Burn More Fat With My “Rest Down” Technique


You’re already lifting hard. But the fat stopped budging a while ago, right?

Today I’m going to show you how to use my Rest Down technique to burn more fat – in less time – and kickstart a stalling workout routine.

Because if there’s one thing more frustrating than being unhappy with how you look, it’s working your ass off in the gym and being unhappy with how you look.

If you’re tired of plundering on and hoping for the best, here’s a technique you can use to boost results.

Over the years, the “Rest Down” has become a firm favourite with my male/female clients.

Russ Howe PTI

Rest Down Technique

When we lift weights, we are focused entirely on two things:

  1. how much weight we are lifting
  2. how many reps we are aiming for

And that’s great.

Because in order to see progress, we need to be focusing on hitting our target number of reps per set with the most weight we can handle.

But there is another aspect which flies under the radar – your rest period.

Shorter rest between sets have been shown to burn more body fat. (1)

And if you play your cards right, you can ramp up your fat loss over the next few weeks by utilizing the gold hidden in the hills of the rest period.

How To Do It

Over the course of a few weeks, we gradually reduce our rest periods.

This will see your training routine alternate from a relatively heavy session to a style of training more associated with the stop-start-stop-start nature of high intensity interval training.

  • week 1 = 60 sec
  • week 2 = 50 sec
  • week 3 = 40 sec
  • week 4 = 30 sec
  • week 5 = 20 sec
  • week 6 = 10 sec

Video Overview

The Best Of Both Worlds

In order to maximize results, the body needs progression.

During the early part of a plan using the Rest Down technique, we will be able to push out sets which allow us to focus on using a weight that causes muscle failure.

And that’s fantastic.

Because training a muscle to failure – as opposed to using a weight you can comfortably lift – has been shown to boost results by as much as 60%. (2)

This will enable us to tear down our muscle fibers, forcing them to rebuild in the days following our workout, returning slightly bigger and slightly stronger than before.

When a weight is no longer challenging, we increase the load, right?

But when it comes to rest periods, most of us stick to the exact same thing for our entire “lifting life” – 90 seconds rest to build muscle, 45 seconds to burn fat”.

By structuring your rest periods the way I do when using the Rest Down technique, it doesn’t allow your body to adapt to your training routine – even if you are performing many of the same exercises on a weekly basis.

Because the difference between a set of barbell lunges which have 60 seconds rest and a set of barbell lunges which have just 10 second rest, is astronomical!

Of course, less rest will definitely impact how heavy you can lift.

But that’s nothing to worry about.

Because if fat loss is your goal, manipulating your heart rate is your main goal in the gym.

Plus, the reduced rest between sets will produce metabolic stress, which will enable you to build lean muscle tissue even when training with a reduced load.

However, the greatest benefits to using Rest Down technique come after you’ve finished the final segment.

When you return to “normal” training – i.e. 60 seconds or more between each set – you will notice how much fitter you feel.

60 seconds feels like a fucking lifetime.

how to burn more fat

That’s because training with reduced rest not only boosted fat loss, it also increased your muscular endurance and boosted your conditioning.

Simply put, you became fitter and faster while turning up the fat loss results.

When you return to taking 60 seconds rest between sets, you should expect to feel “ready” after around 30. But by taking the additional 30 seconds, you’ll be able to handle more repetitions and more weight than you could previously.

It’s a win/win.

rest down technique

The rest down technique is a useful tool to add to your training arsenal. If you enjoyed this article, share it.

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1. Ratamess, N. A., et al. “The effect of rest interval length on metabolic responses to the bench press exercise.” European Journal of Applied Physiology, 100(1), 1-17.

2. Burd, N. A., et al. “Low-Load High Volume Resistance Exercise Stimulates Muscle Protein Synthesis More Than High-Load Low Volume Resistance Exercise In Young Men.” PLoS ONE 5(8): e12033, 2010.

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