Partial/Variable ROMS = Muscle Growth

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    Post Partial/Variable ROMS = Muscle Growth


    This topic started on another forum with a Phil Hernon post and as is often the case my science got lost and the discussion never really was about the original topic:

    Partial & Variable Range of Motion (ROM) movements are "superior" to full ROMs


    MYTHS:
    1. Jay Cutler & Ronnie Coleman use bad form but hey if it works for them (gentetic freaks)... for everyone else its just cheating;
    2. You must touch the bar to your chest when you bench press...ass to grass or you're legs will be twigs...etc.;
    3. Partial ROMs will weaken your full ROM strength;
    4. Full ROMs are superior to partial ROMs if overall strength is the goal and if hypertrophy is the goal.


    The truth is that if you use heavy weight, over a partial range of movement, such that you keep constant tension on THE target muscle for a sufficient duration AND lift with an explosive concentric such that maximium force is generated your muscles will grow*.

    * - as long as you eat sufficiently for recovey & growth, don't overly tax the CNS, lift with enough frequency that anabolism outpaces catabolism, etc.

    Relevant studies:

    An Examination of Strength and Concentric Work Ratios During Variable Range of Motion Training, Ross A Clark, Adam L Bryant, and Brendan Humphries, J Strength Cond Res, August 14, 2008

    Variable range of motion (ROM) training consists of partial ROM resistance training with the countermovement being performed at a different phase of the movement for each set. In this study, we assessed the effect of this method of training on peak force, load lifted, and concentric work performed.

    Six male subjects with resistance training backgrounds (age 20.2 +/- 1.3 years, height 179.4 +/- 4.6 cm, weight 89.6 +/- 9.9 kg, 6-repetition maximum [6RM] bench press 92.5 +/- 14.3 kg) participated in this study.

    Testing consisted of 6RM bench press strength tests during full (FULL), three quarter ((3/4)), one half ((1/2)), and one quarter ((1/4)) ROM from full elbow extension bench press performed on a Smith machine. The 6RM load, peak force (PF), and concentric work (W) performed during each ROM was examined using a one-way analysis of variance performed at an alpha level of p < 0.05.

    The 6RM load increased significantly as the ROM was decreased for all tests (FULL = 92.5 +/- 14.3 kg, (3/4) = 102.1 +/- 14.3 kg, (1/2) = 123.3 +/- 23.6 kg, (1/4) = 160.9 +/- 26.2 kg). PF during each test was significantly higher during the (1/4) (1924.8 +/- 557.9 N) and (1/2) (1859.4 +/- 317.1 N) ROM from full elbow extension bench press when compared with the (3/4) (1242.2 +/- 254.6 N) and FULL (1200.5 +/- 252.5 N) ROM exercise. Although higher force levels were evident, the restriction in barbell displacement resulted in a subsequent reduction in W as the lifting ROM was reduced. These results suggest that variable ROM resistance training results in increased force production as the ROM diminishes.

    So Load and Peak Force go up as ROM goes down. But as you reduce the bar displacement the Work goes down...so you would need to do more work (i.e. reps) to equal the full ROM's concentric work level.

    Resistance training modes: specificity and effectiveness, MC Morrissey, EA Harman, and MJ Johnson, Med Sci Sports Exerc, May 1, 1995; 27(5): 648-60.

    Abstract:

    There is considerable demand for information on the effectiveness of various resistance exercises for improving physical performance, and on how exercise programs must match functional activities to produce the greatest performance gains (training specificity). Evidence supports exercise-type specificity; the greatest training effects occur when the same exercise type is used for both testing and training.

    Range-of-motion (ROM) specificity is supported; strength improvements are greatest at the exercised joint angles, with enough carryover to strengthen ROMs precluded from direct training due to injury. Velocity specificity is supported; strength gains are consistently greatest at the training velocity, with some carryover.

    Some studies have produced a training effect only for velocities at and below the training velocity while others have produced effects around the training velocity. The little, mainly isokinetic, evidence comparing different exercise velocities for improving functional performance suggests that faster exercise best improves fast athletic movements. Yet isometric exercise can improve actions like the vertical jump, which begin slowly.

    The rate of force application may be more important in training than actual movement speed. More research is needed into the specificity and efficacy of resistance exercise. Test populations should include both males and females of various ages and rehabilitation patients.

    Spectral EMG changes in vastus medialis muscle following short range of motion isokinetic training, Y Barak, M Ayalon, and Z Dvir, J Electromyogr Kinesiol, Oct 2006; 16(5): 403-12

    Abstract:

    This study was aimed at exploring the carryover effect of short range of motion (RoM) isokinetic conditioning on vastus medialis (VM) motor unit recruitment (MUR) across the full RoM. Fifty-five women were randomly assigned to one of four groups: G1 (n = 14) and G2 (n = 14) trained concentrically at 30 and 90/s, respectively whereas G3 (n = 13) and G4 (n = 14) trained similarly but using the eccentric mode. All 4 groups trained within 30–60 of knee flexion.

    The training protocol consisted of 4 sets of 10 maximal repetitions, 3 times a week for 6 weeks. sEMG was recorded from the VM for analysis of mean frequency of the EMG power spectrum prior to the training period and 2 days after its termination. The EMG assessments took place during dynamic contractions within 3 angular RoM’s: 85–60 (R1), 60–30 (R2) and 30–5 (R3). In addition MUR was evaluated during isometric contractions at 10, 45 and 80.

    Significant increases were observed in the MUR at R1, R2, and R3 during dynamic contractions as well as in all 3 angles during isometric contractions. These findings applied equally regardless of the mode of contraction and motion speed during training.

    The fact that MUR increased significantly within untrained RoM’s may point out to the potential benefits of short RoM conditioning, particularly in those cases where, during specific phases of rehabilitation, a wider RoM may be contraindicative.

    So there is a carryover effect of increasing strength in the untrained upper and lower ROMs.

