When and why are forced repetitions needed?

Most likely, you saw this technique in the gym or in films, when an athlete with huge muscles lifts the barbell for biceps, does the maximum number of repetitions, and then a few more with the help of a friend. What are they trying to achieve in this way? Maybe set a record or perform a certain number of repetitions at all costs? In fact, no, forced repetitions are used to injure muscle fibers more severely, that is, to enhance muscle growth.

They are also called forced repetitions, but the name forced repetitions better captures the essence. The approach begins with an independent exercise, that is, exclusively at the expense of one's own muscular efforts. At a time when your strength has dried up, and you can’t do the next repeat yourself, your partner is connected, he helps to overcome part of the amplitude of movement, so the approach continues until a complete muscle failure.

Who needs forced replays?

Forced repetitions can only be used with some experience. A beginner in bodybuilding will not be able to control the correct technique in a state close to complete muscle failure. There is a time for everything, experienced bodybuilders resort to forced repetitions, not only because they can afford it. The fact is that they have already exhausted other methods of stimulating muscle growth, as for beginners – they still have everything ahead, and the priority is to develop technology.

Use forced repetitions appropriate for shoulder presses, bench presses, exercises for biceps and triceps. There are exercises that are inconvenient to perform with the help of an assistant, this is deadlift, rod pull to the belt, lunges. In order to create a forced repetition for such exercises, special harnesses are used, they are attached up and deprive the bar of some of the weight at the beginning of the approach. Traction to the belt and deadlift with such an elastic band is a way to develop a speed indicator.

deadlift with elastic

Benefits of Forced Repeats

When the approach is supplemented with forced repetitions, the total training volume becomes higher, muscle fibers receive more stimulation and respond with faster growth. It should be understood that the training volume cannot be increased indefinitely, it must correspond to the level of preparation and nutritional value of the diet. It is beneficial to use forced repetitions from the perspective of strength training, the main thing is that the movement is carried out on a full trajectory and in the correct technique, at least without significant violations. The assistant helps to increase the training volume, over time, weights also become higher.

Among bodybuilders, one hypothesis was born, but at the moment it has no scientific confirmation. It is assumed that when performing forced repetitions, the central nervous system of a person continues to train and adapts to higher loads, thus, the strength increases.

At the same time, in powerlifting, where power is important, forced repetitions with the help of another person are not used, there are other methods that only remotely resemble forced repetitions.

But the main plus of forced repetitions is security. The athlete makes approaches to complete muscle failure, using all the resources of his muscles, but does not risk getting injured, as he gets a reliable safety net in the last repetitions.

Disadvantages of Forced Repetitions

The technique has come to us from the time when bodybuilders actually carried huge loads. When performing a forced repetition, both the trainee and the one who insures him receive a heavy load. In this regard, the first difficulty arises – how to find a suitable partner so that his level matches yours. This is not all, the partner must have an understanding of the process and do everything correctly, otherwise he will simply take the weight, taking more load than necessary. Now it’s becoming more and more difficult to meet a person who is really ready to carry weight in the gym, because most people come to the gym to pump up a press or something like that.

Hall employees may have the necessary physical data, but they will most likely refuse help. A hall employee will tell you that using forced repetitions is unsafe, and that this is an outdated technique. He will say that it is better to contact a trainer who, for a certain amount, will make a suitable safe program and will facilitate its implementation.

But even with an ideal partner for training, there will be another difficulty – dosing the volume of loads. For natural muscle growth, you need to train hard, but not too hard. If, with the help of forced repetitions, the volumes sharply increase, then progress will be replaced by stagnation. In addition, forced repetitions can lead to high expectations when a person, as a matter of habit, takes weight on his own, which he cannot lift, and gets injured.


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