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X Rep training is similar but not exactly the same as partial rep training. The difference according to the developers of this training technique is reaching the max-force point. Originally developed by Jonathan Lawson and Steve Holman they say that each set first needs to be taken to the point of failure.
If you have been training for more than a year then there is a good chance that you are already aware of training with partial reps. Partial reps are done to try and enable the maximum amount of fiber recruitment for each rep. When the point of failure is reached the nervous system stops responding and this is when you can no longer recruit more muscle fibers according to Jonathan and Steve.
Steve and Jonathan say that clinical studies prove that an effective isometric contraction can add more muscle by recruiting more muscle fibers than normal dynamic tension can. The added advantage of training like this is that your intense workout ends after 40 minutes and that's it for the day.
As mentioned above these isometrics or partials should only be done after training and completing a set for 30 seconds. Jonathan and Steve have before and after shots showing the enormous difference made when training with X reps for only one month.
In the example below we show you how a 4 X 8 training system can be adapted to incorporate X reps after failure has been reached on the 8th rep. For example having a barbell halfway to your chest when doing bench-press would be where you would start small isometric contractions after you have reached the point of failure.
Just like doing forced reps or drop sets this movement should not be included in every workout but rather only once a week to ensure that overtraining is avoided. However this is not what Steve and Jonathan say as they recommend every workout should include X reps for every movement you do.
If one day of training you are working chest and shoulders for 4 sets of 8 reps you would then be reaching the point of failure after around 30 seconds doing a slow controlled bench-press. You would then stop and contract your muscles isometrically with a slight lift for 5 more reps.
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