T Nation

2 Second Pause at Mid-Point of Every Lift?

I read this in an old Eric Cressey newsletter (8th January 2008). It isn’t by Cressey but Kelly Baggett. He says you should pause for 2 seconds at the midpoint of your lifts even in training:

  1. Itâ??s been said that your muscles donâ??t know how much weight youâ??re lifting; they only know tension. This is true. I can also assure you that your joints DO know how much weight youâ??re lifting and will eventually let you know about it if you train heavy enough for long enough. The large majority of people over the age of 65 have some degree of â??wear and tearâ?? arthritis. Thatâ??s without subjecting their joints to 45 years of heavy weights. Keep that in mind if you want to be just as active at 75 as you are now. For optimal long-term joint health, not only should you pay close attention to structural balance, but in my opinion, the majority of the time you shouldnâ??t be lifting anything that you canâ??t lift with a two-second pause at the hardest part of the movement. This will ensure youâ??re directing tension to the muscles instead of the connective tissue.

Do People Agree with this? Is Kelly Baggett just being a pure contrarian (— he also says Anterior Pelvic Tilt is not so bad and Insulin Sensitivity is overrated) or is this how I should be lifting when I squat?

If that author believes you get the same tension on the muscles with less weight on the bar and the bar stopped than you do with more weight on the bar and the bar either moving smoothly upwards or accelerating, however gradually, then he needs some remedial education.

On whether this should be how you lift when you squat, and whether people agree with this:

So far as I can tell, no one does this. Oh, you may have the weirdo in his basement that does it that no one knows about, and it’s possible (though unknown to me) that a few successful guys may incorporate it into their training as a variation from time to time for the purpose of giving added isometric work at a sticking point – which also can be accomplished in other and I think better ways – but so far as what the vast majority of successful lifters do as their staple practice: absolutely not this.

(Sorry for the multiple posts, but previous posts aren’t appearing so I can’t edit.)

While your thread title – which I appreciate you have very few words for – asks whether you should use a 2 second pause at the midpoint of every lift, and that is what I was responding to, the text you quote, on re-reading does not say to do that.

Rather it says to use weights that you could hold for 2 seconds at the midpoint.

That is an entirely different thing. It also is a difference that for most makes no difference.

Certainly for the squat, DL, and bench press, I can hold the 1RM for 2 seconds at the midpoint.

So this rule would have absolutely zero relevance to those lifts, any assistance lifts that I do, and any bodybuilding lifts that I do.

Applied that way, the only relevance is to inherently explosive lifts that have a weak point that could not possibly be held at 1RM, or 80% 1RM for that matter or quite possibly 60%, at some midpoint. For example in the powerclean there are points, at what you might call the midrange of an upright row, that one could not hold.

So maybe the above is a diatribe against powercleans, snatches, clean-and-jerks, etc, or rather against for example powercleaning more than you could hold in the midpoint of an upright row.

The author isn’t saying that you should always lift with a 2 second pause…

How the hell do I do a 2 second pause when I’m snatching?

[quote]Invictica wrote:
How the hell do I do a 2 second pause when I’m snatching?[/quote]

DUH, split it up into a clean, 2 second pause, then press.

[quote]Invictica wrote:
How the hell do I do a 2 second pause when I’m snatching?[/quote]

Why, you use a weight that is light enough that you can do so.

If you can’t, then the weight is too heavy and you are going to beat your body up.

That appears to be the author’s point.