The pause in bench is necessary to demonstrate that you are controlling the bar and not just rebounding it off of your ribcage. You have a pause in squat - after the movement is completed but before you’re instructed to rack the bar. You also have a pause in deadlift, at the top of the pull. [/quote]
You have that same before-racking pause in the bench press too, but the bench press has one more pause at the bottom compared to the squat. In the bench press it is considered cheating to bounce on your chest but in the squat you are encouraged to make use of the stretch at the bottom to get momentum out of the hole rather than pausing and showing control. It is this difference that I’m curious about. But perhaps it’s just that the rib cage bounce is dangerous while the bounc at the bottom of the squat is not.[/quote]
I actually haven’t come across a rule that says the lifter must pause on the chest in the bench press. If I remember correctly, the rule is that to get the press command the lifter must ensure the bar is motionless touching the chest. That doesn’t necessarily mean a pause, simply evidence that the bar is under the lifter’s control. Some federations seem to exaggerate this requirement to an actual pause, and some seem to require virtually no pause at all. But, I don’t think there is a rule anywhere that provides that the bar must pause on the chest. It must simply touch and then remain motionless for sufficient time for the judge to notice. To me, that’s not a pause, because it takes well under a second to see a bar is motionless and say ‘press’ [/quote]
That’s a good point as well. I kind of hate judging bench because it’s tough to call it fast enough, but not too fast. It’s also different when you’re judging shirted bench and raw bench. With a shirt, you’re fighting to touch and there needs to be a visible moment where the judge can see the touch and control. With a raw bench, you’re fighting to get it off the chest and not cave in your ribcage with a bounce.