Partial Rep Bench Press - what's the problem again?
- 05-10-2006, 11:52 PM
Partial Rep Bench Press - what's the problem again?
I'm new to this board - hello.
Been lifting for a few years, not too big not too ripped but I'm comfortable with where I'm at and trying to improve. (6'0", 220).
I've gotten my best gains in chest strentgh using partial reps on the incline and flat bench. I've never understood why people looked down upon those of us who choose to do partials. I've I'm going halfway with 335, I'm not sure how you think that a full range 225 movement is going to stimulate MORE growth.
Of course, I'm not talking about 1/16 reps either, but then again I see alot of advocates here and other places using static holds. So choose your poison, I guess.
Either way, I've gotten nothing but results in terms of strength and size by using partial reps in the bench.
That's not to say I don't warm up correctly and use a full range of motion on warmups and drops, but for my heaviest set - WITHOUT A SPOTTER - I'm going for partials.
People talk about half reps not being "impressive". I'm not concerned with impressing anyone. I'm concerned about building muscle. And the two things that build muscle are heavy weights and sufficient protein / calories.
- 05-11-2006, 01:10 AM
Honestly, I think full range of motion has good benefits as well and varying your types of workouts are important. Partial reps, negatives, static holds, etc etc.
Maybe the partial rep is doing what you want it to do but using full range will allow movement of your other muscles and give full stimulus of the muscles...Someone like Bobo or the other certified and trained guys can give their valuable input but i'm up at 1 am so you get me
I could be very wrong but I believe that all things equal you're not going to get the complete muscle package with 'just' doing partial reps on the bench. Since there are so many other muscles involved you're sort of cheating them by not using different methods...Or I could be full of ****. We'll know when the normal people wake up and read this :P
- 05-11-2006, 01:32 AM
Mostly, and someone can correct me if I am wrong, that with a partial rep you are only partially contracting the muscle fibres. Especially on the eccentric (and most important for hypertrophy) portion of the lift. Couple that with the increased risk of tendon/ligament injury that you are putting yourself at by doing partial reps, and I don't see a point. If you have gotten good results with only partials, think how much you could get with actual reps.
05-11-2006, 01:36 AM
05-11-2006, 02:12 AM
Thanks for two intelligent posts.Originally Posted by Rage (SoCal)
Like I said, WITHOUT A SPOTTER I'm doing partials, and I've been doing them for 3 years with zero injury on the bench press. I've injured myself many more times doing full range - or what's considered full range - by pulling my shoulder tendons. The only thing I've gotten from partials is stronger on the full range.
Also, not to be misunderstood: I'm not saying that partials should be done for all exercises, nor for every single workout. I'm saying that I think it's great for it to be thrown into your routine at some point, then testing your strength on the full movement. I guarantee you'll be stronger.
If you think of the function of the pecs it's to bring your arms out in front of you. They're not beginning to contract, really, until you're just about halfway up from the bench, and are nearly fully recruited at the top. I say nearly because it is impossible to isolate the chest in the bench press. I think for Bench Pressing purposes, the partial rep is very valuable.
It's also not possible to partially contract fibers. They all fire at once. You can put yourself into mechanical positions that will help stimulate a group a certain way, but the way you recruit more or less fibers depends on how much weight you are lifting, period.
As for "Rage" LOL .. did a partial rep kick your ass one day or something?!
Calling me full of **** only proves that you're the typical internet tough guy with zero to contribute. If you hate this topic so much, think about this: you took the time to reply. That's screaming for attention, bro. You should ask your therapist when the medication will kick in, and then hit the reply button.
05-11-2006, 02:22 AM
Keep it civil gents. I don't think differing training styles is any reason to become peeved.
If partials work for Brooklyn, then so be it. I have read studies indicating that there is no further benefit for the pec muscles by going lower than 90 degrees with your elbows. True? False? I dunno, but I prefer going a little lower to engauge some shoulder muscle as well. It doesn't hurt me..yet.
