Every time I enter my gym for a workout, I attempt to increase the intensity to a new and extreme level.
A few months ago, one of the Weider Training Principles caught my eye: Forced Reps. This training principle is designed to push your muscles beyond the point of failure and enable you to blast into new and impressive growth.
This training principle is based on Strip Sets, but instead of losing intensity while stripping the weight, you are able to force out a few extra reps with minimal assistance from a spotter.
Although bodybuilding is an individualistic sport, training on your own simply won't allow you to reach the high level of intensity required to make amazing gains. A strong and reliable training partner will provide you with the mental and physical support needed to push yourself beyond the limits of failure during a set.
The key to success through intense workouts is to bring each and every one of your sets beyond the point of failure by shocking the muscles. I do not recommend this technique to beginners or people with sloppy form since there is a high risk of injury. If you're going to try this training principle, I suggest that you be prepared for high levels of discomfort.
How To Do Forced Reps
To properly perform forced reps, you need to use a weight that will cause you to hit failure on your 8th or 9th rep. By failure, I mean being unable to complete another full rep on your own. Once you reach this point, let your training partner step in and begin to both mentally and physically help you lift the weight.
He should be ready to step in at the very second you are unable to complete your next rep, place his hand under the bar, and gently apply enough force to allow you to perform your next 3-4 reps. It is important to move the weight at an average speed.
This speed is determined by the amount of force applied by the spotter. Obviously, if the spotter puts all his strength behind the bar, added with your remaining strength, the bar will raise quickly and easily.
The amount of force applied by the spotter should increase for each forced rep performed. There's no need to exceed 4 forced reps since the spotter will basically be lifting the weight for you, which is obviously pointless.
Forced reps are more of an advanced technique, and do not come without a high probability of injury. If the weight is stopped dead for longer than three seconds an injury is almost guaranteed to occur. As you know, once failure sets in, your form begins to deteriorate.
Once your form deteriorates, the possibility of an injury increases dramatically since it's easy to let your body come out of proper alignment. Just make sure that the weight does not stop for more than 3 seconds and make sure you keep your form next to perfect. This will ensure you get full, injury-free benefits of this training principle.
Train safely, effectively and most importantly, keep it natural.