Everybody has seen it at one point or another throughout their training career. Usually you hear it before you see it….sounding something like, “come on bro you got it…keep pushing…all you!!” When in reality, our poor bro has nothing left in the tank. Most of the time the spotter is doing all the lifting while the lifter squirms and grinds out a few assisted reps.

When you perform repetitions like the one described above, you are training till failure. Some individuals like to work till they cannot perform another full rep, while others go past that point and have a partner assist them in lifting the weight…..neither is a good idea and heres why….

Performing repetitions till you fail can be detrimental to your training for a few reasons. One of the biggest negatives to exercising this way is you can fatigue your CNS (central nervous system). Your CNS is the connection between mind and muscle, in order for you to lift big weight and get stronger, your CNS has to recruit your muscles to move the weight! If your CNS is stressed out from overuse and these high stress reps then your performance will suffer.

Another reason to stay away from these types of repetitions is the risk of injury. You’re putting your body through more than it can handle and this can be very dangerous. Strains and/or tears can result from your muscles, tendons and ligaments being under too much pressure and this can set you back months. Not to mention possibly having a barbell or dumbbell come down onto your body!

Performing these gut busting reps where you’re screaming at the top of your lungs and shaking is not necessary. The goal is to work as hard as you can without causing yourself to have aneurysm or a nervous breakdown.

My recommendation is to perform every rep with picture perfect form ad when the reps start to be completed slower and slightly shaky its time to stop and rack the weight. Try to make every rep look the same as the last one.

– Brig Van Etten CSCS –

Sculpt Fitness Personal Trainer


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