05-11-2006, 07:52 AM
Also, not to be misunderstood: I'm not saying that partials should be done for all exercises, nor for every single workout. I'm saying that I think it's great for it to be thrown into your routine at some point, then testing your strength on the full movement. I guarantee you'll be stronger. - BrooklynBB
The problem most have with partial reps is there are those who do them consistently and don't even recognize they are doing a partial, and then they go and brag about the big weight they use.
I hate the kids that think they are big men because they are squatting 5 plates, sounds good until you realize they are doing a weak partial. Everyone has that guy who just does not get it; he tries to press the same weight as the monster and does it for 1 or 2 reps at 1/8th the depth.
I do partials, on occasion, for squats and Deads, for me a partial is a full rep pulled back far enough to allow maybe 2 extra plates on the squat or dead. Great for plateaus, or just plain old boredom.
I don't profess to have any expertise in kinesiology. I just do what feels right. A lot of the time I do a partial rep at the top of my DB presses for shoulders and chest, actually legs as well - keeps constant tension on the muscle for me.
The point is not to rely on a partial for the sake of doing extra weight, or to tell your buddy’s' how much you lift, but to execute a different training style for a period of time or a purpose. They are an advanced rep in my opinion and unless you already have the base, just stay away.
I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.
- Pablo Picasso
05-11-2006, 07:57 AM
05-11-2006, 08:34 AM
I've had a lot of success in the past few months with doing post-failure partials (x-reps as they call it at BB.com). I mean they brought up a good point when I was reading about them: why stop at your last full rep?
Another thing is that I think doing your bench press to the full ******* position is gonna do more damage than a partial rep is ever going to do. That's when the most stress is on the shoulder joint.
05-11-2006, 09:03 AM
i guess i'm stuck in the old school way of training. if you can't lift the weight correctly, reduce it and quit kidding yourself. JMO.
05-11-2006, 09:59 AM
IF you are getting good results than there is nothing wrong with it like you said your are not interested in impressing anyone. Most people on here feel that you get better results and stimulate more muscle fiber. also We can not know what you mean by a partial rep do you mean 1/2 way 3/4 way down. I think from what I have read that if you get your elbows to at least 90% then you are ok and that can certainlly happen with going down to your chest 75% but without the 90 degree I think what happens is you cheat all the little supporting muscles
05-11-2006, 10:05 AM
Good post. Partials are good for when you are doing floor presses or board presses to get past a sticking point or to try and get your body accustomed to heavier weight. I still prefer full movements though as I believe it helps me keep my flexability. I rather move up slowly in weight with full range and have everything strengthen up at the same time, shoulders, chest, etc. But this is all from my style of training too. Since I play sports, I rely more on a full body/power routine. I'm not interested in isolated movements for one body part as it will never help me in my sport. Anyway, I rarely have problems with my shoulders and If I do, I know its time to take a week off and relax. By the time I get back, I am ready to go again.Originally Posted by flytrapcan
To each their own, just stating my own opinion.
05-11-2006, 11:11 AM
05-11-2006, 12:14 PM
Originally Posted by Beelzebub
I guess whatever gives you the results you're looking for. As a bodybuilder, you could give a rat's ass if you're turning heads at the gym, it's all about making the gains and getting results. Whether it's partial reps or full reps or some other crazy scheme not yet mentioned, if it works, it works. So milk it for all it's worth.
05-11-2006, 02:01 PM
05-11-2006, 02:12 PM
Old School would translate into heavy pressing exercises and zero isolation. Are you training that way?Originally Posted by Beelzebub
But what does correct mean? Are we talking about powerlifting, powerbuilding or bodybuilding?
I'm talking about Bodybuilding, and for my purposes I'm only interested in building muscle, not MASS, not a 1 or 3 rep max, but rather hypertrophy of muscle tissue.
And just because people have been training a certain way for a while and it hasn't evolved (i.e., old school) that doesn't mean it's the best way to train.
To clarify: Someone asked what I meant by a partial. On bench presses I'm talking where your elbows do not go past your chest level on the bottom portion, so you can consider that a 1/2 rep. I'm not talking about 1/4 reps or static holds.
