Doublepause reps

ii.22 Some exercises naturally lend themselves to a pause at both the bottom and top of each rep, e.g., curl, pulldown, and prone row. But only one of the pauses is actually a resting pause. ^e other is a contraction squeeze, which is very demanding. It would be accurate to call these "single-pause" reps. (At the bottom of the pulldown, chin, shrug and any row, do not relax or allow your shoulders to slump. Stay tight or else otherwise you may injure your shoulders.)

n.23 Many exercises do not permit a pause at the top and bottom of the exercise, at least not when done in the conventional down-and-then-straight-up manner of performance, e.g., squat, bench press and overhead press.

ii.24 But with modification these exercises can easily be performed in a pause style—actually a "double-pause" style. Set the pins of a power rack at the appropriate height for the bottom position of the chosen exercise, and briefly rest the barbell on the pins at the bottom of each rep. A pause for just one second is enough to ensure that you start each rep from a dead stop in the bottom position. ^is is sometimes called "from the bottom" bench pressing, squatting, etc. ^is is a rigorous and highly productive way to train. It is strongly recommended—not necessarily for year-round training, but at least for some cycles. You could even mix double-pause and single-pause reps in the same workout for a given exercise, but in different sets.

n.25 You can rest longer than just a second or two at the bottom of the press and bench press, but not in the squat. You must keep very tight at the bottom when doing from-the-bottom squats. If you pause for more than a second or so you risk losing the necessary tightness. If you need to take longer pauses at the bottom of the squat, stand between reps with the bar resting at the bottom position (across the pins). Keep your feet and hands in position, descend on a deep breath, hold that breath and quickly get under the bar, and then immediately drive the bar up, and exhale. (If you exhale before you drive the bar up, you will lose the tight torso that is essential for safe squatting.) Pause at the top position, and then carefully descend and set the bar down on the pins ready for the next rep.

11.26 Especially for long-limbed and narrow-chested trainees, an extended pause at the bottom of the bench press and overhead press may not be safe, due to the extreme range of motion and shoulder extension. Better to keep the pause to the minimum, and perhaps reduce the range of motion a little.

11.27 ^e deadlift can be done with a pause at both the top and bottom (doublepause style), but fatigue can quickly lead to form deterioration. For control and safety, reduce the range of motion for double-pause deadlifting—take the bar from off pins set in a rack at knee height or a little lower. Release your grip on the bar while it is set on the pins, to let your hands and forearms recover adequately to be able to hold the bar securely for the next rep. Such a partial deadlift is actually a partial stiff-legged deadlift because knee flexion is taken out of the exercise.

When experimenting with a particular change in your training, it is not necessary to implement it in all your exercises. Try the change on just one exercise; but be sure you really try it! ^en if you like what it does in one exercise, extend it to other exercises. No need to put all your eggs in one basket, so to speak.

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