Pause Squats

Does anyone use these often? This is from RDC's newsletter:

“I came up with the idea with my father in the middle to late 60's that pause squats would simulate the start of a sprint the best. So lo,and behold the Crain Pause Squats were born. We tried different types and lengths of pauses but came to the conclusion that one set of 3 second pauses, done to parallel and with the bar high on the neck/traps, after your regular squat workout worked the best. One would drop 50-100 pounds from their top sets and do that one set...and do it explosively. I had looked through virtually every book and magazine available from the previous 20-30 years and had never seen this type of exercise before so I was pretty sure I had an exercise that was going to prove vital to explosive running and powerlifting as well...and throughout my career it is the one exercise I have never backed off of no matter what the routine. I always had a set of pause squats in there.....and as far as I can tell....it worked and it worked well......”

This, however, is from the Doc on the topic of pausing BENCH (another thread):

“I'm not big on pausing anything! Except in competition where it's mandatory. Why train such a simple thing? Rules say to pause, you PAUSE! Wha????

See, availing yourself of the stretch reflex during training is important! DO it! Just before competition, figure out how to pause! Off-season and pre-competition trainong, BLOW the weights up! Forget pause! Remember, CHECKMARK! CAT!!!!!!”

Does anyone have any comments? Does the answer simply lie in periodising training, so pause squats would only be used at certain stages of the training cycle?

Thanks,

Nick
Shocked)

jwbruce's picture

Pause Squats

i obviously cant speak for dr. squat or RDC but i think they are referring to 2 different motivations for pausing. In RDC's article he is talking about using pause squats AFTER regular squatting, so its simply a key assistant movement. In dr. squats quote i believe that thread was about what/how often etc you should do a competition style bench press (with pause) so in the bench case the pause it not for creating explosiveness but rather preparing for competition, and basically being the main pressing movement you are doing in your training.

hope this helps but its late so i may have totally misundstood the thread Laughing out loud

jamie

Thanks Jamie

Yes, certainly the contexts of the movements are different. That's why I put BENCH in capitals earlier.

However, I am hoping for a little more understanding of the importance of pausing, or not pausing, during a lift. I was trying to put together information from two very respected and experienced sources and trying to see what people thought of RDC's recommendations.

Thanks for your ideas Jamie, I hope for some more views later.

Nick Shocked)

smart comments..

first this is a supplementray exercise...not the main exercise....if you guys would read and understand the whole posts..

anyone who knows anything about what i stand for in trainig it is the big 3 are the basics...you always do them...always do them....always do them.....maybe i have not said it enough....always do them...

rdc

Pause squats!!!

This may help you better understand the concepts of why some promote a pause during the squat. This information relates to the pause implemented during the box squat...it is from a post a while back that I wrote:

"I have read and found through the latest research that breaking the eccentric / concentric chain is the best way to build explosiveness out of the bottom of a squat. Using the box as a depth indicator has two distinct disadvantages. First, the touch and go method of box squatting is dangerous because of potential spinal compression. A less advanced lifter should never use this method. Secondly, failing to pause on the box defeats the entire purpose of doing box squats. Many lifters do them but few actually know why they work. They work because they are an effective way to break the chain I mentioned earlier without the risk of injury. The reduced risk is because the lifters weight is supported in the box giving the lifter the opportunity to pause and then fire all muscle fiber at one time. Otherwise the lifter must keep the system turned on and can never break the chain. If you want a depth indicator find a judge...or someone that thinks they could be a judge.

A stretch reflex is completely lost with a box squat weather or not you choose to pause on the box. As soon as the lifters rear touches the box the kinetic energy that was stored by the lifter is transfered into the box and lost to some extent.

A lifter may be have the false impression they are producing a stretch reflex off the box but in fact they are simply using the box as a type of spring board.

The overwhelming benefit from a box squat is realized when the pause is implemented. I have made ridiculous gains from both box squatting and floor pressing and I attribute this progress to the break in the eccentric / concentric chain which allows the body to change from a semi-relaxed state to an abruptly forceful state improving the explosiveness of a particular muscle group."

