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Default 5/3/1 and Rest Pause: A Six Week Challenge - Jim Wendler
by BigJosh 04-22-2013, 10:57 AM

A few years ago, the strength and conditioning industry stumbled upon an intriguing training system with an unusual name.

Dogg Crapp, or DC training, might've started out as an "underground" training system, but didn't stay that way for long thanks to the internet and a growing number of trainees wanting to try the brutally hard but brief DC training system.

And a big part of that system includes rest-pause training.

Like many people, I was introduced to rest-pause training through DC training's creator, Dante Trudell, and quickly fell in love.

It works for me because it makes each exercise count, you keep a log book and record your rep records (and can chart your progress), you have goals each time you train, and you don't fuck around in the gym.

Better still, when you combine DC principles with the 5/3/1 Program, you have a unique blend of size and strength training that should work incredibly well.

That's right, should work well to be truthful, I'm still tweaking the percentage-based system for the rest-pause assistance work (for the Kroc rows, barbell curls and triceps extensions). I've run a few beta tests but haven't perfected it yet.

However, the following challenge should give the lifter some guidance for setting up their own rest-pause assistance work and get the most out of this unique training system.


The Challenge

When I developed this challenge, I wanted to accomplish several things:

Stay as true to DC training as I could. This program is not in anyway endorsed by Dante. I don't know him, but I respect the work he's done. I certainly recognize the time and effort he put into creating the system and expanding on it.

Stay 100% true to the principles of my 5/3/1 program. I believe in the four principles of the 5/3/1 program they've helped guide me throughout my training career and I know they work.

I've expanded and changed parts of the program but the core of the program, the principles, remain steadfast.

The workouts can be done in a very barebones training facility, i.e., this is tailor made for the garage lifter. I didn't want to require a machine or special piece of equipment to do the program, mostly because I don't have access to them!

I've made three great decisions in my life: marrying Juliet, buying a Sunn Model T, and investing in a home gym. While I realize that a home gym is not in the cards for many (space and money), if you can make it work, do it.

Having your own strength facility that isn't bombarded with egomaniacs, manic-depressive owner/managers, poor music selections, and pointless equipment is like winning the lottery. I could go on and on but the fact is, a home gym = freedom.

Have an emphasis on strength and hypertrophy. I have no interest at this point in my life in being weak. Seems kind of pointless.


How to do a Rest-Pause Set
A rest pause set is pretty simple. You're doing 3 sets in 1. After a few warm-up sets (this is up to you), perform an all out set of an exercise, rest briefly, then repeat it with the same weight, rest briefly again, and perform the last set.

The rest period can be timed with a watch, by counting breaths, or by counting in your head. Dante recommends taking 15 deep breaths between sets. Here's an example of a rest pause set:

Barbell Curls
95 pounds for 15 reps
Rest 20-30 seconds
95 pounds for 6 reps
Rest 20-30 seconds
95 pounds for 3 reps


Program Overview

This workout program consists of two (2) training days a week. Yes, only two. But trust me when I say that for this challenge, two is enough.

I know the current trend on the internet is the constant jerking to training 43 times a day. And I know people look at those programs with the same sparkle that Mr. Hands had for horses. Still, for this program, two days is ideal.

The exercises that you'll use for rest-pause sets are:

Bench Press
Press
Chin-Up
Barbell Curl
Triceps Extension
As with DC training, you'll not be doing any rest-pause sets with the squat and deadlift. This would be incredibly unsafe. Instead, you'll do a down-set for these lower body lifts.

Because it's amazingly easy to program, we'll simply use the first work set of the particular week as your down set.

For example, on the 3x5 week (detailed below), you'll use 65% of your Training Max (TM) for this set. Dante calls this set a "widowmaker" (20 reps).

I'm not going to prescribe the amount of reps to do on the down set but you'll know if you gave it your all or not.

I wanted to do a row variation in the program and immediately thought of the Kroc row. This is a perfect exercise for this challenge. You do not perform a rest pause set with the Kroc row.

