The Rest-Pause Plan

Hey everyone,

I hope you all had a great weekend. Since it’s already Monday. Yes, again… Lot of us have to go to work or school, and lot of us have to (and hopefully WANT to) train or work out again! Yay!

So, to keep this short. As I said last time, I want to write something about a workout plan that I try to follow. It is a rest-pause method training. When I was told about it, its name was RP-21. RP for Rest-Pause and why 21? Because your main exercise of the workout is aimed at 21 reps. Which might not sound like a lot, but when you try it you will get to know, that it is ENOUGH.

This plan is not focused on only strength or muscle size, it tries to give you all at once. When following this plan (if done correctly) you should soon see improvement in size, strength and conditioning a.k.a. strength, performance and aesthetics.

Biceps Curls

How To Do It

RP-21 focuses on 7 rest-paused sets of 3 reps each with 70-85% of your max.  The challenge is that the rest periods are only one minute in between sets. To be able to progress in weeks to follow I would suggest starting on 70% line. The first sets and weights may not feel extremely tough and heavy, but as each week progresses in the program, the weight gets heavier and the rest feels like it is getting shorter. So to keep improving you should add more and more weight every week. 

If you add weight and cannot reach 21, you just stop and try to hit your goal next week. It is the most important set of the workout so you should prepare for it physically and mentally. If you cannot reach 21 for more than two weeks, try to switch the main exercise for a different one targeting the same muscles. 

To make proper gains you should be doing big COMPOUND movements where you can lift heavy.

This is a 4 day training split.  There will be two lower body days and two upper body days.  Your big movement of the day will be the RP-21 scheme.  7 sets x 3 reps with a 1 minute rest period. And then you will do couple accessory exercises. For your RP-21 moves you can go with:

  • Squat (whatever form you prefer)
  • Deadlift (depending on the muscle group you want to train)
  • Bench Press
  • Overhead Press
  • Pull Ups
  • Dips
  • Cleans and so on..

In some time you will need a weight belt for chinups/dips if you are not already there at the moment. I promise you that.


Accessory Moves

The main moves can be used as the accessory moves too if you choose.  The accessory moves are a little bit different rest pause sets. You will be doing 6 sets with 5 reps and a 30-second rest between sets. The 6×5 sets are tougher than the 7×3 sets.  But these are the sets where you earn your conditioning and toughness.  Accessory moves should start much lower than your 7×3 sets.  50-55% of your max is a good starting point, but you will see that it gets really heavy after first two sets.


Perform as 2 day on/1 day off/2 day on/2 days off scheme. It is a good idea to switch up the moves you do once in a while so you hit your muscles from all angles.  As I stated earlier, rotating your squats, deadlifts, presses etc is a great idea. Follow the same moves for 3 weeks before thinking about making slight changes to movements.

Because RP-21 is a high intensity protocol, off setting it every 3 weeks with a high volume scheme (Gironda 8×8, German Volume Training etc) is a great idea.  You cannot go high intensity with heavy loads every single week.


Training Day Example

Upper Body

Incline Bench Press                                      7 sets x 3 reps

Barbell Row                                                      6 x 5

Declined Dumbbell Bench Press                        6 x 5

Chin Ups                                                          6 x 5

Biceps Curls                                                     6 x 5

Skullcrushers                                                      6 x 5


Lower Body

Squats                                                               7 x 3

Barbell Hip Thrusts                                           6 x 5

Step Ups                                                          6 x 5

Leg Press (aimed on hamstrings)                   6 x 5

Standing Calf Raise                                    6 x 5

Seating Calf Raise                                      6 x 5

Incline Barbell Bench Press



Make RP-21 part of your yearly training split to reach new levels of strength and performance. Just as for any other training plan – if you skip training days or do not eat right, there is a big chance that you won’t see results anytime soon.

Stay fit my friends.


P.S I will add translation ASAP!:)



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