Usually, you will see that a plan of certain reps is to always be followed when you’re working out. We all have those days where strength is not our strong suit and we will unfortunately have ourselves disappointed. Don’t just take this as the truth, there is a way that you can increase your strength, even when your body isn’t feeling up to the task. Forced reps are a kind of lifting style that you can use after you’ve exhausted all other options. The science behind a forced rep is simple, when you are at the point that you cannot complete another repetition, you pause for a moment and then force more reps. What you want to aim to do is only for us a couple more reps, or until you can meet you limit, do not force more than five reps.
The reason behind not wanting to continually force heavy reps onto your body is that you could really hurt yourself by doing this. Forced reps should not be used during every workout and when they are should only be used as a last resort. For example, you wouldn’t want to force a rep on every exercise you do but if you find that you’ve been struggling with your squats, forcing a couple more reps could be that last determining factor and you lifting more from that day on. I came up with the concept of trying forced reps into my training when I had finally had all that I could take.
I was steadily increasing my strength and most everything that I did, with the exception of one or two workouts. I found myself continuously more and more upset that I could not break through this simple plateau. I have even changed up the days that I lifted and put more space in between my days off but nothing was able to allow me to get that strength I wanted so badly. For the exercise that was giving me fits, my goal is to complete eight reps at 250 pounds. Something else I would advise, if you are thinking about forcing reps into your regimen, is that you’ll want to stick with a weigh that is only slightly higher than what you’re used to.
Again, not knowing where your strength range is and trying to complete an exercise with something you can’t carry can easily break your bones and shred your muscles. I would keep getting stuck on only being able to complete two repetitions of this very very powerful movement so I would gradually try to force another rep at the end of the exercise. Over time, I did finally get past my old limits and with the use of forest rats was able to finally complete the 250 pound lift for eight repetitions. After those weeks of forcing myself to do more than I thought I was able to, I quickly would go on to be able to actually hold 300 pounds, a feat that I am very proud of. Listen to me, your mind is telling you that you can’t do something, your body can be the one that shows your mind who the real boss is!
If you are thinking that you’ll be stuck lifting the same amount of weight until the day that you die, it doesn’t have to be that hard. Remember, sometimes the brain is only telling us the negative thoughts that we give it. You know that to lift well you have to fuel not just your muscles, but your mind, as well!