This Chest, Back and Arms Workout Uses the ‘Rest-Pause’ Method for Fast Gains

If your efforts in the gym have felt a bit stagnant lately, leading to a sticking point in muscle growth and drop in motivation, it might be time to dial up the intensity. But, it can be hard to know exactly how to up the ante. That’s where the ‘rest-pause’ method comes in.

Long championed by strength athletes and bodybuilders looking to bust through plateaus, ‘rest pause’ is a technique that’s simple on paper but gut wrenchingly difficult in execution — often leading to huge gains in strength and size.

The technique is simple: after two to three warm-up sets, choose a weight that you could lift for an absolute maximum of ten reps. In fact, by the ninth or tenth rep you should be questioning whether or not you’re even going to make it, training to absolute failure, where you can no longer move the weight. If you manage 12, you went too light. Stand tall after this ball-busting effort and take ten deep breaths. Immediately after the tenth breath, grab your weights and begin a set, counting from the number you left off at, grinding out reps until you again hit absolute failure. Continue in this fashion, pushing to your absolute limits, followed by ten deep breaths until you hit a total of 25 reps, make a note of how many sets this took.

Once you can complete a full 25 reps of a movement in just three sets, increase your weights on the next session. Ready to give it a go? Try this chest, back and biceps workout for huge upper body gains.


Lay flat on a bench, your knees bent, pushing your feet into the floors. Press a pair of dumbells into the air, locking out your elbows (A). Lower the bells slowly until they touch your chest (B) keep your elbows at 45 degree angle, pause here before explosively pressing back up. Repeat.

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Add additional weight using a dip belt or weighted vest if you can. Grasp a pull-up bar with an overhand grip over shoulder width apart, lift your feet from the floor, hang freely with straight arms. (A) Pull yourself up by flexing the elbows whilst pinching your shoulder blades together. When your chin passes the bar, (B) pause before lowering to the starting position.

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Load up additional weight using a dip belt or weighted vest if you can. Jump up on two parallel bars with your palms facing inward and your arms straight (A). Slowly lower your body towards the ground until your elbows are at right angles, ensuring they don’t flare outward (B). Drive yourself back up to the top and repeat.


Set an adjustable bench to around 45 degrees or prop a flat bench up with a box. Position yourself face down with your chest on the pad, holding a pair of dumbbells (A). Staying tight to the bench, row both dumbbells up towards your hips, pause (B) and slowly lower before repeating.


Stand tall with a pair of dumbbells at your sides, your palms facing towards you (A). With minimal momentum, curl both of your dumbbells upwards, turning your palms in, until your little fingers are near your shoulders (B). Squeeze here and lower the weights under control taking a 3 count to bring them down, fighting them all the way and repeat.

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