    Overcoming the limitations of full ROM resistance training: The effects of variable ROM training on performance, activation, stiffness and muscle architecture, R. Clark, Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, Volume 9, Supplement 1, December 2006, Page 24

    ABSTRACT:

    Traditional full ROM resistance training has a number of limitations when used for training athletes. These include terminal deceleration, limited eccentric overload and a non-specific countermovement position. This study examined the effect of a variable ROM training program, consisting of partial ROM training with countermovements performed at a different ROM for each set, on upper body ballistic, isokinetic and isometric strength as well as musculotendinous stiffness, neuromuscular activation and muscle architecture using ultrasound.

    Twenty-two semi-professional rugby league players were assigned to either a variable ROM (VROM) or full ROM (CON) 5 week training program, with both protocols equalised for concentric work. Testing consisted of isokinetic bench press throughout both the full ROM and half ROM from full extension, isometric strength and EMG at one quarter intervals throughout the bench press ROM, bench throws performed both with and without elastic energy contribution, upper body musculotendinous stiffness and pennation angles and muscle thickness of the long and medial head of the triceps brachii using ultrasound.

    Testing revealed that the VROM group significantly improved a number of performance factors such as bench throw height and isokinetic peak force in comparison with the CON group. The results also suggest that VROM training also produces beneficial adaptations to the force/ROM curve. Therefore, this method of training appears to provide beneficial performance adaptations in athletes with extensive resistance training backgrounds, and may provide superior sports specific performance gains when used intermittently in an athletes training program.

    There is value in varying the band of partial range movement...within a training session or between training sessions.

    The load & force generated is higher when you do partials of say 1/2 ROM. The tension stays on the muscle targeted unlike full ROMs which take tension off/or shift the target muscle at the extremes of full ROMs. Strength is increased along the full range. There is less strain on connective tissue.

    The only caveat is that overall work will decrease which may be restored simply by adding a rep or three.

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    Poliquin was big on tut training right?

    Those studies have piqued my interest...I may need to look into this more...
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoCo4Fun View Post
    Poliquin was big on tut training right?
    Actually it is more about partial ROM. This is not really talked about...every once in a while on a forum you'll see someone mention it (like Tiny[?] on Animal's board or Phil Hernon on PM).

    I stumbled on to it many years ago in doing chest presses. I'd stop before my shoulders became heavily involved at the bottom and I'd stop before the triceps took over to finish the movement.

    I used heavy weight and forceful concentric movement with simply a controlled negative. There really was no TUT in the sense of x seconds up x seconds down...it was just continous, serious tension on my pecs as I tried to move what at the time was heavy dumbells in "piston-like" fashion.

    Rep ranges were no fewer than 8, no more than 12.

    The motion was similiar to :bb3:
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    Interesting, might have to experiment with this. How were your results with the chest presses?
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    Really makes me wonder if it would help my bench. It is one of the few things I struggle to put up more weight on. I think I do have the stigma of having to go all the way down. I admit that I hate seeing people do the 4 inches above the chest bench though just because I know they couldn't get the weight up had they gone all the way down.
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    Quote Originally Posted by striking View Post
    ... I think I do have the stigma of having to go all the way down. I admit that I hate seeing people do the 4 inches above the chest bench though just because I know they couldn't get the weight up had they gone all the way down.
    Its probably easier to overcome the stigma or negative connotation if you start by using it with dumbells. That way you don't have to see that bar NOT touching the chest.

    Plus with dumbells you choose a heavy weight (one you can do proper ROMS in the 8-12 rep range) but that weight is one you still will have to do almost a full initial rep just to get them in place.

    When I started doing this type of press years ago my chest grew at a much faster rate AND I have had NO shoulder problems since then.

    Where you bring the dumbell down or BB down depends on the length of your arms, primarily forearms or ratio between upper and lower arm. Basically there is a point where you can feel some of the emphasis shift to your shoulders. Once you are familiar with THAT point you make sure your ROM stops just short of it.

    For the top range just start by remembering not to lock out...eventually you'll find the right spot.

    Here's how to do it:

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    I strictly use the shorter ROM for my BB Incline Press for the shoulder saving aspects. Works great.

    One thing I have noticed about pros and BB pressing is that their grip seems closer then your typical gym goer. Just something I have noticed in all the vids...
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    Good advice. I had used the DB's on and off with the BB but I can see it being eaiser to break that not touching chest stigma with DB's. What I really need to do is pick up the DB's and stick with them! I keep getting drawn back to the BB but it is jsut not worth it haha.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Royd The Noyd View Post
    I strictly use the shorter ROM for my BB Incline Press for the shoulder saving aspects. Works great.

    One thing I have noticed about pros and BB pressing is that their grip seems closer then your typical gym goer. Just something I have noticed in all the vids...

    There was actually a study I read in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning earlier this year that showed that a narrower grip reduced the chances of shoulder injury. Let me see if I can find the info on that...
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    Strength and Conditioning Journal

    Article: pp. 1014 | Abstract

    Volume 29, Issue 5 (October 2007)
    The Affect of Grip Width on Bench Press Performance and Risk of Injury

    Carly M. Green, CSCS1, 3 and Paul Comfort, MSc, CSCS2, 4

    1. Sports Injury Specialist Clinic, Gidea Park, Romford, United Kingdom, 2. London Sports Institute, Middlesex University, Queensway, Enfield, London, United Kingdom, 3. Carly M. Green is a Graduate Sports Rehabilitator, Strength and Conditioning Coach, and the Founder and Director of Sports Injury Specialist Clinic (SISC), 4. Paul Comfort is a Senior Lecturer and Strength and Conditioning Coach, London Sports Institute, Middlesex University


    Bodybuilders, athletes, and recreational lifters select a grip width during the bench press that they believe will produce a greater force output. Research has demonstrated that a wide grip (>1.5 biacromial width) may increase the risk of shoulder injury, including anterior shoulder instability, atraumatic osteolysis of distal clavicle, and pectoralis major rupture. Reducing grip width to ≤1.5 biacromial width appears to reduce this risk and does not affect muscle recruitment patterns, only resulting in a 5% difference in one repetition maximum.

