T Nation

No Pause Limited ROM Reps

Ok, here is another one I want to run past you guys. Pretty simple concept, and it felt really good when I did it the other day:

Not partial reps (like I was kind of advocating on a different thread), but more what I would like to call “limited ROM reps”, with no pause between reps. So, what is the difference between a partial rep and what I mean by a “limited ROM rep”…well, what I am thinking of is more or less a rep that has the full ROM, but no stretching at any point in the rep.

I’m sure you all know what I mean by “stretching”: We’ve all seen guys flat benching who seem to be trying so hard to increase the ROM on their reps to get that extra-stimulation that they seem to be trying to push the bar through their chest and then explode it up to the ceiling. (Don’t get me wrong, this can be a great way to train too…very ballistic, but that’s not what I’m interested in right now.)

So, instead focus on a ROM that has what I can only describe as a piston-like strength to it. Only move the rep in the range that makes you feel like a machine, just pounding out the pressure. If you feel any amount of stretch or weakness in the rep, then you are using too much motion. Once you get that solid feel, then really work the smooth motion of the rep. No pause at any point, just one rep blending into the next.

When I tried this it felt really good. Really solid. And I found I could get more use out of lighter weight that normally wouldn’t have been challenging. The constant motion and concentration on a precise rep range made my muscle fatigue set in pretty quickly, even with light weights.

I hope this post does sound as scatter brained as it feels right now to me as I type it out, but I think those of you who already have a feel for what I’m talking about will get me.

This is the way Ronnie Coleman and Jay Cutler do their reps, at least from the videos I’ve seen. Nick Tumminello did an article about partial reps for huge pumps a while back on T-Nation. It’s a nice way to change things up and I’ve busted out of a few platues this way.

Let me preface this with saying that i chance my cadence, range, intensity techniques periodically and done.

Anyway, disclaimer out of the way… at the moment i am starting very strict, very controlled negative (i almost always do a controlled negative), pauses at top and bottom, controlled concentric and stretch of the muscle in those moves that allow it safely (pulldown, etc.).
Then as i begin to tire i slowly and progressively:

Speed up the concentric
Reduce the pauses
Speed up the Eccentric some.
and then eventually for the last 2-3 reps i’ll allow some ‘english’.
Then i finish with pulses.

On the first, very strict reps the ROM is full and complete but it does shorten progressively over the set, with the (almost) last ‘full’ reps being in the ‘work-zone’ so to speak… the bit you are talking about, and then the pulses at the easy portion of the rep but at the bottom, not the top range.

I do occasionally do the whole set as you describe, and when i do i tend to go heavy 4-8reps.
Here i will do my first rep as a very short range partial, the second will be a further range and the third rep will either be full range (of the range i am using - the workzone range) or just shy.
Those reps work from the top of the rep and down.

So for example in the seated shoulder press… i lower the weight just 4" the first rep, then 10-12" then 15" or all the way, then i will continue the set working at the bottom of the rep upto quite a few inches short of lockout.

It keeps the stress on the delts and less on the Triceps… same for the chest presses.

Rows it doesn’t work for as well… nor leg presses IME…

But again, i talked too much. :wink: