Eccentric Training

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Getting back to our conversation on High-Intensity Training (HIT) and Body By Science, today is a little primer on one of the basic fundamental principles of this form of exercise…

The idea behind the exercise is to present the muscle with a new, and greater challenge each time you perform each exercise.  When the muscle gets fully exhausted, and is presented with a challenge that it cannot meet, there is a strong message sent to the muscle that it needs to get stronger.  This change to become stronger is referred to as an adaptation.  This adaptation is what allows exercise to be productive, and bring about real change.

But to comprehend what full muscle exhaustion is, you have to examine how the muscles work.  With each exercise that you perform, there is the concentric and eccentric.  Don’t be too intimidated by the terms.  From now on we’re going to refer to them as “positive” and “negative.”  The positive (concentric) part of the movement is when you are moving the weight with your own force.  The negative (eccentric) portion of the exercise is when you are letting the weight back down.  If you haven’t noticed, letting the weight back down is a lot easier.

Let’s say you are doing a pushup with somebody sitting on your back.  It’s easy to lower down to the floor with control.  You have the strength to do that.  But try to go back up again?  Much harder.  Likewise, there are parts of the movement that are easier than others.  You are much stronger in the last 6 inches of locking out a pushup than you are when your chest is only an inch or two above the ground.

So if you do pushups until you can’t go from the floor to a locked out position, have you really worked your muscle to its limits?  No.  You have gone to what is referred to as “positive failure.”  But there is still a lot of muscle strength left, especially for doing the negative part of the movement.  A good way to think of it is to think of the positive and negative like they are too separate arms.  If you tire out one arm, are you out of arm strength? No! You’ve got a whole other arm that’s rested and fully capable of doing more work.  There’s a masturbation joke in there somewhere, but I’ll leave that alone.

You also have static strength – where you may not be able to move the weight any further, but you still have enough muscle strength left to hold it steady in one place.

So if you are really wanting to challenge your muscles, really make sure that you are triggering the elusive “adaptive response,” it’s good to take an exercise to positive failure, hold it in that spot as long as you can, and then lower the weight as slowly as possible to tax the negative strength as well.  When you perform repetitions this way you are wearing out the positive, negative, and static strength of the muscle – not just the positive, which is more like the first stage of muscle fatigue.

Even more interesting is the prospect of doing just the negative portion of an exercise, because that’s where your greatest strength lies.  So you really make an effort to exhaust the muscle as completely as possible.  And, perhaps more importantly, when you do just the negative portion of the exercise, you can use a buttload more weight.  Sometimes double the weight or more.  Most report that this is phenomenally more effective for strength increase than using far lighter weights and completing the positive portion of each repetition.  While this type of training isn’t very practical if you don’t have a partner with you (to help you get the weight through the positive portion when you are too weak to do it yourself), it does have some distinct advantages, and you’ll probably see/hear/read more about it in the future – especially as more and more exercise equipment is designed to have this functionality.

Anyway, that’s the negative part of the exercise, and why it’s important.  Play around with it some and see for yourself.  A good place to start is doing the negative portion of a chinup/pullup if you are not strong enough to do one.  Do the negative part, then climb up on a chair and repeat.  There’s probably no faster route to completing your first, full, unassisted pullup.  Here’s ol’ Doc Smith bringing it…

And here’s some weighted negative pullups as part of a Body By Science workout…


In the next exercise-related post, maybe we’ll talk about static strength, and how static exercise can be useful for the very same reasons.  It has some advantages over negative-only sets because it is more practical for doing without a workout partner.  Although I must say, I’ve always lifted weights alone for the most part, and having a workout partner lately has been totally fun.  We go in and do our workouts one at a time, alternating who does their workout first.  The role of the wingman/sidekick is to help complete the last positive rep so that a full negative (or two) can be performed for full muscle exhaustion.

