Kick start your new year gains with:
Pause Reps for Progress.
Using pause reps at the bottom of exercises such as Squats, Presses, Deadlifts (Extensor Chain Movements as they are technically known) severely limits and sometimes even forgoes the use of the Stretch-Reflex (after around 4 seconds) which build a greater amount of intra-muscular tension and leads to greater gains in both strength and hypertrophy because you have to generate extra force to overcome the initial inertia.
When it comes to using this style of technique you will be best to have a focus/control on not only the pause but the decent in to the movement too, this is to allow correct form and reduce any chance of injury.
The length of pause can vary from 2-8 seconds, you can do longer if you wish for heavy singles but that’s you’re own choice. Depending on the length of pause you will use different set/reps, these can change overtime but the suggestions below are a good pace to start.
Tempo = 3-6 second eccentric, select pause, (X) explosive concentric, 1 – repeat.
Your tempo when written down might look like this: 4-3-X-1
2-3sec pause – 5 reps – 5 sets
4-5sec pause – 3 reps – 8 sets
6-7sec pause – 2 reps – 10/12 sets
8+sec pause – 1 rep – 5/15 sets
You will see there is quite a range for you to choose from. I would advise that you play with your weights to establish what you can/can’t handle as I have noticed this varies dramatically depending on each individual and how they have trained for the majority of their training age.
If you want some loading suggestions then I would suggest you start off light, say 60% 1RM for the 2-3 second pause and see how it feels, you can adjust accordingly form there but unlike normal loading the longer the pause you have the lighter the weight might need to be. For example you might get away with say 75% for a 2 second pause but only be able to handle 50% for an 8+ second pause when you first apply this method.
The use of pause reps help build tremendous strength over time, don’t be a fool and rush in too heavy too soon as it’s a recipe for disaster.
If you follow a 3xPW training schedule then try this:
Day 1 – Pull
A1 – DL – 5×5 – 2sec pause at bottom of lift
B1 – Supinated Row 6×8
B2 – Pull Up x fail
C1 – Bicep Curl 12,10,8,20
D1 – Ab Roll Out 2×5
Day 2 – Push
A1 – Overhad Press 5×5
B1 – Incline Press 8×3 – 4sec pause at bottom of lift
C1 – Dip 6×8 – Add weight if needed
D1 – Ab Roll out 2×5
Day 3 – Legs
A1 – Front Squat – 10×2 – 6second pause at bottom of lift
B1 – Back Squat – 2×12
B2 – Walking Lunge – Weighted – As far as possible.
C1 – Calf Raise 2×100 reps
C2 – Ab Roll Out 2×5