Are you searching for that "one" solution that blasts your plateau and sends your muscles into an explosive growth phase all over again?
The solution to your problem has been under your nose all along...
I'm not going to waste your time with "exercise variety" and "switching rep schemes", because chances are, you already know these common techniques and use them in your workout routines anyway.
What I want to share with you is something fairly known in the weight lifting industry, but seldom used correctly and maximized to its full muscle-building potential.
The technique that can instantly force your muscles into growth is eccentric training, better known as "negatives".
Chances are, you have already heard of negatives, but you probably don't know how to use them for maximum muscle growth.
WHAT IS IT?
A concentric movement is your typical movement, in which the muscle fibers shorten to "lift" the weight.
Eccentric, or negative, movements are when you lower the weight, or bring it back to the starting position. It is the opposite of "lifting" a weight.
Negative movements unleash the power of the "other half" of your repetitions, the lowering phase. In an eccentric contraction, the muscle fibers lengthen to lower the weight.
Now, it is not enough to simply lower the weight slowly in your regular exercises. For maximum benefit, you must isolate and do negative movements alone!
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
Here is a brief list of the benefits of eccentric (negative) training:
1) Increase in Training Weight: You can add a lot more weight when doing a negative movement. It is much easier to lower a heavier weight than it is to "lift" that same weight, which means that you can increase your training poundages instantly.
2) Neural Adaptations: After adapting to your regular concentric, or "lifting" movements, you can shock your muscles and nerves into adapting to a whole new negative movement. This causes confusion at the neuro-muscular level and forces you muscles into growth.
3) Muscle-Fiber Breakdown: Eccentric (negative) movements have been scientifically shown to cause greater muscle trauma and breakdown than regular concentric movements, resulting in greater muscle gains.
4) Type II Muscle-Fiber Activation: A study published last year concluded that maximum weight eccentric movements recruit more Type II Muscle fibers, those responsible for strength and speed.
5) Long Term Strength Gains: New research also shows that maximal eccentric movements cause neural adaptations that result in longer lasting strength gains.
THE BEST WAY TO DO ECCENTRIC (NEGATIVE) TRAINING
1) Choose a resistance level about 30% greater than what you would normally lift, and slowly lower that weight from the top position for a period of 3-5 seconds. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A PARTNER!
2) Perform 2-3 sets for larger muscle groups such as chest, shoulders, and back. Perform only 1-2 sets for smaller muscle groups such as biceps and triceps.
3) Rest for 3-5 minutes between sets, because negative training is very intense on your muscles.
1) It is best to dedicate one day out of the week and do a whole workout routine focused on negative movements only.
2) If you can hold, or lower a weight for longer than 5 seconds, consider increasing the weight as it may be too light. If it takes you less than 3 seconds to lower a weight, consider reducing the pounds as the weight may be too heavy.
3) Don't overtrain! Listen to your body...Stick to less sets, and once you reach a set where it's taking you less than 3 seconds to lower a weight, STOP!
4) If you don't have a partner, you can train uni-laterally, using only one side of your body. This can be achieved with dumbbells, machines, and cables. Your non-active side would spot or support your active side.
As mentioned earlier, eccentric, or negative, movements have been shown to cause greater muscle-breakdown, neural adaptations, & recruitment of Type II Muscle Fibers.
This means that you can experience better muscle growth, greater strength gains, & more explosiveness.
Make sure to dedicate one day a week to do an entire workout routine focused on negative movements only.
You now have the knowledge to enter the fast-lane of muscle growth. How fast you want to go is entirely up to you...
Until next time, have an absolutely muscle-blasting workout routine!
By Faisal Khetani
All rights reserved. Any reproducing of this article must have the author name and all the links intact.
Biography: Faisal Khetani is a health and fitness consultant, & editor of the Dream Body newsletter.
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