine.comQ: I have been reading your articles for years and recently saw you training at Gold’s Gym in Venice, which is where I often work out. I wanted to introduce myself, but I did not want to disrespect your focus—and, yes, I was a little nervous too. After observing you hit the weights, I did want to ask you a question. I noticed that after almost every rep you would stop and pause for a second or two. Do you do that to take a short rest between reps? Are you catching your breath? Is it something you do to be stronger for the set?

A: Before I get to your question, I would like to say to you and any other readers or supporters, please do not hesitate to introduce yourself to me at the gym, an expo, the supermarket or anywhere else you may see me! I love to meet new people and appreciate all of you so much. If it were not for you guys and gals, I would not have the career I have today. So, please, come up to me and say hello—just not in the middle of a set—lol.

Now, as to your query regarding the little “rest” you observed me take in between reps, well, none of your guesses was correct. What I’m actually doing is something I call “setting.” My goal during every set is to activate the target muscle maximally through a powerful connection that starts in my mind. For me that goes beyond simply performing each rep with strict form. The process begins before I move the weight even a centimeter, with the genesis occurring during those little “rests” between reps you witnessed me take.

It’s at these times that I’m “setting” my mind/muscle collaboration so that the muscle—or even a portion of it—that I’m targeting is the only force responsible for moving the weight from point A to point B. I find the technique so productive that I often will “set myself” again before the eccentric contraction of each rep as well.

So, what I am actually doing is creating an atmosphere of intensity and focus that will activate and annihilate every fiber in the target muscle, which in turn will ignite greater and more efficient growth. I encourage you to try this setting technique for yourself and see how much more soreness you wake up with the next day!

Editor’s note: Eric Broser’s new DVD “Power/Rep Range/Shock Max-Mass Training System” is available at His e-books, Power/Rep Range/Shock Workout and The FD/FS Mass-Shock Workout, which include complete printable workout templates and Q&A sections, are available at

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