    Keywords: bench press, injury, performance, glenohumeral joint, pectorialis major
    Attached Images Attached Images
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    Partial range of motion is a good shocking technique, giving the muscle a task it's not used to. Such as the one-and-a-half method, in which you perform one full rep, followed by a half rep, and so forth. By employing techniques to keep the muscles guessing, you're increasing intensity.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoCo4Fun View Post
    Strength and Conditioning Journal

    Article: pp. 1014 | Abstract

    Volume 29, Issue 5 (October 2007)
    The Affect of Grip Width on Bench Press Performance and Risk of Injury

    Carly M. Green, CSCS1, 3 and Paul Comfort, MSc, CSCS2, 4

    1. Sports Injury Specialist Clinic, Gidea Park, Romford, United Kingdom, 2. London Sports Institute, Middlesex University, Queensway, Enfield, London, United Kingdom, 3. Carly M. Green is a Graduate Sports Rehabilitator, Strength and Conditioning Coach, and the Founder and Director of Sports Injury Specialist Clinic (SISC), 4. Paul Comfort is a Senior Lecturer and Strength and Conditioning Coach, London Sports Institute, Middlesex University


    Bodybuilders, athletes, and recreational lifters select a grip width during the bench press that they believe will produce a greater force output. Research has demonstrated that a wide grip (>1.5 biacromial width) may increase the risk of shoulder injury, including anterior shoulder instability, atraumatic osteolysis of distal clavicle, and pectoralis major rupture. Reducing grip width to ≤1.5 biacromial width appears to reduce this risk and does not affect muscle recruitment patterns, only resulting in a 5% difference in one repetition maximum.

    Keywords: bench press, injury, performance, glenohumeral joint, pectorialis major
    Word. Most that have shoulder problems could get rid of them by simply narrowing your grip on BP. Doing that and adducting the shoulder blades throughout the entire motion are paramount for avoiding injuries.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoCo4Fun View Post
    Strength and Conditioning Journal

    Article: pp. 10–14 | Abstract

    Volume 29, Issue 5 (October 2007)
    The Affect of Grip Width on Bench Press Performance and Risk of Injury

    Carly M. Green, CSCS1, 3 and Paul Comfort, MSc, CSCS2, 4

    ...
    This is interesting:

    Electromyographic results showed that grip width did not significantly affect activity of the sternocostal head of the pectorialis major (p > 0.05). However, the narrow grip significantly increased the activity of the clavicular head (p < 0.01) and the activity of the triceps brachii (p < 0.05) compared to the wide grip (3, 12).

    This is an area that is underdeveloped in most guys. Good objective information on how to directly work that upper area.

    Especially since they also say "Research has also demonstrated that the level of inclination does not alter activation of the clavicular (upper) portion of the pectorals..."

    So it is the narrow grip more than inclination that hits that area. Although my experience leads me to disagree on their incline statement...

    Also note in the recommendations this reference by citation:

    "It has been suggested that the descent phase should finish 4–6 cm above the chest (11)"

    (11) HAUPT, H.A. Upper extremity injuries associated with strength training. Clin Sports Med. 20:481–491. 2001.

    Again DON'T LET THOSE ELBOWS DROP BELOW PARALLEL.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua86 View Post
    Partial range of motion is a good shocking technique, giving the muscle a task it's not used to. Such as the one-and-a-half method, in which you perform one full rep, followed by a half rep, and so forth. By employing techniques to keep the muscles guessing, you're increasing intensity.
    Thats not what the method described in this thread is about.

    There are plenty of "Weider Principles" that one could use as intensifying techniques.

    Let me ask you something. If partial ranges of motion generate more force & load then full ranges...and if full ROMs take the tension off of the muscle worked at the extremes why would you bring up the "one-and-a-half method, in which you perform one full rep, followed by a half rep"?

    Shocking techniques, increasing intensity, one-and-a-half method...?

    When I read that you have relegated partial ROMS to merely "a good shocking technique" I know you don't know what you're talking about. Just some more bullsh1t phrases anyone could find on just about any fitness board I suppose.
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    Ok.. so I genuinely want to learn and understand this method. Without getting defensive, I have a few questions for you Dat.

    As in all exercises, it is necessary to stretch the working muscle so that a contraction response can be elicited. Does the variable ROM method only apply to bench press?

    How would you apply it to something like a bicep curl or tricep extension or a lateral raise?

    (this is more of a comment)
    Part of the function of a bench press is to work all of the upper body including the triceps, shoulders and chest. That is how we are able to lift such heavy weight in a bench press.. synergistic muscles.

    Instead of removing synergistic muscles, why not correct the tight fascia causing the improper technique which has been pounded into our bodies by our ways of life?

    If the athlete is unable to recruit the pectorals properly during a full ROM.. shortening their ROM is good?

    By stimulating the GTO's of the pectorals, anterior deltoid, and triceps.. the muscles will have no further choice than to respond by growing and getting stronger while reducing the strain on the tendons.



    Quote Originally Posted by datBtrue View Post
    Thats not what the method described in this thread is about.

    There are plenty of "Weider Principles" that one could use as intensifying techniques.

    Let me ask you something. If partial ranges of motion generate more force & load then full ranges...and if full ROMs take the tension off of the muscle worked at the extremes why would you bring up the "one-and-a-half method, in which you perform one full rep, followed by a half rep"?

    Shocking techniques, increasing intensity, one-and-a-half method...?

    When I read that you have relegated partial ROMS to merely "a good shocking technique" I know you don't know what you're talking about. Just some more bullsh1t phrases anyone could find on just about any fitness board I suppose.
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    SynergyCSCS! I just responded to you in the other thread BEFORE I saw this.

    Cool. Wow bro you do have a curious mind. I'm happy not because you might end up agreeing with me (who cares about that) but it turns out you are someone who will think about things & consider them. Very cool.


    Quote Originally Posted by SynergyCSCS
    As in all exercises, it is necessary to stretch the working muscle so that a contraction response can be elicited.
    Extreme stretch - NO. Full stretch - No. More than a static hold - YES.

    Quote Originally Posted by SynergyCSCS
    Does the variable ROM method only apply to bench press?
    No it applies to everything. You've probably done 21s for biceps before.

