Title: Effect of Rest-Pause VS. Traditional Bench Press Training on Muscle Strength, Electromyography and Lifting Volume

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Korak, J. Adam
Paquette, Maxime R.
Brooks, Justin
Fuller, Dana K.
Coons, John M.
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Middle Tennessee State University
This study compared one repetition maximum (1RM), muscle activity (EMG), and volume differences between rest-pause vs. traditional resistance training. Trained males (N = 20) were randomly assigned to either a rest-pause or a traditional training group. Pre and post 1RM testing was recorded. Training sessions were completed twice a week for 4-weeks and consisted of four sets of bench press to volitional fatigue at 80% of pretest 1RM with a 2-minute rest between sets. Total volume completed was recorded on each training day. Muscle activity of the pectoralis major was measured on the first and last training days. The RMS signals of the last repetition in the last set were normalized to the RMS peak values of the first repetition in the first set for each participant during the 1st and 8th training sessions. A 2-way repeated measures ANOVA indicated both groups significantly increased their 1RMs following the 4-week training protocol (p < .05). However, no significant differences were found in 1RM and muscle activity between the two groups (p > .05). An independent samples t-test indicated total volume lifted was significantly higher for the rest-pause group (56,778lbs vs. 38,315lbs; p < .05) throughout the protocol and independently during weeks 2, 3, and 4. While strength and muscle activity changes did not differ between groups, the rest-pause group achieved greater increases in volume than the traditional group. If volume is the focus of training (i.e., hypertrophy phases), the rest-pause resistance training method should be utilized.
Muscle Activity; Rest-Pause; Repetition Maximum; EMG