Worst Training Advice I Ever Received

Posted on 23 Jun 2015 21:38


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Everybody who has been training in a gym has received some form of horrible advice. Hopefully, this doesn't happen too often, but there comes a time when you sit back and think about the dumbest stuff you have ever heard. So here's the single WORST piece of advice that was given to me.

I was once told by a really big jacked up older lifter that doing full range of motion exercises is really bad on the joints. He advised me that I shouldn’t lock out my presses or pull-ups or even squats or deadlifts or rows or any exercise whatsoever.

What is ironic is that several years later, when I was training at another gym, a very well known personal trainer told me that he didn’t lock out his deadlifts because if he locked them out he would tire his glutes – so all his warm-ups were non-lockouts and he would begin locking out fully at the top only on one or two of his “heavy” sets.

Luckily for me I never bought into that nonsense. Don’t get me wrong: I am not saying that partial reps are wrong or the worst thing you can do. They do have their place. But focusing solely on partial reps will leave you more prone to injuries and bereft of both strength or size benefits. So building entire routines or adopting this method across the board for all exercises is really wasteful of your time, energy and “gains.”

I think we see pro bodybuilders like Branch Warren or fitness personalities like Rich Piana using their gigantic muscles to lift weights in partial reps so often that we get carried away ourselves. It's not all wrong though. For example, I initially scoffed at the personal trainer who insisted on not locking out his deadlift repetitions. But, as I thought about it I realized there is an exercise made just for that purpose! Keystone Deadlifts are done “partially” in the sense that you essentially do a Romanian Deadlift but you don’t lockout at the top nor do you go too far down at the bottom. Keystone deadlifts are performed for really high reps – I’m talking 20 plus reps, for 1-2 sets sometimes even after regular deadlifts, just to keep the tension in the lower back. They are a great exercise to build up lower back endurance. So they do have a purpose. But the method is being misused for heavy lifting.

That was just one obscure example about how partial movements can help. They are like supplements to your diet. Just as supplements cannot replace real food, partial movements cannot replace full range of motion lifts. The best muscle you will recruit will be with full movements which means hanging in a “dead” position on pull-ups and locking out your presses and locking your hips and knees while deadlifting and squatting and also locking out your arms on curls and extensions.

Eric Troy, the founder of Ground Up Strength recently published a status on the Ground Up Strength Facebook page with regards to cheating reps and I think it is very applicable to this topic. This is the post:

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