A very short post to say that today I made a 120 lb paused bench press! This is the lift I missed as my third attempt during the July meet. I’m guessing my touch-and-go bench may now be 130 lb; I only tested paused today, so this will have to be determined at some other point in time. I’m proud of the fact that I can pause-bench more than my bodyweight. Again, to those who are not powerlifting geeks, a paused bench is a bench press during which one must “rest” the bar on one’s chest for a good beat and then press it upward; “touch and go” benching is benching in which one does not pause at the point at which the bar and the chest meet. Touch-and-go is the type of benching most casual gym-goers are familiar with, and I do spend a good deal of my bench training performing this variety. The pause in a paused bench press makes it a more difficult lift because one must essentially drive the bar upward from a standstill without any of the momentum generated when performing the lift as in an interrupted touch-and-go press effort. This is one of the reasons it is the type of bench press that is performed in powerlifting meets–the pause in the paused bench truly tests one’s ability to generate force without the aid of momentum.
Bench has been difficult for me lately. This lift is ALL about technique. I feel like I have the strength to MAYBE eke out a 125 paused press, or will soon, but if I mess up with technique on a bench attempt whatever strength I have is rendered useless. A lot more bench technique work is therefore in my future. Onward.