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Mike Mentzer Heavy Duty Rest/Pause

7306-train3Back in my younger days I was a Mike Mentzer fan, reading, absorbing and applying everything he wrote about his Heavy Duty system. Intensity was the cornerstone, and preexhaustion a favorite method. Another was rest/pause.

Mike’s take on rest/pause wasn’t doing a normal set to failure, resting for five seconds and then doing as many reps again. He was more about heavy, strict singles. Here’s how he described it in his Heavy Duty Journal:

“With my version of rest/pause a weight is selected that allows only one rep done in perfectly strict style.… Following a 10-second rest/pause, continue with another maximum effort. After the second rep another 10-second rest/pause interval is allowed to elapse before you perform the third rep. By the third rep your strength will be down and you will have to drop the weight by about 20 percent or have your partner provide just enough assistance so you are barely able complete it. The third rep should be followed by up to a 15-second pause, as fatigue will unavoidably set in. I think four reps is best, as you will not have the energy to exert yourself maximally after that.”

—Steve Holman


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