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Rest/Pause DC style vs Straight Sets discussion

xpoc

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I watched the Jordan Peters video. He's an intense dude with a wealth of knowledge. There is ONE thing I simply cannot wrap my head around and agree with...and unfortunately it is the foundation of his training. He is dead set on adding overload EVERY TIME he trains an exercise. He even mentions carrying around 1 lb plates to ensure there is a novel stimulus. So EVERY TIME he does an incline smith for example he is using more weight (or sometimes more reps) than the previous time. This sounds totally logical but not practical.

Here is where I simply don't see that logic playing out for most people including myself. I've never seen linear progress where you progress EVERY workout. Sometimes I come into the gym feeling like a champ and I crush it. Other times, for whatever reason my body doesn't feel right and the weight feels heavier. It could be some nutritional issue, achy shoulder... or perhaps I didn't sleep as well.

One time I was doing the DC rest pause workout and I was just in a zone. I was doing close grip BP on the smith and I crushed my previous week by 4 reps. I think I hit the same weight for 10+4+2 the week prior and this time I got 13+5+2. That is a significant jump in one week. Unfortunately, I never came close to matching those numbers again. The following week I was at 11+4+2 and I stayed there for several weeks. I eventually got up to 12+4+2 but that was 2 reps lower than I had done a month earlier.

And I think most people respond like this. "Some days you feel like a nut, some days you don't."
 

SE7an

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Good thrad so far, my biggest enemy is I worl so much do I have the time to rest and pause a lot between sets or not..... Sometimes I only have 30-40 mins for a full workload so resting is negligenr, but better than not going at all. I do the opposite on my days off tbh
 

TheOtherOne55

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The real question is what are your rotations of exercises??
Both JP and Dante have preached this....you're right, you cannot bench every week and continue to get stronger and move more reps and weight EVERY SINGLE WEEK. But if you bench one week, Incline Smith Bench another week and then DB bench a third...THEN COME BACK to the bench, then test it.

New movement patterns (that are close, but still a little different), new stimulus, etc. Strengthening alllll of this for an additional 2 weeks and then back to movement.

I do two rotations, and have done 3 before. And I rarely miss reps. I usually gain 1 rep or so EOD week or i add 5lbs and work that new weight for close to the same reps. This only time I really struggle is when cals are really low dieting.


I watched the Jordan Peters video. He's an intense dude with a wealth of knowledge. There is ONE thing I simply cannot wrap my head around and agree with...and unfortunately it is the foundation of his training. He is dead set on adding overload EVERY TIME he trains an exercise. He even mentions carrying around 1 lb plates to ensure there is a novel stimulus. So EVERY TIME he does an incline smith for example he is using more weight (or sometimes more reps) than the previous time. This sounds totally logical but not practical.

Here is where I simply don't see that logic playing out for most people including myself. I've never seen linear progress where you progress EVERY workout. Sometimes I come into the gym feeling like a champ and I crush it. Other times, for whatever reason my body doesn't feel right and the weight feels heavier. It could be some nutritional issue, achy shoulder... or perhaps I didn't sleep as well.

One time I was doing the DC rest pause workout and I was just in a zone. I was doing close grip BP on the smith and I crushed my previous week by 4 reps. I think I hit the same weight for 10+4+2 the week prior and this time I got 13+5+2. That is a significant jump in one week. Unfortunately, I never came close to matching those numbers again. The following week I was at 11+4+2 and I stayed there for several weeks. I eventually got up to 12+4+2 but that was 2 reps lower than I had done a month earlier.

And I think most people respond like this. "Some days you feel like a nut, some days you don't."
 

danieltx

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I watched the Jordan Peters video. He's an intense dude with a wealth of knowledge. There is ONE thing I simply cannot wrap my head around and agree with...and unfortunately it is the foundation of his training. He is dead set on adding overload EVERY TIME he trains an exercise. He even mentions carrying around 1 lb plates to ensure there is a novel stimulus. So EVERY TIME he does an incline smith for example he is using more weight (or sometimes more reps) than the previous time. This sounds totally logical but not practical.

Here is where I simply don't see that logic playing out for most people including myself. I've never seen linear progress where you progress EVERY workout. Sometimes I come into the gym feeling like a champ and I crush it. Other times, for whatever reason my body doesn't feel right and the weight feels heavier. It could be some nutritional issue, achy shoulder... or perhaps I didn't sleep as well.

One time I was doing the DC rest pause workout and I was just in a zone. I was doing close grip BP on the smith and I crushed my previous week by 4 reps. I think I hit the same weight for 10+4+2 the week prior and this time I got 13+5+2. That is a significant jump in one week. Unfortunately, I never came close to matching those numbers again. The following week I was at 11+4+2 and I stayed there for several weeks. I eventually got up to 12+4+2 but that was 2 reps lower than I had done a month earlier.

