The Negative Repetitions
There are two stages in a normal muscle contraction.
The ‘Concentric’ phase which is the shortening phase that normally occurs when you are lifting a weight. e.g. Pull up.
The ‘Eccentric’ phase is the lengthen phase of the movement e.g. the lowering stage of the pull up.
These two phases occur in almost every exercise that you do.
Mostly we concentrate on the ‘concentric’ phase of the movement to build muscle strength, however, our muscles also respond exceptionally well to training the ‘eccentric’ phase. Muscles are STRONG during the eccentric phase of the movement, so you have to modify your exercises to get good results.
Tips for Negative Reps training:
1- Ask a trainer or your workout buddy to assist you in the lifting phase of the Pull Up and allow you to slowly lower with your own strength.
2- If no one around to spot you, use your legs off the ground to assist yourself in the lifting and lowering phases. Lift yourself in one count and slow down the lowering of your body for 5 counts. Assist yourself with your feet if needed.
Training muscles ‘eccentrically’ produces great results and lots of stiffness the next day.