Forced Repetitions are a very common method to intensify the workout, although it should only be done by advanced athletes.
You can add a forced repetition at the end of a heavy set, when a training partner provides a little help to carry out a few more extra reps. That unusual high training level has a high impact on muscles, unfortunately mostly on the edge of over-training. It takes a lot of experience to it effectively. The training partner has to have some experience too, because it isn´t easy to estimate the correct balance of necessary support.
Forced Repetitions, Variation
A different concept of doing forced reps is to do one heavy set to failure, to rest for moment and to do another repetition. Then again, rest for moment and repeat up to 3-5 times.
A correct training technique is absolutely crucial, therefore only advanced athletes should use the cheating technique. Basically it´s simple: As the working muscles fail at the end of a set, they can receive some support from stabilizing muscles. A good example is Standing Barbell Curls. At the end of the set the biceps is unable to do one more repetition. Here you pull back shoulders and upper back (swinging torso motion) to support the biceps and to maybe tease out another 3-5 reps. Take care to not swing uncontrolled and don´t cut the real range of motion.
Supersets are a smart way to intensify and shorten any workout. Do two, sometimes even three different exercises without significant resting time between sets. It is quite challenging for muscles and cardiac system, which can be the limiting factor in the beginning.
There are two ways to do Supersets:
- two exercises for the same muscle in a row, such as barbell Bench Press and dumbbell Fly, Lying,
- or, more common, two different muscles, preferably agonist and antagonist, like back and chest.
Stripping Method means to quickly cut the training weight as you fail at the end of a set and to immediately continue working out. A training partner can help reducing the weight and to keep the resting time as short as possible.
Like Supersets, this method is very exhausting and is limited by your current condition.
Extended Sets relate to forced repetitions and stripping method. Train to failure, have a relatively short rest and continue training the same weight, then rest again and repeat doing several repetition. Beware of over-training.
This technique can stimulate a largest amount of fibers of the target muscle. Simply do an isolation exercises for a large muscle like chest, back or legs, followed by a compound exercise. For example do Pec deck butterfly just before Bench press, where the now pre-exhausted Pectorals will definitely fail before the Triceps. That works for every major muscle.
After finishing a full set to failure continue to do a few partial reps, again to failure. When doing Lat Pulldown, extend the set by pulling the bar half way down several times to intensify the workout.
Isolation training is a common way to train weak areas or to develop specific muscles. Simply do a few isolation exercises in a row that hit the target muscle and spare the usual synergists. Doing this technique too often can cause imbalances.
Staggered sets are another way to overcome weaknesses and / or develop certain muscles. Insert exercises for the corresponding muscle between the sets of normal training routine. This technique is best suited for small muscle groups. To develop calves, do proper exercises between almost each set of your usual training routine.
The negative part of a repetition, where the target muscle is stretched, is called the negative movement. If you so it in a slow and concentrated fashion, it means an enormous strain to the muscles and supporting structures such as joints, ligaments and tendons and therefore a significant increase in resistance.
Insert negative repetitions with the help of a training partner at the end of a set. Do the contractile movement with support, the subsequent negative motion you do on your own with calm, controlled speed.
The name originates from 3x7 and means doing seven partial reps within the lower range of motion followed by seven partial reps within the upper range of motion followed by seven full repetitions. The training effect here come from the unusual nature of the movement and the relatively long duration of a complete set.
Multi Exercise Sets
The purpose of Multi-Exercise-Sets is to stimulate a particular muscle group or a particular muscle in many variations and angles. Don´t confuse it with Supersets. During Multi-Exercise-Sets do one set per exercise and after a brief rest another exercise again with only one set, and so on, until full muscular exhausted.