Bench Press Training - Paused or Touch & Go?

We all know we have to pause in competition, but how do you train the bench in the gym? I’ve talked to experienced competitors who say they always pause their bench reps because they want to make their training as much like competition as possible. However, I’ve talked to others who say they train touch & go in the gym, then knock off a few pounds at the meet to account for having to pause; some of these guys claim pausing all the time inhibits development of explosiveness.

I’m not sure there is a truly right or wrong answer on this, because I know there are very strong lifters who train both ways. I’ve seen videos of Ed Coan and Jonnie Candito, for instance, doing touch & go in the gym. But I’m curious as to experiences people on this board have had with these approaches. As always, thanks in advance for your comments.

Inb4 Kenny Croxdale
TLDR is substantial benefit/carryover to doing all variations of pause bench: Touch and Go, Comp Pause and Long Pause Bench. How much/ratios will depend on personal preferences, individual weaknesses and training phase e.g. more comp bench/specificity closer to competition.


I’m not too sure about that part, but pausing all your reps will inhibit the stretch reflex. Just do both t&g and paused, it’s as simple as that.

1 Like

I don’t think it matters, especially since many lifters do it differently. With higher rep sets probably no pause but anything up to 5 its your preference, pause every rep, pause first, pause last. etc. I think the claim is it helps with the bottom position so if that is identified as a weak point then do it. If you always pause it might not be a weak point anymore so more reason to stop pausing, and vise versa.