Take a weight you can perform 8 clean and solid repetitions with and reach failure on the last repetition. After the last repetition, let go of the weights, rest, take a 5-10 deep breaths, and do another three to four repetitions until you reach the point of muscle failure again. Pause one more time, take a few breaths before attempting the last set with two to three repetitions.
This way, one set to failure becomes three sets to failure. 8 repetitions become 12-14 reps.
In principle, all exercises are suitable for rest-pause sets. Particularly noteworthy are compound exercises in which several joints are involved. However, they are to be avoided for flat bench presses, because here the shoulder is in an unfavorable position and can be overloaded and therefore strained and injured. Also avoid all forms of free deadlifting, barbell and T-bar rowing, as here the risk of injury of the back extensor muscles or lumbar disks by a sloppy exercise execution increases dramatically. Rowing exercises on cable and machines, however, should not be a problem. This does not mean that this is safe and you can do whatever. Always pay attention and train very carefully to avoid injuries. Like I’ve mentioned before, you can’t train when you’re injured. Train hard and smart.
The severe degree of fatigue in rest-pause can mislead the lifter to use sloppy form and cheat on the exercise. Especially on leg day and leg exercises, form breaks down easily. The technique is often used very sloppily and lifters tend to cheat to get out even more than the last possible repetition. Try to avoid cheating and ask your training partner to help you if necessary during this last repetition. Safety should be a top priority in rest-pause sets. Therefore you should always have a spotter there to help you in case of an emergency or to have an eye for your form and warn you if your exercise execution is getting poor.