And I think most people respond like this. "Some days you feel like a nut, some days you don't."

You're right in referencing 'most people', but Peters' content isn't geared towards 'most people' - it's geared towards hardcore bodybuilders.

For hardcore bodybuilders who eat, sleep, and breathe this stuff - I mean always nailing the diet, always getting rest and supplementation, prioritizing recovery, etc. - it definitely is possible to progress like that for most of the year, with the last half of a diet phase being the exception. Here's how it plays out for me:
  • Diet rebound into growing phase - calories go up and up, strength goes up and up, great progress is made (ex. 10lb. increase week to week for same reps)
  • Maintenance phase - gains will be small but can definitely still be made (ex. 1-2 more reps week to week for same weight)
  • Diet - good gains can be made in beginning thanks to supplementation; strength will decline as diet goes on and in last 4-6 weeks it's just trying to hit the same numbers or as close to the same numbers as you did the week before
Age is the only thing I see being a limiting factor here. If you're 40+, this is unlikely to work as well for you.
 

FK86

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If you want to stay with the same exercise, not training to failure and variable loading (periodization) should be used. Plateaus are inevitable regardless, but in this manner they can be put off for quite some time.

If you train the way Dante and JP do, exercise rotation is mandatory.
 

comedycentral

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After participating in this thread and reading all the thoughts I changed things up for my workout today......instead of the usual three sets I went back to a rest pause set. The key was keeping my reps for the first part above 15 reps.........
I think I'll stick with this and do the DC three way until the end of the year to give it a good trial and see how my joints respond. When my initial set gets above 20 reps I'll add weight..
Are you having a day off in between each session? So essentially Push off pull off legs off push etc
 

Dens228

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Are you having a day off in between each session? So essentially Push off pull off legs off push etc
No, I do push-legs-pull but usually go two days in a row......sometimes three if I'm feeling adventerous.
 

URODA

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I am all for progressive overload and adding even 1 kilogram to a big lift each week but realistically, however great your nutrition, supplementation and recovery are you are not going to be able to keep that ad infinitum especially if you are at your higher level ceiling of development. Weightlifters push for years to achieve a 1 kilogram total increased being their only goal in the profession and they have a lot more training science behind them than any other lifting sport, let alone bodybuilding. I have respect for Jordan and everything he managed to achieve and hold a lot of his opinion in high regard but the progression he talks about would have already brought him to a world record total in powerlifting. A lot of bodybuilders have no real perception of weight and exaggerate a lot or Lee Priest would have beaten the curl record by more than 20 kilograms and for reps not just one... A big part of that is the reason that I like the logic behind Dante, when you hit that brick wall where you are unable to add more weight or even replicate your earlier PR you implement RP and keep the grind going on.
 

DOGGCRAPP

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Good stuff... BBoy , airman, usmuscle that all seems logical. Like BBOY said, not necessarily backed by science, but heck, science is often times years behind anecdotal experience.

 

DOGGCRAPP

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The difference in the two is the amount of muscle damage that is happening IMHO, techniques such as rest pause and drop sets cause more muscle damage (my opinion after 30+ years of training) i do not have scientific studies to prove this (disclaimer)

But you do:

"Increased motor unit recruitment was observed during the rest-pause method compared to both protocols A and B for all muscles measured"

 

USMuscle9403

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I watched the Jordan Peters video. He's an intense dude with a wealth of knowledge. There is ONE thing I simply cannot wrap my head around and agree with...and unfortunately it is the foundation of his training. He is dead set on adding overload EVERY TIME he trains an exercise. He even mentions carrying around 1 lb plates to ensure there is a novel stimulus. So EVERY TIME he does an incline smith for example he is using more weight (or sometimes more reps) than the previous time. This sounds totally logical but not practical.

Here is where I simply don't see that logic playing out for most people including myself. I've never seen linear progress where you progress EVERY workout. Sometimes I come into the gym feeling like a champ and I crush it. Other times, for whatever reason my body doesn't feel right and the weight feels heavier. It could be some nutritional issue, achy shoulder... or perhaps I didn't sleep as well.

One time I was doing the DC rest pause workout and I was just in a zone. I was doing close grip BP on the smith and I crushed my previous week by 4 reps. I think I hit the same weight for 10+4+2 the week prior and this time I got 13+5+2. That is a significant jump in one week. Unfortunately, I never came close to matching those numbers again. The following week I was at 11+4+2 and I stayed there for several weeks. I eventually got up to 12+4+2 but that was 2 reps lower than I had done a month earlier.

And I think most people respond like this. "Some days you feel like a nut, some days you don't."

