Long Pause Bench Press
Research shows that a pause of around 4 seconds completely kills the Stretch Reflex.
More strength is needed to drive the bar off the chest in the Bench Press when heavy weight is used. This method increases strength off the chest.
Performing moderate loads (48 -62% of 1 Repetition Max) in a long Paused Bench Press build Power off the chest.
So, Paused Bench Press Training has it place.
}Ronny dominated his weight classes in the 1960"s and 1970’s. Ronny primarily won his weight classes (181, 198, 220, 242) because he out Bench Pressed everyone by 100 lbs or more.
One of Ronny training method involved incredibly long Paused Bench Pressing…
"Ronnie Ray once did a 400 pound bench press with a 30 second pause at a bodyweight of 181."
Source: The Bench Press
With that said, some some “Touch and Go” (Stretch Reflex) Training need to be included in a Bench Press Program.
Bench Press More, Now
Dr Tom McLaughlin (PhD Exercise Biomechanics/former Powerlifter)
This book is based on McLaughlin’s Bench Press Training Research.
McLaughlin noted that “Touch and Go” (Strength Reflex) Bench Press is a vital component to increasing Power off the chest.
The only way to develop the Stretch Reflex is by training it via “Touch and Go” Bench Pressing or some type of Plyometric Bench Press Training, such as “Smith Machine Bench Press Throws”.
Retention of The Stretch Reflex
Dr Greg Wilson’s research found the Stretch Reflex is retained for up to 4 seconds. However, the longer the pause, greater the dissipation of the Stretch Reflex (the less you have left).
Approximately 50% of the Stretch Reflex is lost with a 1 second pause.
Source: The use of elastic energy in sport. Sports Coach. 13(3):8-10. 1990.
After a 4 second pause, the Stretch Reflex is gone.
Another Way Of Looking At It
Even with a 1 second pause, you still have 50% of the Stretch Reflex. 50% is better than zero.
In Powerlfiting Competition, never Pause the Bench Press any longer that you have to. The less time the bar spend on your chest, the more Power you have left via the Stretch Reflex.
Young was a Bench Press World Record Holder in the 242 lb Weight Class in the 1970’s. Young minimized the pause in his Competition Bench Press by anticipating the “Press Command”.
By doing so, Young was able to retain more of the Stretch Reflex and drive up more weight.
There were times when Young beat the “Press Command”, which disqualified the lift. However, most of the time, Young drove his Bench Press a millisecond after the “Press Command” was given.
Part of Young Bench Press Training revolved around learning how to anticipate the “Press Command”.
- The foundation of Power and Speed is Strength.
Increasing Strength off the chest via Paused Bench Press Training enables you to drive the bar up with more Power and Speed.
- Developing The Stretch Reflex.
Some type of Stretch Reflex Training is vital for developing and increasing it.
a) :“Touch and Go” Bench Press Training
b) Smith Machine Plyometric Bench Press Throw, etc