How would you like to add ½ to ¾
inches of fresh new muscle growth to your upper arms in the
next 45 days? I'll bet you do unless you already have arms
like Manfred Hoeberl. Manfred's arms have measured a legit
26 inches in peak condition. Since arms are one of the most
popular, if not the most popular, muscle groups then this
article should be most welcome The system of training I'm
going to describe for upping arm size is not new by any stretch
of the imagination It was first introduced to me many years
ago by my good friend and power bodybuilding mentor Donne
Hale of Miami, Florida. He called this system of training
the Super Rest-Pause. Best described it is
the performance of ten sets of a select exercise, in which
the number of reps change with each proceeding set, with very
short, constantly changing rest-pauses between each set.
For example, in the first
set, do one repetition, rest 1 second, perform
the second set by doing two repetitions,
rest 2 seconds, do a third set for three reps, rest 3 seconds
etc. Continue on in a cumulative fashion, adding 1 additional
repetition and additional second of rest-pause until
10 full exercise range of motion reps are completed
for the 10th and final set.
Obviously to accommodate
the Super Rest-Pause technique as described
a poundage will have to be used that is approximately 75%
of the amount used for an un-fatigued 10
repetition set. For example if you are able to perform
10 reps with 100-pounds in say the Barbell curl,
then use only 75-pounds (.75 "x" 100 = 75-pounds) for each
of the ten sets. Though 75% seems to be an average, some individuals
will use slightly more or less poundage, depending on energy,
endurance and sanity.
Structuring a Super Rest-Pause
system for the upper arms I involve a combination of five
arm exercises, alternating triceps and biceps, but working
more on the triceps since they contribute to the most involved
muscle mass of the arms.
The five exercises I used
1. Close grip
Same performance as
the regular supine Bench Press. - Use a handgrip spacing
of approximately 6" apart between index fingers. - Lower
the bar to bottom of rib cage. Extend arms to full extension
to emphasize triceps tension.
barbell curl (straight bar)
grip triceps push-downs
Same as standard push-down
Use an underhand (supinated) grip/same as a Barbell curl.
dumbbell curl (seated)
Curl DB alternately,
look at biceps doing the work. Supinate forearm during contraction.
Do one-arm at a time, do not make it a swinging motion.
dips on parallel bars.
I will assume that you
have a grasp of the most basic exercises and I have therefore
only briefly described the "technique-emphasis" that I feel
is very important. The exercises selected are based on my
personal wants and needs and it is not my intent to make a
statement with regard to which ones have the highest or lowest
level of Neuro-Muscular Activation (NMA). The question you
have to ask yourself is how do you feel when you're doing
an exercise? Is the exercise(s) working. Listen to your body.
Experiment with different exercises, this is a form of freestyle
training. You might instinctively go with Skull-crushers
(Lying triceps extensions) and Scott preacher barbell
curls in place of the first two exercises listed
above for example.
I perform ONLY one complete
sequence of the Super Rest-Pause on each
of the five exercises. Don't try to repeat the super rest-pause
sequence more than once on each exercise. If you do so, you
will only be impeding your progress. I followed the above
Super Rest-Pause technique twice per week (Monday &
Friday) for approximately two weeks.
It's important for the
body to send a message to the pituitary gland to continue
secreting growth hormone over the already opened pores of
the awakened and alert muscle fibers of the upper arms (or
for any other muscle group for that matter. One of the best
ways I know of to do this is through a couple of variations
of the above mentioned Super Rest-Pause system.
This particular procedure is a reversal of the Super Rest-Pause
already mentioned. Instead of increasing the reps and rest-pauses
each proceeding set, I'll use slightly more poundage and work
down the rep ladder (i.e. 10 reps, 9 reps, 8 reps, 7 reps etc.)
while keeping a constant ten second rest-pause between each
and every count down set. It's
important to note that on the final set, normally to be only
one repetition, squeeze out 1, 2, 3, or as many reps
to absolute momentary positive failure as possible. A couple
of "bugs" will reveal themselves in this variation. First localized
muscle fatigue sets in so strong during the eight rep and seven
rep sets, that it's difficult to complete those sets for the
required rep count. The one solution, if the system is to be
followed properly, is to reduce the starting poundage. Secondly
a couple of the lower rep count sets may seem extremely easy.
Rather than pumping out more reps than required for a particular
set simply perform the repetitions more
s-1-o-w-l-y (5-6 seconds in the positive phase and 5-6 seconds
in the negative phase). By slowing the repetition speed, from
say 3 seconds in the positive and 4 seconds in the negative
phase(s) of the rep(s), there will be an increase of intensity
(time under tension) plus the mind to muscle link connection
The second variation is
to change the repetition scheme from a countdown modality
of 10, 9, 8, 7 etc., to a firm ten
reps plus the rest pauses and number of sets changes as well.
First I calculate a poundage I can do for 10
repetitions. Now I add 10% more weight to the bar (if I can
do 100-pounds for 10 reps, I'll load the
bar to 110-pounds).
Here's where the program
gets interesting. I'll do 10 reps per set,
and the secret to accomplishing this is two-fold. First the
length of the rest-pauses changes from 10
seconds to 30 seconds upon the completion
of the first set of 10 reps. On each proceeding
set I'll add an additional 15 seconds of rest-pause time.
After the second set rest-pause 45 seconds; after the third
set, 60 seconds; after the fourth set 75
seconds; after the fifth set 90 seconds etc.
Secondly the number of sets changes from ten to six. When
I get to the point where I can do all six sets rather easily
for 10 reps then and only then will I add
more poundage (magnetic weight plates are great for introducing
Within the training protocol
of the original Super Best-Pause and the two variations, I
followed each one for approximately two weeks and on the same
frequency (Monday & Friday). I personally feel
that six weeks is long enough to use the 3 programs. I continued
with the same five exercises mentioned earlier, but as I said,
you are free to experiment with different exercises.
If used properly, the
reliable Super Rest-Pause system will help
you to achieve surprising and pleasing results in fresh new
arm growth. It did for me. Stay flexed!!!