Who doesn’t like progress?
Who doesn’t want to get better?
Last week I wrote that if you want to get better at benching, you have to bench more. I wrote about how I have started to have more success benching, simply by benching more. You can check it out here.
Since writing that post, I have been thinking about whether or not there was a specific movement that helped, besides just benching more frequently. I knew right away what has been a huge factor in my success, the pause bench press.
I have written about how much I like pause movements before, specifically the pause squat. In that post, I wrote about how pause squats have made me so much more comfortable throughout the lift. The pause bench press has done the same for my bench press, and for me possibly more than the pause squat improved my squat.
The bench press is a very technical movement and the pause bench press has helped my technique tremendously. Consequently, improving my technique has helped my numbers go up. As I said in my last post, my numbers aren’t the greatest, but they have gotten better since I started doing pauses.
The objective is to get stronger, right?
Who would’ve thunk? If your technique improves, your performance improves!
Here are four ways the pause bench has helped me:
1. Finding your groove: The bar path should be the same every time. The pause will help you make sure you are hitting the same spot. Hitting the same spot will ensure that you will be in the same place to push from every time. If you’re hitting one rep below the nipple, one above, and one in the middle, you’re not pushing the same spot every rep.The pause has really helped me be able to find my groove and improve my consistency.
2. Full body tension: Maintaining tension is very important during the bench press. Making sure you are tight from head to toe is going to give you the best base to push from. If you lose your tension it will show. You really should feel like you are going to explode. If you are as tight as possible, its almost uncomfortable. Staying tight during the pause will make it much easier when you doing a regular bench press. If you lose tension when doing a very heavy bench it will feel like the bar is pinned to your chest.
3. Leg drive: I really learned the feel of good leg drive. Feeling my legs drive the bar off my chest to press the bar up was very helpful. When the bar is pinned to your chest for an extended amount of time, you need all the help you can to press it up.
4. Power of the chest: I have tried many accessory movements to help with my power of the chest. The pause bench, especially for extended periods has had the greatest impact. Having the bar sit on you really makes you learn how to drive the bar off the chest. Waisting energy while the bar is on your chest makes it that much harder to push. If you have a hard time off the chest, I would suggest trying the pause bench before trying any other movements. It will build power and make you stronger at the same time.
Start mixing the pause bench into your routine and I am sure your numbers will go up. It will help in so many ways; technique, tension, leg drive, power and just make your regular bench much easier. Benching is about about being efficient and I promise the pause bench will make you as efficient as possible.
If you have any questions please let me know, and if you like this post please share!