stop doing partial reps

Fit Girl

I never heard of partials until recently, but I’ve seen it a lot at the gym. It is when someone does a partial rep, instead of using full range of motion. Some examples are a bench press, where the person only lets the bar go down halfway, or part of the way down; or a push-up where the person doesn’t go low to the floor; or a shoulder press, where the arms bend only part-way down.

People use this technique because it’s easier to do pulses, and they can lift more weight with partials instead of moving the weight all the way down, and all the way up. Some people just don’t realize they are doing this, and other people don’t know what correct form is. There are also experienced body builders that do partials, commonly performed on a bench press, to allow the central nervous system and connective tissue adapt to using heavier weights, and to go above and beyond their present lifting weight (1).

Since partials are very demanding, don’t do “…partials more than three weeks in a row without a…” break, or perform those exercises with less intensity. It’s okay to use partials, but don’t do them every workout (1).

If you are only using partial reps, you’ll only have limited range of motion, partial development, and have less flexibility (1).

photo: me

(1). Source: Hatfield PhD., Frederic. Fitness: the Complete Guide. Carpinteria: International Sports Sciences Association. 9th ed., 2018. Print. Pgs. 455-456.

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