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Touch and Go vs Paused Bench
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arramzy
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Join date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1120

Lately I have been always pausing my bench. I was curious to hear how you guys train? It's a bit odd because now it seems that I am just as strong, or even a bit stronger at paused bench versus touch and go.

What do you guys think are the advantage to each style?

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BlueCollarTr8n
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Join date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2913

arramzy wrote:
Lately I have been always pausing my bench. I was curious to hear how you guys train? It's a bit odd because now it seems that I am just as strong, or even a bit stronger at paused bench versus touch and go.

What do you guys think are the advantage to each style?



The body stores the 'stretch reflex' energy for several seconds (up to 5 in advanced lifters) during a pause. When done correctly the advantage is developing 'over-coming static' strength. Both styles have there place IMO. Nothing odd about a body adapting to the work.

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Swashblucker
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Join date: Mar 2006
Posts: 80

well in paused style not boucing of the sternum is easy, using proper stretch reflex like some people can do is FOR ME hard. and well on paused i bench less weight ( yet im working on it,my technique improved so it is getting easier)

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arramzy
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Join date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1120

BlueCollarTr8n wrote:
arramzy wrote:
Lately I have been always pausing my bench. I was curious to hear how you guys train? It's a bit odd because now it seems that I am just as strong, or even a bit stronger at paused bench versus touch and go.

What do you guys think are the advantage to each style?



The body stores the 'stretch reflex' energy for several seconds (up to 5 in advanced lifters) during a pause. When done correctly the advantage is developing 'over-coming static' strength. Both styles have there place IMO. Nothing odd about a body adapting to the work.



Sure. I was just wondering what you think there place is? How would training touch and go be beneficial at carrying over to my paused competition bench?

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black_angus1
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Join date: May 2009
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I've started integrating wide grip paused bench into my program. I feel like it helps me a lot off my chest. I do a 3 second pause at the bottom, so that way when I get into a competition, the 1 second pause won't be as bad.

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supa power
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Join date: Aug 2008
Posts: 410

arramzy wrote:
Lately I have been always pausing my bench. I was curious to hear how you guys train? It's a bit odd because now it seems that I am just as strong, or even a bit stronger at paused bench versus touch and go.

What do you guys think are the advantage to each style?


Funny, I am much the same now. As a sprinter I'm not too concerned with bench technique but decided to start pausing them recently to make them "harder" and thus improve my regular bench. Well, after a few weeks of paused benches I was past my old bounching bench max and couldn't wait to see how much my bouncing bench had improved.

When I tested it I was surprised that I lifted LESS than my paused bench.
So overall I now lift a little more using a paused bench. It just feels more powerful for me and I have more control over the barbell.

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mlekava000
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Join date: Aug 2010
Posts: 334

People make too big a deal about "I train touch and go, but am worried how I will fare in a competition where it is paused". For my 1st meet, I started pausing benches about 3 weeks out, just to get used to holding the bar at my chest till I hear the "press" command.

Guess what - my best gym touch and go was 300, at the competition I got an EASY 295 and missed 305 half-way through because I got stapled before that by a 405 (misload). All I'm saying is people seem to make too big of a deal between touch-and-go and paused benches.

If you have problems staying tight at the bottom, it is a good idea to incorporate some long-pause work. I rotate paused work in to teach me to be more explosive off my chest so I can blast through my sticking point.

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SergeantQ
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Join date: Mar 2009
Posts: 706

After a few years of experimenting, this is what I found works for me. If I am working below 80%, I will do more reps and this will be a slow touch n go. Anything above 80% will be singles, maybe doubles but will be pause n press. Now, if the new weight crushes me at the bottom, then I work on doing dead position bench press for reps or if I get beat up half way up, then I do 2bd press for reps to train the weakness.

In short, experiment based on your training cycle relative to your next meet and adjust accordingly.

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maraudermeat
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obviously if you are competing, paused benching is a must. i typically start to work on my paused bench when i'm about a month out from competition. i feel that it isn't needed in normal training though. i prefer to train my bench through supramaximal lifts such as reverse band, chains, boards and foam presses. with me i get stronger by overloading the top end. it strengthens the triceps and gets my CNS primed for heavier weights.

with that said, i feel that many people really don't know how to properly pause a bench. they typically just lower the bar and attempt to hold the bar in place by flexing the pecs. this only works until you reach a certain weight. It isn't until you learn to activate the lats that you can efficiently control a really heavy weigth at the chest and then have the strength to press it to arm's length. when i pause a bench i've learned to use my lats to a point that the weight actually feels almost weightless at the chest. my lats are doing pretty much all the work at the bottom and that leaves the pecs fresh to initiate the press.

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beefcakemdphd
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Join date: Sep 2003
Posts: 804

I train paused year round. The times I have tried touch and go there is usually about a 15 to 20 pound difference.

