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Rest - Pause 3 x 3

March 16, 2003 02:15 PM

To us hard-core American Combatives practitioners, very little matches the exhilaration of hearing John Kary holler "NOW!!!" as we face Renfro, Spanky, Buckwheat, or his other spar pros at the Academy! John's unique strike training, one speedy, hard blow at a time, is what weightlifters have long referred to as "rest-pause." That is, we concentrate maximum force into a single pop, then set up for perfect body alignment again, proceed to another outlay of this dynamic explosion, etc. Unlike "more art than martial" systems, thousands of slow motion or even snappy but weak repetitions are not employed to rob energy and spirit!

From my long experience in competitive weightlifting, I'm suggesting we employ exactly the same rest-pause system to any/all supplemental strength training. Not only will this coordinate with and enhance our combatives striking, but will add pure power to the body faster than any other method. Nor does it matter whether strength training is done with weights, flex bands, rocks, logs, or calisthenics. Do your reps individually, placing total emphasis on high resistance with maximum speed.

How many rest-pause singles per exercise? Well, this is meant to enable quick, high energy workouts which actually embody all REAL, successful power training. Years of successful application of rest-pause have led me to over 100 U.S. and World All-Round weightlifting records, peaking my experiments to the formation of the "3 x 3" system. Perform in this manner: use enough resistance on any exercise you choose to make one rep fairly tough (but not a maximum effort), do the movement with acceleration once, then put the bar, band, or apparatus down for five to 15 seconds, do the second single, rest, then the third. Now take a break for a minute or two before proceeding to the next series of three singles, another break, and complete the third R-P set.

Try to use movements which work major muscle groups, but don't do more than three or four exercises per session. For instance, a chin-up is a great u pper body strengthener -- hang extra weight or attach a flex band around your waist so one rep is kinda tough, and then do three sets of three fast paced singles. Or do as famous boxer Rocky Marciano once did -- take a small boulder and clean and push press it or THROW it overhead for really max speed and acceleration (just remember to get the hell out of the way!), in the 3/3 mode. Do a barbell deadlift with a flex band wrapped around the bar and under your feet (enhances speed-strength within a power lift) -- rest-pause 3 x 3. Even with a "chest expander" outfit, resist the temptation to go for slower "pumping" repetitions -- do a back press or cable pulldown with single, extreme speed pushes or pulls; make those bands SNAP!

Oh, by the way, try this same "rest-pause 3 x 3" with your ACA strike training! Because we have two arms, rest-pause is a natural -- three individual explosions with the right, three perfect-form single snaps with the left, alternating until the quick nine are done for each side. At our Pittsburgh ACA branch, we always think of our combative workouts as "power" sessions ,beginning with 3 x 3 R-P cuphands, axehands, chin jabs, forearms, face smashes, etc. Not only are our strikes progressing much more dynamically, but all following sequences and simulations become unbelievably energized!

?John McKean won multiple local,state,national powerlifting titles,masters olympic national titles, and national and world all-round titles during the past 40 years. He has written extensively for all major strength magazines starting with Strength & Health under John Grimek and was featured in Dr. Len Schwartz' famous book Heavyhands Walking. A certified instructor in flex band training and American Combatives, Mr. McKean offers his consulting services at