If you’ve never played around with paused reps you’re missing out on a whole lot of awesome. Paused reps can definitely be hard as hell but they’re oh so worth it.
I first started training with paused reps when my back squat hit a huge plateau that I could just not break through. For six weeks I worked on pausing for three full second “n the hole” and … success! I re-tested my PR and smashed my plateau. Check out some of the fun here!
Now a days I use paused reps pretty frequently in both my own training programs as well as those of my clients. And below are my top three reasons why!
Reason #1 Improve your strength
The rule of thumb is that you place your pause at the “sticking point” of an exercise. For example when squatting you would pause at the absolute lowest part of the squat. After the pause, the hard part is coming back up. On a bench press you would add a pause when the bar is directly above your chest by only millimeters.
Placing your pause in the sticking point ensures you won’t rely on momentum to get your through the movement (if you’ve ever seen people bounce at the bottom of a squat you know what I mean!). Instead, by maintaining constant tension you learn to use sheer muscular strength instead.
Reason #2 Improve your technique
Paused reps require you to check your ego at the door lower your weights and really fine tune your technique. When you’re hanging out at the bottom of a squat you’ve got to really concentrate on keeping your muscles engaged and in proper alignment in order to get back up. Pausing in the sticking point also revealing your weak spots. This, in turn, allows you to improve them and your mechanics in order to effectively execute the exercise.
Reason #3 Develops Your Muscles
I’ve already mentioned that paused reps maintain tension throughout the movement. This perma-tension helps build and better develop your muscles as it increases you time under tension.
Have I convinced you yet? Paused reps kick butt. Well, they’ll kick yours anyways! Remember though, check your ego at the door and really focus on a three second pause: one mississippi two mississippi three mississippi. No half-assing it and making a good pause less than a breath.
If you want to get seriously strong, utterly rock your lifts and look badass while doing it, I suggest you add in some paused reps to your training programs.
Need help? Check out my online programming options to help push past your plateaus!