Tip: Four Reasons to Use the 1.5 Method

Should you be using the one-and-a-half method in your training? If you're after size and strength, then yes! Check this out.


The 1.5 method is simple: Perform full reps with partial reps between each. Although 1.5 means "one-and-a-half," quarter reps can also be used.

Let's break down the benefits and look at some different ways to use this proven training method.

1 – This method adds time under tension (TUT) to the portion of an exercise you might otherwise be under-loading.

Determine the strongest half or quarter of an exercise, then do an extra half or quarter rep in that portion. It doesn't matter how big the partial reps are – no one will be measuring with a goniometer.

As a general rule, just avoid going through your sticking point. This will vary from exercise to exercise. For example, in a deadlift, if you struggle just below your knees, then stay above them for the extra partial reps. Here are some other examples:

Snatch-Grip RDL, Half Rep at Top

Lateral Raise, Quarter Rep at Bottom

2 – 1.5s increase TUT in the portion of an exercise that emphasizes a certain muscle.

Decide what your target muscle is, then determine what portion of the exercise loads the muscle the most. For example, booty-builders might want to squat deep to get more hip flexion and glute loading. So do an extra partial rep at the bottom to, well, hit your bottom. (See what I did there?)

To hit your pecs more in a barbell bench press, do an extra touch-and-go off your chest to really fire up those pecs. The top portion of a squat will emphasize quads more, so spend more time at the top with a partial rep.

Bench Press, Quarter Rep at Bottom

Safety-Bar Cyclist Squat, Quarter Rep at Top

3 – This method helps you spend more time in the portion of an exercise that better fits your structure.

Certain exercises aren't inherently "bad," but there are positions and ranges of motion that might cause you a few issues if your structure isn't suited for them. Determine the most "compromising" position of an exercise based on your structure and injury history, then spend less time in that position while creating more TUT in the safer position.

Since you won't be able to handle your normal weight using the one-and-a-half method, you won't load your cranky positions as much, while still hammering the rest of the movement. For longevity purposes, this idea just makes sense.

Dip, Half Rep at Top

4 – This method can be used to address a technique flaw.

Pick the portion of an exercise you suck at, then spend more time there. Do you lose tension at the bottom of a squat? Then add an extra partial rep to work on it.

Do you compensate at the top of a chin-up by rounding your shoulders forward? Spend more time at the top and work on it. Stop avoiding it and address the problem head-on!

Parallel-Grip Chin-Up, Quarter Rep at Top

Don't sweat too much whether you're doing an extra half or quarter rep – you can do and call it what you like.

Gareth Sapstead is a leading strength and physique coach from the UK. He specializes in problem solving and breakthrough training techniques.

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