The Best Way To Build Muscle…Has To Be Eccentric TrainingBy Darren McDuffie
Eccentric( Negative) training has to be the best way to build muscle! I’m speaking from experience. I don’t know if you’ve ever done P90X, but I had my first encounter with eccentric training doing P90X’s chest, shoulders and triceps workout. At the beginning of the dvd, Tony Horton starts out by doing “two twitch speed” pushups. I had never done these before and I “ain’t” gonna lie, I could barely do 3 before giving out.
My chest was still feeling those 3 for about two days after doing them. Why were they so hard? Well, when it says two twitch speed it means just that…you do a couple of push ups fast and then you do them slow. Here’s the clincher: when you’re doing the slow ones you lower yourself very slow and then back up and repeat. It’s the lowering phase of the movement that eventually burns you out. There were many days when I did the “two twitch” where my chest was fried and I was unable to do anything else. I knew then there was something good about negative training. Yup…it hurt so good!
Whenever you lift something be it your body weight or dumbbell, there are two forms of movement which come into play. The first phase is the concentric (lifting) phase of the movement and the second is the eccentric (lowering) phase.
A simple way to remember this is concentric movements shorten the muscle while eccentric movements lengthen the muscle. If you want to visualize it think of it like this: when you flex your arm to make a muscle that’s the concentric phase and when you lower it, that’s eccentric.
Got it? Good! Sometimes this stuff gets confusing and I want to make it easy for you. Nearly everyone is strong in the shortening phase, but few are strong in the lengthening phase. It takes both of these to build adequate strength and muscle.
[ In order to build muscle, its important to build both concentric and eccentric strength]
What if you could build crazy muscle doing only one set of an exercise? Its entirely possible!
When I was taking classes to become a fitness trainer, my instructor always said it was possible to build adequate muscle from doing only 1 set of resistance exercises. I thought he was a bit “loco” but now I see how that’s so.
You would just need adequate weight then concentrate on both the lowering phase and lengthening phases of the movement. Few people want to do this because it takes patience and its “hella” intense!
The reason why it takes patience is because you must take the time to lower the weight. If you think about it, how many people have you seen at your local gym who can bench 225lbs but can’t lift and lower the same weight in a controlled fashion?
It takes guts! This is why Arthur Jones, one of the fathers of modern bodybuilding dubbed it,”High Intensity Training.”
I’m Not A Bodybuilder
I hear ya, you’re not a bodybuilder and you don’t have to be. You can incorporate eccentric training into anything to gain more muscle.
Strength and building muscle is something you can never get enough of, since we lose muscle as we age. Muscle helps burn fat and considering the way the U.S. population looks right now, we could all use it.
So how can you do it? As I stated above you can concentrate on the lowering phase of different exercises: pushups, squats, curls. deadilfts ,etc.
Trust me…it will challenge the hell of of you and it might be just what you need to put some “jazz” back into your stale workout routine.
Breaking Through Plateaus
Eccentric training is great for putting life back into a boring workout routine but its also good for busting through training plateaus. What if you can’t do a pullup?
No worries, if you do enough negative pull ups eventually you’ll get strong enough to do your first pull up! This strategy even works for the good ol’ bench press.
You might be looking to increase the weight/max on your bench press and have been stuck for a while at a specific weight.
Negative training will have you making that plateau your b****! Try it, I dare ya!
If you’re still confused as to what eccentric training is, take a look here for an example. As I said earlier, you can do this with just about any exercise as it is the best way to build muscle and overall strength.
Now it’s your turn, have you had any experience with negative training? What were the results? Do you want to add some “pop” do your current gym routine? Let me know what you’re doing now and if you plan on using negative training? Thanks!
Darren McDuffie is a fitness trainer and real food activist. In 2005, he lost his mother to breast cancer and although tragic it was a blessing in disguise. Through this tragedy, he used his inside information as a former pharmaceutical representative to expose the deceit of Big Food and Big Pharma.
Big Food & Big Pharma Exposed!
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