Bodybuilding Methods: One and One Half Reps

 In Blog

If you’re looking at trying to add as much muscle mass to your frame as possible, then the one and a half rep method is something to try. Buyer beware though: while it works wonders at building muscle, you’ll be cursing the training gods while you torture yourself with it.

Bodybuilders are a wacky group. I’ve worked with a few before and they literally live and breathe training 24/7. Every decision these guys made- and I do mean EVERY decision – was based around their training that day. This meant no trips to the movies, scheduling clients around their workouts, and putting the house on lockdown at 9:30 pm in order to get the perfect night’s sleep. That’s just the tip of the iceberg on how strict they can be.

Now, full disclosure: I’m not exactly the biggest fan of getting practically nude and posing on stage to the delight of strangers (I mean, who wouldn’t want to see that? But I digress). But that doesn’t take away from the fact that bodybuilders are masters of making you look good in a swimsuit. When they talk body composition, you better listen.

Bodybuilders are also good at tolerating discomfort. Very few humans on the planet place themselves into routines of daily torture like these poor fellas – and one technique that really makes you question your sanity would be the one and one half reps method.  

The concept is simple: you perform a repetition and then follow that with a partial rep that has a smaller range of motion. Hence the name, one and one half reps. Yes, it’s used in the bodybuilding world (which some then classify it as a ‘bro technique’) but it’s grounded in science. PhD and researcher Brad Schoenfeld talks about “the pump,” which is just cellular swelling. This influx of fluid, which occurs from doing sets of multiple repetitions, can trigger a process called protein synthesis.

Protein synthesis is essential to building muscle. It’s the process of creating new proteins which, in turn, makes you swole. If you can’t stimulate that then don’t plan on filling out any bigger t-shirts in the future. In theory, lot’s of cellular swelling coupled with a calorie surplus is the magic recipe for more muscle.

This video will help explain the concept of the one and one half-rep method. Tolerate the pain, have fun training and enjoy the gains.

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