There are 4 parts to every rep: (1) the lifting, (2) the peak contraction at the end of the lifting, (3) the lowering, and (4) the full stretch at the end of the lowering portion.
Most of the time, I want you to lift the weight with an explosive motion or as explosive as possible with heavy weight. I then want you to make sure you get a peak contraction on each rep.
Always lower the weight under control and make sure you get a full stretch on each rep.
The above is the preferred method of performing each rep with most workout programs within this manual… unless specified otherwise.
This doesn't mean you always have to lift weights this way. If you're stuck in a rut on a certain exercise, you can change the way you do a rep.
There are so many different ways to perform a rep.
One of the more popular ways is to simply lift slower. Instead of exploding on the positive, you can take your time on the positive portion of the rep to add more time under tension to the muscle.
You can also do a slower negative. The negative portion of each rep has the most muscle building potential so this portion of the rep should always be controlled. You can intentionally slow down the negative of each rep to change things up. This will add more fatigue, though, so be careful.
You can also do negative only reps which are very stressful to the body. You can handle a lot more weight if you are only do negatives. For example, if you are doing the positive portion of a pull up you might be able to lift 200 pounds. If you are only doing the negative, you might be able to lift 300 pounds.
You can cut the range of motion short on certain exercises to change things up.
For example, instead of coming all the way down on the overhead press you can stop short of the full stretch position. Only go halfway down. This is just an example. This type of change can help you move a lot heavier weight and give you a big boost overall.
There are so many different ways of performing a rep. If you are a beginner, please stick with the recommended method for performing each rep. Make sure you are always lifting under control.
When you become more advanced, you can start experimenting with different styles of performing a rep.