Here are some videos of the future of exercise equipment, where the muscle can be fully loaded to its maximum through each portion of the full range of movement.  The weight is lighter through the weaker parts of the movement, and then the machine puts more force on the muscle in the strongest part of the range of movement, particularly at the very beginnings of the negative portion of an exercise.  Total work is monitored on the CZT machine, so you can see and monitor those very fine improvements you make from week to week as you get stronger and stronger (and the gains come more slowly).  Not that you have to now panic and go find one of these machines to have hopes of getting in a good workout.  This is just to demonstrate this principle.  You can still have amazing workouts on your own without any specialized equipment.  But hopefully this makes you more consciously aware of the huge variation in strength in various stages and ranges of a repetition of any given exercise – allowing you to exhaust your muscle just a little more than you would have otherwise.

Don’t be too afraid of Chuck’s brother. He’s scary. But this video is just too intense and awesome not to include – especially considering that I’ve met this dude (hopefully Keith will come and comment on this, as he has a great deal of expertise with this type of training)

 

 

74 Comments

  1. Am I first? I love your site!

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    • I WAS BEATENED!

      Isn’t it weird though to scroll down and see NO COMMENTS? Usually I expect a group thesis.

      Reply
      • Ok so I’ve only been reading up on this site for 3 days now and wasn’t sure about the “first” thing…lol. I just saw a few others do it and then realized that his posts get hundreds of comments! I just happened to be on checking to see if he answered a comment I left on another post.

        Seriously though, it is crazy how friggin giddy I got over being first to comment!

        Jenn

        Reply
  2. Really? First?

    I find this insight extremely enlightening and it makes sense in a whole lot of perspectives.

    Now I just gotta find out how to do all this with my weight only. (And there is a lot of weight to go around HO HO HO HO, but seriously, no weights in a pets+baby house).

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    • I, too, would like to know if there are any exercises within this system that those of us without weights or a gym membership could do. :0)

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  3. That’s a great way to burn out real quick… I could go on forever on this topic, but won’t, and will only caution that, for the great majority of trainees, this would be less than ideal… On a few exercises, very infrequently, it won’t cause too much harm but, I’d be wary to recommend this to most. Unless the person is very healthy, can demonstrate very good recuperative abilities AND there is a need for adopting this type of training, I would recommend people stay clear of this…

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    • Could you maybe share your insight? I am very interested.

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      • Basically, there are “mechanical” reasons why concentric strength is less than isometric strength which, in turn, is less than eccentric strength. In other words, yes, when your concentric strength is exhausted you still have isometric strength left. And when your isometric strength is exhausted you still have eccentric strength left. But, the goal of training should always be to do the least amount of work to get the desired results. This will ensure that you create an optimal response (or adaptation) without digging too deeply into one’s recuperative abilities. Thus, by doing “beyond concentric failure” training, you are most certainly inroading more deeply into some physiological capacities (by making use of the aforementioned “mechanical advantages”) but, this is not necessarily useful, efficient nor conducive to continuous long-term gains, especially for the average trainee who is often already over-stressed in most areas of life. Heavy eccentric loading is notorious for loading many elements beyond the body’s current capacity for efficient recovery, not the least of which are all the supportive tissues (think, ligaments, articular surfaces, tendons, etc.) and, maybe more importantly, the central nervous system. This should all be taken into consideration, especially from a 180-degree total health perspective :)

        Reply
        • Negative reps, drop sets etc are methods advanced bodybuilders use – the last thing people who read this site should do

          Reply
    • That’s definitely true. That’s why it’s up to each individual to monitor his/her progress and make sure things aren’t going in the wrong direction, as will happen when you train too hrad, aren’t recovering properly, etc. Wrong direction as in getting weaker and not feeling so hot.

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      • Interesting point that. I remember when I first started exercising (at all) at the age of 17 and having to ask my aerobics teacher whether it was normal for it to get harder.

        They just couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Cue eyerolls.

        Reply
      • Pretty fascinating. Matt’s point about monitoring biofeedback makes sense, escpecially coupled with McGuff’s suggestion that you train less frequently the longer you’ve been at it, since you become more effective and efficient at pushing he envelope and instigating the adaptive response.

