Fitmark Ambassador Mike Lepree shares some very helpful tips about slowing down while weightlifting
The eccentric phase, or the negative portion of a lift is truly where strength is built. Forcing your body’s muscle fibers to slowly control the decent, will allow them to get more work. Have you ever heard of the saying “don’t just lift the weight, feel the weight”. I’m pretty sure the eccentric phase is what they were talking about. When you slow down your lifting you will feel muscle pump, and stretch, those are the most surefire signs your muscles are being worked.
Slowing down the eccentric phase of lifts has many benefits:
– It allows you to develop strength “easier”
– Activates more fast twitch muscle fibers
– Denser Muscle Gain
– Control Heavier weights
– Works the entire joint structure
– There is great neural adaptation with eccentric training, then concentric
– Eccentric work uses less oxygen than the concentric phase, so it’s less taxing once you go UP
I could go on and on listing benefits, but those were some of the main ones. Now armed with this information, how does one apply it? Here are some helpful tips:
– Use eccentric focused training in compound movements mainly, and very few isolation exercises. While they have there is benefit using it in isolation exercises, it can actually have a “watered down” effect if it’s done too much.
– The timing for the eccentric phase should be 3/4 of the lift, with the last 1/4 being sort of a faster “dip” to take advantage of the ‘Stretch Shortening Cycle’, and explode up from your lift. The last 1/4 kind of “over-stretches” causing a rubber band like contraction effect during the concentric phase.
– Breath in, brace your abs as if somebody was going to punch you, and tighten up your whole body, then start the eccentric phase. Doing this will make it more effective
– If you are going to do any concentric movements, make sure your body is already activated with exercises that had an eccentric phase to them.
The eccentric phase is ESSENTIAL to developing maximal strength, and also helpful in building muscle. I’m also more then happy to always look over programs and see where I can help to add eccentric work, when anyone is interested. I tried putting this info on this post set up in a way that wouldn’t overbear you with scientific mumbo jumbo, but instead practical useful information laid out in a linear fashion. Give this a try, and see your lift’s go up. Remember a stronger muscle means it has more room to grow. I hope you enjoyed this. Have a great day.
Fitmark Ambassador 2013