    Unless you really know what you are doing I'd avoid applying this to deadlifts.

    Also you need to think about what you want to accomplish if you use it on squats. You need to think about the point of transition where the emphasis shifts from the quads to the hams & glutes and determine which ranges will effectively target the area. For me the biomechanics of partial ROMs on squats are too difficult so when I do squats I just do regular fuller range non-lock outs...

    Plus we have all seen the skinny kid load a lot of weight on the squat bar and then do "partials" in the top range....THAT is NOT what we are talking about here...

    I prefer to use partials for quads on exercises I can REALLY focus on like Staggered Leg Press (described below)

    Your low leg is there only to stabilise, so it's essentially doing about 20% of the work compared to the high leg.

    The foot position of the low leg means that the knee only passes through the middle third of it's ROM so it gets no rest. when you switch foot positions half way through the set, the medialis on the leg that was low & is now high will be screaming in agony by rep 4 or 5.



    Quote Originally Posted by SynergyCSCS
    How would you apply it to something like a bicep curl or tricep extension or a lateral raise?
    Lateral Raises are my specialty. My caps are really wide and this is the simple way I do them using this method.

    I lean the opposite way. If I want to be really strict I'd lay sideways on an incline bench ...but ususally I just lean on the preacher curl pad.

    At the bottom position I never touch my side, which is leaning away, so the DB starts the upward movement always fighting gravity...and the tension stays on the shoulder cap.

    Drop sets work well here...

    The positioning looks similar to this:

    Name:  lateralraiseonball.jpg
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    Bicep curls ...you keep those elbows back...even behind your torso. You will not be able to curl much above the nipple line...elbows stay back and the tension stays on the bicep the entire time. There is no break at the bottom or top.

    Biceps are a bit different...they actually need to work in a stretched position sometimes.

    So also sometimes choose an exersise such as preachers where the tension is on the bicep when it is extended and work that lower 1/3. Preacher curls where you keep the tension on the bicep where you just work the lowere third hurts really good.

    Triceps...simply come close to locking out but don't.


    Quote Originally Posted by SynergyCSCS
    (this is more of a comment)
    Part of the function of a bench press is to work all of the upper body including the triceps, shoulders and chest. That is how we are able to lift such heavy weight in a bench press.. synergistic muscles.
    Actually any exercise including bench press should just be viewed as a tool... a means to an end.

    I don't work "bench press" I work my chest. My goal will NEVER be to lift ever increasing weights on an exercise that fails to maxamize hypertrophy.

    I have made that mistake before...gotten mesmorized by the the opportunity to constantly add poundages to the bar...that is why many of my AAS steroid cycles failed to give me the mass I should have gained from putting my body through hormonal flux.

    Quote Originally Posted by SynergyCSCS
    Instead of removing synergistic muscles, why not correct the tight fascia causing the improper technique which has been pounded into our bodies by our ways of life?
    First of all I am using the bench press to work my chest NOT my triceps, Not my shoulders.

    I use straps when I do deadlifts because I am not deadlifting to strengthen my forearms. My relatively weak forearms should not limit the development of my strong by comparison back.

    The same thing with the pecs. Forcing the range of motion into positions that take tension off of the pec and onto either the shoulders and triceps gives the pecs a break (i.e. lessens/removes the tension).

    It is not easier on the chest to work the middle range of bench press motion it is HARDER (provided you do the same amount of work)!

    Quote Originally Posted by SynergyCSCS
    By stimulating the GTO's of the pectorals, anterior deltoid, and triceps.. the muscles will have no further choice than to respond by growing and getting stronger while reducing the strain on the tendons.
    If you have short arms you may not ever experience what I am about to say. But for most people handing the load to the shoulders in the shoulders most vulnerable position is not a good thing.

    My shoulders actually really grew when I stopped the full ROM bench press and then properly worked shoulder presses.

    I even do BB shoulder press behind the neck with ZERO rotator cuff problems (ROM never goes below earlobe level)...

    ...this is possible because my shoulders are not damaged from full ROM bench pressing.
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    It should also be mentioned that a proper ROM varies for every person. For example, if you have long arms for your height (e.g. I have a 74' reach at a height of 70"), then you must alter either your ROM or grip. I have had to explain this to many people who claim that they cannot touch their chest even on light presses. To compensate, I recommend 1) narrowing their grip, 2) heavy stretching after the session is complete (this also increases microtrauma), and 3) properly training the antagonists.

    Also, it seems that the POV on this topic is very different. One is focusing on the hypertrophy/aesthetic aspects of training while the other is looking more at the performance aspect.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    It should also be mentioned that a proper ROM varies for every person. For example, if you have long arms for your height (e.g. I have a 74' reach at a height of 70"),.
    that's gotta be a big disadvantage for your presses
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    Quote Originally Posted by warnerve View Post
    that's gotta be a big disadvantage for your presses
    Yeah, but it helps my striking. Longer lever=more force generated
    M.Ed. Ex Phys
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    I just made a post regarding much of what this thread is about...

    I read the studys but none of them actually say that it was found partial ROM is superior to full ROM in terms of strength on the bench press, considering if one was to "max" the rep would have to be a full ROM rep. 0

    I would maybe be inclined to believe that partial reps ie. 3/4 reps are superior for chest muslce hypertrophy, because it's focus is more on the chest muscle and less on the assisting muscles, for example you use a lot of tricep to do the final 1/4 lock out distance. However my question is which form is more effective in terms of strength gains, once again, considering that bench standards and competitions are judged on full ROM presses. if you never did that last 1/4 wouldn't your chest/bench suffer in development/strength?
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    Quote Originally Posted by FitModel View Post
    I just made a post regarding much of what this thread is about...

    I read the studys but none of them actually say that it was found partial ROM is superior to full ROM in terms of strength on the bench press, considering if one was to "max" the rep would have to be a full ROM rep. 0

    I would maybe be inclined to believe that partial reps ie. 3/4 reps are superior for chest muslce hypertrophy, because it's focus is more on the chest muscle and less on the assisting muscles, for example you use a lot of tricep to do the final 1/4 lock out distance. However my question is which form is more effective in terms of strength gains, once again, considering that bench standards and competitions are judged on full ROM presses. if you never did that last 1/4 wouldn't your chest/bench suffer in development/strength?
    Rodja made more than a good point... he highlighted that two guys were talking past one another...one about hypertrophy and the other strength.

