Reverse Movements | Partial Movements | Isometrics

Why is it that younger brothers usually turn out to be better athletes than their older siblings? Because they grow up being punished on the field or court by those older brothers, forcing them to adapt and adjust beyond their normal limits. The same mentality applies in bodybuilding: Train with someone bigger and better. That's why training with partial movements comes in so handy; you get the benefits of being pushed beyond your limitations without a partner.

Power Rack Training Series Partial Movements

Watch The Video - 3:54



Partials are about overload. You break a lift into smaller components within the range of motion (ROM), allowing you to handle a weight that's much heavier than what you could handle through a full ROM. Of course, your gains in strength will be limited to the particular ROM that you train in, so over time, you'll need to adjust the safety bars and work all various parts of the ROM.

No matter which lift you choose for this technique, start at a point just a few inches from your fully locked-out position. On the overhead shoulder press, for example, set the safety bars to 4 inches below full lockout, so you're only moving the bar a total of four inches on each rep.

Because you're working in a strong portion of the ROM, you can load the bar with more weight than normal. We suggest starting with about 10-15 percent more weight than you can lift for your 10RM (or the number of reps prescribed in that particular set or workout). Week to week, lower the safety bars to the next setting (usually a couple of inches) and expand the ROM.

If you choose to lower the weight a couple of inches in the same workout, reduce the weight somewhat—but you should still be lifting more than you could handle through a complete ROM at each level. Then, from week to week, the weight you begin each training session with will be more than the previous week, based on your new foundation of strength!

Day 1: Chest/Shoulders
1
Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip
Partial movement. 3 levels with 3 sets each.
3 sets, 6 reps (max reps, Start 6 inches from lockout; Lower every 3 sets)
2
Incline Dumbbell Press
3 sets, 8-10 reps
3
Dumbbell Flyes
2 sets, 10-12 reps
4
Decline Dumbbell Flyes
2 sets, 10-12 reps
5
Barbell Shoulder Press
Partial movement. 3 levels with 3 sets each.
3 sets, 6 reps (max reps, start 6 inches from lockout; lower every 3 sets)
6
Bent Over Dumbbell Rear Delt Raise With Head On Bench
2 sets, 10-12 reps
7
Side Lateral Raise
2 sets, 10-12 reps
8
Barbell Front Raise
2 sets, 10-12 reps
Day 2: Legs
1
Barbell Squat
Partial movement. 3 levels with 3 sets each.
3 sets, 6 reps (max reps, start 6 inches from lockout. lower every 3 sets)
2
Leg Press
3 sets, 8-10 reps
3
Leg Extensions
2 sets, 10-12 reps
4
Lying Leg Curls
2 sets, 10-12 reps
5
Romanian Deadlift
2 sets, 10-12 reps
Day 3: Abs/Calves
1
Hanging Leg Raise
2
Crunches
3 sets, to failure (double)
3
Plank
3 sets, 60 sec
4
Standing Calf Raises
4 sets, 12, 12, 20, 20 reps
5
Seated Calf Raise
3 sets, 15 reps
Day 4: Back
1
Bent Over Barbell Row
Partial movement. 3 levels with 3 sets each.
3 sets, 6 reps (max reps, Start 6 inches from lockout; lower every 3 sets)
2
Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown
3 sets, 8-10 reps
3
Seated Cable Rows
2 sets, 10 reps (wide-grip)
4
Seated Cable Rows
2 sets, 10 reps (close-grip)
5
Underhand Cable Pulldowns
2 sets, 10-12 reps
Day 5: Arms
1
Barbell Curl
Partial movement. 3 levels with 3 sets each.
3 sets, 6 reps (max reps, Start at 90 degrees with three more stops)
2
Preacher Curl
2 sets, 8-10 reps
3
Incline Dumbbell Curl
2 sets, 10-12 reps
4
Lying Triceps Press
Partial movements. 3 levels with 3 sets each.
3 sets, 6 reps (max reps, Start at 6 inches from lockout; lower every 3 sets)
5
Standing Dumbbell Triceps Extension
2 sets, 10 reps
6
Tricep Dumbbell Kickback
2 sets, 10-12 reps

Reverse Movements | Partial Movements | Isometrics

About the Author

Jimmy Peña, MS, CSCS

Jimmy Peña, MS, CSCS

Jimmy Peña is the founder of PrayFit and has been the exercise physiologist to Tyler Perry, Mario Lopez and LL Cool J. Find out more here.

View all articles by this author