Hey guys. I have a question for guys out there who have competed a bit. I’ve looked around and I’m having trouble finding a clear enough answer, so I hoped some people around here might be able to help out.
Bench has always been my weakest lift. Recently, I started doing a lot more paused benching, and I feel like it has helped me a lot with control, speed, tightness, and so on. Plus, I just like the idea of practicing the way I would have to press in a competition. Slowly but surely, I’m moving almost all of my benching to paused benching.
The last time I maxed out, however, I noticed that as the weight got heavier I sort of let it sink into my chest a little bit as I paused it, which gave me more pop out of the bottom and made the lifts nicer and easier overall. Ever since, however, I have been trying to get rid of this “sinking in” on my paused reps. I know that in competition, you aren’t allowed to REALLY sink the bar in and “heave” it, So I have been trying to, in training, pause with the bar just barely touching my chest and press like that. It definitely took some of my power out of the bottom, but I’m slowly but surely putting more weight on the bar again. Still, I’m a little torn. I don’t know whether to be “competition strict” with all of my training lifts so that I don’t get into bad habits, or whether it would be better to be a little bit more lenient with form in order to get more weight on the bar and therefore be more comfortable under heavy weight/have the potential to get stronger, etc. And I think part of that “not knowing how strict to be” is because I don’t know how much I am allowed to let the bar “sink in” in competition without it being a problem.
So, I’m posting a couple videos of the last time I maxed out. I guess the bottom line question are 1) would they be good lifts in a competition? 2) what would you suggest: training as I would for competition almost all of the time, or being a little more lenient with form (ie letting the bar sink in on pauses or doing touch n go work) just for the sake of working harder with heavier weights?