By Roger “ROCK” Lockridge

Are you stuck in a plateau and can’t seem to find a way to break it? Have you tried everything you can think of and still can’t break that bench press record? Don’t give up yet because what I’m about to share with you just may be what does the trick and help you achieve new levels of size, strength, or both.

I call it “R.P.D.” or Rest Pause Drop and yes it is exactly what it sounds like. You combine the intensity boosting rest-pause strategy with the set lengthening emphasis of drop sets. If done properly it will feel like you have done many sets at once so there won’t be a need to do it more than one time with an exercise. We will use shoulders as an example.

We start with seated barbell press. After two lighter sets, load enough weight on the bar so you reach failure at 6-8 reps. Using less weight will not be heavy enough to get the full benefit that RPD offers and going too heavy can lead to injury. Start your set and when you reach failure, re-rack the weight and count to five. This is the rest-pause portion of the set. After you reach five, try to accomplish as many reps as possible. It could be one or it could be four but do as many as you can before reaching failure again. Re-rack and now decrease the weight by 25%. This is the drop portion of the set.

Now we are going to start over with the decreased weight. Keep counting the reps as you would if you never stopped. So if you got seven reps at the beginning and three after the five second respite, that is ten so you will start with eleven. Once you reach failure on this set, re-rack, repeat the five second count, and then continue. After you once again reach failure, you will re-rack and decrease the weight again by the same amount you did the first time. So if you took twenty pounds off the first time then you will take twenty more off now.

After you drop, get back into position and keep going. After your inevitable point of failure, take a five second break and then go for broke as you go for as many reps as you can possibly get before reaching failure for the sixth and final time. Now you are done.

So to recap, here is what a RPD set would look like.

Seated Barbell Press – 200 pounds for seven reps, five second rest-pause, three reps.

25% decrease (in this case – 50 pounds) – six reps, five second rest-pause, two reps.

Another 50 pound decrease – eight reps, five second rest-pause, four reps.

Now how would you use this for a full workout? Good question. Here is a sample shoulder routine you can try next time you are in the gym to determine if RPD will work for you.

RPD Shoulder Workout

Seated Barbell Press – 2 warm up sets of 12-15 reps. 1 RPD set as described above.

Lateral Raise – 1 warm up set of 12-15 reps. 1 RPD set as described above.

Rear Lateral Raise – 1 warm up set of 12-15 reps. 1 RPD set as described above.

And if you like to do traps with shoulders…

Dumbbell Shrug – 1 warm up set of 12-15 reps. 1 RPD set as described above.

Yes you can do this with any muscle group you choose. Just remember to have a spotter and be safe on exercises like bench press or squats. RPD has done great for me and I hope you enjoy it too!

About the Author
Roger “ROCK” Lockridge is a writer whose work has been seen all over the world. He is most known as a writer for Iron Man Magazine and In 2009, he was named Male Writer of the Year which along with the Female award is the highest award for writers in the bodybuilding/fitness world.

Roger is also known for his work against child abuse and domestic violence and he was featured as a part of the domestic violence documentary “30” as the only child survivor and the only male survivor in the film.

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