    Briefly on my experience I get stronger working the middle 2/3 of DB chest presses as well as increased hypertrophy. I don't know if this strength carry's over because I never test it. The only "test" is that when I go up in DB weight lay back with the DB and after I'm set I press the DBs up for that first rep.

    So I am stronger in that bottom 1/3 as I progress although I don't work it.

    Now having said that I noticed among myself and others that size increases (especially if the process is fed with insulin) out pace strength increases.

    In sport you need functional muscle. You may need speed, you may need agility, you may need power through full & awkward ranges of motion...in that case you need to work through movements that duplicate the movements of your sport.

    Powerlifters use partials to strengthen or better condition themselves to certain aspects of a lift BUT they do not by any means use partials exclusively. That would be a mistake for sure.

    So definitely I agree with what you and Rodja are saying ...I have no doubt that strength for a sport is better served by using full ROMS and partials only when injury prevents full ROM or specialty exercises/training.

    But now if we are talking about bodybuilding and strength gains for a bodybuilder there are definitely strength gains. Almost every time I do dumbell presses in various gyms (and I do them as described in this thread) I ALWAYS have someone say to me "that's a lot weight..." ...and it is...but my shoulders aren't crying ...in fact I often go do seated barbell shoulder presses after chest (again mid 2/3 ROM) and the tension stays right on those shoulders...and they continue to strengthen over that worked ROM (and the carryover portions).
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    Quote Originally Posted by datBtrue View Post
    Rodja made more than a good point... he highlighted that two guys were talking past one another...one about hypertrophy and the other strength.

    Briefly on my experience I get stronger working the middle 2/3 of DB chest presses as well as increased hypertrophy. I don't know if this strength carry's over because I never test it. The only "test" is that when I go up in DB weight lay back with the DB and after I'm set I press the DBs up for that first rep.

    So I am stronger in that bottom 1/3 as I progress although I don't work it.

    Now having said that I noticed among myself and others that size increases (especially if the process is fed with insulin) out pace strength increases.

    In sport you need functional muscle. You may need speed, you may need agility, you may need power through full & awkward ranges of motion...in that case you need to work through movements that duplicate the movements of your sport.

    Powerlifters use partials to strengthen or better condition themselves to certain aspects of a lift BUT they do not by any means use partials exclusively. That would be a mistake for sure.

    So definitely I agree with what you and Rodja are saying ...I have no doubt that strength for a sport is better served by using full ROMS and partials only when injury prevents full ROM or specialty exercises/training.

    But now if we are talking about bodybuilding and strength gains for a bodybuilder there are definitely strength gains. Almost every time I do dumbell presses in various gyms (and I do them as described in this thread) I ALWAYS have someone say to me "that's a lot weight..." ...and it is...but my shoulders aren't crying ...in fact I often go do seated barbell shoulder presses after chest (again mid 2/3 ROM) and the tension stays right on those shoulders...and they continue to strengthen over that worked ROM (and the carryover portions).
    So you're exclusively using partials for DB presses and shoulder presses? Or do you occasionally return to full ROM?
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    Very well done as always Dat; you are probably the most diligent researcher I have encountered on the boards!

    Another exercise which benefits from Partial ROM is heavy Lat Pulldowns. One supinates the scapula to form the base of contraction, and only releases their arms to a 45 degree angle on the descent. This keeps the tension solely focused on the lats., as opposed to completely straightening the arms and shifting tension to the rhombs/anterior delt tie-in.

    DB Rows as well: I do not touch the ground, and cannot understand why some do. I do, however, have the DB parallel to my chest on the ascension because that is my point of peak contraction sans force shifting.

    Again though, great thread to dispel the 'Brolore' surrounding full reps.

    If anybody is interested, Vince Gironda was a huge proponent of peak contraction!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jet View Post
    So you're exclusively using partials for DB presses and shoulder presses? Or do you occasionally return to full ROM?
    I've been willing within the past year to experiment with "new" training systems... just for fun. I gave Eric Brosser's latest system a try and that involved TUT & full stretch.

    I also like to take time periods each year where I work on Parillo style fascia stretching (pump, extreme stectch & pose).

    But to directly answer your question no I don't do full ROM bench or shoulder presses ...just partial ROMs.

    Squat & deadlifts are different ...I always liked the feeling of power & I believe those two exercise accomplish a lot of things (hormonal release when I am natural, muscle groups working in concert, lower back strength and stability...)

    I have propaganda in my head too. I have no problem overcoming it for presses but pullups for some reason are the hardest to get the "you're cheating" voice out of my head. Its a Physical Education teacher voice too...all whiny ...Shut Up...Shut Up! Note to self: turn Mudvayne up in my ear. I can still hear the voice!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mulletsoldier View Post
    ...

    Another exercise which benefits from Partial ROM is heavy Lat Pulldowns. One supinates the scapula to form the base of contraction, and only releases their arms to a 45 degree angle on the descent. This keeps the tension solely focused on the lats., as opposed to completely straightening the arms and shifting tension to the rhombs/anterior delt tie-in.
    Thank you so much for this.

    I KNOW that partial pullups and pulldowns really work. I am no stranger to scapula retractions either BUT I need to hear it again & again to keep from slipping into full ROMs (especially pullups).

    You are spot on bro. The reason a lot of guys say they get a lot out of wide grip pullups is because that forces them by accident to get into the position you describe and although still not the ROM you describe they at least are forced into some sort of partial range only.

    Good advice bro. Now I've got a Mullet voice inside my head to compete with the P.E. teacher voice ...who will win out? vs =
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    Quote Originally Posted by datBtrue View Post
    Thank you so much for this.

    I KNOW that partial pullups and pulldowns really work. I am no stranger to scapula retractions either BUT I need to hear it again & again to keep from slipping into full ROMs (especially pullups).

