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Old 02-24-2012, 04:53 PM   #1
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Default Any tips for doing paused bench?

I've recently started with paused benching and I was wondering if you experienced types had any tips on doing them.

I do them pretty much like my touch and go bench, except stopping on my chest of course. However, I notice TnG I lower faster and seem to get a much better burst off the bottom. Paused, it definitly seems to be slower going down, and sometimes there is no burst at all to press. It just grinds upward gruesomely.

Hazzard, for example once said something about coiling like a spring, touching gently, then release the spring to press, but my reps never seem to work out like that. So, there must be more to it.

Maybe that's just the nature of the beast or I simply need to practice a lot more, but thought I'd ask about that, and also see if there was anything else I should know. Thanks!
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:10 PM   #2
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I love paused benching. It eliminates the concentric motion of the muscle, or the spring-like feeling, the burst as you say Mike. You can see this with a simple push up. Start up, then down and push. No problem. Start in the low spot and holding, then push up. It seems harder because the muscle doesn't have that kinetic energy to assist.

I tend to do a set of paused reps after each regular bench session. I like a 10 second to explosion rep. So 5 seconds to go down, very light touch, 5 second hold, absolute explosion up. Not all to lockout, so there must be some control in the explosion. I'll do 10 reps of that, supersetted with 10 speed reps. That really gives me the dead chest feeling that says I did chest today...and it feels so good.

Pausing also allows me to get a better feel for the pectoral contraction. I'll start just squeezing, and the arms and full motion just kind of follow in an upward direction.
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:12 PM   #3
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Mike I would recommend lowering the bar faster, this serves two purposes:

1) Expends less energy on the way down.
2) Makes the pause appear more pronounced.

The faster reps will make for considerably less shoulder stress as well. It's a win, win. I wouldn't recommend this for Bodybuilding purposes but for Powerlifting speed is key. Pavel Tsatsouline has written on this extensively and it's worth taking a look at what he says.
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Old 02-24-2012, 06:00 PM   #4
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I do a lot of paused bench, or at least I do when I'm benching.

When you start pausing, without the stored elastic energy, the movement feels horrible. I agree with Faz that lowering as fast as you can, while keeping safe, is the best policy for a powerlifter. And as Hazz says, hold it there tightly. Don't relax or let it sink into the chest.

Just persist with it and it will start feeling more natural. You're never going to get the oomph that you get from a touch and go, but you can certainly narrow the gap between the two styles.
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Old 02-24-2012, 06:57 PM   #5
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Get tight, make sure you are squeezing the bar hard. Make sure you arch hard, your legs are tight, and squeeze your lats.

The tighter you are at the bottom, the easier it is.
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Old 02-24-2012, 07:16 PM   #6
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Three things that might help stay tight, and possibly improve drive.

1) "Row/pull" the bar towards your chest.
2) Expand and tighten your abs. Push your gut out and keep it tight instead of sucking it in and tightening it.
3) Drive/push your hips towards your shoulder blades. This helps me stay tight, allows for better eccentrics.

All 3 of these help me. I'm no bench expert, but I would give them a shot. Perhaps someone who knows more can comment on them.

The bottom line is that they help me keep a tight overall torso and I feel more recoil/power.
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Old 02-28-2012, 12:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BendtheBar View Post
Three things that might help stay tight, and possibly improve drive.

1) "Row/pull" the bar towards your chest.
2) Expand and tighten your abs. Push your gut out and keep it tight instead of sucking it in and tightening it.
3) Drive/push your hips towards your shoulder blades. This helps me stay tight, allows for better eccentrics.

All 3 of these help me. I'm no bench expert, but I would give them a shot. Perhaps someone who knows more can comment on them.

The bottom line is that they help me keep a tight overall torso and I feel more recoil/power.
Do this....also think about when you drive the bar up, that you use your legs and push yourself away from the bar...rather than pushing the bar away from you....also...as J_byrd said speed is developed over time...lots of time....try lowering the weights some and focus on moving the bar FAST...then moving up 5 pounds the next week and try to get the same feeling...I'm not sure what kind of training program you are running, but as a generic training outline, thats what I would do.
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Old 02-28-2012, 03:46 PM   #8
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OK, great advice everyone. I will give it a try. Obviously, I need to stay tighter, so I'm working on that. I sed a belt today and that showed me clearly where I when I wasn't tight. So, I think I can get much better with that.
Also, more practice will help with that leg drive and initial burst, so I'll keep working on that.
However, I've noticed when I concentrate on rowing the bar down, I think it lowers too slowly and then I start grinding right from the get go.

Anyway, great stuff! I will keep working and testing your ideas to see what works for me.

I also figured a video might help. Now, this is not one of my better paused bench attempts, as I lost my breath at the beginning and had to try to regroup right from the start. But, it should give you all some idea of things I need to work on.


Thanks in advance for all your help!
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Best meet lifts: Sq 150 Kg (330 lb), Bench 120 Kg (264), DL 160 (352) @89 Kg (197)
Best gym lifts: Sq 375, Bench 280 (pause), DL 385 @205 or less
Goals: 3/4/5
Goals beyond my wildest dreams, 600 Kg raw total, 200/160/240

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Old 02-24-2012, 07:58 PM   #9
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Good tips here.

When you compete at a meet or train paused benchpress people have a tendensy to f@ck up the concentric fase of the lift, alot to do because of the stretch reflex.
Try lowering the bar to the bottom of your chest and push the bar up against the rack.
I know dave tate isnt a fan of pushing backwards but this way i am able to move alot more weight. I feel if i push the bar straight upwards its like im hitting a wall 10cm of the chest.

To do the benchpress this way you nede to poisition yourself a littlebit lower in the bench, this makes unracking the weight troublesome.
Makesure you have a good trainingpartner That can spot you and help unracking the weight, unless you are gonna hurt your supraspinatus. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!!
If you dont have a trainingpartner try unracking the bar with your hips off the bench, controll the bar, lower your hips on the bench and start the lift.
With the hips And lower torso of the bench you dont have to pull the bar so far to get it positioned.

I hope you understand my messy explanations
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:21 PM   #10
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Paused bench is great training. Not only for strengthening the lower part of the lift, but learning to pause. Many people miss meet lifts from beating the press command. I usually stop the weight at my chest(not resting it) and count to two before pressing. I would also recommend doing full reps and holding for at least a two count at the top.

As BTB stated, you should stay tight thoughout the entire core to the feet during the press. Drive off your heels and push the weight up & back.
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