How To Use Partial Reps!

Though conventional wisdom holds that performing repetitions of an exercise through a full range of motion is most effective, many serious bodybuilders and lifters have taken advantage of a technique called partial reps.

As the name implies, partial reps involve moving through a limited range of motion. When performing a bench press with a full range of motion, the exerciser would start with their arms fully extended. Then, the barbell would be lowered until it touches the chest – and then the extended back out. During a partial repetition, on the other hand, the exerciser might only lower the barbell down 6 or 8 inches.

Partial reps are often used at the end of a typical set wherein the exerciser performs a given number of repetitions with a full range of motion. For example, John might be able to do five repetitions with 150 pounds of weight on the bench press with a full range of motion. At the end of the five repetitions, John couldn’t do another rep with the full range of motion. Instead of stopping, John may be able to squeeze out another four or five partial repetitions.

By employing this technique, John may help break through a stubborn plateau in his training.

Of course, strategies like partial reps, or drop sets or pyramid sets are not necessary to reach your goals; instead, they’re important tools that can certainly help in some situations. And they certainly will help to spice things up by adding some variety to your workout.

Give partial reps a try. Just remember that the vast majority of your workout should take advantage of a full range of motion – and you should never compromise form for the sake of a few partial reps.

About Davey Wavey

Davey Wavey is a certified personal trainer and YouTube sensation with more than 250 million video views. For Davey's fitness tips and secrets, sign up for his free monthly newsletter - or download any of his affordable and effective workout programs.


  1. I love partial reps I use them to squeeze out some more work after I can’t lift it anymore. Always seems to step my intensity up a notch ๐Ÿ˜‰ Like you said in the post, they’re great for muscle plateaus. I also like to do drop sets.

  2. Edgar Allen says:

    Hi Davey

    I was reading about someone who had been on a raw vegan diet living on mainly raw vegetables and vegetable juices losing 4 stone in weight in the process. Is something like that good for you over a prolonged period of time, I would have thought not really as where is your body going to get protein and other vital nutritional requirements from.



  3. Good day. I want to get into shape, and get a nice body like urs. But I dont want to build anything more then that ive already got. I am well built already but, ive got some loose fat that I dont want. All I want is to ahape my chest, and get nice apple pop arms, and get a nice six pack. I have fone to gym but there is no one that can help me, just to show me what to do and how to do it right. Will you please help me?

  4. Fitness is something I have to work on. If I put as much attention into being fit as I do my job I’d be in business. Check out this site:

  5. I see you used a copyrighted picture of Daniel Reynen from in your article. You did not ask permission or provide a link back to the original article. Please remove the picture and get permission before you use other peoples property.

  6. Hello, I thought this was a nice blog. Thank you for posting.

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