Here's the sample training-template for the first three weeks:


Week One


Monday
Exercise Sets Reps
A Squat 3 5*
plus 1 down set (65% x max reps)
B Bench Press 3 5
65% x Rest Pause (RP)
C Chin-Up 1** RP
D Barbell Triceps Extension 1** RP
E Ab Work

* use the percentages laid out in the original 5/3/1 training template
** 1-2 warm-up sets

Thursday
Exercise Sets Reps
A Deadlift 3 5*
plus 1 down set (65% x max reps)
B Press 3 5
65% x Rest Pause (RP)
C Kroc Row 1** all out
D Barbell Curl 1** RP
E Ab Work

* use the percentages laid out in the original 5/3/1 training template
** 1-2 warm-up sets


Week Two


Monday
Exercise Sets Reps
A Squat 3 3*
plus 1 down set (70% x max reps)
B Bench Press 3 3
70% x Rest Pause (RP)
C Chin-Up 1** RP
D Barbell Triceps Extension 1** RP
E Ab Work

* use the percentages laid out in the original 5/3/1 training template
** 1-2 warm-up sets

Thursday
Exercise Sets Reps
A Deadlift 3 3*
plus 1 down set (70% x max reps)
B Press 3 3
70% x Rest Pause (RP)
C Kroc Row 1** all out
D Barbell Curl 1** RP
E Ab Work

* use the percentages laid out in the original 5/3/1 training template
** 1-2 warm-up sets


Week Three


Monday
Exercise Sets Reps
A Squat 5/3/1 *
plus 1 down set (75% x max reps)
B Bench Press 5/3/1
75% x Rest Pause (RP)
C Chin-Up 1** RP
D Barbell Triceps Extension 1** RP
E Ab Work

* use the percentages laid out in the original 5/3/1 training template
** 1-2 warm-up sets

Thursday
Exercise Sets Reps
A Deadlift 5/3/1 *
plus 1 down set (75% x max reps)
B Press 5/3/1
75% x Rest Pause (RP)
C Kroc Row 1** all out
D Barbell Curl 1** RP
E Ab Work

* use the percentages laid out in the original 5/3/1 training template
** 1-2 warm-up sets

Weeks 4, 5, 6: Repeat first 3 weeks.

Be sure to increase your training max by 5 or 10 pounds each cycle, depending on the lift. Try to beat your previous rest pause records by weight, reps, or by estimated max.


Notes


Those familiar with DC training know that Dante advocates extreme stretching between sets. I've never done it so I can't comment on it. If you do the research and believe it works, then give it a shot.
The exercises above are non-negotiable. I can't recommend any changes to the program. This is what I believe and know works. But if you must change something, then do it.
I'm 100% for everyone finding their own way and developing their own training; if you think something needs to be tweaked for your own benefit or goals, make that decision for yourself and go for it. So don't ask me if you can start tweaking shit.
Diet is simple eat 1.5 to 2 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. Base your carbs on how fat you are or how paranoid you are.
You can use bodyweight or weighted chins. That's up to you and dependent on your strength level. If you don't know which one to use, then use your bodyweight.
I recommend "easy" cardio (Air Dyne bike, for example) on the off days 30 minutes on all non-training days. If you personally want to do something different to fit your goals, then do it. You know your body better than I do.
I don't recommend going to failure on your last 5/3/1 sets push these for PR's but never go to failure.
Log all of your exercises, weights, and reps. For your RP sets, record the total number of reps you achieve.
After the sixth week, take a deload week and attack again or try another template.

Sample Workout
This is what a Monday workout of Week 2 might look like:

Squat (Training Max = 500)

Bench Press (Training Max = 300)

Squat: warm-up sets, 350x3, 400x3, 450x7, 350x17

Bench Press: warm-up sets, 210x3, 240x3, 270x5

Bench Press (RP): 210x15, 210x5, 210x3

Chin-Up (RP): 1x18, 1x6, 1x2

Barbell Triceps Extension (RP): 115x20, 115x 12, 115x8

Hanging Leg Raise: 3 sets


Your Turn

Good luck to all of you that give this 6-week routine an honest go. Of all the challenges I've written, this is the one I'm most excited about. It combines two solid programs that feature the part of training I most enjoy breaking records.

T NATION | 5/3/1 and Rest Pause: A Six Week Challenge
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:49 PM   #2
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Lost me at 2x a week training. I couldn't handle going nuts for 5 days.
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