Forced Reps – Advanced Bodybuilding Training Technique to Break Plateaus
Forced repetitions are a very common method to intensify the workout, although it should only be done by advanced athletes.
A forced rep falls at the end of a set, after reaching muscle failure (the point in which you can no longer perform any reps on your own), and involves the assistance of a spotter. Simply stated – you perform as many reps as possible, and have your spotter help you complete several more reps after you reach a sticking point in the lift where you can no longer move the weight under your own power.
Your partner should only give you enough assistance to keep the weight moving. Once he has helped you to raise the weight, you should lower the weight under your own control.
Forced repetitions should allow you to perform a maximum of three additional reps. Any more than that means your partner is doing the majority of the work, and you are just along for the ride. When applied properly, each additional rep beyond the point of failure should be exceedingly difficult. If your partner gives you too much or not enough help, the set will not be as effective as it could have been.
That unusual high training level has a high impact on muscles, unfortunately mostly on the edge of over-training. It takes a lot of experience to it effectively. The training partner has to have some experience too, because it is not easy to estimate the correct balance of necessary support.
Use forced reps sporadically, such as when you need to switch things up for your workout routine or when you need to break out of your weight lifting plateaus.
An example of forced reps:
Bench Press involving Forced Reps – You easily knock out 8 reps, but fail on the 9th rep with the weight halfway off your chest. At that point you continue pushing as your training partner provides as little help as possible until the rep is completed.
Limit forced repetitions to two or three sets per target area. For example, if you are training chest and using the bench press, incline press, and flat bench flys for a workout, use a set of forced reps on the last heavy set of bench presses and incline presses. During the rest of the workout, perform the work sets only to positive failure.