This study found that using rest-pause sets increased muscle activation more so than traditional sets. Greater muscle activation is correlated with increases in muscle size (Wakahara, et. al. 2012) so rest-pause sets might help increase gains. Try rest-pause sets by performing a typical set of 6-10 reps, rest for about 15-20 seconds, then perform more reps to failure. You can even do multiple pauses in a set for maximum fatigue!
Source: Marshall, P. W., Robbins, D. A., Wrightson, A. W., & Siegler, J. C. (2012). Acute neuromuscular and fatigue responses to the rest-pause method. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 15(2), 153-158.
From being a mediocre athlete, to professional powerlifter and strength coach, and now to researcher and writer, Charlie combines education and experience in the effort to help Bridge the Gap Between Science and Application. Charlie performs double duty by being the Content Manager for The Muscle PhD as well as the Director of Human Performance at the Applied Science and Performance Institute in Tampa, FL. To appease the nerds, Charlie is a PhD candidate in Human Performance with a master’s degree in Kinesiology and a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science. For more alphabet soup, Charlie is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), an ACSM-certified Exercise Physiologist (ACSM-EP), and a USA Weightlifting-certified performance coach (USAW).