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Partial Rep Pulldowns?

Hey guys, sorry, not exactly partial reps. I recently tried neutral grip Pulldowns. But not exactly the top half. I thought in my little gym we only had 2 handles to put on the machine. But because the length of the straps, I miss the 1st 2 inches of the stretch part of the movement. ( side note I found the proper hammer grip neutral bar after my workout ). The thing is, with that slightly reduced range of motion, i completed more reps ( understandably ), but actually felt more pumped in my lats. My question is, do you think it would be productive to actually do a few sets like that? A couple of heavier slightly reduced range of motion reps for a heavier overload/stimulus, then slightly lower the weight, and do so proper full range sets? Though this means absolutely nothing, years ago a big guy I knew ( who looked like a much bigger Denzel Washington ) actually did his hammer grip pulldowns like that, intentionally avoiding the stretch. When I asked him why he did that, he said " for a better overload, then I lower the weight, bang out some regular sets, and go to Barbell rows ".
Does that sound feasible? A few heavier sets, like that, then switch handles and go for full reps after?

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Lats pumped.

Denzel approved.

Partial ROM bound to upset some on-lookers.

Those all sound cool, I say do it.


Thanks brother. Why not, right? Might as well see what happens😊

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The Form Gestapo will be upset by this, but many movements have better contact and more TUT when utilizing partial reps. I wouldn’t say every movement, but a lot of overhead movements - whether pushing or pulling - i find much better contact and pump with 90% ROM.

You can watch videos of Olympians working out and its not uncommon to see 80-90% ROM on certain movements… Take it for what its’ worth, they probably know what they’re doing


Partial ROM useful specifically on overhead stuff. Pushing or pulling. That’s a good observation.


Thank, man. Like is said its only slightly partial, as I just miss the 1st couple of inches at the top stretch position. I’m gonna build on that until I can handle the whole stack, but probably do some lighter full range after. Yea definitely I seen them do more of a partial movement.

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Check Brian Johnston’s books on “Zone Training”. These can be effective if you’re a responder.

I think the advantage of partial reps is that it’s much easier to keep tension on the muscle. When you’re performing things through a really full and long ROM, there’s often a point in the full stretch where it’s easy to lose the mind-muscle connection for a bit.

I think, first of all, that if it works, it works, you should do it, and you should laugh and flex your lats at anyone who cries that it’s bad.

That being said, I think that training things through a full range of motion is great too, so you should do both!

Yea, I do this when working out various areas of which are plagued by musculoskeletal/nerve related pathology.

If I have trouble activating say… My left rear felt due to chronic, longstanding damage to the shoulder capsule on that side, partial rom still allows me to get a pump/feel the burn far more efficiently relative to full ROM/start and stop methodology. I do this with OHP on that side too.

I use a partial ROM specifically for lat pulldowns and Overhead DB Triceps Extension. The former because I lose contact when fully stretched and the latter because my shoulders and elbows won’t cooperate and keep my elbows still. Regardless, this is still very effective for a large number of movements

Personally, I’d consider doing “the opposite”. Sometimes, one movement isn’t the best for all things. It sounds like you found a movement where you can maintain constant tension on the muscle. That’s great. If you do that movement for say 10-15 reps that’ll get that muscle to grow through growth factors for sure.

Before that, or in another session, you could have done a movement where you can go really heavy and achieve a full stretch of the target muscle which favours muscle damage.

Your way will work too, just giving you options to play with.

If it’s the first exercise (so you are cold) you do you could also consider 10 easy reps, 8 moderate reps (work set), 6 heavy and hard reps, followed by 15+ partial ROM pump-out.

You can just vary these approaches when you get bored and that way keep the movement in your rotation.

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I’ll give this a shot with lat pulldowns tonight!


Excellent. Variety of ways. I like that! Good experiment to try!