T Nation

1-Second Pause Reps


#1

Would there be more muscle growth if you use a 1-second pause in the bottom position (on exercises like bench press or squat) till technical failure than if you would do non-paused reps till technical failure?
I would think that the 1-sec pause allow you to lose some stretch reflex and let the muscle do more work and that the chance of using bad form is somewhat decreased.


#2

I don’t know that the risk of bad form decreases with paused reps. When you pause, you also give yourself a longer opportunity to lose tightness/tension. So it’s a tradeoff.

Yes, you lose some of the stretch reflex, and yes, it’s harder to pause. The end result will be that each rep is going to be more difficult. But you must also consider that you will be able to perform fewer reps. So it’s not like you’ll actually necessarily be doing ‘more work’ if you pause. It’s just essentially a different distribution of the work.

I’m not sure if your overall question can be answered definitively. I think things like slow negatives and pauses definitely have their place in training and can be mixed in frequently. I also think that touch and go has a place. I do both. For powerlifting purposes, there is certainly a benefit in doing paused reps. When I’m performing heavy singles, doubles and triples on bench, I almost always pause my reps. I rarely do this on higher rep sets, but you could if you wanted to…

This is really just one of those minutia questions that, to me, won’t make a substantial enough difference to sweat too much, ya know? No harm in doing it from time to time, but it’s not likely to impact your muscular growth in a truly discernible way.