Jonnie Candito Explains How the 3-Second Pause Bench Can Be Beneficial

Powerlifter and coach Jonnie Candito recently posted a video on his YouTube channel, CanditoTrainingHQ, breaking down benefits of the 3-second pause bench. In this video, he briefly discusses why this bench can benefit those in regular training, but he mostly focuses on its usefulness for those prepping for a meet.

For the general lifter, Candito discusses that the 3-second pause bench is useful because it’s a close variation with sub-maximal weight, so you can have a light day with a high degree of transfer, aka you can work at a lighter intensities, and still achieve an adequate benefit for the bench press.

Next in the video, Candito dives into the benefits that the 3-second pause bench can have on someone prepping for a meet. Check out Candito’s 3-minute video and rationale below.

One major benefit Candito discusses for the 3-second pause bench and competition is how the bench (in his opinion) has the least amount of standardization between federations and meets. He points out that squat depths vary between different judges, and deadlifts also have areas of variance, but the bench pause isn’t thoroughly defined in rule books.

He continues to add that every federation has varied lengths of bench pause times, and that a pause and up signal is completely up to a judge’s discretion. Then, he points out that even within some federations there is variance, and calls attention to the Canadian IPF affiliate as having a long duration than other IPF affiliates.

To extend off this point, Candito suggests that it would be a good idea to include a bench day with a longer pause for those benching at a higher weekly frequency, but to avoid going over three reps with this, as it can beat up the body and joints. He recommends that it’s useful for getting yourself in check (for competition) and to use as a top set, then provides the example of hitting a 3-second pause with 90% for worst case scenarios.

Feature image screenshot from CanditoTrainingHQ YouTube channel. 

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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 1,000 articles related to strength athletes and sports. On the side of writing, Jake works as a part-time strength coach and works with clients through his personal business Concrete Athletics in Hoboken and New York City.