        There’s something compelling about old school free weights for me, but I think these machines just foreground what was previously a mental/form-based approach. The aim has always been to get to that place of fatigue and failure and quality movement, and the specific load has always been secondary, at least in my eyes thanks to my early instructors. It’s just a different set of tools and different challenges. Weights had their shortcomings, these newfangled machines surely have theirs. Mindfulness, intentionality and a focus on quality movement and the right sort of emphasis will go the lion’s share of the way to helping a trainee progress, I would think.

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  4. I have a friend, we’ll call him Adam, that did very well using 110% 1RM’s to increase his bench by 40 lbs in a matter of weeks. He has superior genetics like me, which probably explains the freakish gains. I’m sure little, normal people might could benefit from this in some way though.

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  5. Seems brutal. Does eccentric training produce a bigger GH response than BBS’s “concentric failure, than hold for 10 seconds”? I’m not sure how sustainable this regimen is.

    I did eccentric training for some moves years ago. Chin-ups mostly. They’re brutal. Are they necessary, or even beneficial (above and beyond concentric failure)? The only time I recommend them at all is for bodyweight exercises (where you can’t control the resistance as much) where you can’t do any concentric movements at all. If you can’t do a push-up, do 10 let-downs as slow as you can manage. But once you an do 4-5 push-ups, is there any benefit to the eccentric movements anymore?

    Reply
    • Initial Googling reveals .. http://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article%20folder/hormoneResUNM.html

      “In training adaptations and hormonal responses, concentric muscle actions produced a greater amount of growth hormone when compared to an eccentric muscle action (Durand et al., 2003). Durand and colleagues compared both the concentric and eccentric muscle actions with the same absolute load. However, when compared using a relative load, both concentric and eccentric muscle actions produced similar growth hormone and testosterone responses (Kraemer et al., 2006).”

      Doesn’t look there’s any benefit here. More weight =/ more GH.

      Reply
    • It’s more to add strength faster. Like doing negatives with way more than you could ever benchpress will make your benchpress strength in the concentric go up – assuming you don’t overdo the negatives. Doing partial reps can do this too, where you just do the movement in the strongest range of the movement – like doing benchpresses only 1/3 of the way down with way more weight than you could possibly do a full-range benchpress with.

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  6. Brock, you make some valid points. And, yes, GH response “could/should” be better with intense eccentic-only training, as is the case with any highly demanding strength training approach but, what use is it if the stress response is too elevated and also comes with a host of other not-so-desirable hormones (and a CNS) that has to overreact?!?!?

    I agree it can be useful for some, as in the bodyweight movements you mentioned above and, there are definitely some benefits to it (increasing eccentric strength, for instance, is highly correlated to increased high jump and triple jump performance; but, even eccentric-only training here fails miserably – you get maybe to 150% of 1RM, IF highly motivated – compared to depth jump training, which gives you upwards of 500% of 1RM!!!), but these also come with increased risk (of overtraining, injury, burnout, etc.) which, for most, is probably not worth it… The possible short-term gains, which might be worthwhile for athletes or people looking to push some boundaries (but, always within a certain context), are usually not worth it for the general trainee…

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  7. Dear Matt,

    I’m a bit off topic but I heard you say there were some down side to interval training à la ”PACE”, I like to weight train and do some intervals, tons of programs recommend this nowadays, like Turbulence etc, you know them all I’m sure…what are the down sides? THX

    Reply
    • Brigitte,

      Really, if one follows a training regimen akin to BBS, there is no need to do separate “conditioning” sessions. The idea that the cardiovascular system can somehwo be “isolated” (or should be), through “cardio” training, is simply the wrong way to look at the body as a whole. And, programs like Turbulence, among others, are just ASKING for trouble… Waaaay too much volume for most, with a choice of exercise that is, really, subpar…

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      • Thx Eric, got it. I assume women benefit as much as men from this program, if I purchase this book can I do the program at home? just curious…

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        • The principles would be the same for both genders, yes, but depending on equipment [free weights, a bench and, ideally, a power rack (or, at the very least, a hex-bar or squat belt) would make it easier] and knowledge of bodyweight training progressions, it can certainly be done at home…

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      • Although McGuff in BBS points out the folly of mentally isolating the aerobic part of the metabolic cycle, and can’t really see ‘cardio’ conditioning as anything real, I still think it’s an open question. Repeatedly taking your heart/respiration rate to your personal max with HIIT may have a positive effect on lung function (the PACE thesis), and certainly has an effect on endurance in certain activities IMO.

        e.g. I still participate in martial arts. I doubt that my performance would be at the same level if I simply did BBS strength training, although I’d probably be able to move more weight.

