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  1. #1
    Registered User jaxqen's Avatar
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    Pauses between concentric and eccentric

    Tuesday curiosity:
    Do you prefer to pause or not between the concentric and the eccentric?
    If so, on what exercises?
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  2. #2
    Registered User Heisman2's Avatar
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    Do you mean:

    1. Eccentric -> pause -> Concentric

    or

    2. Concentric -> pause -> Eccentric

    #1 is good for working the beginning concentric portion of a range of motion more as you'll have less of a stretch reflex to help you at the beginning. Also good to help make sure form is consistent. Will potentially decrease the risk of injury as well if you have any sort of tendency to not remain tight and/or bounce during the transition from eccentric to concentric.

    #2 is good if you need to catch your breath more between reps and to also re-balance yourself if needed
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  3. #3
    Registered User jaxqen's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Heisman2 View Post
    Do you mean:

    1. Eccentric -> pause -> Concentric

    or

    2. Concentric -> pause -> Eccentric

    #1 is good for working the beginning concentric portion of a range of motion more as you'll have less of a stretch reflex to help you at the beginning. Also good to help make sure form is consistent. Will potentially decrease the risk of injury as well if you have any sort of tendency to not remain tight and/or bounce during the transition from eccentric to concentric.

    #2 is good if you need to catch your breath more between reps and to also re-balance yourself if needed
    #1
    But maximizing the stretch reflex is good for performance, right? It allows more weight since the concentric is a little easier.
    No idea if it is good for hypertrophy or not, probably it doesn't matter.

    #2
    It doesn't harm the performance, though? Less reps...
    For example, if I do an OHP and I keep the bar for 1-2 seconds up in the air, it doesn't really help, since the whole body keeps the bar up. Only with catching a breath, like you said, but wouldn't it be better to learn how to do it from the start with lighter weights and with a 1-0-2-0 tempo, for example?

    I rarely see people in commercial gyms lifting with a pause, #1 or #2, by the way.
    Last edited by jaxqen; 06-21-2022 at 05:52 AM.
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    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jaxqen View Post
    I rarely see people in commercial gyms lifting with a pause, #1 or #2, by the way.
    Setting aside all the jazzercise lifters in commercial gyms... I can see not pausing on #1, but you kinda have to have a slight #2 pause for most exercises even if not super long, no? Otherwise you'd be dancing horribly or flapping your arms for half your exercises.

    I think you'd have to have a slight pause after pushing or pulling any significant weight up for most exercises.
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    Registered User Heisman2's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jaxqen View Post
    #1
    But maximizing the stretch reflex is good for performance, right? It allows more weight since the concentric is a little easier.
    No idea if it is good for hypertrophy or not, probably it doesn't matter.
    Definitely good for athletic performance in terms of improving "explosiveness". I'm not convinced it's better for strength/hypertrophy, to me it just somewhat shifts where the most difficult portion of the rep is. With the bench press for example, with a pause you will have more difficulty off the chest and while you will use less weight you will also have less momentum going into the top portion of the rep, so this will make the top portion harder to a degree. Obviously if you are going to max on a non-paused lift then I would train at least partially without pauses to work on being able to utilize the stretch reflex, but otherwise I'm not sure it makes a big difference.

    #2
    It doesn't harm the performance, though? Less reps...
    For example, if I do an OHP and I keep the bar for 1-2 seconds up in the air, it doesn't really help, since the whole body keeps the bar up. Only with catching a breath, like you said, but wouldn't it be better to learn how to do it from the start with lighter weights and with a 1-0-2-0 tempo, for example?

    I rarely see people in commercial gyms lifting with a pause, #1 or #2, by the way.[/QUOTE]

    For #2 I was thinking more with squats where you really are not taxing the legs that much at the top as the weight is axially loaded along the bones and catching your breath will be more important as you are using more total muscles.

    One example where you will see people not pause is if they cut the range of motion short; if you don't lock your arms on the bench press for example then you definitely are not going to pause between the reps.


    Anyways, for me I pause on deadlifts, and due to knee injuries I'll pause on heavier squats. I also pause on dips when i go heavy as I go very deep. I tend to pause on pull-ups as otherwise it can be difficult for me to control my momentum (when I go heavy). For pretty much all other exercises I will sometimes incorporate paused and non-paused variations.
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    Registered User jademonkey's Avatar
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    I pause on squats at the top to get another breath. I pause on deadlifts at the bottom cuz it's easier to reset and get a breath.
    I don't pause or breath during bench unless I'm over 5 reps, but even then I usually get a quick breath near the top. Sometimes pause a tad, but if I pause too long it hurts the set.
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    Registered User BeginnerGainz's Avatar
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    I like to pause at the top of back work, mostly to assure myself I used my actual back muscles to move the weight vs heaving the the weight up like 99% of people out there.

    Other than that, I’ll pause at the top of back extensions and at the bottoms of squats. Just how I’ve always done them so it is more or less second nature at this point.
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    Registered User EliKoehn's Avatar
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    For T&G bench, I still pause at the top for about one even second, and as A2F says, usually between reps of most exercises, just to reset properly, but it's not concerted or especially long. By default, I don't pause the middle of the movement on any exercise unless it's a deliberate variation for the sake of added difficulty, but that certainly helps when utilized appropriately.
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    Registered User jademonkey's Avatar
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    I sometimes like to pause just off the floor doing deadlifts on the way up and down. Idk if it helps, just trying to lock a good position into my brain.
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    Unregistered User MyEgoProblem's Avatar
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    A pause at the deep stretch/longest muscle length is fantastic. Period.

    But so is getting a stretch reflex on appropriate lifts.

    Both can be great.

    A pause after the concentric? For big lifts that you can lockout on. Sure. Helps keep you tight and in groove for subsequent reps. Not required but can be great.
    For small hyp lifts? Who cares, do what feels best.

    On a slight tangent...
    I don't like tng bench, unless its
    A) vs bands or chains for explosive power
    B) tshirt touch with explosive reversal (think mike t)

    The bro trampoline is a bs lift.

    I also hate and laugh internally at people who bounce their deadlifts who aren't doing a strong man event.
    Im less bothered by a dive bomb squat because a stretch reflex is different to bouncing off your sternum or the floor 😂


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