See, I agree with you, as well, that most simply aren't able to progress every single workout. This is where Jordan is completely oblivious to his own genetics lol Scott Stevenson said that when he trained him, they were doing DC, and Jordan was just willing and able to do things others wouldn't and couldn't do and would literally beat the logbook every time. The dude has inhuman intensity, as well, but he forgets that many just don't have what he has. So when Jordan says things like, "everything is infinitely progressible", I kinda let it go in one ear and out the other and just try my best lol

This is where guys really need to be careful with something like DC training. Yes, the idea is to beat the logbook, but after years of training, what advanced bodybuilder can progress every workout? Not many, and guys need to get it out of their head and not be tempted to use poor form, speed up reps, risking injury, just to beat a previous weight or reps.

Personally, I become 'comfortable' with a weight before moving up. That is, I'll get everything out of that weight that I can, I've mastered that particular number on that particular exercise. I feel every bit of it and I'm ready to move on. So if I feel a weight better the second time around, I consider that progress, as well. Obviously it's still important to increase the actual work load relative to your own recovery.
 

DOGGCRAPP

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After participating in this thread and reading all the thoughts I changed things up for my workout today......instead of the usual three sets I went back to a rest pause set. The key was keeping my reps for the first part above 15 reps.........
I think I'll stick with this and do the DC three way until the end of the year to give it a good trial and see how my joints respond. When my initial set gets above 20 reps I'll add weight..

If it helps this is what i do in my advanced age. I still train Heavy as Hell but i do it in higher rep ranges.... my rest pause sets are virtually always 25-30 reps now and that usually is a 16+8+6=30rp if its 30 and 'slightly less if its 25rp. My straight sets are usually anywhere from 13-25 and that depends on the exercise usually. Ill venture lower on certain exercises i feel safe on...but I am hanging plates and dumbells off of machines and pulleys even at these higher rep ranges. It really boils down to what you feel safe rep range wise on that exercise. I dont take risky chances on lever movements (triceps) and that is usually always at the very least 16-20 reps minimal on a straight set (and more likely 25 reps straight before i can go up in weight)....but even then I am using weight 99% of the people in the gym can't touch if they tried to do 8 reps with it....but again its always progressive...always. I have been doing this stuff for 3 plus decades, its very rare I dont beat the logbook in some kind of fashion.....Ive never suffered a major injury because I have a built in radar that tells me "watch out D this is getting dangerous"...and I listen to that intently. If i go three workouts without beating the logbook on a certain exercise I do one of two things:

1) Switch to a new exercise that i have been thinking about for awhile
2) If i feel strongly about that present exercise and how productive it is....I reset it which means Ill cut the weight way down and start fresh on it for way over the rep range i usually use with it....and ill just work it week after week adding weight (trying my best to not drop reps dramatically) and over time the weight goes up and the reps come down slowly and I virtually ALWAYS end up beyond what I was plateaued at previously
 

xpoc

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If it helps this is what i do in my advanced age. I still train Heavy as Hell but i do it in higher rep ranges.... my rest pause sets are virtually always 25-30 reps now and that usually is a 16+8+6=30rp if its 30 and 'slightly less if its 25rp. My straight sets are usually anywhere from 13-25 and that depends on the exercise usually. Ill venture lower on certain exercises i feel safe on...but I am hanging plates and dumbells off of machines and pulleys even at these higher rep ranges. It really boils down to what you feel safe rep range wise on that exercise. I dont take risky chances on lever movements (triceps) and that is usually always at the very least 16-20 reps minimal on a straight set (and more likely 25 reps straight before i can go up in weight)....but even then I am using weight 99% of the people in the gym can't touch if they tried to do 8 reps with it....but again its always progressive...always. I have been doing this stuff for 3 plus decades, its very rare I dont beat the logbook in some kind of fashion.....Ive never suffered a major injury because I have a built in radar that tells me "watch out D this is getting dangerous"...and I listen to that intently. If i go three workouts without beating the logbook on a certain exercise I do one of two things:
....
1) Switch to a new exercise that i have been thinking about for awhile
2) If i feel strongly about that present exercise and how productive it is....I reset it which means Ill cut the weight way down and start fresh on it for way over the rep range i usually use with it....and ill just work it week after week adding weight (trying my best to not drop reps dramatically) and over time the weight goes up and the reps come down slowly and I virtually ALWAYS end up beyond what I was plateaued at previously

Great stuff here Dante. How do you deal with that "one special day" where you happen to be firing on all cylinders and somehow manage to crush your previous best on a movement? I did that a couple times and it kind of ruined that exercise for me because I was never able to progress beyond that "one day." That one day was an outlier of greatness for me...but it spoiled my log book. Kind of like screwing a pornstar one night and then comparing the gals who followed to that one time experience lol. Based on your response above I am guessing you just "reset" the book with a different rep range and get after again?
 