        Of course, just about everybody needs strength training, and doing both strength training and HIIT without overtraining is difficult.

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        • It’s not open to question really when you consider the physiological basis for McGuff’s and other’s assertions. If one trains within the right parameters (moderate reps, shorter rest periods, longer times under tension, etc.), the heart will be pumping as hard if not harder than in most “cardio” sessions. The cardiovascular system doesn’t care whether you make it work by pumping iron or pounding the pavement. But, I will let you guess which one, in the long run, is more health-promoting :)

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          • I’m not really talking about *most* cardio sessions. The respiration rate and pulse, as measured by a heart monitor, go nowhere near as high in BBS strength training as in a HIIT approach that targets the trainee’s personal maximum heart rate, despite moving from station to station with no rest.

            PACE’s claim is that it arrests the decline in pulmonary function, which is not the heart, veins and arteries per se, and that’s what I wonder about.

          • It depends. For example, my girlfriend can perform sets to failure with no rest in between movements ala BBS, and not even get winded during the workout. 4 minutes on an elliptical and she’s thinking her lungs are about to explode. I’m thinking one’s need for oxygen depends highly upon the intensity that they can generate, which depends upon the size and strength of their muscles. Weight training of any kind has my heart pounding really hard. I have only used a heart rate monitor once but was well into the 160′s and higher at various points during the workout (although the max heartrate I’ve ever recorded was 196 – doing a 300m sprint). Yet, I can hammer an elliptical pretty hard and find it quite easy in comparison unless I really sprint hard on the thing.

          • There are a few things to consider here. What type of exercises are you using (I can GUARANTEE you that even a simple program of deadlifts, pull-ups and dips will get anyone’s heart pounding if done to complete concentric failure). And, there is also the “skill” aspect of things, which Matt kind of alluded to here. If one is using exercises and principles he is used to, his or her body will be more efficient at it and therefore will, potentially, not get as winded doing it. A runner who always runs will be very efficient at running, and therefore not burn as many calories nor will the effort require quite as much of him, simply due to the ‘skill’ aspect being optimized. The same is true of any exercise.

          • Eric, good points, all…

            I notice that when I do a true strength exercise i.e. an exercise that I can only perform 4-5 reps (say, pistol squats). my heart rate goes way up. Haven’t really measured it with the monitor, but it’s probably way up there.

            HIIT done with a heart monitor, though, allows you to compensate for increasing skill and local conditioning. You simply up the intensity as you condition. The constant is the HR and the time interval, not the reps or the variant of the exercise.

            Now, I mostly just do Tai Chi, but my group includes people who still practice Kung Fu and I dabble in sparring and some strenuous Kung Fu forms. Do you think that someone who simply did BBS strength training, would perform as well in those areas as somebody who also does HIIT metabolic conditioning using whole body bodyweight movements chosen to support those activities?

  8. Oh and about doing push-up with somebody on the back…I do it all the time, with my 4 y.o. LOL, Even with a just a 35 pounder it’s hard to come back up LOL

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  9. I´m interested in that masturbation joke

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  10. The video with Mr. Norris was interesting. He’s definitely taxing his body heavily in a short time. Is that ideal? Depends on the individual.

    Lately I’ve been having a lot of fun with “explosive” training where the positive is done as fast and explosive as the weight will allow and the negative is controlled but not too slow. Sets of 3 reps with weight going up each set until the point where I can’t move the weight fast any more. On some exercises I’ll drop the weight down again and do a final set of 10-12 explosive reps.

    The idea is to recruit the “high threshold” motor units required to move weight quickly. So far, I’m really enjoying this style of lifting, and strength is going up quickly. That probably has a bit to do with the huge amount of carbs I’m eating, too.

