This article is authored by Eric McKay. Opinions expressed may not be that of SMARTER Team Training, STT sponsors or constituents. In 2009, Erik opened No Bull! Strength and Performance, a personal training facility with an emphasis on individual attention and educating his clients on proper strength and conditioning technique. He is also an adjunct professor of physical fitness and wellness at Lansing Community College, and the strength and conditioning coach for the Lansing Community College softball team, a perennial powerhouse program in the National Junior College Athletic Association. Before starting his own business he was a football coach for 11 years at various levels and has worked strength training and conditioning family, friends, and athletes from numerous sports for over 20 years.

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As a strength coach or personal trainer, we MUST value the REPETITION! A number of years ago I had the pleasure of seeing Strength and Conditioning expert, Coach Mark Asanovich at a strength clinic were he talked about the importance of the repetition as well. Below is what I had the pleasure of hearing from Coach Asanovich and have used with everyone that I train to help them understand what I am looking for when it comes to repetitions.

R- Repetition should be lifted “deliberately and under control.”
E- Eliminate fast, jerky, and throwing movements
P- Perform reps through the fullest range of motion comfortably allowed
E- Emphasize the negative phase of each rep
T- Time between repetitions and sets should be minimized
I- Increase tension by flexing in the fully contracted position
T- Take a breath in and out each and every repetition
I- If lifting on a machine set the seat appropriately
O- On barbell/ dumbbells use a closed grip
N- Never sacrifice lifting mechanics for more resistance

I do not believe people would argue that one builds muscle with time under tension. So why do more of us in the profession not value the repetition. I have been to numerous strength and conditioning clinics and have taken numerous trips to watch strength coaches and trainers work with their athletes / clients. Most of them, not all, but most do not value the repetition like they said they did. I have thought about this and wondered why some only pay lip service to the importance of proper repetitions; the only thing I could come up with is they are not really concerned with doing things RIGHT!

I was taught to value my repetitions and when I started training others I passed on the importance of proper repetitions. Although performing proper repetitions is easy, at the same time it is difficult because of the deep “burn” in the muscle when the tension builds up and muscle actually does the work. It truly takes discipline to VALUE the REPETITION for every REPETITION for every SET of every EXERCISE.

I personally feel I am doing those I train a disservice if I do not enforce the rules of proper repetitions and motivate them to become the best that they can be in everything they chose to do.

That’s the way I see it!

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Erick McKayErik McKay BS, MA, CSCS, Kinetics Coach earned his B.S. and M.A. in physical education at Central Michigan University. While at CMU he worked with the Center for the Enhancement of Physical Education Programming and gained additional experience developing K-12 physical education curriculum with a focus on proficiency in the knowledge of proper form and execution of motor skills, and taught strength and conditioning courses as a graduate assistant. Erik went on to earn the Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach designation from the National Strength and Condition Association, the premier certification in the fitness field. Coach McKay can be reached via email by clicking here.