Forced repetitions, as an intensity technique, are probably the most well-known intensity technique that exists. Even if it is not consciously perceived by many beginners as such at all, it is rather used instinctively. If you are not able to make another repetition on your own, you can simply ask your training partner to help. Your training partner has the job to help you just barely enough that you can squeeze out 2-3 reps, mostly on your own. Note you’re your training partner shouldn’t be helping you so much that the weights almost fly out off your hands, but just barely enough to keep you working hard, really, really hard for those last extra reps. If this technique is performed, they are called forced repetitions.
In principle, all exercises are suitable for the use of forced repetitions. Bench press for example is the most widely used exercise in combination with this technique. Exceptions to the rule here are specific and technical back movements. These are in particular: free rowing (with barbell or dumbbell), as well as all forms of deadlifts and hyperextensions, in which assistance by training partner is not possible. Sometimes you can see in some form of gym fail videos that training partners want to help their deadlifting mate by holding their chin or one side of the barbell: DON’T DO THAT! It’s not only stupid but it can possibly herniate a disk in your back.
Three mistakes come to mind. For one, the training partner simply relieves the athlete of too much weight when helping. The athlete is relieved so much that he does not have to really make an effort when lifting. Make sure that you have to really fight for each and every repetition. You should feel like you are “starving” almost during the exercise, and that the weight moves only inch by inch.
The second error is a direct follow-up of the first one. If the partner continues taking off too much weight, you end up with such a light weight and can perform a sheer endless amount of repetitions without really coming to an end. Ideally you should only be able to do two to three repetitions and then the muscle should be completely done. If this is not the case, your partner was either helping you too much, or you should focus more on the exercise and the mind-muscle connection.
Last but not least and most importantly, you should not make the mistake of reserving energy by doing too few repetitions on your own, but countless with help. If the partner has to help with the first or second repetition, then keep your ego in check and reduce the weight. Sometimes it’s hard to face reality that you are not as strong as you thought you were, but if you just cannot do it, then you’re wasting everyone’s time. If your goal is five reps, you should at least make three without help. If you want to do 10 repetitions, 6-7 should be doable alone.