Let’s address a couple things first.
This is one of the most common topics I discuss with people. Even though I have talked about this millions of times, I thought this would be a good topic to discuss on this blog. For one, I am a bodybuilder. I DO NOT train to participate in any extracurricular sports. Yes I do play sports from time to time but at an amateur level, meaning I do not have to train for these events. Most people will usually say, “if you’re not fully extending, you’re not getting anything out of it.” Which is definitely false. It really depends on what you’re training for. There are different types of training styles for a person, all depending on what they are training for. As a bodybuilder, this is my point of view.
Partial repetitions are actually beneficial?
Yes, for bodybuilding, partial repetitions are beneficial. Do you know why though? Well if not, it is because as bodybuilders we are trying to constantly gain muscle and put on more size. As you know, when you are training in order for your muscle to grow, you have to break down that muscle as much as possible. For us partial reps help us break down the muscle fully because that muscle we are training gets little to no rest per set. Partial reps keep constant tension on the muscle so we can make sure we are get the most out of that rep/set. Now there is nothing wrong with fully extending don’t get me wrong, but for bodybuilding it is not the most ideal. Also partial reps allow us to do more weight and still tear down that muscle as much as possible. When you are fully extending, that muscle gets a break at the starting and finishing point, which is ideal for athletes such as: basketball, football, soccer players, etc. If you tested out these two methods to compare, you can feel the difference. Yes you can still gain strength by not fully extending. Which bodybuilding training vs athlete training you will also see the difference in numbers of repetitions. An average bodybuilder will do maybe 4-5 sets of 12-15 while an athlete’s program may consist of 3-4 sets of 8-10. Athletes’ training style is setup for them to perform a certain task on the playing field while bodybuilding is mainly for various other reasons that do are non-performance related (looks, confidence, health, etc.) Not all athletes are worried about putting on size, they are just intended to do their jobs. Plus, athletes break down their muscles through their other training on the side such as practices, which keep their muscles conditioned too. Bodybuilding does not consist of that, maybe a little cardio here and there but not continuous cardio over a span of 2-3 hours. If you are interested in bodybuilding, it is okay to short stroke or partial rep it out. If you’re an athlete your coach might give you hell so fully extend because it is more beneficial for you. Hopefully this answered a couple questions on “partial reps/short strokin”.
Do you ever switch up your training styles?
Yes I do, mainly over the summer. In the summer, I tend to train more athletically when my friends come home. I like to use the summer as a midway marker to pinpoint if I have improved from the beginning of the year. Usually after this style of training is over I’ll go back to my bodybuilding training and reevaluate at the end of the year. My summer training is mainly consisted of football/soccer style drills and workouts. It is something I recommend to do. You should not always stick to one style of training, switch it up. Last summer I tested out a little CrossFit while I was in Fort Bliss, TX and it was pretty interesting. Switch it up to not get bored with your training. Even small things as shooting around after a workout is good. Just throw in something out of the normal. Currently I have about another month before I switch up my training. Even though I add in football/soccer style training into my schedule, I do still go in the gym here and there and maybe get on a machine to crank out 100 reps in the least amount of sets possible. It does not matter what exercise you choose for this but it is beneficial for recovery in case you did not know that. You don’t want to annihilate that muscle but you just want to make it do a little extra work on the side.