hawkmoon

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I am all for progressive overload and adding even 1 kilogram to a big lift each week but realistically, however great your nutrition, supplementation and recovery are you are not going to be able to keep that ad infinitum especially if you are at your higher level ceiling of development. Weightlifters push for years to achieve a 1 kilogram total increased being their only goal in the profession and they have a lot more training science behind them than any other lifting sport, let alone bodybuilding. I have respect for Jordan and everything he managed to achieve and hold a lot of his opinion in high regard but the progression he talks about would have already brought him to a world record total in powerlifting. A lot of bodybuilders have no real perception of weight and exaggerate a lot or Lee Priest would have beaten the curl record by more than 20 kilograms and for reps not just one... A big part of that is the reason that I like the logic behind Dante, when you hit that brick wall where you are unable to add more weight or even replicate your earlier PR you implement RP and keep the grind going on.


This is my only beef with the constant progression method. On cannot keep getting stronger, nor add more reps forever, likely not even after just 5 years of all out training.
The truth is somewhat more grey, but the mantra can confuse a lot of people, especially those looking for the next step.
 

DOGGCRAPP

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Great stuff here Dante. How do you deal with that "one special day" where you happen to be firing on all cylinders and somehow manage to crush your previous best on a movement? I did that a couple times and it kind of ruined that exercise for me because I was never able to progress beyond that "one day." That one day was an outlier of greatness for me...but it spoiled my log book. Kind of like screwing a pornstar one night and then comparing the gals who followed to that one time experience lol. Based on your response above I am guessing you just "reset" the book with a different rep range and get after again?

Honestly that used to happen more frequently (but still not that often) with lower rep ranges...but not so much with higher rep ranges because you have alot more room to play with in the higher rep ranges. I do little things to get over plateaus alot...little nuances....ill slow down a set a little bit and suck in a alot of air on the eccentric phase, Ill use a little body oomph to get over a hitch, Ill wrap my elbows with my knee wraps....little things like that = reps and keep things moving.
 

DOGGCRAPP

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My training partners have told me time and time again that I do things so much differently than other people they have trained with. And I do. I look at every single piece of equipment and think it all out while im going to sleep at night how i can tweak it or change something to make it work for me. I have an encyclopedia of exercises i have at my disposal over the years that i can turn to. IN my present gym i turned a old school preacher cable curl machine into one of the best tricep exercise machines myself/my training partner and a bunch of other guys (who saw me) have ever used in my life. But thats how my brain works.....and I think alot of you should do that also....study apparatus in your gym that just has never worked for you and try to figure out a way you can use it. Sometimes all it takes is a tweak here, a raising of a seat there, or a grip width you didnt previously think about......at any time i can virtually switch to another exercise when im plateaued out on one.....and I can do that for years upon years so i am almost continuously beating the logbook. Guys who use the same exercises over and over and cannot think outside the box....cant do that. Will every exercise you try to tweak work? No i would say 60% of the time i try something and quickly think "ahhh thats a pile of crap"....but when i do find it 40% of the time...its invaluable. I guarantee this...absolutely guarantee it because ive been doing it for decades....I could go into any one of your gyms and within 60 days of training there i would show you exercises on equipment that you have been around for eons and never thought twice about it. I think thats so darn important for a bodybuilder to always be thinking of "the next thing" he is going to progress on
 

FK86

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I have an encyclopedia of exercises i have at my disposal over the years that i can turn to. IN my present gym i turned a old school preacher cable curl machine into one of the best tricep exercise machines myself/my training partner and a bunch of other guys (who saw me) have ever used in my life. But thats how my brain works.....and I think alot of you should do that also....study apparatus in your gym that just has never worked for you and try to figure out a way you can use it.

Along those lines; my old gym didn't have a standing leg curl, so I used the leg extension machine. The look on people's faces was always "he doesn't know what he's doing...wait...I don't know what I'm doing."

Full credit to Mark Dugdale because I got the idea from him.

 

Nyoco

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Honestly that used to happen more frequently (but still not that often) with lower rep ranges...but not so much with higher rep ranges because you have alot more room to play with in the higher rep ranges. I do little things to get over plateaus alot...little nuances....ill slow down a set a little bit and suck in a alot of air on the eccentric phase, Ill use a little body oomph to get over a hitch, Ill wrap my elbows with my knee wraps....little things like that = reps and keep things moving.

Hello Dante, I just wanted to let you know I´ve recently tried the "stretch under load" technique for lat width movements you wrote about on IG and for me personally it´s a game changer, to the point I don´t want to train lat width any other way now, my question is how to best incorporate this into my routine since I think rest pausing and stretching under load would be too much for me. I´m currently doing three lat width sets, two normal sets to near failure with one minute rest and the third is the stretch set, I´m thinking of going the same way with incline dumbbell chest presses and just wanted to ask what you do yourself? Also do you have any stretch under load excersise sugestions for other body parts? Thank you.
 

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