Forced Reps

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What are Forced Reps

Forced repetitions are a training tool that allows you to push your body beyond its comfort range. When you do that, new growth is the result. Your body gets into a comfort zone and the muscle gains tend to cease. Forced reps are a way to shock the muscles out of their stupor and force them to grow. A forced rep occurs when you reach muscular failure in a set and then are assisted (by a spotter) to get in a few more reps.

Benefits of Forced Reps

Forced reps make your muscles work beyond where they would normally be able to go. Forced reps allow you to step further into the growth zone than you would otherwise. The growth zone occurs toward the end of a set, where each repetition becomes more productive in producing a muscle pump. With forced reps you get in a couple or more of these highly productive repetitions and push the ensuing growth that comes from these reps.

To get the most out of forced rep training, this approach should be applied cyclically. If you camp out on forced reps for a long duration you can end up overtraining. Forced reps work best as a cycle to shock the body into new growth.

Forced reps can be employed with free weights, weight machines and cable pulleys. One of the key issues here lies in how competent your spotter is. He or she needs to be able to step in at just the right point, where your muscles are giving way and you need that extra push or pull. And the spotter also has to get the amount of help right. Too much or too little help will ruin the effect. The spotter has to take just enough of the load off so that you can complete the movement but just barely.

Forced reps are painful and tough but they get the muscles going and growing and provide a great cyclical approach to boosting intensity in your training.

Note: For more information on High Intensity Training see The Colorado Experiment Workout

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