T Nation

Controlled Reps for Size


BACKLOG: I recently attained a neck injury and have been to the physio and will be getting scans to see whether i have a bulged/herniated disc. I havent been to the gym in a week and am going tomorrow and am trying to find ways of training without loading the spine or having jerky movements.

My question is the attainment of muscle size via controlled reps. Obviously balls to the wall training requires some explosiveness, some jerky-ness and all in all the final reps can strain the body quite a lot, and im wondering how well ill be able to progress performing this type of training.

My plan at first is to perform purely isolation work with nothing loading the spine whilst performing rehab work, then try and incorporate leg press, then move on to squats and finally deads. All my shoulder pressing will be done in a smith on an incline because it is OH pressing which did this injury and has in the past.

Basically, will performing pre-exhausting type stuff, drop sets etc. help? Obviously progression in lifts is also wanted, and muscle can be made using certain methods. But im wanting some ideas?

Any others had to work around a spinal injury? Any others not perform compound movements or use controlled reps and still make significant gains?

Thoughts/ideas would be awesome, cheers.

I realise diet plays its part in progression and just went shopping today for meats, rice, milk, cream, yoghurt, oats etc.


Maybe I'm an idiot, but shouldn't reps always be controlled?

I would like to see vids of your uncontrolled reps.. sounds extreme..


Controlled works, look at Yates. As long as you make progress.


Theres controlled and then theres normal lifting.

Im talking about being a form nazi basically.




i practice controlled lifts with a majority of my movements. Im not working for Gravity's sake, so i dont let it control the eccentric portion of most lifts. Hell, there are some muscles, The lateral head of the triceps for example, that i only truly feel from full rep stretch/max eccentric focus.

Then again, the term "Control" could just be a perspective type of issue. I see some people benching that like to allow the weight to essentially fall and bounce off their chest before they press it up. I giggle at them.

On the other side, i see people lowering the weight retardedly slow, yet not moving more than an inch in ROM.

The way i always explain it to people who ask is that you need to do what feels good for your muscle. Some days i slow movements down more than i normally would, or some days i use mvoements that i completely focus on slow eccentric and bottom pauses (During Guillotines for example). It all really depends, Imo.


^^^^ Good post.

Im definitely know for my bounce when it gets heavy. When it comes to back i squeeze. I just started slowing the eccentric on most lifts bar squats/deads obviously.