[Competition Training] Day 24: Pushing Past Failure

Today I REALLY learned about forced reps! After my first round of circuit one I could no longer curl the 45lb bar, but…she made me do it!! OMGOSH! She helped me through the sticky part and actually made me complete the set! HA! and then did that again for the 3rd round through! Wow…talk about pushing hard.  Makes me concerned that I won’t be able to make as great progress when I’m on my own at the gym…

Ala muscle and fitness hers:


WHAT it is

A technique in which you reach failure on a set before a spotter helps lift the weight so you can get past your sticking point and CONTINUE THE SET. //awesome.

WHY do it

Research confirms that forced reps increase growth-hormone levels (GH) more than sets taken only to muscle failure.  For a woman, boosting GH levels is critical for strength and muscle building, since testosterone levels are naturally low in females. GH is also essential for fat-burning: it has been shown that athletes using forced reps drop more bodyfat than those who stop at failure.

HOW to do it

The key to effective forced-rep training is having a spotter who knows what she’s doing.  The objective is to get 2-4 forced reps at the end of a set, not 8-10.  For that reason, the spotter shouldn’t help too much.  She should make you work hard through each and every forced rep, providing just enough assistance to get you past your sticking point.  That said, the spotter shouldn’t make you work so hard that the reps take five seconds on the concentric portion; when doing forced reps, the weight should always keep moving. If it stops, the spotter isn’t providing enough help.

The Workout

Warm up – 50 push ups

Circuit 1

15R Tricep kick-backs standing

10R Curl 45lb bar

50R Dips

Drop sets: 10R 15#, 10R 10#, 15R 5#

Circuit 2

20R Tricep pull down- Cable with rope attachment

20R Hammer curls #15

200 Core

100R – she had me doing crunches with this thing under my lower back that looked like a gargantuan over-filled whoopee cushion.  That thing made it really hard to balance so I felt it all over my core.

100R – Sit ups


About Faith Keith

Luke Keith picked me. I love life. View all posts by Faith Keith

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