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    • Cameron… Unfortunately, that type of training is also the best way to get injured. Injuries always occur because peak acceleration forces are in excess of the tissues capacities. HT motor unit recruitment, by virtue of the size principle, does not require high-speed movements; that is just a false ongoing and seemingly not-close-to-ever-dying interpretation of the size principle of motor unit recruitment…

      Reply
      • By that, I was referring to “explosive” training, and not to Keith’s exertion level…

        Reply
      • True, and I wouldn’t ever encourage a beginner to train explosively. I take great precautions to avoid injury, especially with fast / explosive positives.

        Most of my past weight training injuries happened because of trying to grind out too many reps with heavy weight, resulting in sloppy form.

        I’ve also had a couple low back injuries while (floor) deadlifting from lowering the bar too slowly below the knees. (Now I “drop” the weight once it gets down to my knees, and this has kept my low back pretty happy.)

        Setting the HT motor recruitment debate aside, I’m seeing some interesting things with explosive training. I’ve only been doing it for a few weeks, but it’s been less taxing than training to failure (probably due to the mostly low-rep scheme), strength is going up fast, and muscles feel harder despite high bodyfat levels.

        No injuries from it so far, but I’m using pretty conservative loads for now. I will have more personal data in a couple more months.

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  11. Sweet, that video with Keith Norris was shot in my city. I may have to go check out that CZT machine!

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  12. I use a “chef in the kitchen” analogy quite often when explaining modalities to clients, and in the case of eccentrics, we can think of these as spices. Definitely not a staple, and some people like/can tolerate much more than others. Are they effective for building strength and mass? You bet — *if* they’re programmed correctly.

    As far as the ARXFit equipment goes, one is “maxed out” at every single point relative to both one’s biomechanical position, and whether the movement is concentric or eccentric. It’s a fantastic tool to have in the ol’ tool shed, for sure. As with straight-up eccentrics, though, a little goes a long way. This is why we can complete workouts in well under 30 minutes in most cases.

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  13. The woman in that picture inspired the thought in me that any man that lusts after a woman that can do reverse weighted pullups is seeking strength that he does not have himself.

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    • Why should women NOT be able to do pull-ups?!?!? That is nonsense, as is the idea that I my lusting for a woman who can do weighted pull-ups (which I am married to…) is a sign of “lack of strength” on my part. (What’s a “reverse weighted pullup” by the way?!?!?)

      I think this recollection of Poliquin’s describes it best:

      “Our jaws almost hit the floor when a slender, 18-year-old young woman walked into the gym and challenged everyone in our class, including me, to a chin-up contest. Not only was she challenging our masculinity, but she also bet us each 10 US dollars that she could do more supinated chins (i.e., the easier way, with palms facing the body) than we could do pronated (i.e., the harder way, with palms facing away from the body). Back then, 10 US dollars could buy you a lot on the Russian black market, so we took the bet because we figured it was good for a laugh and some easy money.

      I did the most reps of our group – 23 super-strict, narrow-grip, pronated chins. But I, along with my classmates, soon parted with 10 bucks and a large portion of our self-esteem when this young woman grabbed the bar and proceeded to crank out 60 perfect reps! The worst part was that she didn’t even reach muscular failure, having probably 10-12 more in the tank. I later found out she had come in 10th in the breaststroke event at the Moscow Swimming Championships.”

      Women, let it be known, can generate the same force per unit of muscle as men. That is, muscle pound to muscle pound, women and men are similar in strength. The difference is in the amount of lean mass they usually have compared to the amount of fat mass. Relatively though, it doesn’t make them the “weaker sex” :)

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      • I said that it “inspired” that thought so I put it out there to see what someone might say, so thanks.

        Can’t honestly say that Poliquin’s story was inspirational though because I think that competing with men in something (in this case overall, not relative strength) is boring to me.

        Why “challenge” male masculinity? Males are already competing with each other enough as it is, do I have to get in there and do it too? Not only is that idea futile in my opinion, but extremely lame.

        Tapping into femininity is exciting when you discover the lost secrets of what constitute real female power. It’s not about “beating” someone to gain power, but nurturing them to the extent that they want to give it to you.

