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Started By subseven (New York, NY, U.S.A.)

Started on: 12/16/2004 4:58:05 PM, viewed 2234 times

I am a pretty flexible guy and have always enjoyed doing a very long ROM in all exercises. In chest press machine, for instance, I come all the way down –usually until the weight rack bottoms out- and lower the handles so much that a flat bar would not even physically go down that low. In hacksquats, too, I usually bottom out. I know this may be potentially dangerous but I a pretty weak for my size and the weights are low anyway. I also do the reps in a pretty controlled manner (around 4/4) and never had any problems.

I am wondering, however, if this is hurting my gains. I could use more weight if I sacrificed some of this ROM –especially at the bottom. Do you think that would lead to better growth? On the one hand the muscles would be put under greater tension, which is a known growth simulator, but on the other hand you sacrifice some of the stretch. The stretch, too, is very anabolic but if I am not mistaken the kind of stretch that they are talking about in studies is excessive and very long in duration. So this 1 second stretch at the end of each rep may not be doing much.

Finally if you do favor a slightly shorter ROM please indicate how short you think would be too short. Taking squats for example, are you guys happy with seeing an advanced trainee go only parallel –even if his joints can handle full range?

I know that partials have been discussed in great detail before and that some of that knowledge is applicable here, but think that this topic is different enough to warrant a new thread. Hope I am not bringing up something already done at lenght…

This Topic has 32 Replies: Displaying out of 32 Replies:

MTrainer (New York, NY, U.S.A., Michigan, U.S.A.) on 12/16/2004 6:03:22 PM

I train with a full range of motion and have full range resistance equipment (Bowflex).

In the past, I have used full range machines. I have also used free weights, etc.

Based on MY experience, the stretch is far more important than the "strong range" position. This may explain why I never received better results from full range resistance equip. or partial rep training via strong range. This also explains why free weights — which provide zero resistance in the fully contracted position — appear to be just as effective as machines.

So, yes, the stretch position is most important and most crucial and easier to create fiber damage. (Could the "Stretch" also explain why squats are better than leg presses? The stretch is greater in the squat. And, dips provide a greater stretch than bench presses….and many report better results with dips…Hmmmmm)

subseven (New York, NY, U.S.A.) on 12/16/2004 6:06:38 PM

since stretch is important in your view, is there any way we could get the best of both worlds by shortening the ROM -and thus utilize heavier weights- AND stretch the muscle aggressivley at the end of each set???

Analyzer (CDA, id, U.S.A.) on 12/16/2004 9:30:42 PM

Don′t forget, you only use more weight in a ′stronger ROM′ due to leverages, you can put just as much tension on the muscle with less weight in the weak range, as you can with more weight in the strong range.


MTrainer (CDA, id, U.S.A., Michigan, U.S.A.) on 12/16/2004 9:33:20 PM

Brian Johnston at the IART was talking about how he was performing partial reps in the stretch, or weak range position with positive results. I have incorporating them when I train to failure — kind of as a finisher. I didn′t use them consistently enough. However, I always make sure I train safely through a complete range of motion always getting the "stretch."

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