05-11-2006, 02:17 PM
BrooklynBB, For the last three years, maybe even a little longer, I haven't taken any of my barbell bench presses any further than when my arms reach 90 degrees, and I have gained more size and strength than I ever did before. For me, lowering the weight to where my arms are perpendicular is the most beneficial. I could do full bench presses and never gain any size or strength in my chest. It may be because of my long arms and narrow shoulders, but nonetheless, it works for me. I am with you on not going down all the way!
05-11-2006, 02:30 PM
don't fix what ain't broke.
if it works for ya, why worry about feedback from others? what was the point of this thread anyway?
05-11-2006, 02:36 PM
Building muscle is the same as building mass. You can build muscle powerlifting or bodybuilding. I am going to assume you mean you rather look nice and ripped rather than strong. Bodybuilding stuff has its place, but IMO, especially if you participate in sports, body building stuff leaves you open to more injuries because you have a better chance of muscle imbalance as opposed to Old School such as powerlifting.Originally Posted by BrooklynBB
If training for athletics, I can't see any other way of training, IMO. I can't recall one sport I have ever participated in which required me to make an isolated movement with one muscle.Originally Posted by BrooklynBB
Powerlifters do things like this also, like floor presses, rack presses, etc but I stated this before.Originally Posted by BrooklynBB
05-11-2006, 02:41 PM
flytrapcan summed it up pretty nicely. The issue here is really that benchpress and squats are so commonly seen as a measure of strength that we have trouble avoiding this perception when we really shouldn't care. And since we're all very compeditive in a way or two, doing partials will be seen as cheating and nobody likes cheaters (unless we're the ones that cheat - then it's called 'clever' ).
As an example this video in the other thread is funny not because this kid is doing partials, but because he's obviously intending to demonstrate his strength but uses terrible form (and also because he hired a comic relief as his spotter).
You'll hear the same comments when someone bounces the weight off his chest, lifts his butt off the bench etc. On the other hand hardly anyone cares if someone does partial curls (which are extremely common if you look around).
05-11-2006, 02:42 PM
answering in paragraph order:Originally Posted by BrooklynBB
correct has one meaning, regardless of how you train. and then there's incorrect.
bodybuilder that wants muscle and not mass......
never said it was the best way, you're quite defensive. my guess is you've had this conversation before and you came here for approval of half-repping.
refer to previous post, don't fix what ain't broke.
05-12-2006, 02:49 PM
Ok, so define "Correct". It's interesting that in the world of HIT, WestSide, Doggcrapp, Weider, MAX OT and all of the other training protocols out there you'd be bold enough to state that there is "correct" and then incorrect. If that's the case, please tell me which of the above is incorrect, and which is correct.Originally Posted by Beelzebub
It doesn't make sense to you that I want muscle and not mass? What's confusing about that?
Being defensive would have been me saying "You're wrong, I'm right, here's why". Instead, I said that just because you think one way of training is good, doesn't mean it's the best.
Trust me, I need no validation for performing half reps. The purpose of me starting this thread, honestly, was to prove to friends that I spoke to in the gym the following statement:
"Watch how many people attack me for advocating the use of half reps without explanation". Thanks for proving my point.
If everyone had the mentality to not fix something that isn't broke, we'd still be riding a horse and carriage instead of using airplanes. Something to think about.
05-12-2006, 03:09 PM
i don't know of any program that calls for half reps. in powerlifting, there are uses for boards and such but that's for a different purpose - to improve ******* power and the top end of bench.Originally Posted by BrooklynBB
i think i now see what you mean by mass. is it fluff (fat) that you're concerned about? mass (muscle mass) is what bodybuilders strive for. so, when you simply say 'muscle' and not 'mass', it doesn't add up to me. but if you are implying fat, then i digress.
once again, never said it was best.
comparing how technology advances to half reps in the gym is not a good comparison IMO. but we're getting off topic.
