View Full Version : Pause benching

10-23-2006, 11:29 PM
It's not a 3 second pause but I guess these qualify as 'pause benches', although any comments on how long to pause for the best effect are more than welcome.


10-24-2006, 09:25 AM
Nice halfy wish I could do that :)

10-24-2006, 04:07 PM
I remember seeing something similar to this in my high school weight room, although they would use a lighter weight, do 10-15 reps and then have a guy push on the bar while it was at the bottom.

I haven't really come across anything on pause benches, what are the benefits to using this method?

10-24-2006, 04:41 PM
Pausing builds up strength off the chest, which in theory will let you drive through any sticking points you encounter when you switch back to touch n go. From my limited experience I wouldn't reccomend doing more than 5 reps with a pause, you stay tight and don't relax when the bar is at the bottom to keep the tension there (and protect the shoulders from a sudden explosion against a static load)

I do them for all my benching now as I'm not looking to push big numbers on the flat, I alternate paused flat work with the decline where I push much heavier weights with a touch n' go style. Even a short pause can be quite an ego check as it knocks the reps and weight down a lot.. I was doing 405 for 3 without the pause.

Ex was a big fan of them for raw benching, I remember him posting that kyle got 425 x 3 back when he was hitting a 700 bench, but I don't know how long the duration of his pauses were. 3 seconds with 400+ on your chest would be an eternity :)

10-24-2006, 05:10 PM
Thanks a lot, I remember seeing some of those videos when they were still up.

10-24-2006, 11:01 PM
Looks like you might try keeping your lats tighter in the bottom. It would help a lot.

I agree with not going over 5reps on pause bench. I just don't see the need as after that many reps your form will suffer.

When I did 375x1paused I could do 405x1 touch an gowith some speed. When I got up to 375x5paused I never maxed out touch and go.

Once I start raw benching again pause benching is all I will do. Will start light around 255x5 then just work up 10lbs a week.

Nice benching though halfway you look stacked

10-24-2006, 11:21 PM
I agree with matt. its so fucking hard to keep your lats tight at the bottom esp when doing multiple reps but i thinke verything looks good. paused benching is probably te most effective for buildling power off the bottom.

Doc D
10-26-2006, 08:50 AM
Great stuff! Form looks very solid for unequipped (some might talk about bar being lowered too high, elbows flaring too much, etc., but such comments would only apply if you were shirted) - and so much weight even without an arch! I do all my pressing (bar or dbs, decline to 90 degrees) paused nowadays, and use about that length of pause (or even a little shorter). I've tried longer pauses (3 count), but these tend to irritate my shoulders without obvious benefit to offset the pain.

Pale Rider
10-27-2006, 02:33 PM
Nice lift!

I recently started doing flats, inclines, & declines with a pause. 8 rep sets. Definately an ego check.

Why only 5 rep sets? How about if I did all sets with the first 4 reps paused, & the next 4 touch n go?

10-28-2006, 01:34 PM
I wouldn't mix and match -technique breakdown happens much faster relative to muscle fatigue with paused work, so rather than do higher reps I'd rest 5-10 mins and then do another triple.

Doc, I hear you on the shoulder irriration, do you find it harder to keep tight for longer pauses? It's like box squats imo, I dont just sit on the box and breath, I keep tight and hold my breath before powering back up.. if I were to sit there and try to grab a breath then I would lose the lift. Same as breathing out with the bar on my chest.

I need to learn how to arch :)

Doc D
10-29-2006, 05:12 AM
Yes, longer pauses are much harder in terms of retaining tightness - hence certainly not suited for high reps. I tried a cycle of inclines with a 3-second pause and discovered / created shoulder pain that I'd never had before - immediately resolved upon cessation of the exercise. Less of an issue on flat bench, however, as the angle is less acute.

As for arching - unless a max in PL competition is your goal, not having an extreme one is no bad thing, IMO. All that hyperextension and compression can't be good for the spine in the long run, and if one's aim is to increase basic strength within fixed parameters, not resorting to this little trick helps to ensure continuity amongst the training variables (my ability to arch is one of the numerous reasons why I rarely do flat bench nowadays - as the weight goes up, so does my arch, and as I'm not competing any more, this has little value).

10-29-2006, 11:52 PM
very nice halfy. you and I bench very similar from what I can see in the vid. I have no arch either, lol. Im scared to see where my strength is at now since i havent lifted heavy (relative) in probably 3 months focusing more on the bb aspect than strength.

either way. great clip, youll have 405X3 paused in no time.

11-11-2006, 07:00 AM
Very good clip Halfway -- you're definately all the way down (got the joke? haha...I know lame).
I think you pause and form in general is absolutely fine and the weight impressive :) I like those paused benches MUCH better than touch'n'go because I can really feel my chest being worked and seem to have more focus there.