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Thread: 'Strict' vs 'Loose' weightlifting

  1. #1
    Wannabebig New Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    'Strict' vs 'Loose' weightlifting

    I recently performed a workout with a friend, who I noticed had a different style of weightlifting to what I perform.

    To elaborate, I perform most sets to failure, and when I know that I have performed the last full rep I can physically do, I lower the weight to the lowest phase of the rep and attempt another, even though I normally dont have enough strength left to make the bar move. My friend, however, when he reaches the stage of the set when he knows he cannot perform another full rep, he performs 'half reps' to completely deplete his strength. For example, for the bench press, he would only lower the bar half way for the final reps of the set.

    His technique is probably more effective than mine, as it allows complete depletion of strength to the point where, in some cases, the weight cannot even be held up. However, in my experience, performing sets like this creates a domino effect on the rest of the workout, reducing the number of full reps that I can perform on subsequent sets for the same exercise or muscle group.

    Does anybody have any experience as to whether a 'loose' style has any major benefits over attempting the full repetition? Or, if it is advantageous to use this style occasionally or even spontaneously, for example on the final set of a exercise or muscle group.


    p.s He is around five years older than me, so any obvious comparisons between strength/reps cannot be directly compared. He is also alot bigger than me, so I probably shouldnt make any critiques of his workout to his face.

  2. #2
    Banned bjohnso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Cincinnati Ohio
    I can't really answer your question since I do not utilize either of those techniques, but I will say that you do not need to train to failure (including doing those half reps) in order to gain size or strength. In fact, training in the ways you described may be counterproductive in the long run.

  3. #3
    Former Fatass Unreal's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    I wouldn't train either way. I would save going to failure for maxing out or ME days.
    Nick V

  4. #4
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    To the original poster: Training to failure all the time is not a good way to train. Train with half ROM all the time is not a good way to train. Read more. A lot more. These issues have been answered several times on this (and every other weight lifting) forum known to man. If I can find the answer within 20 seconds of searching google, so can you.

    For those who were giving advice without understanding said advice, please read more and post less. Your enthusiasm is appreciated, but it reduces the quality of the forum when people repeat something they don't fully understand. Stick with the basics you do know, continue to read, learn from your own experience, and in time you'll understand why I'm writing this.

    For those who offered a challenge to the poor advice, thank you. Please don't take offense to my removal of all posts. I just wanted to clean up this thread so it addresses the original questions and now we can all move on.

    Thanks guys!
    Facebook - BW166 SQ585 BP405 DL660 CL310

  5. #5
    Back on track.. ray34iyf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    UW-Madison, WI
    Personally, I would AVOID training to failure and instead stop a rep or two before it. In the long run, you'll be thankful. I've had to take many weeks off to recover from training to failure on all my lifts. It's not worth it.
    Age: 20
    Height: 5-9
    Weight:~160 @ 13-15 bf%?....starting figure after nearly a year of battling CFS/ not too bad imo.
    Max Lifts:
    Don't know anymore..don't care atm.

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