Should you do singles, max-out with low reps or go for lots of repetitions in partials training?
This is a matter of personal preference and there a lot of different opinions on this. My opinion on this and every other exercise is that a mix of lower reps with heavier load and higher reps with lower load gives me the most optimum results. Using this type of workout I can successfully avoid plateaus and keep progressing.
The same thing goes for partials – for instance, I was doing rack pulls yesterday with sets of 25 and 500 pounds in weight. The last time before that, I focused on singles with a heavier load, around 700 pounds.
There are some rough guidelines you may want to follow, depending on your goals. If you want to train for strength exclusively, then lower repetitions is always a good idea. On the other side, higher reps with still a heavy load is somewhat better for building muscle mass. However, if you want to get the best of both worlds you’ll need to mix it up.
As I said before, different people do different things. For example, Bud Jeffries almost always maxes it out and obviously it works wonders for him. He used partial training with specifically progressive distance training with partials to work his way up to that 1000 pounds squat. You can find more info about his partial training here.