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Partial movements for epic strength.

On my current 5/3/1 kick I’m doing a lot of partial movements, which are a great way to develop greater strength and power. Partial movements are quite simply not performing a full range of movement in various, mainly compound, exercises. They are usually also done in the strongest phase of the rep, for example, the lockout, although they can also be highly beneficial done at other points of the rep, notably the sticking point. They can be done isometrically, with bands or chains, explosively, slow, fast or any damn way you can think of.
They’re not a replacement for full ROM reps, which you need to do to maintain flexibility and strength over the whole movement, but they are a very useful accessory exercise for the following reasons;

  • you can shift much heavier weights over a 1/4 range movement then a full one. Doh!
  • you get used to handling a heavier level of resistance, which removes the feeling of impending doom from un-racking a big weight that can psyke you out even before attempting the rep.
  • it’s a great ego boost when you casually chuck around poundage’s you previously couldn’t roll across the floor.
  • the small ROM allows you to be much more focused and explosive, ultimately recruiting more muscle fibres and dialing in your CNS.

All you need to do partials is a power rack that allows you to change the height of the safety bars so, depending on the exercise you’re doing, you can have the bar at the correct level. As I mentioned earlier partials are best suited to the big compound movements such as; squats, deadlifts, bench press, overhead pressing. You could do curls like this, I suppose, but then you run the risk of being cast into the newly installed scorpion pit and having your head placed on a spear as a warning to all other fools that attempt to use my power racks in a manner other then their rightfully intended purpose.

What follows is a nice little overhead pressing workout that will make you rough, buff and tough.

5 mins cycling

Mobility drills of squats, lunges, overhead squats, romanians, snatches and other good stuff designed to stop me creaking as much when I move.

Seated partial press – sets of 3 reps working up to a set of 5 reps @ 140kg.

Shoulder complex of doom – 5 reps each of; partial press (1/4 rep movement), partial press (1/2 rep movement), single arm D/B press, jammers on landmine, TRX ‘T’ rows. All done with about 1 min between exercises and 2 mins between complexes. Repeat for 3 circuits.

Sprints – just done outside the gym for 50m until I couldn’t stand upright (about 10).

Love and flowers,
Dave.

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