When should you use forced reps in training?
This is probably one of the most overused, overload methods we see in a gym. People training we’ll beyond the point of muscular failure by having their training partner or trainer ‘help’ them force out additional reps through the use of a spot.
Training this way might not only be making you look like a tool in the gym, it could be impeding on your overall results! Remember, when training with weights you should be focusing, and targeting the intended muscle groups. Once that muscle group has fatigued, advanced trainees will be able to push a little further while keeping that focus. But most people will not!
Here’s a practical guide to using forced reps over a 4 week program. Of course, this would depend on the training goal, client experience, and exercise choice. But it’s a start.
Train to technical failure. You will still need to fail, but your reps should look pretty solid. NO FORCED REPS!
Train to failure, with the last rep or two showing slight signs of technical breakdown. STILL NO FORCED REPS!
Train to failure, and have your partner help you push out 1 additional forced reps. Note: you should still be doing the work, they just assist through the sticking point.
Use the same approach as week 3 but add 1 more forced rep. Again, you should still be doing a huge majority of the work. They are just assisting through the tougher point of the lift.