    You are spot on bro. The reason a lot of guys say they get a lot out of wide grip pullups is because that forces them by accident to get into the position you describe and although still not the ROM you describe they at least are forced into some sort of partial range only.

    Good advice bro. Now I've got a Mullet voice inside my head to compete with the P.E. teacher voice ...who will win out? vs =
    I just did Heavy Partial Pulldowns today! My back is still pumped. It is an incredibly easy concept: The point of peak contraction (peak force, peak torque, or whatever you will) is the precipice of tension - that is, either increasing or decreasing flexion will remove you from the peak. It only makes logical sense to train your muscles exclusively in that period (if we are speaking strictly about sarcoplasmic hypertrophy).

    Here is an easy way to conceptualize (for others in the thread):

    Each lift is necessarily four quadrants in respects to both the ascension and descension; the initial phase (either starting to ascend or descend), two middle quadrants where the tension is the greatest (you are resisting the load the greatest and thereby applying the peak amount of force here), and the completion. By completing a full ROM -aside from the initial ascension on the first rep - you are relieving tension off the target muscle at two points, and diverting that kinetic energy to antagonist muscles, and joints.

    Partial reps exclusively work the muscle during the two middle quadrants; ensuring peak force is continued throughout. They are not completed with poor form, but rather perfect form in a continuous motion such that tension on the target muscle remains constant.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    Word. Most that have shoulder problems could get rid of them by simply narrowing your grip on BP. Doing that and adducting the shoulder blades throughout the entire motion are paramount for avoiding injuries.

    Alot of people just dont do this, they take the bench for grant just assume that its a pressing movment , not taking any form into consideration. This is hardly ever mention in any discussions for benching.
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    this sounds interesting and im eager to try and go for the 'feel' and finding the right spot for myself.

    however ive always thought partial ROM was the sure way to injure yourself and pulling muscle and such...partial ROM is new to me, so are there special stretches you should do? im still a bit nervous to try it as i have had an injury to my triceps earlier this year.

    i grew up lifting and hearing about how partial ROM will make your muscle head shorter (something like that) and eventually it will tear easily. another myth?


    that staggered leg press looks awesome by the way.
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    Quote Originally Posted by comacho View Post
    ...however ive always thought partial ROM was the sure way to injure yourself and pulling muscle and such...partial ROM is new to me, so are there special stretches you should do?
    Stretches why?

    There is less stress on joints and connective tissue so those injury points are not vulnerable.

    By-the-way never do heavy stretching between sets as this will reduce the built up tension in the muscle and make you more vulnerable to injury as well as reduce your load capacity. Wait till after the workout if you do them.

    Quote Originally Posted by comacho
    im still a bit nervous to try it as i have had an injury to my triceps earlier this year.
    Understandable that an injury would do that to your mind set. But what is it about locking out your triceps and stretching them beyond their work range that makes full ROM "safer"?

    Quote Originally Posted by comacho
    i grew up lifting and hearing about how partial ROM will make your muscle head shorter (something like that) and eventually it will tear easily. another myth?
    Wow...we are from different generations. I grew up worrying about the Soviet Union raining on missles my head & wacking off to my poster of Farah Fawcett:

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    Quote Originally Posted by comacho
    that staggered leg press looks awesome by the way.
    ...yep and its even more effective then it looks. The helper leg works at a completely different angle so it is almost like a superset.

    I'll bet if you start out using that exercise for partials it WILL just feel right. I think you are visualizing squats and there is just too much going on in that exercise to do partials exactly right straight away.
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    i will incorporate the partials to all my movements...but dammit its hard to visualize, i tried to do it in front of the mirror lastnight and i was sweating my ass off just to get the feel right, hopefully with weights it will feel better.

    oh buddy, the joy of learning how to lift again,,,sh1t! ahahhaha

    so any movement, skip out the beginning and the finishing movements right? focus the middle part of the movement and keep the tension there throughout...

    should i search for partial ROMs on youtube for visual demo?lol
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    Quote Originally Posted by comacho View Post
    i will incorporate the partials to all my movements...but dammit its hard to visualize, i tried to do it in front of the mirror lastnight and i was sweating my ass off just to get the feel right, hopefully with weights it will feel better.

    oh buddy, the joy of learning how to lift again,,,sh1t! ahahhaha

    so any movement, skip out the beginning and the finishing movements right? focus the middle part of the movement and keep the tension there throughout...

    should i search for partial ROMs on youtube for visual demo?lol
    You're over thinking and worrying too much.

    Take a look at your physique. You have built it up so you know plenty already. This is just another tool to add to your toolbox. Don't sweat it!

    Somewhere (maybe a PM) you talked about the kids in the gym doing partials ...bro those kids aren't doing anything close tp PROPER partial ROMs.

    On squats they put way too much weight on the bar and go down by bending their back & then they lock their knees to take a break. On bench these guys use way too much weight and ONLY go 1/3 of the way down and then ******* to take a break between reps.

    On curls swinging the bar is not a proper partial ROM.

    So forget those images.

    What is proper is using a weight you can do at least one full range of motion with & control the negative ...like pulling back on a sling shot. Work the range of motion that puts the MOST stress on the target muscle.

    It isn't always middle range. Tricep bench press partial ROMs mean you go down till elbows are parallel to the body and not below and then push up to almost *******.

    Here is a visualization for you.

    Standing Barbell curl - Imagine the motion of curling up...curl all the way up and form a tight contraction...at that point look at your elbows....I'll bet they drifted forward away from the body.

    Now do the same curl motion till you reach peak contraction BUT keep your elbows to your side. Where do your wrists end up? ...at about the nipple line. THAT is the top ...there is no benefit only negative consequences to curling your wrists higher. Now continue with your full ROM curling motion...i.e. let the elbows drift forward and bring the wrists up to your shoulders.

    You are going to argue that tension is STILL on your biceps...you can feel it because it is still a ball of muscle BUT if you reach over and touch the working shoulder muscle with your off hand you feel a lot of tension in that front delt. Thats because the elbows rose and some of the tension comes off the biceps and on to the shoulders.

