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       Fitness Tips For 3/30/2005    

Advanced Weight Lifting Techniques

Forced Reps

A partner will help you perform the last few reps by giving you 
assistance in lifting the weight. This is an excellent technique 
for developing strength through intensity. However, don’t use 
this technique on all sets. I’d suggest that you use it only on 
your last set or two of an exercise in order to avoid 

Modified Reps

This technique does not require a training partner. When you have
completed your full regular reps, you continue to move the weight 
through a partial range of motion. You could perform a quarter rep, 
a half rep or a three quarter rep. Additionally, you could perform
21’s. With this technique you do bottom to middle half reps for 
7, and top to middle half reps for 7, and full reps for 7. This 
method of 21’s is popular with curls, but it could be done just as 
easily with other exercises.

Drop Sets

With drop sets, you do a set to failure, and immediately reduce 
the weight, and without rest continue with the next set. As a 
strictly hypothetical example, an individual could be doing bench 
presses . His 1RM is 315 lbs. On the first set he does 85% of his 
1RM, or 270lbs., and does 8 reps. He immediately lowers the weight
 to 80% of his 1RM, or 250lbs., and again does 8 reps. Next, he 
lowers the weight to 75% of his 1RM, or 235lbs., and does 6 reps. 
(At this time his pecs are starting to burn and he’s getting an 
incredible pump.) He takes off weight to 70% of his 1RM, or 220lbs., 
and does 6 reps. Lastly, he lowers the weight to 65% of his 1RM, or 
205lbs., and can only do 2 reps. The reason he failed at 2 reps is 
because his pecs were totally exhausted after 30 continuous 
repetitions. Again, this is a purely hypothetical example, however, 
the planned drop sequence based upon 1RM is a very precise and 
efficient way to train. The less scientific, but simpler method, 
is to simply slip five pound plates off the bar after every set.

Super Slow

With this method you do your repetitions very slowly. For example 
10 seconds up and down in 5 seconds.) Another application of this 
technique would be to lower yourself very slowly from a chin bar, 
taking as long as 30 seconds to complete the descent. This exercise 
is great as a last set on biceps training days. Super slow is an 
excellent technique to use to blast yourself out of a rut and into 

Flexing (Isotension)

I recently read an article by a great bodybuilder who referred to 
this technique as "synapse". In days gone by, we simply posed 
after we had worked a muscle group. As an example, the “most 
muscular” pose is an excellent exercise for the pecs. Flexing your 
muscles hard, or until they cramp, has always been a great method 
for developing muscle density and cuts.

Super Sets & Giant Sets

The utilization of super sets and giant sets is a very good 
method for increasing intensity and conserving time. I like to 
superset push and pull muscle groups. For example, you could 
superset biceps and triceps exercises, or chest and back 
exercises. Giant sets are a series of exercises done continuously 
without rest. For example, you might do bench presses, flys, 
pullovers and dips. 

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