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S.Fisher_47
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Join date: Apr 2011
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beefcakemdphd wrote:
I train paused year round. The times I have tried touch and go there is usually about a 15 to 20 pound difference.



Is your touch n go higher or lower than your paused bench?

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kpsnap
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maraudermeat wrote:


with that said, i feel that many people really don't know how to properly pause a bench. they typically just lower the bar and attempt to hold the bar in place to press it to arm's length. when i pause a bench i've learned to use my lats to a point that the weight actually feels almost weightless at the chest. my lats are doing pretty much all the work at the bottom and that leaves the pecs fresh to initiate the press.


This is very nicely said. And there are those who say the lats are not big players in the bench!

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arramzy
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Join date: Feb 2011
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Thanks for all the great replies. That is a really good point meat. After training paused bench 3 times a week for the past year I am fairly confident in my ability to stay extremely tight with the bar at the chest. I think I will start adding in some overloading movements now because once I start pressing with maximal weights it certainly starts to feel like holding a house in my hands.... especially once I put on a tight shirt.

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S.Fisher_47
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Join date: Apr 2011
Posts: 149

maraudermeat wrote:
obviously if you are competing, paused benching is a must. i typically start to work on my paused bench when i'm about a month out from competition. i feel that it isn't needed in normal training though. i prefer to train my bench through supramaximal lifts such as reverse band, chains, boards and foam presses. with me i get stronger by overloading the top end. it strengthens the triceps and gets my CNS primed for heavier weights.

with that said, i feel that many people really don't know how to properly pause a bench. they typically just lower the bar and attempt to hold the bar in place by flexing the pecs. this only works until you reach a certain weight. It isn't until you learn to activate the lats that you can efficiently control a really heavy weigth at the chest and then have the strength to press it to arm's length. when i pause a bench i've learned to use my lats to a point that the weight actually feels almost weightless at the chest. my lats are doing pretty much all the work at the bottom and that leaves the pecs fresh to initiate the press.


Could you expand on the technique you use to make the bar feel weightles at your chest? That sounds awesome.

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maraudermeat
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S.Fisher_47 wrote:
maraudermeat wrote:
obviously if you are competing, paused benching is a must. i typically start to work on my paused bench when i'm about a month out from competition. i feel that it isn't needed in normal training though. i prefer to train my bench through supramaximal lifts such as reverse band, chains, boards and foam presses. with me i get stronger by overloading the top end. it strengthens the triceps and gets my CNS primed for heavier weights.

with that said, i feel that many people really don't know how to properly pause a bench. they typically just lower the bar and attempt to hold the bar in place by flexing the pecs. this only works until you reach a certain weight. It isn't until you learn to activate the lats that you can efficiently control a really heavy weigth at the chest and then have the strength to press it to arm's length. when i pause a bench i've learned to use my lats to a point that the weight actually feels almost weightless at the chest. my lats are doing pretty much all the work at the bottom and that leaves the pecs fresh to initiate the press.


Could you expand on the technique you use to make the bar feel weightles at your chest? That sounds awesome.


when i unrack the weight, i immidiately start flexing my lats as hard as i can. as i row the weight down i continue to flex my lats as hard as i can. the lower the bar gets the more of a bind i put the lats on. as the bar reaches my chest i'm bending the bar by forcing the meat of the outsides of my hands into the bar while flexing as hard as i can.

once the bar is at my chest, there's so much tension built up in my lats that the bar has no where to go but up. i actually have to limit the amount of lat tension i use or the bar won't reach my chest. it's not until about 405 that i can start really using all of that tension that builds up.

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Kevin5255
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Join date: Mar 2011
Posts: 76

maraudermeat wrote:
S.Fisher_47 wrote:
maraudermeat wrote:
obviously if you are competing, paused benching is a must. i typically start to work on my paused bench when i'm about a month out from competition. i feel that it isn't needed in normal training though. i prefer to train my bench through supramaximal lifts such as reverse band, chains, boards and foam presses. with me i get stronger by overloading the top end. it strengthens the triceps and gets my CNS primed for heavier weights.

with that said, i feel that many people really don't know how to properly pause a bench. they typically just lower the bar and attempt to hold the bar in place by flexing the pecs. this only works until you reach a certain weight. It isn't until you learn to activate the lats that you can efficiently control a really heavy weigth at the chest and then have the strength to press it to arm's length. when i pause a bench i've learned to use my lats to a point that the weight actually feels almost weightless at the chest. my lats are doing pretty much all the work at the bottom and that leaves the pecs fresh to initiate the press.