This was taken form an article by Lou Simmons:

"I've tried pause squats with some great success, but once my body adapted, the progress stopped. Can I cycle box squats with pause squats or should I focus on box squats?

Focus on the box squats because they are more effective because they break the eccentric- concentric chain where the pause squat is static with out any release. This release is intended to create an explosive reaction that will create a more powerful squat."

Here is a link:

http://www.deepsquatter.com/strength/archives/newdeep/louie2.htm

Saad Ahmed's picture

Pause Squats

There are lot of methods and people follow/usethem differently,i bench 2times a week, the second day consists of speed strenght/explosiveness training,shoulders and triceps.I use these variations in my first movement(i change them after a whole cycle)

1.Pause benches(70-80% of max..Reps ranging from 5 to 1 and sets ranging from 4-2)

2.Speed benches(45-60%..Reps 3-1 sets 8-4)

3.Light high rep rep explosive bp(3-4 sets till failure at 60-85%)

Saad Ahmed's picture

Pause Squats

I train squats once a week and do the speed as the second assist movement.These are the speed movements i choose from

1.Pause squats(same parameters)

2.Speed box squats(same parameters)

Pause Squats

“I'm not big on pausing anything! Except in competition where it's mandatory. Why train such a simple thing? Rules say to pause, you PAUSE! Wha????

See, availing yourself of the stretch reflex during training is important! DO it! Just before competition, figure out how to pause! Off-season and pre-competition training, BLOW the weights up! Forget pause! Remember, CHECKMARK! CAT!!!!!!”

Ummmm, that's my story, and I'm stickin' to it!

Re the chain thingie that Jeffrey (and Simmons) talked about...I haven't seen anyone breaking my records while training this way, folks! Further, if you set the bar low on the pins, get under it, and do a concentric-only squat, it seems to me that you can accomplish the same thing as Jeffrey is talking about.

...or no???

Re: Thanks Jamie

Nick Hinde wrote:
However, I am hoping for a little more understanding of the importance of pausing, or not pausing, during a lift. I was trying to put together information from two very respected and experienced sources and trying to see what people thought of RDC's recommendations.

One good reason for doing pause squats (or pause anything for that matter)? It's another variant on a standard lift that challenges you in a different way, and therefore helps your progress. From my experience of some years ago, I got a 30 lbs. boost to my regular squat by switching to pause squats for a while, with the goal of being able to do pause squats with as much weight as I had been able to do regular squats. I came up a little short because that was too ambitious, but I did improve significantly (30 lbs.).

Thanks

All very interesting points.

RDC, I had understood that you were advocating a supplementary exercise. Sorry if I misrepresented you by not including your whole article. I was just looking for greater understanding.

When I read the initial pause squats post, I wondered how it related to previous posts about using the stretch reflex in training. I appreciate Roderick's comments about training an exercise in a different way sometimes. I have tried some pause squats and found them pretty demanding, especially if I go for a full 1...2...3... pause.

I found it difficult to get the full 'explosive' lift after a pause, but maybe I didn't knock enough weight off the bar before trying them. I'll have to try again.

Thanks to everyone for the replies, and also for the deepsquatter link which is interesting.

Nick
Shocked)

Pause Squats

I agree with Doc. I feel that concentric-only squats are accomplishing the same objective. Plus, the lower body flexibility required to get under the bar properly is a great use of functional flexibility!

Pauses are great

We do them right after squats as a supplement in meet training. I actually use them in training instead of squats when coming back after a meet. We find real benefits and also use them instead of box squats sometimes. It also helps to correct form. Look you sit back like a madman, keeping head up and knees out.
Bench pauses we do 6 weeks before a meet. Hey fact is you will only do in a meet as you do in a workout. I see guys who do not do them, miss depth on squats, touch and go the bench. They bomb usually in meets. One buddy of mine began doing the pauses and had his best meet in years.
Main thing is keep an open mind and see what works and what doesn't. \

"Friends don't let friends squat high."

Rod Piper's picture

Pause Squats

You need to alternate beween Pause Squats and Regular Squats.