Full reps vs. Half Reps

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by 996GT2, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. 996GT2

    996GT2 Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2005
    Messages:
    5,209
    Likes Received:
    0
    Every workout website I read advocates doing full reps (touching chest on bench, going past 90 deg on squat...etc), but my friend who works out a lot says that his training is focused on doing half reps, especially at the higher weights

    He weighs 135 lbs, and on bench press he can full-rep 225 lbs. His training is a little strange, though:

    On the bench press, his training goes something like:
    135x6 full rep
    155z4 full rep
    185x4 full rep
    205x2 full rep
    215x2 full rep
    225x2 half rep
    245x4 half rep
    265x6 half rep
    265x6 half rep
    285x6 half rep
    305x2 half rep
    135 x 22 full rep

    What are the advantages of doing this as opposed to something like Stronglifts 5x5, where you are only doing 5 sets of full reps?
     
  2. SlitheryDee

    SlitheryDee Guest

    I dunno, but it sounds like an excuse to load up on heavier weights than he can really do...

    Him: "Oh, yeah I can bench 305".

    Me: *looks at tiny skinny 135lb dude*

    Me: "Uh huh"

    Benching 225 "the right way" is pretty damn good for a guy that small though. Maybe the half-reps contribute to that, but I honestly think his time would be better spent doing whatever weight he can do with a full range of motion.
     
  3. SociallyChallenged

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2002
    Messages:
    10,487
    Likes Received:
    1
    It's like doing rack pulls with deadlifts. A limited range of motion can sometimes strengthen the weak parts of a movement and allow for greater overall weight to be used. However, focusing on bench like that is pretty awkward. He probably would've moved quicker on his weights initially on a linear program though. This would be for more advanced users, which he seems to be approaching nowadays (225 at 135 is pretty impressive). Are you sure he can do 225 for a full 1RM?
     
  4. crt1530

    crt1530 Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2001
    Messages:
    3,198
    Likes Received:
    0
    Your friend has no idea what he's doing.
     
  5. Kipper

    Kipper Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2000
    Messages:
    7,366
    Likes Received:
    0
    Twelve sets flat bench press?

    Reminds me of my "arms day" back when I started and had no idea what I was doing. I'd do something like 20 sets for biceps, 20 sets triceps...
     
  6. 996GT2

    996GT2 Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2005
    Messages:
    5,209
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, I've seen it before, which is why I was so impressed.

    He also does every bodyweight exercise with a ton of weights piled on. I think he adds 55 pounds of plates to his body for dips and something like 45-50 for pull-ups. Crazy stuff.
     
  7. RESmonkey

    RESmonkey Diamond Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2007
    Messages:
    4,819
    Likes Received:
    1
    /facepalm

    I usually don't browse this place, but just hopped in on this thread. Half reps (especially at weights beyond 1RM) or even negative reps definitely help. Gets your muscles/nervous system used to heavier loads.
     
  8. SociallyChallenged

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2002
    Messages:
    10,487
    Likes Received:
    1
    Yep, they're awesome until you go too far and fail with weights beyond 1RM. 305 dropped on your chest sounds like a rip-roarin' time :p
     
  9. Howard

    Howard Lifer

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 1999
    Messages:
    47,985
    Likes Received:
    7
    Ribs heal fast. *shrug*
     
  10. brikis98

    brikis98 Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2005
    Messages:
    7,254
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you're training to be a competitive powerlifter, where the aim is to lift the maximum weight possible, partial reps can be a very useful tool to complement full reps. Partial reps allow your muscles, bones, tissues and CNS to get used to handling heavier weights and can help strengthen certain parts of the full movement. For example, if you struggle locking out the weight in deadlift, doing rack pulls can be a very helpful assistance exercise.

    On the other hand, if you're training for functional strength (ie, general fitness), partial reps tend to be much less useful. In general strength training, the goal is not really to lift the maximum weight, but to become as (functionally) strong as possible. While the two goals are related, they are not the same. For example, training to squat the maximum weight typically leads people to use a very wide squat stance. However, squatting to become as strong as possible typically uses a narrower, more athletic stance, as that tends to produce strength that carries over better to real world activities. You can squat more weight with a wide stance, but you build more functional strength with a narrow stance.

    In general, exercises that improve real world performance, aka "functional exercises", have the characteristic that they allow you to move large loads over long distances quickly. Full reps of compound exercises like the squat, deadlift, press, clean, etc fit this definition beautifully. Partial rep exercises allow very large loads to be moved, but not particularly quickly and, by definition, not for very long distances. In short, if you're doing general strength training, full ROM is typically the way to go.
     
  11. Capt Caveman

    Capt Caveman Lifer

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2005
    Messages:
    33,949
    Likes Received:
    304
    Except you'll have a spotter and more than likely the drop will be slow and close to your chest.
     
  12. SociallyChallenged

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2002
    Messages:
    10,487
    Likes Received:
    1
    If he's doing 305 for two and goes too far the second rep, the spotter better be able to curl well over 100 pounds because after all that work, he's gonna fail hard. Also, the drop - it's not called a half rep because it gets close to your chest.
     
  13. RapidSnail

    RapidSnail Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2006
    Messages:
    4,258
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is he doing partials in the lower half or upper half?
     
  14. SociallyChallenged

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2002
    Messages:
    10,487
    Likes Received:
    1
    The bottom part of the ROM is usually the weakest so I doubt he's doing 305 from chest to halfway up. I imagine it's from fully extended to halfway down, not getting anywhere near his chest).
     
  15. Capt Caveman

    Capt Caveman Lifer

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2005
    Messages:
    33,949
    Likes Received:
    304
  16. presidentender

    presidentender Golden Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    1,168
    Likes Received:
    0
  17. gramboh

    gramboh Platinum Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2003
    Messages:
    2,207
    Likes Received:
    0
    It's perfectly legit for advanced lifters trying to focus on certain parts of the movement, but I don't like the way he is using them for such a long weight range, 225-305. He is obviously strong if he can bench 225 @ 135 but I think he'd get more bang for his buck doing 3's and 1's full range trying for progressive overloading.

    It's like this guy I know who deadlifts something around 225 (I think he weighs 190ish) and regularly does rack pulls around 300lbs. What's the effing point of rack pulls until you have at least 2x BW deadlift, other than trying to look big int he gym, it's just a stupid waste of time and overcomplicating your training.
     
  18. Koing

    Koing Elite Member <br> Super Moderator<br> Health and F

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2000
    Messages:
    17,094
    Likes Received:
    1
    hehe you should see how I bench press then :p

    He isn't really doing 12 sets. Anything below 185lbs for him doesn't really count as 'training sets' as the weight is so light. They are warm ups.

    There are some merits to half reps like board pressing on the bench press. Some guys do it to help their 'sticking points'.

    BUT if he does 'all the time' is half reps then he probably using the half rep range to help him out much or is he even aware of it?!

    I see guys in the gym bench pressing but the bar hoovering about 3-5inches off the chest for some bizarre reason :p.

    Koing
     
  19. MrMatt

    MrMatt Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    Messages:
    3,911
    Likes Received:
    7
    sounds like he's basically doing rack lockouts lol
     
  20. IceBergSLiM

    IceBergSLiM Lifer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2000
    Messages:
    29,953
    Likes Received:
    1
    sounds like a great way to develop injuries
     
  21. Insomniator

    Insomniator Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2002
    Messages:
    6,073
    Likes Received:
    103
    Jesus 225 @ 135?!

    I can do 205 @.... 175 :eek:

    The best I ever did was I believe 225 @ 165 and I think that was more like half reps anyway.

    How the hell do people get so strong...