Power HIT Partials

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Power HIT Partials

Post  Fitness Scientist on Mon May 03, 2010 8:07 pm

Power Partials

By Joe Mullen
Fitness Scientist

This is another approach to exercise I wrote, that appeared in Iron Man Magazine.

As you know, the amount of resistance used during any exercise program, relates directly to your ability to move throughout the full range-of-motion. This is true whether you train with High-Tech, barbells, or other weight resistance tools.

No doubt, you noticed when your muscles reach total, full-range fatigue, they fatigue during the bottom-half of the movement, about halfway into the lifting contraction. Then, although you cannot complete a full-range movement, you can continue with partial movements, if you choose.

Presently, no machine is designed to totally fatigue all the muscle fibers, throughout the complete range-of-motion. Meaning, there is always possible movement within some portion of the movement.

Some “experts” recommend against any attempts to perform partial movements. They claim that uneven strength and muscle development will take place. My research indicate that it is fine to perform as many partial reps as you can at the end of a set. If you have ever tried this, you know that you will not perform many reps, before the pain or total fatigue prevents further contractions.

In addition, uneven strength development does not take place. When you think about it, the question to be answered is, if exercising to total muscle if recommended, what is harmful about continuing with partial reps, until failure?

If you were to test your isometric\static strength levels, you find that strength is truly variable within the range-of-motion. Strength levels of the muscles are not a constant feature of muscle contraction. Although muscle strength varies greatly between muscle groups, it appears that the strength angles can be looked at as, a certain level for the first 50 percent of the movement, and a certain strength level for the last 50 percent of the movement.

If we accept that as true, meaning: that we can use more resistance during one part of the movement and another for the other portion of the movement. Then, does that not indicate that all exercise sets should include a certain load the first half of the movement, and another for the other half of the movement.

Maybe, there is no need to be concerned about the design of any high-tech machine and perhaps, all we need to do is properly load each half of the movement and results will improve. This is just some food for thought!

It seems that if we load each half of the rep, according to the performance level of each, results will be better than going full range with a weight that obviously, does not tax the performance of one segment of the movement. Perhaps, this will produce balanced strength development.

Years ago, it became obvious to me that exceptional strength gains were possible if a movement was broken into two distinct weight-loads and movements.

It is possible to break a movement into three partial movements, but it is more difficult to distinguish where one partial stops and where one should start, therefore, two partial movements are a great place to start.
Here is how to do a set of Power Partials can be performed, using the leg extension as the example.

Although I use an exercise machine as the example, all movements with barbells and dumbbells can also be used in a Power Partial concept.

Increase the resistance you typically use by about 30%. Now, hop on the leg extension and do a rep that goes about halfway through the range-of-motion. Then, return to the starting position. Repeat the movements until you reach failure, using your standard speed-of-movement, but stop at the halfway marker.

If you performed the amount of reps you typically use for your regular workout, the weight is accurate, otherwise, adjust up or down, for your next workout. After performing the half-rep set, either change the weight yourself or better yet, have a training partner do for you.

Continue with the other half of the set from about halfway through the movement, into the fully extended position, lower to the halfway mark and return to the contracted position. Continue until you reach muscular failure.
As with most advanced workouts, it requires one or two workouts to get the feel of the movements. Once you do, I think you will find that gains come rapidly using this system.

For record keeping purposes, consider each half-set as just that -a half-set. Count both half sets as one complete set. Keep an accurate count of the weight used for each position and the amount of reps you achieved in each half-set. You will find, that your strength and muscle endurance improvement will vary within each exercise, as well as between different muscle groups.

Keep accurate records! You can adjust the resistance to match your improvements in each body segment, when needed.

This is another method of exercise that I believe produces greater than average results in all aspects of exercise. You will notice that, from the bodybuilding aspect of training, you will attain greater results than with “standard” exercise protocols.

Joe Mullen
Fitness Scientist
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Fitness Scientist

Posts : 57
Join date : 2010-04-26
Age : 81
Location : Lake Mary, Florida

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