mainly, my quarrel with half reppers is their total disregard for the other half of the rep. i've met and talked to many of them. and i'm willing to bet if i met you in the gym and asked you how much you bench, you would undoubtedly say "335" and not say "i half rep 335". same with half-squatters, etc. but when you question them when seeing them perform half-reps, they defend it in the same fashion you do - "it doesn't matter to me, i don't want to impress other people". ok, that's all fine and dandy, but if they truly don't care what others think, they would respond to the previous question with "i half rep 335", because after all, they don't care.
furthermore, it's a slap in the face to a legitimate bench when someone says "i bench 405lbs" and you see them doing one of those half or quarter rep deals as posted recently in another thread. when someone can perform a legitimate full bench, squat, dead, etc. - it means something. it's a feat. half reps are a joke, they're a hint of how they treat everything in real life. why bother doing the whole job when i can just do half and get by with it? i mean at least i did something right? because after all, i don't care what the others think.
eh, but what the **** do i know? i just lift. keep doing your half reps and if you're happy with it, don't worry about what guys like me say - we're obviously wrong and didn't advance with society.
05-12-2006, 03:44 PM
I've seen partials used in some collegiate football programs. It supposedly helps with exercises that have an ascending strenght curve such as bench press and squats.
It was used for more performance though.
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05-12-2006, 07:02 PM
bobo, from your experience - do partial reps (specifically bench press) offer any additional benefit? and vice versa - does full range offer any additional benefit when in comparison to half reps?
05-13-2006, 12:00 PM
Half-reps have there place in training. Chuck Sipes used them at the tail end of his bench workout.
The only time I take exception with people that do partials is when the misrepresent themselves. "I can bench X amount of weight" And then you find out they are doing 1/8 reps or something.
But if this is working why change it?
05-13-2006, 02:03 PM
if you want to say you bench 335 then go to the chest, no if's and's or but's about it. if you want to do partials then add some boards and say you can bench 335 off a 1 2 3 4 or 5 board. you're not using all the muscles if you're not touching the bar to your chest. it's kind of like when you see a guy squatting and he's 4 inches above parallel, it's not a squat.
05-13-2006, 04:12 PM
I used to do partial squats because of an old back injury. I think it helped me in the beginning, but switching to full range made a world of difference. More muscles were recruited and my body responded. In time I was able to match the weight of my partials.
As for X-reps, I've tried them and they worked for me. Although I can't seem to do them for more than 6 weeks before I feel overtrained...maybe if I would have tried them 20 or 30 years ago...
Last edited by colkurtz_spf; 05-13-2006 at 04:32 PM.
05-13-2006, 04:30 PM
Maybe.Originally Posted by Beelzebub
I could make an arguement for it based on what I've seen and what has been studied but partials isnt the same as using boards because with boards your rep TUT isn't increased compared to many partials where the overall time/rep is increased. Generally when I've seen people do partials its a much slower pace and stopping mid rep is a pretty tough thing to do when weight is increased and there isn't anything supporting it. But these people are doing it for a specific purpose, not stating that is their "bench press". They incorporate partials into their full range of motion exercises. They arne't bodybuilders either. OTOH I've also seen where the weight is lightened and the reps are much faster such ascending strnegh curve type exericses such as bench press and squats where they work on explosiveness at the first half of the concetric action. THis is primarily for performance though and wouldn't do anything for mass.
So overall I could see it working somewhat simply because the rep TUT is increased while the weight is increased but its usually a very slow controlled rep. At the same token you can probably accomplish the same tihng (in terms of muscle gain
) by slowing it down and performing the the rep with a full range of motion.
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05-13-2006, 04:33 PM
I completely agree with you on abusing half reps and people who say "I bench 400" and really are just half-repping. I guess I should have stated that half-reps should be incorporated into your routine to blast through sticking points, and they've worked for me. Not that Half-Reps are some sort of magic routine.Originally Posted by Beelzebub
No, I'm not saying you're wrong. I'm just trying to keep an open mind. I think you're right everything you said in your last post, but the other ones it sounded like you implied half-reps had no place in training. We both misunderstood each other, but I see where you're coming from. I definitely don't want to see kids abusing the half - rep. And I definitely don't count my max lift in terms of half reps.
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