        I’d love to see how you, as a man, will use your skills of quantified logic to try to form an opinion about that, but you don’t have to if you don’t feel like it. You’ve already won over me in many domains, such as pull-ups, push-ups, running, lifting, karate-chopping, body-slamming and whatever other activity I find admirable but somehow couldn’t care less about doing because there’s so many other things I’m interested in that nurture me in a more satisfying way :)

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        • Wow, you took this to a few levels above anything I was implying… All I was implying was that women need not limit their strength potential on the simple basis that they are women. Nothing more. I’m not implying that strength is the only goal of life. (I was also offset a bit by your idea that promoting strength in women, or in one’s female partner, was a sign of “weakness” on one’s part; that, if anything, was quite a big jump!!!). This article, after all, is about strength training… You appeared to limit your potential based on the fact that you were of the opposite sex. I merely wanted to point out that this was non-sense. It’s not about competition with others, as much as understanding that limits are often self-imposed, nothing more. If that’s not your cup of tea, that’s OK too though :)

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  14. Thanks for showing ladies who lift Mattie. I tried doing the negatives, sad to report I can’t really do just my body weight .. will continue to work on it. In other exercises I am moving on up in weight. These are my nemesis.
    much love
    deb

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    • Try experimenting with different grips and widths, Deb. Underhand is usually easier, but sometimes a parallel grip (hands facing each other) is more comfortable.

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      • I do overhand grip now. I am fat and weak. Wah. Working on it.

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    • You’ll get there soon. Can you do static holds at the top? Try holding it as long as you can and then let down as much as you can. Odds are you can do the negatives at the top where strength is better but not at the bottom. I believe in you haggie!

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      • Your help makes all things magical Stoney. I just really need to work hard to get this body where it needs to be. I just took measurements and picture in a bikini. I have to go cry now.
        Love you
        haggie

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        • I’m also trying to restore my ability to do pullups after realizing that I’m a drive by sarcopenia victim. Although, I’m using the convict conditioning progression, I’ll definitely try some negatives when I’m a little more advanced than I am now.

          CC uses partial positives as the step prior to full pull ups, but people have criticized that approach, saying weighted negatives are better…

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          • Partial reps and weighted negatives are both tremendous shortcut strength-building techniques. You might find Pete Sisco’s work interesting.

          • Yeah, it was interesting, thx… especially his point that full ROM through the exercise is not required for increasing strength and adding muscle. You can use more weight in the middle of the range, because you’re stronger there.

            I’d always looked on that as cheating, and also as something that had other negative effects – but it makes sense to consider it as another possible technique.

          • I think you can build quite a bit of strength with partials, but I think the muscle mass gain is going to be small in proportion to the strength training. Traditional hypertrophy training usually provides big muscle gains in proportion to strength increase. I think the strength gains come from activating the nervous system. The structure involved in a various lift will feel that big load hanging overhead and make changes, even if you don’t go through the full range of motion for the exercise.

          • The force curve for all muscles is at a different ROM, thus peak force production will also vary from muscle to muscle. The middle-point, thus, is not always the strongest point in the range. Working through a fuller ROM, safely, has much better carryover on overall strength and hypetrophy, as well as joint integrity, not to mention active flexibility (the useful kind!!!). Partial range of motion exercise only makes you stronger in the range that is trained (with about 10-15 degrees in either direction, again, depending on the muscle/movement). Partials “can” be a tool to add in the box of strength athletes who are dealing with specific sticking points but, otherwise, confer no advantage over more complete ROM training, at least for the general population of trainees, even more advanced ones…

          • Erik,
            I’ve been researching a little about static contraction training (similar to partials), and was wondering about the deal with only being stronger in that part of the range of motion. “Their” claim is that the strength of a movement is based on how many muscle fibers are being used to produce that force, and also that by training in the strongest point of the range of motion (where all of the fibers will be contracted), this allows for strength in all parts of the full range of motion. I’m not sure what to believe yet since anyone can make a claim for either side. Erik, do you have good evidence against these claims, and/or for your claims that partials only train that part of the range of motion? I’m interested to find this out. Thanks man.

