Lee Priest Speaks On Partial Reps: “It’s Not Good If You’re Doing Partials For Ego Lifting”

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Lee Priest believes there is a place for partial reps but not to just add more weight.

Bodybuilding veteran Lee Priest has been vocal recently about tips in the gym. He was able to build an incredible physique during his career and is now sharing his wisdom with the next generation. During a recent video, Priest spoke on partial reps and how they should be used.

Priest enjoyed a career on stage that spanned into three decades. He has had the chance to compete against legendary bodybuilders like Flex Wheeler, Shawn Rayand Chris CormierBefore calling it a career in 2013, Priest won the NABBA Mr. Universe competition. Priest quickly became known for his incredible conditioning and massive biceps.

The phenomenon of partial reps has been growing in gyms recently. While some believe that they should not be used all together, Priest shared his opinions on the right time.

“Partial reps are fine if you’re doing them because a lot of people do them. Sometimes to add strength like if you aren’t used to a weight, you might just say, if you’re bench pressing 300, I know people that might go 350 but only lift it off, get a spot, and then they come down halfway.”

Partial reps are used in certain workouts to help build muscle. Priest believes that they should not be part of ego-lifting.

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Lee Priest Warns Against Partial Reps

If weight is being added, lifters must make sure that they can still perform the desired lift with the correct form and purpose. If it is being added just for ego, this is where partial reps can hurt.

“Now, it’s not good if you’re just doing partials for ego-lifting. I see a lot of that and that’s where people make the mistake where they try to go too heavy. On leg press, you see it. On squatting, you see it and on benching you see it. As long as you can get as close to the exercise as possible and as long as you feel it, then that’s good.”


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In his newsletter, Arnold Schwarzenegger has urged weightlifters to stop with partials and perform full reps. He discussed many benefits of full reps. Aside from muscle-building, resistance training with a full range of motion also helps improve flexibility and mobility. It is also the best way to build strength and muscle.

At the end of the day, it is important for gym goers to do what works best for them. Lee Priest continued to discuss different programs and how they work for different people.

“You’ve got to find programs and exercises that you feel. Yes, use the basic exercise as a guide but then you do it to the best of your ability. You can use things when it comes to dieting and training programs as a guide but then you’ll have to work out what’s best for you.”

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Greg Patuto
Greg has covered the four major sports for six years and has been featured on sites such as Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports, SB Nation, NJ.com, and FanSided. Now, he is transitioning into the world of bodybuilding and strength sports.