Today we will be doing one of my personal favorite exercises, the squat. The squat is quite possibly the best exercise when it comes to building pure strength. This allows for transference to pretty much every other movement we do in CrossFit. Sometimes just doing squats can get boring but the great thing about them is the variations! That's right, you don't just have to do traditional squats, you can mix up the training by using different variation that have different benefits. Today's variation is the pause squat, if you have done these before you know how difficult they can be.

Here are some benefits to using the pause:

1. More muscle recruitment. When we hold positions like this during our lift it will force our body to activate more muscles in order to maintain that position. This will help eliminate weak points during our squat and make it all around stronger.

2. More time under tension equals stronger muscles. Normally we hit the bottom of a squat and use what is called the stretch reflex to help us drive out of the bottom. With the pause we are unable to do this so it forces the muscles to work longer and harder which will make those muscles much stronger.

3. It makes you look more bad ass. When you stop in the bottom of a squat and people think "No way they are gonna be able to save that" ....and BOOM, you pop right up and you look a little bit like a phoenix rising from the ashes (yes a bit dramatic but it sounds cool).

4. Variation is good. Doing the same thing over and over again can beat up your body pretty good so adding in some different variation allows you to continue to train hard and not get injured or burnt out.

Here's a video of a bad ass lifter named Lu Xiaojun hitting some squats as well as a pause squat at the 1:50 mark with a light 260 kg (572 lbs):

Lu Xiaojun (China, -77) training at the 2013 World Weightlifting Championships in Wroclaw, Poland.


15 minutes to work to 5RM pause front squat (3 sec pause at bottom)

Row 2000m
50 OHS 65/45
Row 2000m