Problem Solving with Paused Reps – Squat Edition

A really good article on using paused reps to help with strengthening areas of your squat by Tony Bonvechio over at BONVEC STRENGTH

“You’re only as strong as your weakest link.” This quote applies nicely to powerlifting because technique ultimately limits the amount of weight you can lift, and your technique eventually breaks down due to your weakest link. This three-part series will focus on my favorite method for finding and destroying your weakest links: paused reps.

We’ll touch on using paused reps for the each of the powerlifts, but this first installment will focus on the squat and how to use paused reps to eliminate squat-specific weak points.


First, let’s lay out the benefits of incorporating pauses into one’s training.

  • Time Under Tension: Pausing increases the amount of time the muscles are under tension, which leads to more muscle growth.
  • Proprioception: Pauses allow you to feel where you are in space and become aware of your position during different aspects of the lift.
  • Bar Speed: Pausing decreases some of the stretch reflex (i.e. bounce at the bottom of the squat or bench), forcing you to develop force quickly. If you can get the bar moving fast after a pause, you’ll smoke weights once you go back to regular reps.
  • Confidence: It takes some guts to hold a heavy weight and pause it during a difficult point of the lift. If you practice consistently, you can turn a weakness into a strength by building confidence during your sticking point.

Proprioception is where paused reps perhaps have the most value for a powerlifter. If you can feel where you’re making technique errors, you can fix those errors. If you take one thing away from this article series, let that be it.Re

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