Watch Bobb Matthews Pause Back Squat 405 lbs for 20-Seconds

For strength athletes, few things can cause a stronger feeling of anxiety than a long paused back squat, so be prepared when scrolling onward. In Bobb Mathews latest video, he pause squats a strong 183kg (405 lbs), which is a feat that’s been done before my multiple athletes, but there’s a twist.

Instead of pause squatting the 183kg (405 lbs) for a few seconds to add a little tempo, Matthews takes the weight for a 21-second pause. Yes, you read that correctly, for a 1/3 of a minute Matthews sits in the hole, then grinds out the rep, which gave us some solid second hand stress.

In Matthews Instagram post he writes, “21 seconds.. of WAR! You saw me fail.. so do I give up? HELL NO!!! I challenge anyone to beat that!!”.

 Shout out to @KingoftheLifts’s Instagram for sharing this video, which is where we found it

[Why pause squats are beneficial for strength, power, and improving form!]

If we had to describe this paused squat in one word, then we’d probably have to go with “grit”. The fact that Matthews was able to grind through the full concentric without form breakdown was pretty epic, especially after failing this lift in the previous week.

In respects to pause squats, this is definitely one of the tougher (and longer) pauses we’ve seen in the recent past. One squat that comes to mind featuring a long pause is Dan Weierich’s 35-second pause with 160kg (350 lbs) from back in December 2016. At the time, this lift went viral in the strength community for quite some time.

[Want more paused lifts? Check out Pete Rubish’s 10-second paused deadlift with a crazy 297kg (655 lbs).]

Why did it go viral? Weierich not only pauses the weight in the video below, but he also solves a Rubik’s Cube while doing so.

Pauses, or isometric holds, can be performed on a variety of movements for a plethora of benefits. Whether they should be performed for 20-seconds is another story.

Feature image from @ssjbobb Instagram page. 

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Jake holds a Master's in Sports Science and a Bachelor's in Exercise Science. Currently, Jake serves as one of the full time writers and editors at BarBend. He's a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and has spoken at state conferences on the topics of writing in the fitness industry and building a brand. As of right now, Jake has published over 1,100 articles related to strength athletes and sports. Articles about powerlifting concepts, advanced strength & conditioning methods, and topics that sit atop a strong science foundation are Jake's bread-and-butter. On top of his personal writing, Jake edits and plans content for 15 writers and strength coaches who come from every strength sport.Prior to BarBend, Jake worked for two years as a strength and conditioning coach for hockey and lacrosse players, and was a writer at the Vitamin Shoppe's corporate office. Jake regularly competes in powerlifting in the 181 lb weight class, and considers himself a weightlifting shoe sneaker head. On the side of writing full time, Jake works as a part-time strength coach and works with clients through his personal business Concrete Athletics in Hoboken and New York City.