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     Fitness Tips For 2/9/2011

Forced Reps Weight Training

What are Forced Reps?

Just when you are about to give up, there is a break in the resistance
as your partner lends a hand. You reach into your soul to muster one 
more morsel of energy, and the bar starts to move upward slowly. 
Grimacing, your arms finally reach full extension, and you let out a 
deep gasp. Then, before you can feel a moment of relief and 
accomplishment your partner calls out, "Come on! One more! Let's go!"

The former is a description of a high-intensity technique known to the
training world as forced reps. Most serious lifters will at least 
continue an exercise at a maximum weight to failure. The principle 
behind lifting to failure is sound. Fatiguing the muscles will result 
in greater gains in strength and size after recovery. However, going 
beyond failure into the intensity realm of forced reps is a subject 
of controversy.

Forced Reps Example 

The most likely venue to catch a glimpse of forced reps in action is 
on the bench press. Indeed, to prevent injury, a spotter is a 
mandatory safety measure for working to the point of failure. In a 
forced rep routine, however, the spotter gives the lifter just enough 
support to get the bar back up to full extension on the first failed 
rep and just enough support to allow the lifter to lower the bar and 
give it another go. The number of reps is predetermined. The only 
unknown is how many the lifter will do on their own.

Forced Reps Pros and Cons

Those in favor of using forced reps take a "more is better" stance. 
If the muscles need to work harder, the strength and muscle gains 
will be greater. By allowing the workout to continue despite the 
need for assistance, training with forced reps leads to more muscle 
fatigue from a given set. Intelligent lifters using forced reps do 
so carefully, limiting the number of sets they perform beyond 

However, there is evidence that repetitions reach a point of 
diminishing returns. As the muscles fatigue, the body starts to 
produce the stress hormone cortisol. If cortisol production begins, 
any additional repetitions may have no effect on strength and 
muscle gains.

If your goal in training is to achieve maximum gains with maximum 
efficiency while simultaneously avoiding injury, you should learn 
all you can about forced reps. 

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Forced Reps Weight Training

Neither nor the authors of this publication assume any liability for the information contained herein. The Information contained herein reflects only the opinion of the author and is in no way to be considered medical advice. Specific medical advice should be obtained from a licensed health care practitioner. Consult your physician before you begin any nutrition, exercise, or dietary supplement program.

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