T Nation

Why Use Half Reps?

Why is it that with most pro bodybuilders you see training they always only seem to do a “half reps”?(and i mean from the beginning of a set not when fatigue has kicked in)For example when they are doing a bench press they bring the bar only 3/4 of the way down and are 15-20 cm short of touching their chest(not bouncing) on the negative.

It seems to go against the basic form that most pro bodybuilders padanticly say is most important. One person that i have seen on video that does do full reps and who’s form is strict is Dorian Yates with massive poundages i must add.Even on the youtube clips where he is training back with Kai Greene he is telling Kai to do “proper reps”.

So that poses me to question why so many pro’s out there are training in this way?? But stating strict form is a must?

to keep constant tension on the muscle throughout the set.

.greg.

[quote]gregron wrote:
to keep constant tension on the muscle throughout the set.

.greg.[/quote]

And also to hit only the desired muscle. If we use bench as an example, the lockout involves triceps a lot and the bottom position the shoulders, so some might want to avoid those parts of the ROM to put constant tension on the pecs. Injuries can also be a reason, if a certain part of the ROM causes pain you avoid that part.

By the way, I don’t think this type of training is always unstrict, there’s a difference between loose form and unstrict. If the form looks the way you intend it and every rep looks more or less the same, then I think it’s strict even if it’s partial ROM.

Easier on the joints.

[quote]H.I.T MAN wrote:

Why is it that with most pro bodybuilders you see training they always only seem to do a “half reps”?(and i mean from the beginning of a set not when fatigue has kicked in)For example when they are doing a bench press they bring the bar only 3/4 of the way down and are 15-20 cm short of touching their chest(not bouncing) on the negative.It seems to go against the basic form that most pro bodybuilders padanticly say is most important. One person that i have seen on video that does do full reps and who’s form is strict is Dorian Yates with massive poundages i must add.Even on the youtube clips where he is training back with Kai Greene he is telling Kai to do “proper reps”.

So that poses me to question why so many pro’s out there are training in this way?? But stating strict form is a must?[/quote]

I don’t see any pro’s saying how strict form is a must, except maybe dorian yates

Also, i haven’t seen any videos of BB’rs who do not touch their chest on a bench (except inclines, which sometimes is necassery due to shoulder flexibility).

Avoiding a lockout on a chest pressing exercise is one of the best things you can do for chest growth, it keeps tension on the chest throughout the set (which has already been said).

[quote]gregron wrote:
to keep constant tension on the muscle throughout the set.

.greg.[/quote]

/thread

I would like to add that you should find the form that targets the muscle that works best for you. For example everyone talks about ATG squats. ATG squats for me gave me a bad back and a huge jungle ass and didn’t seem to hit my quads at all. I always woke up with sore hams and glutes. Now I only go to about parallel and I don’t lockout at the top. This made my back and knees feel better, no more sore hams and quads are finally getting hit. Find your sweet spot!

[quote]gregron wrote:
to keep constant tension on the muscle throughout the set.

.greg.[/quote]

Very true!

[quote]Rocky101 wrote:

[quote]gregron wrote:
to keep constant tension on the muscle throughout the set.

.greg.[/quote]

/thread

I would like to add that you should find the form that targets the muscle that works best for you. For example everyone talks about ATG squats. ATG squats for me gave me a bad back and a huge jungle ass and didn’t seem to hit my quads at all. I always woke up with sore hams and glutes. Now I only go to about parallel and I don’t lockout at the top. This made my back and knees feel better, no more sore hams and quads are finally getting hit. Find your sweet spot!

[/quote]

I don’t go ATG either (even though I go below parallel) and I haven’t seen too many here with legs bigger. I agree, you have to find what works for you and I will be glad when people quit acting like guys who look like pro bodybuilders are doing it wrong.

[quote]Goodfellow wrote:

Also, i haven’t seen any videos of BB’rs who do not touch their chest on a bench (except inclines, which sometimes is necassery due to shoulder flexibility).
[/quote]

Most pros do not touch their chest…in fact, many don’t even use a barbell for chest anymore unless specifically shooting a training video or doing a photo shoot.

[quote]Professor X wrote:

[quote]Goodfellow wrote:

Also, i haven’t seen any videos of BB’rs who do not touch their chest on a bench (except inclines, which sometimes is necassery due to shoulder flexibility).
[/quote]

Most pros do not touch their chest…in fact, many don’t even use a barbell for chest anymore unless specifically shooting a training video or doing a photo shoot.[/quote]

And for the ones i DO see hit their chest, they keep their ROM limited to the bottom 1/2 of the movement.

As for the Dumbbells…man id love to switch to an all dumbbell routine- better stretch, can work the angle aspect, but my gym caps out at 140.

Mine caps out at 185. Of course they step up from 130 straight to 185. Makes tons of sense! Maybe when I can do the 130’s for 25 reps I’ll try the big guys. :stuck_out_tongue:

[quote]23278 wrote:
Mine caps out at 185. Of course they step up from 130 straight to 185. Makes tons of sense! Maybe when I can do the 130’s for 25 reps I’ll try the big guys. :P[/quote]

I fail to see how that DOESNT make sense. You can do 130? Bam, that means you can do 185…stupid…

I think this is a very important topic considering full ROM is advocated all the time.

