Rep and a Half Chest Press

I’ve recently been doing some further investigation into half rep techniques. I have found partial reps to be very beneficial in my own training, and that’s why I was interested in research discussing the Rep and a Half Chest Press. I should also note that I promote the use of various techniques during training, and while I do use and benefit from partial reps, it’s also important to ensure this is only one facet of a well balanced program.

The theory behind the Rep and a Half Chest Press is fairly simple. For every 1.5 rep you complete, you are placing resistance on the chest twice, and the triceps once as you press through the top of your full extension. If you’re looking for ways to mix up your chest day and promote further development, give this move a try. To really amp up the intensity, superset it with some form of push up.

You can attempt this technique using the Smith Machine (as shown below), a regular barbell, or dumbbells. Just be conservative with your weight if you don’t have a spotter, and keep in mind that overall reps will be lower than a traditional chest press (as the extra half rep will start to add up).

Rep and a Half Chest PressĀ (described using Smith Machine)

1. Set up a flat bench under the Smith Machine bar, and line chest up under bar (note: I don’t like the bench I am using in the picture as it’s too tall for my frame and my feet are reaching a bit too far for the floor).

2. Using a pronated grip (palms out), grab the bar wider than shoulder width. Ensure equal spacing on either side of hands.

3. Unlatch the bar and bring slowly to chest. This is your starting position.

4. Press the bar HALFWAY up (arms forming approximately 90 degree bend), pause briefly, and slowly lower back to chest. Once back down, immediately commence an explosive press to the top using your full range of motion. These two parts create the 1.5 rep. Continue onto the next rep, completing 6-8 (1.5) reps.


1.5 Chest Press

Try for three sets of 6-8 reps. Train hard, train safe and have fun!