Effect of a rest-pause vs. traditional squat on electromyography and lifting volume in trained women

  • John A. Korak
  • Max R. Paquette
  • Dana K. Fuller
  • Jennifer L. Caputo
  • John M. Coons
Original Article

Abstract

Purpose

Rest-pause (4 s unloaded rest between repetitions) single session training effects on lifting volume, and muscle activity via electromyography (EMG) are currently vague in the literature and can benefit strength and conditioning professionals for resistance training program design. This study compared differences in volume lifted and muscle activity between a rest-pause vs. traditional protocol.

Methods

Trained females (N = 13) completed both a rest-pause and traditional squat protocol consisting of four sets to movement failure at 80% pretest 1 repetition maximum load with 2-min rest between sets. Total volume and muscle activity of the vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, rectus femoris, and gluteus maximus were measured on both training days. Differences in muscle activity were viewed as a percent change (%∆).

Results

A paired samples t test indicated total volume lifted was higher in the rest-pause compared to the traditional protocol (2532 vs. 2036 kg; p < .05). Furthermore, paired samples t tests showed muscle activity %∆ of the gluteus maximus was greater in the traditional protocol compared to the rest-pause protocol (p < .05). No other muscle activity differences were observed in the remaining muscles.

Conclusions

The rest-pause allows for greater volume lifted via increased repetitions compared to a traditional protocol in trained women. The rest-pause method may be superior to a traditional method of training during a hypertrophy mesocycle, where a primary focus is total volume lifted. Furthermore, %∆ muscle activity in the GM will be greater while performing a traditional back squat protocol in comparison to a rest-pause.

Keywords

Muscle activation Mesocycle Repetition maximum Electromyography Volume 

Abbreviations

ATP–PCr

Adenosine triphosphate–phosphocreatine

PCr

Creatine phosphate

EMG

Electromyography

RM

Repetition maximum

%∆

Percent change

Notes

Author contributions

JAK is the lead author on this manuscript. MRP, JLC, and JMC are content specialist and members of the lead authors’ dissertation committee. DF is the statistician, and a member of the lead authors’ dissertation committee.

References

  1. Allen CC, Dean KA, Jung AP, Petrella JK (2013) Upper body muscular activation during variations of push-ups in healthy men. Int J Exerc Sci 6(4):278–288Google Scholar
  2. American College of Sports Medicine (2018) Guidelines for exercise testing and prescription. Williams & Wilkins, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
  3. Clark BC, Manini TM, Doldo NA, Ploutz-Snyder LL (2003) Gender differences in skeletal muscle fatigability are related to contraction type and EMG spectral compression. J Appl Phys 94(6):2263–2272Google Scholar
  4. Denton J, Cronin JB (2006) Kinematic, kinetic, and blood lactate profiles of continuous and intraset rest loading schemes. J Strength Cond Res 20(3):528–534PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Gonzalez-Izal M, Malanda A, Navarro-Amezqueta I, Gorostiaga EM, Mallor F, Ibanez J, Izquierdo M (2010) EMG spectral indices and muscle power fatigue during dynamic contractions. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 20(2):233–240CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Haff GG, Triplett NT (2015) Essentials of strength and conditioning. Champaign, ILGoogle Scholar
  7. Hansen KT, Cronin JB, Newton MJ (2011) The effect of cluster loading on force, velocity, and power during ballistic jump squat training. Int J Sports Phys Perform 6(4):455–468CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hardee JP, Triplett NT, Utter AC, Zwetsloot KA, Mcbride JM (2012) Effect of interrepetition rest on power output in the power clean J. Strength Cond Res 26(4):883–889CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hedrick A (1995) Training for hypertrophy. J Strength Cond Res 17(3):22–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hermens HJ, Freriks B, Merletti R, Stegeman D, Blok J, Rau G, Hägg G (1999) European recommendations for surface electromyography. Roessingh Res Dev 8(2):13–54Google Scholar
  11. Hogan MC, Richardson RS, Haseler LJ (1999) Human muscle performance and PCr hydrolysis with varied inspired oxygen fractions: a31P-MRS study. J Appl Physiol 86(4):1367–1373CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Iglesias-Soler E, Carballeira E, Sanchez-Otero T, Mayo X, Jimenez A, Chapman ML (2012) Acute effects of distribution of rest between repetitions. Int J Sports Med 33(05):351–358CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Izquierdo M, Gonzalez-Izal M, Navarro-Amezqueta I, Calbet JA, Ibanez J, Malanda A, … Gorostiaga EM (2011) Effects of strength training on muscle fatigue mapping from surface EMG and blood metabolites. Med Sci Sports Exerc 43(2):303–311CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Joy JM, Oliver JM, McCleary SA, Lowery RP, Wilson JM (2013) Power output and electromyography activity of the back squat exercise with cluster sets. J Sports Sci 1:37–45Google Scholar
  15. Karlsson J, Saltin B (1971) Oxygen deficit and muscle metabolites in intermittent exercise. Acta Physiol Scand 82(1):115–122CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Keogh JWL, Wilson GJ, Weatherby RP (1999) A cross-sectional comparison of different resistance training techniques in the bench press. J Strength Cond Res 13(3):247–258Google Scholar
  17. Korak JA, Paquette MR, Brooks J, Fuller DK, Coons JM (2017) Effect of rest- pause vs. traditional bench press training on muscle strength, electromyography, and lifting volume in randomized trial protocols. Eur J Appl Physiol 117(9):1891–1896CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Kraemer WJ, Ratamess NA (2004) Fundamentals of resistance training: progression and exercise prescription. Med Sci Sports Exerc 36(4):674–688CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Lawton T, Cronin J, Drinkwater E, Lindsell R, Pyne D (2004) The effect of continuous repetition training and intra-set rest training on bench press strength and power. J Sports Med Phys Fit 44(4):361Google Scholar
  20. Lawton TW, Cronin JB, Lindsell RP (2006) Effect of interrepetition rest intervals on weight training repetition power output. J Strength Cond Res 20(1):172–176PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Marshall PWM, Robbins DA, Wrightson AW, Siegler JC (2012) Acute neuromuscular and fatigue responses to the rest-pause method. J Sci Med Sport 15:153–158CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. McArdle WD, Katch FI, Katch VL (2014) Exercise physiology, nutrition, energy, and human performance, 8th edn. Baltimore, MarylandGoogle Scholar
  23. Meyer RA, Terjung RL (1979) Differences in ammonia and adenylate metabolism in contracting fast and slow muscle. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 237(3):C111–C118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Schoenfeld BJ (2013) Potential mechanisms for a role of metabolic stress in hypertrophic adaptations to resistance training. Sports Med 43(3):179–194CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Shimano T, Kraemer WJ, Spiering BA, Volek JS (2006) Relationship between the number of repetitions and selected percentages of one repetition maximum in free weight exercises in trained and untrained men. J Strength Cond Res 20(4):819PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • John A. Korak
    • 1
  • Max R. Paquette
    • 2
  • Dana K. Fuller
    • 3
  • Jennifer L. Caputo
    • 4
  • John M. Coons
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Health and Human PerformanceUniversity of St. ThomasSt. PaulUSA
  2. 2.School of Health StudiesUniversity of MemphisMemphisUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyMiddle Tennessee State UniversityMurfreesboroUSA
  4. 4.Department of Health and Human PerformanceMiddle Tennessee State UniversityMurfreesboroUSA

Personalised recommendations