The Best Ways To End Your Workouts For Ultimate Burnout
My Favorite Burnout Exercises
At the end of a workout, your muscles have already undergone the majority of the work. When it comes to rounding out my workouts, my go-to approach are movements that deliver the best time-under-tension while minimizing rep fatigue. You can think of rep fatigue as the energy exertion required to perform one rep. Performing movements that keep rep fatigue low and tension high are my go-to technique to rounding out my workouts. Having undergone maximum exertion at the beginning of the workout, our options are limited thanks to stabilizer and overall muscle fatigue. So what are our options?
Partial Reps, Key To The Burnout
Heavy weight/high rep movements provide the ultimate burnout capacity, especially at the end of a workout. Partial reps are fundamental to my burnout approach. They give the lifter access to high weight/high rep movements that otherwise would be unachievable due to, among other things stabilizer fatigue. You can think of partial reps as a rep with a reduced range of motion, typically with an emphasis on control.
Generally, I like to think of partial reps as being more closely related to iso-holds (holding a weight at the point of maximum tension for an extended period) then to typical reps. Many beginner or intermediate lifters think of the goal of performing a rep as getting the weight from point A to point B, because that means they did the work. While this is a good enough idea for newer lifters to employ (as they develop their overall lifting acumen), a more advanced lifter is more likely to describe the goal of a rep/lift as maximizing time-under-tension with an eye towards minimizing risk of injury (in fact, that’s the essence/origin of ‘proper form’). All of this is to say that the essence of performing partial reps does a great job of informing the lifter of those concepts.
A great burnout takes advantage of these concepts and challenges the person lifting with heavy weight (maximizing tension) and high reps (maximizing time). Below I lay out a few of my favorite examples of burn out exercises.
Shoulders - Bradford Press & Dumbbell Swings
With Bradfords, the idea is to take a barbell, load it up with decently heavy weight (maybe 65% of your military press weight) and press the bar so that it just gets over your head and lower it down behind your head and vice-versa. The partial reps provide a constant tension so that the movement acts closer to an iso-hold than a standard press exercise. You’re just bouncing the weight at the lower range of motion, allowing you to hold big weight in your shoulders for high reps, giving you a massive burnout to finish your workout with.