    At the other end...
    Now if I handed you a 40 pound dumbell and told you to hold it at the bottom of the full ROM I'll bet you could hold it there for 5 minutes maybe an hour until your grip fails. But if I tell you to curl it up a couple of inches and hold it ...how long do you think you could keep it there? Certainly not an hour and probably not even 5 minutes ...your bicep will fatigue before your grip does.

    Anyway...

    ...I suggest you just ease into partials on an exercise or two or a bodypart and start off by working the middle 80%.

    Some of the most successful exercises we do are partials just by their very nature. Thats why they are so effective.

    For instance wide grip pullups are so good because at the bottom the tension doesn't really come off the lats.

    Also leg presses have a limied range of motion as the knees approach the chest...that range isn't low enough to hit the hams & glutes so the tension stays on the quads.

    Probably 98% of our motions in life whether it is carrying groceries or pulling a book off a shelf is a partial not a full ROM.
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    thanks for the examples sire,

    i tried partial ROMs on my EDT's last night (those who dont know its from t-mag, 15min superset between two exercises back to back no rest other than water and writing numbers down)

    i did it for incline bb press (in the power rack bars on the bottom position but higher than usual point) with wide chins

    another edt after that was flat db neutral grip press with db bent row

    i used the same weight as before but this time really went for the feel and the range where my tension breaks and i tell you that the previous full ROM EDT was hard but this was harder, not much of shoulder burns nor tri burns (oh they were super pumped though) but chest and back had this weird fullness and thick pump that lasted longer than usual. I think they will be much more sore. No usual dull pain on elbows nor my front shoulders joints.

    im getting it man, slowly, these movements were easier to 'feel' and find out where to stop. so i will slowly work on other movements.

    today is shoulders/bis/tris, should be interesting on spider curls.

    pretty excited about this new approach, new for me at least.
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    Post Elaboration


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    An Examination of Strength and Concentric Work Ratios During Variable Range of Motion Training, Ross A Clark, Adam L Bryant, and Brendan Humphries, J Strength Cond Res, August 14, 2008

    From the Intro:

    A resistance training program utilizing the full range of motion (ROM) may not be optimal for enhancing muscle force levels. In this respect, previous studies have shown that full ROM exercises consist of a large deceleration phase (2,5,9), resulting in a substantial proportion of the movement being performed at force levels far below maximal. What makes this submaximal performance during the exercise so detrimental from an athlete’s point of view is that it occurs toward the terminal range of the movement (ROM), which is often the critical phase for athletic performance.

    From the Discussion:

    The results of this study reveal that both the load lifted and peak force output increase as the ROM of the bench press exercise is decreased toward terminal elbow extension. These findings are somewhat supported by the study of Mookerjee and Ratamess (8), who reported that concentric velocity did not decrease dramatically during partial ROM exercises despite an increase in the load lifted.

    These findings suggest that VROM training may help to overcome one of the major limitations of full ROM resistance training, terminal deceleration toward the end range of the movement....

    Notes:

    2 - Elliott, BC, Wilson, GJ, and Kerr, GK, A biomechanical analysis of the sticking region in the bench press, Med Sci Sports Exerc 21:450–462, 1989.

    "A possible mechanism which envisages the sticking region as a force-reduced transition phase between a strain energy-assisted acceleration phase and a mechanically advantageous maximum strength region is postulated."

    5 - Lander, JE, Bates, BT, Sawhill, JA, and Hamill, J. A comparison between free-weight and isokinetic bench pressing. Med Sci Sports Exerc 17: 344–353, 1985.

    "A "sticking region" was defined as the portion of the free-weight activity when the subjects' force application was less than the weight of the bar."

    8 - Mookerjee, S and Ratamess, N. Comparison of strength differences and joint action durations between full and partial range-of-motion bench press exercise. J Strength Cond Res 13: 76–81, 1999.

    9 - Newton, RU, Kraemer, WJ, Hakkinen, K, Humphries, BJ, and Murphy, AJ. Kinematics, kinetics and muscle activation during explosive upper body movements. J Appl Biomech 12: 31–43, 1996
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    Post Very Good Study


    Comparison of Strength Differences and Joint Action Durations Between Full and Partial Range-of-Motion Bench Press Exercise, Mookerjee, S and Ratamess, N., J Strength Cond Res 13: 76–81, 1999

    Intro:

    Muscular strength has been shown to vary throughout the range of motion (ROM) of a given joint (2, 4, 17, 24, 25, 26). Possible mechanisms for this phenomenon may be due to the muscle length–tension relationship (17, 24), moment arm length (17), and muscle activation and mass (25). Variations in strength can be depicted as strength curves (17), which permit the identification of areas of highest force output. Most of the literature focuses on isometric strength for single- joint movements, and limited data are available for dynamic, multijoint resistance exercises.

    Dynamic partial range of motion (partial ROM) training is an advanced strength-training technique frequently utilized by athletes in many sports. Zatsiorsky (33) has described the accentuation principle, where the intent is to train in the range of motion where there is demand for maximal force production. One form of this type of training is designed to overload the musculoskeletal system with supramaximal loads (greater than 100% of one repetition maximum [1RM]) in the area of the ROM where maximal force is produced. It is believed that adaptations occur in response to the extreme overload via a decline in neural inhibition (28).

    Studies on the bench press show an area of the ROM where maximal force production occurs (5, 18). For a dynamic lift, this ROM is beyond the "sticking point" near full elbow extension (5, 18). Wilson et al. (30) found that this area for an isometric bench press was at an elbow angle of 120 degrees.

    Most studies on dynamic partial ROM training were performed on clinical population samples in which subjects had limited ROM (9, 10). These studies showed that partial ROM training increased isometric strength at the specifically trained ROM and in full ROM (9, 10). Similarly, other studies using isometric training have demonstrated angular specificity of strength improvements and a spillover of strength of 6208 from the trained joint angle (14, 15, 24).

