What is the amplitude in bodybuilding: full reps, partial reps, or a combination of both?

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What is the amplitude in bodybuilding: full reps, partial reps, or a combination of both?
What is the amplitude in bodybuilding: full reps, partial reps, or a combination of both?

For decades, there has been a debate about the amplitude when performing movements. Find out which is better at bodybuilding: full reps, partial reps, or a combination of both. Opinions were divided about what amplitude to use when doing exercises. This dispute has been going on for a fairly long period of time. Today we will try to figure out which is better in bodybuilding: full reps, partial reps, or a combination of both.

You should start by determining the range of motion. Many athletes are sure that this term hides the distance that a part of the body or a sports equipment travels when performing a movement. However, the amplitude is just the degree of flexion of the joints.

Scientists are investigating the effect of range of motion on various indicators. This is what the conversation will be about today.

Muscle amplitude and growth

Bodybuilder posing

The main goal of bodybuilders is to gain as much muscle mass as possible. When investigating this relationship, scientists were able to establish the following:

  • When performing flexions on the Scott bench at full and partial amplitudes, the greatest growth of muscle tissue was recorded with full amplitude movements.
  • In a study of squats, it was found that the greatest muscle growth is promoted by performing exercises with full amplitude.
  • Also with general training of the leg muscles, the best results were achieved with full-range exercises.
  • The greatest activation of muscle tissue was achieved with full stretching of the muscles. This is due to high biomechanical stress.

Amplitude and power indicators

The athlete trains with an expander

Often, it is not enough for athletes to gain muscle mass alone, and it is necessary to increase strength indicators. For powerlifters, for example, this indicator is very important. Let us turn to the studies of the influence of the amplitude of movements on the growth of the strength of athletes:

  • When doing flexions on the Scott bench, extension of the legs in the simulator, as well as in squats performed with full amplitude, the maximum increase in strength was recorded in comparison with not full amplitude.
  • In the study of the bench press in the lying position, full-amplitude movements did not give a greater increase in strength indicators.
  • It was also found that the strength indicators when performing the bench press in the prone position increase faster than when holding the movement before fully straightening the arms.
  • Due to partial repetitions, strength indicators increase only in the part of the trajectory in which the athlete works.
  • For novice athletes, full squats turned out to be more effective in terms of strength development.
  • Trained athletes are better off using partial repetitions in their training to increase strength indicators when performing basic exercises.

Amplitude and Explosive Power Index

The athlete performs a pull of the upper block on the simulator

When studying squats for the development of an indicator of explosive strength, more significant results were achieved when performing movements with full amplitude. Thus, for the development of this indicator, it is better to use full-amplitude movements. At the same time, strength grows better with partial reps.

It should also be noted that in all of the studies listed above, full-amplitude movements and partial repetitions were used. Strength sports routinely use partial reps to complement full-range movements. Now we should consider how the combination of two types of repetitions affects the growth of various indicators.This will give a more complete answer to the question - which is better in bodybuilding: full reps, partial reps, or a combination of both?

The influence of the amplitude on the development of strength indicators

The athlete performs a dumbbell bench press

After the study, we can say that there was no significant increase in strength when the two types of repetitions were combined. At the same time, the use of full squats seems to be promising for the development of explosive strength. You should also refer to the results of another experiment that was conducted to study the bench press in the prone position.

According to his results, partial repetitions had no effect. It should be noted that all athletes participating in the study had little training experience. And as discussed above, partial reps are better for advanced athletes.

Having an idea of ​​the results of various studies, certain conclusions can be drawn. To accelerate the growth of muscle mass, partial repetitions did not give any advantages over full-amplitude movements. This is because full repetitions stimulate muscle tissue along its entire length. In addition, in this case, complete stretching of the muscles is observed, which contributes to their growth.

As mentioned above, experienced athletes should use partial reps to increase their strength. It should be noted that the strength of athletes increases in those parts of the trajectory on which he works. For example, for the representatives of the equipment division of powerlifting, it is very useful, there may be partial repetitions in the upper part of the trajectory of movement.

This is due to the fact that their ammunition cannot provide passive assistance in this section of the trajectory. At the same time, it makes sense for beginner athletes to use full-amplitude movements in their training program. Their muscles are not yet well developed to use partial reps.

For explosive strength development, maximum results in most movements can be achieved with partial reps. However, even in this case, this option is best suited for experienced athletes.

Thus, today we have decided what is better in bodybuilding: full reps, partial reps, or a combination of both.

For more information on range of motion in training, see this video:

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