Playing with Pauses from Matthew Berenc

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When training we often put all of our focus on getting the reps done. Going from rep 1 to rep 10 (or however many) and repeating. There’s a lot that happens in between and sometimes it’s good to play with the end points and middle positions. Pausing at defined points throughout the movement, the start, end, and middle, can help build positional strength. This increases your ownership of the movement.
Of particular benefit can be the mid point pauses. These normally happen at your sticking point, the position of greatest mechanical disadvantage, where we can get stuck in the exercise and not complete the movement. Intentionally pausing at these points can build strength at these specific joint angles and allow you to overcome.
A tip in being successful in the pauses is building tension. It’s more than just stopping the movement, as you hold the position you need to build as much tension as possible. This means crushing your grip, dialing the feet, squeezing every fiber possible. When you do this, you’ll notice that you feel like you can hold for longer than expected.
Here I’m doing a 3 sec pause at the rack, bottom of the squat, top of the press, mid way down on the squat, and mid way down on the press. Beyond building more robust strength, it just makes the movement more challenging without having to up the weight. Good times all around! Give it a try on the movement of your choice.
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