I was watching the “Guntermania” video last night. It’s about Gunter S. run for the Olympia. It’s all about his training. One thing I noticed is that he doesn’t use what I consider “full range of motion” in a lot of his movements. For example:
Bench Press - only brought the bar down to about 4" off his chest.
Lat pulldown - only brought the bar down to about eye level.
curl - only came about 1/2 way up (forearms parallel to the ground)
squat - a little short of 90 degrees.
I realize he’s a professional athlete, on steroids and all that, but I was wondering if my use of total full range of motion is limiting my growth and strength. Should I stop short of absolute full range (i.e., bp till bar touches chest, squat all the way down, pulldowns till touching chest, curls all the way?) [/quote]
Actually the exercises that you listed are very special in their ideal ROM and probably do not demonstrate anyone’s general philosophy of training.
For the “chest” press, the pecs really only work from zero to 90 degrees, and dropping below this with elbows out is tough on the shoulder. I am sure that he also stretches the pecs and does a peak contraction type of exercise.
For the lats, it is similar, but in the other direction, the lats work starts to fall off when the humerus goes past 90 degrees to the body. Other muscles then take over.
With the biceps, at about half way up the bracioradialis takes over, and with preachers, the load drops off.
Doing squats this way I think is bad. It is probably done to put more direct emphasis on the quads, but encourages excessive overload on the back and knees. There are better ways to use squats to target the quads. Also, you need to train the quads in the stretched position as well, but he probably does this with leg presses.
So in summary-My opinion only-you need to train a muscle through a full effetive range including loaded stretching and peak contractin, but at some point and for some individuals you may use different exercises to target the different portions of the ROM for safety and to compensate for mechanical advantage.