T Nation

Pause Benching in Training

If you compete in a shirt should you still pause when you train raw? I always pause, but I was thinking that Touch and go could get you used to moving a heavier weight, but I would like to read the opinions of stronger, more experienced lifters.

I’m not super experienced but I’ve been bringing pauses back when raw to work on my starting strength, which is really weak compared to my monster lockout.

I bench with a shirt, but I want my raw strength to be decent too.

[quote]Ghost22 wrote:
I’m not super experienced but I’ve been bringing pauses back when raw to work on my starting strength, which is really weak compared to my monster lockout.

I bench with a shirt, but I want my raw strength to be decent too.[/quote]

Thanks for your response.

I have the opposite problem though I start fast but am weak at lockout. Bench is my weakest lift 375@242 in single ply shirt.

I bench with a shirt. I will practice with a press and rack command. So a slight pause at the bottom.

[quote]saavedra wrote:
I have the opposite problem though I start fast but am weak at lockout. Bench is my weakest lift 375@242 in single ply shirt.
[/quote]

Yeah…I’m not benching 375 either… I would think my lockout would suck there, haha.

I would recommend you only pause rarely in training and definitely not all of the time. Pausing all of the time, while it does get you used to pausing, it can ruin the stretch reflex of the muscle. To use a simple analogy, muscles are elastic like rubber bands and you want to keep them springy. If you keep stretching them out and holding them in that position they get loose and lose their spring effect. So personally I would only pause rarely, like one workout a month or something like that. If you are worried about trying to learn the technique so you don’t mess up in a meet then you can do a heavy single every once in a while after your regular workout to practice.

That is my suggestion. Generally I have found that consistent pause training all the time actually decreases strength which obviously we don’t want.

[quote]saavedra wrote:
If you compete in a shirt should you still pause when you train raw? I always pause, but I was thinking that Touch and go could get you used to moving a heavier weight, but I would like to read the opinions of stronger, more experienced lifters.[/quote]

I do a lot of pausing in my training and it has increased my bench to 550 with a pause. but i don’t use a shirt. If you are having trouble with your lockout, then you need to concentrate on tricep strength and bar speed. include lots of floor presses, board work, pin presses and holds. also, incorporate a DE bench day to get your bar speed up.

meat

I train based on how I need to to compete. If I have to pause and wait for a press command I have a training partner call it everytime. Except warm-up. Practice makes perfect IMO.

I never use long pauses since I compete in the APF and thats not an issue. The problem with doing it with raw work is that a long pause will cause you to lose your stretch reflex for that rep. But I guess its all about what you are trying to work on.

Personally I am a big fan of a 1 sec. pause and an explosive press after regardless of weight, I feel this has increased my bench more than anything.

[quote]Ghost22 wrote:
I’m not super experienced but I’ve been bringing pauses back when raw to work on my starting strength, which is really weak compared to my monster lockout.

I bench with a shirt, but I want my raw strength to be decent too.[/quote]

In my experience the best way to increase your low end strength is to increase your back and shoulder strength.

[quote]maraudermeat wrote:
I do a lot of pausing in my training and it has increased my bench to 550 with a pause. but i don’t use a shirt. [/quote]

That is amazing! You use the Westside Barbell method?

Thanks for all the replies. I talked to another powerlifter at my gym and he doesn’t use pauses. I will try for about the next 12 weeks or so and see if my bench moves. Otherwise I’ll go back to pauses.

I don’t pause on the actual bench. The floor press by nature has a built in pause. Depending on how you train with the boards you could have momentum breaking pauses there. For shirted benching the key to the pause is having a jacked up shirt that you have to row down for your pause

[quote]saavedra wrote:
maraudermeat wrote:
I do a lot of pausing in my training and it has increased my bench to 550 with a pause. but i don’t use a shirt.

That is amazing! You use the Westside Barbell method?

Thanks for all the replies. I talked to another powerlifter at my gym and he doesn’t use pauses. I will try for about the next 12 weeks or so and see if my bench moves. Otherwise I’ll go back to pauses.
[/quote]

I use the basic templete that has been modified to fit my needs.

meat