Could you expand on the technique you use to make the bar feel weightles at your chest? That sounds awesome.


when i unrack the weight, i immidiately start flexing my lats as hard as i can. as i row the weight down i continue to flex my lats as hard as i can. the lower the bar gets the more of a bind i put the lats on. as the bar reaches my chest i'm bending the bar by forcing the meat of the outsides of my hands into the bar while flexing as hard as i can.

once the bar is at my chest, there's so much tension built up in my lats that the bar has no where to go but up. i actually have to limit the amount of lat tension i use or the bar won't reach my chest. it's not until about 405 that i can start really using all of that tension that builds up.



That's bad ass. I have had a lot more success thinking "bend the bar" than trying to "pull the bar apart." attempting to bend the bar is a great cue for using you lats

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grappling_hook
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Join date: Feb 2012
Posts: 77

Bump this thread because I'm interested in an update from any of the above posters on your thoughts after experimenting with paused vs touch-and-go in the last two years.

And a question I'm not sure has been addressed: Is there any disadvantage to always training paused? I.e. are there times when touch-and-go will result in better long-term gains than always doing paused? The argument I could see is touch-and-go serving as a poor-man's overloaded lockout, but obviously bands will do a better job of that.

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BCP27
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Join date: Mar 2013
Posts: 91

Right now I'm switching to paused. My sticking point is on my chest, so I'm adapting to that along with checking my form.

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Achilles of war
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Join date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1156

It all depends on the lifter.

I personally am much stronger tng but are working to be better with a pause. I am a big fan of Russian templates, the Russian's were pretty straight forward/strict about training how they competed.

Therefore If I am flat benching I always pause, even on 10+ rep sets, the only time I ever tng is if im doing like a 20+ rep set.

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cparker
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Join date: Nov 2008
Posts: 259

BCP27 wrote:
Right now I'm switching to paused. My sticking point is on my chest, so I'm adapting to that along with checking my form.



Im the same way, sticking point was always off the chest. The past few months ive been adding in a lot of paused pressing for sets of 3s and 5s. As well as brought my grip in closer and Ive been seeing a lot of improvement.

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TB284
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Join date: Oct 2012
Posts: 98

I've trained with a pause exclusively for around 2 years now. Took some getting used to, but I'm much more comfortable that way now, to the point where I feel like I get nothing from touch and go because I can't get my timing down properly. I did a local, commercial gym bench-off a couple months back; it was supposed to be touch and go, but the rules were super lax so a lot of guys were just bouncing. I felt like shit after my opener, so I thought, "I'll just touch this one, save myself some energy." Missed 500lbs. about halfway up because I was so slow off of my chest. Paused my third attempt at the same weight and hit it fairly easily.

As far as disadvantages: its more taxing to pause every rep, so if you're benching multiple times a week, all that extra fatigue adds up. You're never really overloading the top-end of the lift, either, because most people will be naturally limited by what they can get off of their chest, but that's not a big concern, for me at least.

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666Rich
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Join date: May 2006
Posts: 844

I would concur with the poser above. Here is the backstory:

Nov 2012 I hit 330 on bench as a 181 lber, and missed 340 something for my third attempt. Since november, I paused ALL of my flat bench reps. Every last one. Usually it was a competition length pause, though on some back off sets I would do an extra long pause of 5 seconds or so. Inclines and other auxillary work was not paused.

A few weeks ago, I wanted to work up to a near max attempt. I SMOKED the shit out of 350 at the end of a 6 week training cycle. I probably had another 15 or more in me.

Pausing every rep of every set leads to a much greater disparity in rep records for a weight, ie touch and go I could probably get 11 on a set, but only 5 or 6 paused reps.

It really dialed in my form and made me extremely strong off the chest. I hope to hit 400 shortly. I will continue to pause every rep in the future. It WORKS.

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BCP27
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Join date: Mar 2013
Posts: 91

cparker wrote:
BCP27 wrote:
Right now I'm switching to paused. My sticking point is on my chest, so I'm adapting to that along with checking my form.



Im the same way, sticking point was always off the chest. The past few months ive been adding in a lot of paused pressing for sets of 3s and 5s. As well as brought my grip in closer and Ive been seeing a lot of improvement.


Yeah, I tried moving my grip out wider when testing my one rep max recently (to ring finger on the ring) and it must have been 15 pounds weaker than pinky on the ring finger, but closer than that doesn't seem much strong for me.

Make sure you aren't losing that upper back/shoulder tightness during the unrack or at the bottom. That apparently can be a huge cause of this particular problem.

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mkral55
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Join date: May 2010
Posts: 870

I think ive posted my opinion on this in another thread, but ill throw it out again. Some people dont need work on pausing, you know who you are. Just like any other sport, its a "skill" some have, some dont. Me? I sucked at pausing, so working on it helped me out a ton.

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Rock978
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Join date: Apr 2013
Posts: 281

What meat posted about how to activate the lats was very helpful, thanks.

Any thoughts on paused bench v. tng bench if using bands? I've seen Louie say tng is a must for speed work, but what about ME?

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