CFW Guide: Part 5 - Forced Reps

By Jordan Sharp | 2016-11-30

Forced reps involve reaching muscle failure during a set, and then, with the intense help of a spotter, ‘forcing’ out more reps past the normal point of failure.


Because the muscle fibres are almost completely broken, with the help of a spotter you are forcing them to work unnaturally hard and completely overloading them. As a result it shocks the muscle and stimulates increased muscle density and muscular size.

It is critically important that you have a spotter who you are comfortable with and trust. It’s recommended that you have worked out with them before. This is an advanced technique so only try these if you’re comfortable in the gym and have had experience in lifting free weights.


It’s imperative to perform forced reps correctly, maintaining technique as best as you can to avoid injury.

We’ll use the bench press for example. The aim is to complete 8-9 good quality reps. At this point, you should no longer be able to complete a rep unassisted. Once you’ve hit failure, you should aim to get out 3-4 forced reps at the same weight with help from the spotter.

The spotter needs to provide the right amount of assistance with each rep. On the first rep the bar should be guided up with the palm. On the next few reps the level of spotter assistance will increase, until the lifter can no longer lift anything else.

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