Self-Motivational Leg Workout

By: Tim Rigby (courtesy of Inside Fitness)

If you don’t drool at the prospect of lifting heavier weights, then maybe fitness isn’t for you.  To be stronger is just in our DNA and something that deeply motivates and excites us.  Well, here you’re in luck.  With partial reps, you get to lift considerably more weight than you would in a straight set.  The range of motion is short and usually about one-third the range of motion in a standard rep.  You may question whether performing a partial range of motion can actually benefit your target muscles, but provided you overload the resistance, you can absolutely be certain it does.    

There are two distinct approaches to performing partials.  The first is to use the one-third of the range of motion that’s closest to the peak position.  Think, for example, of when you’re performing the bench press and you near the completion of the ascent.  At this top third of the range of motion, you can use a weight that is far heavier than what you’d use with straight full reps. A very important safety issue, however, is to keep in mind that at some point you will eventually fail unless you stop repping.  That’s why partial-set bench pressing is best done in a power rack where you can set the safety pins at a height that aligns with the top-third of your range of motion.  When you put the theory of partial reps into practice, you may just be in awe of how much more you can lift – what a source of motivation!  You’ll stimulate your fast-twitch muscle fibres better and get stronger, all the while building your motivation and confidence.

The other approach to partial reps is to target where your “sticking point” happens to be.  Using the same example of the bench press, many people find that they bomb at the very bottom and have difficulty getting the bar off their chest; once they can get it above the lowest third of the range, the rest is smooth sailing.  Incidentally, this phenomenon is often attributed to a lack of strength in the lats, or that the individual did not set a proper base with their rear delts and glutes.  Nevertheless, you can work on your weak third easily by overloading the resistance in a power rack or with cables.  So determine which segment of the range in which you want to conduct partials, load the weight to impressive higher levels, and stimulate those fast twitch fibres like never before!


Exercise                                 Sets     Reps               Segment        Rest
SQUAT                                    4          10, 8, 8, 6        Top Third       2:00 mins.
LEG PRESS                             3          10, 8, 6            Top Third       1:30 mins.
LEG EXTENSION                    3          10, 10, 10       Bottom Third 1:00 min.
LYING HAMSTRING CURL    3          10, 10, 10       Bottom Third 1:00 min.
BARBELL LUNGE                  3          12, 10, 8          ---                    45 secs.
CALF RAISE                            3          15, 12, 10       ---                    30 secs.

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