Q: When strength training, if I cannot complete a full range of movement after about 6-8 repetitions, should I continue to do partial repetitions until failure?

A: The answer to this question depends on the strength training tool being used. On single-joint rotary movements such as the pullover, leg extension, leg curl, using high-quality machines (Nautilus, MedX, Hammer-Strength) the strength curve is highly efficient at working the desired muscle. Partial repetitions should not be done on these single-joint machines. Doing so may place a disproportionate emphasis on part of the ROM since the cam (leverage profile) is designed to work the muscle proportionately.


With multi-joint (compound) exercises, such as squats & leg presses, bench press & over-head presses, Chin-ups & pull-downs, partial repetitions at the end of a set may be advantageous. Multiple-joint exercises are not as efficient at overloading a muscle group. On such movements partial repetitions may be a benefit to increase the demand and can be an excellent AOT* technique to experiment with.

*AOT = Advanced Overload Technique.




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