Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Negatives (Reps that is)

Negative reps – what are they?? These are slow, downward reps that concentrate on negative portion of the rep. During a negative phase of the movement (the downward phase such as lowering the bar in bench-press or lowering into a deep squat), the muscle lengthens while it contracts.

Negatives are great for building muscle and busting through plateaus because you can purposely damage more muscle fibers during negatives than you can during the positive phase. As we have discussed before in previous blog posts, the more you stimulate muscle fibers, the more you grow.

Negatives are best performed with barbell movements. You can work with so much more weight and you are more stable than with say, dumbbells. To perform these moves properly, you will need a training partner (spotter). They need to be in position to have full control of the bar. You will be able to do the negative portion of the move but you may not be able to do full positive and may need the assistance on the upward movement. This is not failure, it's the intent of the set.

Negatives should be performed only after you've completed your full rep sets. Also, only perform 2-3 negatives. When I perform negatives, I load up more than I can do on full reps. I go slowly on the descent with heavy weights. Then your partner will assist on the upward movement.

Stay tuned……………

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