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To understand the complex nature of the partial rep against the full rep, we need to give ourselves a better understanding of these two disciplines that have long been locked into consistent battle with each other over which is the better training technique. Most people normally have a problem understanding ROM because they think it’s equal to the distance a body part travels. This is entirely wrong. It’s actually more accurate to say that it’s equivalent to the amount of degrees a joint flexes. Well personally, I’ve been doing full reps ever since I began working out back in 2012. I only recently began including partial reps into my exercise as a sort of new experience with my life.
A partial rep is using half the specific range of movement required for a particular exercise; while using the strongest portion of the rep. Let’s take the bench press as a good example. This would entail lowering the bar halfway down and then powering it immediately up. A full rep simply means taking on the full load; going the whole way.
Most studies show that training with full muscle reps produces better results in hypertrophy, strength training and muscle training. When it comes to hypertrophy, training muscles at longer muscle lengths as in the case with full ROM (range of motion) actually produces greater biomechanical stress hence the muscles get bigger. Full ROM also stretches the muscles at a much higher tension, and they definitely have the edge over partial ROM in stimulating muscle growth. What’s even more intriguing is that when it comes to strength training, full muscle reps also seems to edge out partial reps in increasing overall muscle strength. However, the extent of importance of partial reps in strength techniques seems to vary according to your level of training. If you are a beginner for instance, full reps would definitely suit you in getting a good boost in improving your muscle strength when they are still undeveloped.
Hence, I would advise you not to focus so much on partial reps However, let’s say you have been lifting for a while now, and perhaps even call yourself a power lifter; partial reps can be helpful in strengthening parts of a movement with techniques such bench shirts, squats and wraps.
On the other hand, power training seems to edge out full reps in favor of partial reps; whereby it’s seen that partial reps benefit power development more. I know someone out there is thinking, but what happens when I combine both partial reps and full reps together? Well the answer to that my friend is unlimited growth and power. Combining both partial and full ROM greatly increases your hypertrophy, power and strength. Well it’s just as it’s usually said, to hands are better than one. And in this case, combining both the two disciplines greatly increases all the sections of your workout program.