Hail to the Dinosaurs!
There used to be a soft drink
commercial talking about "the
pause that refreshes."
I'm going to share something
better. I'm going to tell you
about the pause that builds
it's a little tip I got from
Greg Everett, the coach at
Catalyst Athletics. Check out
his books and DVD's -- and the
workouts he posts of lifters
from Catalyst Athletics hitting
it hard and heavy. Good stuff.
Anyhow, the pause that builds
strength goes like this.
Yesterday, I did a heavy workout
where I focused on squat snatches.
After my warm-ups, I did 70 percent
of my one rep max for 5 singles,
80 percent for 5 singles, and 90
percent for 5 singles.
The goal was to do each lift in
perfect form -- and to hit the low
position of the squat snatch -- and
to control the weight from start to
finish on each lift. I was working
for technical mastery.
The low position of the squat snatch
is tough for an older lifter. You need
to be PDF (pretty darn flexible), and
that's hard when you're 50 or older.
So here's what I did.
On every lift, I hit the low position
and sat there for a second or two before
standing up with the weight.
Remember, that's a full squat -- ATP
(Donkey to Platform) -- with the bar
at arm's length overhead.
It's a tough position -- and your
natural tendency is to stand up with
the weight as fast as possible. But
I wanted to master the low position.
I wanted to make it feel like home.
I wanted to own it. And I wanted to
strengthen all the muscles, tendons
and ligaments that help me hold the
bar overhead when I'm in a deep squat.
After I stood up with the weight, I
paused in the finish position and held
the weight overhead for a second or two
before dropping it to the platform.
That was to give the supporting
muscles a bit more work.
It wasn't just training. It was training
to master the weight. And you can't
imagine how effective it was.
You can do the same sort of thing on a
wide variety of exercises. Standing presses,
for example. Press the weight, and pause for
a second or two with the bar overhead.
Deadlift the weight and stand for a second
or two in the finish position.
Squat the weight and stand tall with it
for a second or two.
Note: Do NOT pause at the bottom position
of the squat or deadlift unless you have
perfect form and have built some serious
strength in the movement. Pausing at the
bottom requires perfect form, so it's
for advanced trainees, not for beginners
Anyhow, I'm sore today -- and it feels
PDG (pretty darn good).
As always, thanks for reading and have a
great day. If you train today, make it a
Yours in strength,
P.S. My books and courses are right here:
P.S. 2. Here's a link to the Catalyst
P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Don't just
lift the weight. Master the weight."
-- Brooks Kubik