Although full ROM (within your own ranges or course) is the way to go while building a solid foundation, partials can be the answer for lagging body parts once that foundation is built.

How many of you guys use partials?

[quote]worzel wrote:
I think this is a very important topic considering full ROM is advocated all the time.

Although full ROM (within your own ranges or course) is the way to go while building a solid foundation, partials can be the answer for lagging body parts once that foundation is built.

How many of you guys use partials?[/quote]

Depends on the exercise. But yea, partials are in my arsenal.

[quote]Akuma01 wrote:

[quote]worzel wrote:
I think this is a very important topic considering full ROM is advocated all the time.

Although full ROM (within your own ranges or course) is the way to go while building a solid foundation, partials can be the answer for lagging body parts once that foundation is built.

How many of you guys use partials?[/quote]

Depends on the exercise. But yea, partials are in my arsenal.[/quote]

I totally understand the benefits of using them.

Although I have never employed them myself exclusively on a lift (like on the bench) but on occasion I have used them at the end of a set.

Do you find that doing partials lead to a decrease in ROM?

It stands to reason that working within a shortened ROM under tension would decrease flexibility and if this is actually the case a specific flexibility session afterwards would be recommended.

So, partials PLUS specific flexibility for lagging body parts = spark for new growth

[quote]worzel wrote:
I think this is a very important topic considering full ROM is advocated all the time.

Although full ROM (within your own ranges or course) is the way to go while building a solid foundation, partials can be the answer for lagging body parts once that foundation is built.

How many of you guys use partials?[/quote]

The real difference lies between those who are relative newbies and those who actually look built. Yes, most newbs everywhere need to focus on “textbook form”. Most people won’t EVER progress much beyond this point. Regardless of the loudmouths on this forum, it is pretty clear that less than 20 people here actually stand out when they walk into a crowded gym based on their progress.

That means yes, the 160lbs newb with the 15" arms NEEDS to use “good form” to avoid injury.

If your goal is arms bigger than 18" then obviously you need to realize that modifications need to be made later on to individualize what you are doing.

No skinny newb needs to be training like a 250lbs bodybuilder unless they are using the exact same weight.

The average person in the gym and on this site won’t ever see 18" arms to begin with so why the hell are they so worried about how people much further along are training?

[quote]worzel wrote:
I think this is a very important topic considering full ROM is advocated all the time.

Although full ROM (within your own ranges or course) is the way to go while building a solid foundation, partials can be the answer for lagging body parts once that foundation is built.

How many of you guys use partials?[/quote]

Not as a replacement for full ROM, but in addition to?

[quote]worzel wrote:
Do you find that doing partials lead to a decrease in ROM?
[/quote]

No, because i dont hit a muscle from just 1 angle. I suppose it COULD lead to a decrease in ROM if you go into the gym, do partial benching, and walk out. But if i do Partial Rom bench pressing, then walk over and do DB flys with some heavy ass DBs, and my arms are falling below parallel to the floor, where would the mobility be lost? I really dont even know if a loss of Rom is plausible in that instance. Someone working out like that would never get large enough to actually affect their Rom

[quote]Akuma01 wrote:

[quote]worzel wrote:
Do you find that doing partials lead to a decrease in ROM?
[/quote]

No, because i dont hit a muscle from just 1 angle. I suppose it COULD lead to a decrease in ROM if you go into the gym, do partial benching, and walk out. But if i do Partial Rom bench pressing, then walk over and do DB flys with some heavy ass DBs, and my arms are falling below parallel to the floor, where would the mobility be lost? If one solely concentrates on a portion of a movement and ONLY does that movement, EVER, yea i suppose something like that could happen. But that will never be the case.[/quote]

never say never Akuma!!! never…

.greg.

[quote]gregron wrote:

[quote]Akuma01 wrote:

[quote]worzel wrote:
Do you find that doing partials lead to a decrease in ROM?
[/quote]

No, because i dont hit a muscle from just 1 angle. I suppose it COULD lead to a decrease in ROM if you go into the gym, do partial benching, and walk out. But if i do Partial Rom bench pressing, then walk over and do DB flys with some heavy ass DBs, and my arms are falling below parallel to the floor, where would the mobility be lost? If one solely concentrates on a portion of a movement and ONLY does that movement, EVER, yea i suppose something like that could happen. But that will never be the case.[/quote]

never say never Akuma!!! never…

.greg.[/quote]

Yea i went back and changed it. I know there are some Jersey shore bitches out there.

Fact is a loss in Rom comes with gaining size, its true. I cant touch my delts with my same arm, and every wall corner i see is my personal back scratcher. Would doing 1 movement partially spark a loss in Rom? I wouldnt say directly. Would doing 1 movement partially spark growth? Quite possibly, yes. So growth period is going to decrease one’s flexibility, unless you are constantly stretching and doing daily mobility maintainance. But like i said, there are going to be different movements that would also affect things. SO no, if you have a couple of partial ROM movements in your routine, i would say there is nothing to worry about.