T Nation

Should I Build My Bench w/ Pause Reps?


Obviously in meets you have to pause the bar on your chest, but I've found that I progress faster with touch and go. When I go to do my pauses I just figure that it's about 10-15lbs less than my touch and go (and usually I'm right).

Recently I've been doing madcow 5x5 with pause benching. It was going great until a week ago I wasn't able to get the weight up unless I didn't pause it. Should I continue progressing with what I'm doing or lower the weight and pause it?


I think if you plan to do a meet you should pause the majority of your reps, at least in the period leading up to competition. Practice how you play. Touch & go would be an assistance for your competition (paused) bench.

If you're not powerlifting, it's just personal preference. Tons of people have gotten incredibly strong lifting either way. It's probably best to do a bit of both just for variety.


I don't start pausing until 4 weeks out of a meet. No real point in my opinion. But I have never had a problem off my chest and always miss close to lockout about 3/4 of way up.


I will definitely be the naysayer here, but I only pause about 10 reps per week, and most of those are in the warmups. The idea of practicing how you play is overstated to some degree, unless you are new to pausing reps. If you aren't used to it, then maybe a mix of 50% paused and 50% TnG would be better. You will find people on here stating to pause every rep.

For me personally, I like the overload of TnG. I can always pause whatever I can triple TnG, so entering a meet, the weight never feels "heavy" because I have lifted more before. Also, I only do paused singles (since this is how I play in competition) and feel like I lose tightness and get my breathing off if I try to rep out paused bench.


So you can triple your competition weight by skipping the pause? This seems like a glaringly obvious sign that you are poor at the competition movement - which for the record is the only movement that matters.

To the OP: I believe is pausing every single rep in training. Train and build strength at the most valuable movement. No sense building your strength curve to suit a different movement.


I didn't say anything, because Ecchastang is a very good bencher regardless, but this was actually my first thought as well. I lose about 15 to 20 pounds or so going from TnG to paused; in other words maybe like 5% off my max. I mean it's not a huge difference, but if you're losing 30 to 35 or more pounds from pausing it, I think there is some progress to be made there from closing that gap.


When I was pausing every rep, I was getting almost no progress, Pretty much stuck at 130 kg. My next meet is Dec 7th, and I should hit 150kg.


I only pause w/ heavier weight. Everything else is a warm up to get the blood flowing.


That seems like a good reason to use TNG over pausing.


And I am definitely not advocating that my way is the best way. I am just saying that you need to find what works for you. Some people progress with doing the lift once per week, and some need 4 days per week to progress. Some people get a lot out of board pressing (as a form of overload) some don't. Keep an open mind and continually try to find what works best for you individually.

I just know that the two guys that I lift with were pausing most of their reps before I started lifting with them last December. Both started seeing bigger and faster gains going to TnG, and only pausing more closer to meets.


My last meet I did 385lbs on bench. I agree with Reed here, i didn't focus on paused reps till about a month before. Sometimes ill throw in paused reps if I just have the feeling for it or feeling saucy with a weight/ reps i normally can't, but i never planned it on purpose till the month before. I get much more progress touch and go, even though I tend to get stapled more often then not locking out.


I pause about 50% of my reps on work sets. Being comfortable holding a long pause, staying tight and being strict with the movement has paid off. TNG is fine if you are comfortable pausing and there isnt a big discrepancy in carryover.


I've started pausing all my reps lately. Especially when I'm going for PR's. I don't feel satisfied to hit a new best with a TNG. Don't know for sure if I could hit it paused, so I pause anything heavy.


I like to pause the first or last rep of most of my sets. Just feels right.