T Nation

Paused Bench Press for Size

I’ve always been predominantly a shoulder/arms bench presser and never really got as sore in the chest from my workouts. But last week I signed up for a PL contest and was doing paused bench presses during my workout to prepare. My chest has never felt this sore in my life. I don’t know if it’s going to lead to better chest development since it’s only been 2 weeks but I noticed a huge difference in the way my chest feels. Has anyone incorporated this technique to get better chest development?

[quote] BurnMyEyes said

Are you talking just like a powerlifting style or paused as in off pins? If you are talking the ladder I think they are better than pausing and safer.

[/quote]

Powerlifting style. 1 second pause. I’ve tried off the pins before and I feel more stress on the shoulders.

yes

Seems as if the pause has helped you focused on pushing with your chest more. If this keeps up, then yes you probably seem some results. I’m a predominantly chest presser, so I’ve never needed to try anything other than standard barbell and DB presses to stress my chest =P. But yeah, i’ll probably try these sometime, see what I get out of them.

[quote]That One Guy wrote:
Seems as if the pause has helped you focused on pushing with your chest more. If this keeps up, then yes you probably seem some results. I’m a predominantly chest presser, so I’ve never needed to try anything other than standard barbell and DB presses to stress my chest =P. But yeah, i’ll probably try these sometime, see what I get out of them.[/quote]

The DB presses always hit my chest a little harder but I’m very happy now that I’m feeling the burn in my chest with the pause while keeping constant tension on my pecs. I’m hoping now that my chest is “waking up” and taking over that my bench will start to increase again. I’ve been stalled for about 2 months on my bench press max.

You try decline presses from pins? That may take your shoulders out of the movement if thats what your worried about. The chest exercise that I feel the most in my pecs is decline dumbell presses, but I’ll be damned if getting 100+ pound bells into position on a decline bench by yourself is hard as hell.

Makes sense. The bottom part of the rep is predominantly chest. Lockout strength comes from tris. Pausing, therefor making the bottom part of the lift harder, would seem to emphasize chest.

can I work these into 5/3/1? like for 50% reps of 10 for a cycle or two?

Maybe it’s also something to do with the increase in TUT. I find that for my chest, I need to train in a higher rep range (e.g. 7-10) for it to “feel” anything. Also, training it at least once every 6 days. The chest tends to require quite a decent amount of volume via frequency to grow.

[quote]BurnMyEyes wrote:
but I’ll be damned if getting 100+ pound bells into position on a decline bench by yourself is hard as hell. [/quote]

Sometimes its harder than the actual set haha.

Yeah man no kidding. Takes a lot of work just setting up then after you do a hard set its like ‘‘fuck I gotta do this again’’. If this shit was easy though everyone would be doing it.

[quote]spyoptic wrote:
can I work these into 5/3/1? like for 50% reps of 10 for a cycle or two?[/quote]

The Unlikely Powerlifter had/has a log on elitefts.com, did his entire 5/3/1 bench training with paused bench. Worked well for him.

So you would want to do paused bench for the BBB template?

[quote]BurnMyEyes wrote:
You try decline presses from pins? That may take your shoulders out of the movement if thats what your worried about. The chest exercise that I feel the most in my pecs is decline dumbell presses, but I’ll be damned if getting 100+ pound bells into position on a decline bench by yourself is hard as hell. [/quote]

I’ve never tried any declines beside the HS machine. I’m gonna try the decline dumbbells.

CT had us do bench work from pins, and accelerating a weight from a dead stop is a hell of a lot harder (for most) than using the stretch reflex athletic people usually make use of (he gave an example where Nate Green couldn’t bench as much with the stop because he was a natural athlete, whereas ACTrain was actually stronger from a stop than a regular full ROM bench press). Obviously any movement where you feel pain (shoulder) shouldn’t be a staple in you routine, but making use of dead stops is a great way to really hit your chest (I’ve been trying to implement it myself, working from a squat rack as my ‘pins’)

S