T Nation

What The Hell Are X-Reps?


i recently picked ups a copy of ironman magazine (for the Poliquin column). However in most routines they reccoment x-reps, but what the hell are they? so i went to their website to get some clarification, however all they do there is try to sell training manuals and I didn't get smarter (just angrier) Can anyone please exlpaine to me what x-reps are.


Selling their stuff is what its all about, naturally. Anyhoo, X-Reps are...drum roll please...partials done at the end of a regular set. Also called "burns", for us oldsters. Nothing new, and certainly not revolutionary, as they would have you believe (and pay for).


Only ever hear of X in training with regards to tempo - i.e 2-1-X X - meaning doing it as fast as possible.


x = explosive


Let's say you're doing flat bench. X-reps would be at the end of your last rep on your last set. You just stop in the middle of the ROM, and do almost 1/4 partials to failure. The idea is to pump the muscle while it's at the most "stressed".

Back in the day guys used to block the flow of blood to the muscle they were working by using that medical rubber they use when you give blood, then they would take the rubber off and work the muscle to failure. X-reps are supposed to do the same kind of thing.


WTF? Where did you get "partials" from?

As already stated, the "x" refers to "explosive" as in lifting the weight as fast as possible. It's a part of a tempo prescription.


X typically would mean moving the weight Explosively. He asked what it means from the magazine IRONMAN tho. And X reps are the partials at the end of a movement, as stated above.


Look at an issue of Ironman, X-reps are some kinda training thing this Holman guy is promoting/selling and I was curious what they are too.

Its note an x in the tempo....They call the exercise itself or the kind of repetition an "X-Rep"


You can go to the Ironman website and scroll down bottom left and click on X-rep. Its in a Square labeled Popular Bodybuilding methods I believe.

Anything for a dollar I guess.


I read all about it before they started to sell it. They had everything in a series of articles.

It is a partial, but with almost no range of motion. It started out as a functional isometric, but modified by moving the weight through maybe an inch of range of motion. It is performed at the strongest portion of the lift, and usually close to the position that the body is in when standing. e.g. in a squat at the top portion, or a bench in the top portion. (triceps are almost extended even though arms are away from natural standing position).

It's a cool routine that is quite effective, just nothing new or revolutionary and certainly not any better than anything on this site, which is FREE!



That's crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Googled another, slightly different definition:
X-Rep training is simply placing a muscle in its completely contracted position, or close to it, against resistance and holding it there until the muscle can no longer contract. Once you achieve fatigue overload, you slowly lower the weight through the eccentric range of motion, and the set is complete. It's a very intense form of muscle overload that's relatively easy to measure - not in number of reps but in seconds.

An X-Rep set should consist of one 20-second contraction and a slow, six-second negative. That's it. For the technique to be most effective, you use it on exercises that place the target muscle in a complete contraction against resistance...[/i]


x-rep=extended rep in this case. Arnie, Sergio, Scott used them all the time. Continue partial reps 1-5 inches at the turnaround point, also called "burns". Ronnie does them for shrugs.


Here's the short version of IronMan's X-Rep definition (You'll have to check out their ad for the bogus
different lighting, different pose, dieted down, tanned and oiled before and after shots).

1) Peform a regular set to positive failure.

2)Move the bar, dumbells, machine arm to a position where the target muscles are in a slightly stretched postiion.

3)Do 4 to 6 partial range reps in this position to failure.

Or, like a said above, "burns".


X-Rep's have nothing to do with holding or pausing the weight at all. To my knowledge, it's just simply not locking your reps out. It can be done with any exercise. It is done in the bottom position of the movement and pumps the muscle full of blood. Bottom half of the movement, with a explosive push, but not to lockout... thats all there is to it.