obviously if you are competing, paused benching is a must. i typically start to work on my paused bench when i’m about a month out from competition. i feel that it isn’t needed in normal training though. i prefer to train my bench through supramaximal lifts such as reverse band, chains, boards and foam presses. with me i get stronger by overloading the top end. it strengthens the triceps and gets my CNS primed for heavier weights.
with that said, i feel that many people really don’t know how to properly pause a bench. they typically just lower the bar and attempt to hold the bar in place by flexing the pecs. this only works until you reach a certain weight. It isn’t until you learn to activate the lats that you can efficiently control a really heavy weigth at the chest and then have the strength to press it to arm’s length. when i pause a bench i’ve learned to use my lats to a point that the weight actually feels almost weightless at the chest. my lats are doing pretty much all the work at the bottom and that leaves the pecs fresh to initiate the press. [/quote]
Could you expand on the technique you use to make the bar feel weightles at your chest? That sounds awesome.[/quote]
when i unrack the weight, i immidiately start flexing my lats as hard as i can. as i row the weight down i continue to flex my lats as hard as i can. the lower the bar gets the more of a bind i put the lats on. as the bar reaches my chest i’m bending the bar by forcing the meat of the outsides of my hands into the bar while flexing as hard as i can.
once the bar is at my chest, there’s so much tension built up in my lats that the bar has no where to go but up. i actually have to limit the amount of lat tension i use or the bar won’t reach my chest. it’s not until about 405 that i can start really using all of that tension that builds up.
That’s bad ass. I have had a lot more success thinking “bend the bar” than trying to “pull the bar apart.” attempting to bend the bar is a great cue for using you lats