    Sullivan and colleagues (23) studied moderately experienced, weight-trained subjects during the barbell curl exercise. They found partial ROM exercise produced greater torque compared to full ROM exercise. However, data on dynamic, partial ROM traininginduced differences in muscular strength in advanced subjects is limited and needs to be addressed. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to (a) investigate strength differences following an acute exposure to full and partial ROM bench press exercise using 1RM and 5RM (five repetition maximum) and (b) describe elbow joint action durations during full and partial ROM bench press exercise at 1RM and 5RM.

    Discussion:

    The initial finding in this study was the occurrence of a statistically significant difference in partial ROM bench press performance in advanced subjects who performed both full ROM and partial ROM bench press exercises. Following two testing sessions with 4 days during which subjects continued to train (only avoiding use of the bench press and any supplemental exercise), subjects’ partial ROM bench press increased by 4.8 and 4.1% for the 1RM and 5 RM, respectively (see Figure 1). Individuals who train exclusively in a full ROM may fail to optimally train in the area of the ROM where maximal force developement occurs. This is possibly due to the load requirement for the full ROM bench press being limited by the "sticking point" (5).

    ...

    Loads used for the partial ROM bench press exceeded that of the full ROM bench press. During the second testing session, loads were 10.7 and 17.6% greater in the partial ROM for the 1RM and 5RM tests, respectively. These results corroborate previous work (5, 18, 31) on the bench press where this ROM was described as the area of maximal strength. The results also support the findings of Sullivan et al. (23), who reported greater torque production during performance of partial range of motion barbell curls.

    ...

    The partial ROM technique facilitates training with higher loads than is possible with full ROM movements.

    Notes:

    1. CALLAWAY, C.W., W.C. CHUMLEA, C. BOUCHARD, J.H. HIMES, T.G. LOHMAN, A.D. MARTIN, C.D. MITCHELL, W.H. MUELLER, A.F. ROCHE, AND V.D. SEEFELDT. Circumferences. In: Anthropometric Standardization Reference Manual. T.G. Lohman, A.F. Roche, and R.M. Martorell, eds. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 1988. pp. 39–54.

    2. CAMPNEY, H.K. AND R.W. WEHR. Significance of strength variation through a range of joint motion. Phys. Ther. 45:773–779. 1965.

    3. CARPENTER, D.M., J.E. GRAVES, M.L. POLLOCK, S.H. LEGGETT, D. FOSTER, B. HOLMES, AND M.N. FULTON. Effect of 12 and 20 weeks of resistance training on lumbar extension torque production. Phys. Ther. 71:580–588. 1991.

    4. CLARKE, H.H., E.C. ELKINS, G.M. MARTIN, AND K.G. WAKIM. Relationship between body position and the application of muscle power to movements of the joints. Arch. Phys. Med. Rehab. 31: 81–89. 1950.

    5. ELLIOTT, B.C., G.J. WILSON, AND G.K. KERR. A biomechanical analysis of the sticking region in the bench press. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 21:450–462. 1989.

    6. ELORANTA, V., AND P.V. KOMI. Function of the quadriceps femoris muscle under the full range of forces and differing contraction velocities of concentric work. EMG Clin. Neurophysiol. 20:159–174. 1980.

    7. ELORANTA, V., AND P.V. KOMI. Function of the quadriceps femoris muscle under the full range of forces and differing contraction velocities of concentric work. EMG Clin. Neurophysiol. 21:419–431. 1981.

    8. FLECK, S.J., AND W.J. KRAEMER. Designing Resistance Training Programs. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 1987.

    9. GRAVES, J.E., M.L. POLLOCK, A.E. JONES, A.B. COLVIN, AND S.H. LEGGETT. Specificity of limited range of motion variable resistance training. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 21:84–89. 1989.

    10. GRAVES, J.E., M.L. POLLOCK, S.H. LEGGETT, D.M. CARPENTER, C.K. FIX, AND M.N. FULTON. Limited range-of-motion lumbar extension strength training. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 24:128–133. 1992.

    11. HORTOBAGYI, T., AND F.I. KATCH. Role of concentric force in limiting improvement in muscular strength. J. Appl. Physiol. 68:650– 658. 1990.

    12. JACKSON, A., T. JACKSON, J. HNATEK, AND J. WEST. Strength development: Using functional isometrics in an isotonic strength training program. Res. Q. Exerc. Sport 56:234–237. 1985.

    13. KITAI, T.A., AND D.G. SALE. Specificity of joint angle in isometric training. Eur. J. Appl. Physiol. 58:744–748. 1989.

    14. KNAPIK, J.J., R.H. MAWDSLEY, AND N.V. RAMOS. Angular specificity and test mode specificity of isometric and isokinetic strength training. J. Orthop. Sports Phys. Ther. 5:58–65. 1983.

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  35. Binging on Pure ****ing Rage
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    I have actually implemented all Partial ROMs in a modified DC protocol: I am going M/T/T/F in my split, utilizing many static hold techniques, peak contraction, as well as Partial ROMs for every lift (aside Decline BB, Dead, Squats). I must say, Partial ROM Front Squats (static hold at parallel to just prior to ******* with no momentum) are very intense!

    Dat, do you find, though, that in order to complete a Partial ROM that some exercises require a touch of momentum? I say this not in respects to a young kid wrenching his back, but rather in the momentum that Pros use.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mulletsoldier;
    Dat, do you find, though, that in order to complete a Partial ROM that some exercises require a touch of momentum? I say this not in respects to a young kid wrenching his back, but rather in the momentum that Pros use.
    For the most part I don't pause between eccentric & concentric. I reverse the motion in an area that will generate the most force when I start my "exposive" concentric.

    As far as momentum I would call it rhythm. One way I like to make sure the rhythm is beneficial and not pure momentum is to think about the eccentric as pulling a rubber band back (so it is controlled) and the concentric is like letting the rubberband go (it is explosive).

    Weights are so heavy that it is not possible to stop and hold it at any place in the motion. If I did I couldn't start the motion again.

    But the weight has to be on the target muscle only so that as it fails I could either stop or squeeze out a few more even smaller range of motion reps. Kinda how a bouncing ping-pong ball as it loses energy bounces in short increments before it comes to a stop.
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    Great explanation; rhythm is a much more adequate description than is momentum! It actually perfectly captures what I meant to say!
  

  
 

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