Use the Negative Training Technique to Increase Muscle Mass and Strength Fast When Bodybuilding
So why isn't it used more often? And why isn't everyone in the gym, shouting about it while stood on top of the weights bench? The most basic reason for why people don't use this bodybuilding technique has to be the resulting pain it delivers to your working muscle.
Not to put you off using this technique, but I do think that before undertaking any exercises people should always be well informed, just in case they're not a regular, battle scarred, weight lifter.
Apart from the pain aspect of the training, in most of the negative (also known as eccentric) reps you will need a competent spotter.
This is because the weight you will be lowering should be around 120% of your 1 Rep Max and if you don't use a spotter to help force the weight back up it's not going to go anywhere.
I hope this hasn't scared you off! Lets get down to the training method...
What is a negative set? Negative weight training, also know as eccentric contraction training, is where you concentrate on the lowering phase of a weight for an extended period of time, usually around 7 - 10 seconds.
A good example of this would be a negative arm curl because you can support and throw the weight back up with your opposite hand.
Eccentric Lifting Method: 1.
Set the weight at around 120% of your 1 Rep Max.
Ensuring that you have warmed up thoroughly beforehand.
Lower the weight for 7 - 10 seconds.
Now use a spotter (if training arms the other hand) to force the Positive (Concentric) phase and get the weight back up to its starting position.
Repeat points 1 - 3 for 6 - 8 reps.
Only perform 1 - 3 sets per exercise, per session.
Why perform negatives? The human muscle can hold up to 40% more weight in its eccentric phase than in its concentric phase (Initial lift).
The two phases are differentiated by the muscles behaviour.
The positive or concentric phase is where the muscle fibres shorten upon contraction and the eccentric phase is where the muscle fibres lengthen under tension caused by the weight.
The basic laws of overloading your muscle for maximum size and strength gains apply here.
The point of resistance training is to damage your skeletal muscle.
The failure to lift a weight creates micro-tears in the muscle fibres.
With adequate nutrition and rest the muscle fibres are repaired and regenerated stronger and are able to lift a slightly increased amount of weight.
Taking this into account if you can lift 40% more on the eccentric phase of your lift, you would increase your muscle damage forcing them to repair stronger and bigger than if you were to lift the weight normally.
Remember though as stated before nutrition and rest is required, so take a look at our weight gain diets and strength increasing recipes.
Finally! Try not to perform negatives too often, using them mainly as a shock tactic.
This is due to it the damage they course to your muscles, requiring greater rest.
Also constantly training your muscle negatively can reduce your muscles power and function, so vary your training routines and enjoy!