          • Sorry, I meant to spell your name as “Eric”. My bad.

        • The fact that I, like 20 years younger, want to see the picture should tell you everything you need to know about how you look. Take it easy Hag. Your looks are way above the curve for your age.

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          • Love u Mattie XO

    • As Matt suggested, static holds at the top can help, or try band/partner assisted eccentrics at first. Just enough assistance so that you can lower no faster than 8-10 seconds usually is just right. As Cameron suggested also, using a close and supinated grip will give you the most advantage in terms of strength/leverage. Chins/pulls are the deadlifts of the upper body, so keep working at them, and you’ll be greatly rewarded :)

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  15. Thanks guys! I will hold at the top & report back. Did 85 six rep Romanian dead lifts today BOOYAH :-)

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  16. 85 lbs I meant

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  17. I know this might seem a little strange, but what do you think of masturbation/sex lowering testosterone and using vital nutrients?
    Any reply would be welcome and if you know of any research books or study etc also.
    Thanks

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    • It probably wastes a few vital nutrients, but my understanding is that the higher the number of orgasms, generally the higher the level of testosterone. Of course, that doesn’t mean that masturbating more will increase testosterone, it might lower it. This can probably be interpreted as higher testosterone = higher sex drive.

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  18. Totally get the point. Doing P90X at the moment and can totally bring it to the next level with this!!! Awesome! :)

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    • Do yourself a favour and ditch the P90X!!!!!! Volume and intensity combinations, frequency, and types of exercises (not to mention form) are all wrong, wrong, wrong!!!!

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      • Really.. damn.. in what way are they wrong?

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        • I’ll leave it to my friend Drew who already did a great job of explaining this :)
          http://baye.com/p90x-insanity-and-similar-nonsense/

          There is nothing written in there that isn’t absolutely true and the philosophy of training and approach I espouse and have developed over time pretty much reflect the same ideas and elements…

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          • HUmm… I do see his point. And I agree the amount of training is overwhelming and I cannot follow a 6 days on 1 day off schedule. But other than that I like it. I mostly get bored with doing exercises and since I never do the same stuff I keep pressing “play”. I don’t follow their diet or supplement regimen. I do believe that different exercise programs and different diets works for different people. It is just a matter of finding the right one for each and everyone of us. I think I am going to stick with it for this time and look elsewhere when I am done. I really appreciate you forwarding the link. Thank you.

  19. Kind of an OT question….but what if you don’t have access to a gym and weights@home? I know there are ‘home workout” sites like Bodyrock.TV and T-Tap (which one is supposed to do everyday?).

    I only wonder how people manage this? since I can’t watch the video on my laptop while simultaneously exercising? :s And if I try to watch the video beforehand,I forget half of the program while trying to do it.

    Reply
    • You can achieve a lot with pistols, handstand push-up variations, push-up variations, pull-up variations. All you’d need is a bar (for chins/pull-ups), maybe some rings for more variation (or something like the TRX system) and, eventually, some way of adding weights (a back pack with some weights or a weighted vest). You can do a lot once you understand the basics of proper exercise form and progressions. It’s not “ideal”, but certainly workable…

      Reply
      • Thanx 4 the advice Eric :)……however I’m such a noob when it comes towards exercise/understanding it,that I need some guidance in the beginning. For instance all this talks about reps and lifting to failure&stuff,only is half understandable for me even though my English is good.Than there’s the issue I feel I’m never doing enough,long/frequent enough&/hard/intense enough since my mind is still in a ‘only in a gym can you effectively work-out’-mode. Somehow it still doesn’t feel real to me.

        Unfortunately I live in a very tiny appartment with no balcony and/or spare room….so installing a pull-up bar in one of my doorposts might be possible,but rings/machines aren’t an option when it comes to space. Also little storage room….:(

        Reply
        • Dutchie…

          If you have room for a pull-up bar, then you can set up rings hanging from the pull-up bar itself. And bands as well, if you need some assistance at first for pull-ups. But, you can also vary the angle of pull on pull-ups using the rings (feet on ground, leaning back, so that the angle of pull becomes more horizontal; a cross between an inverted row then, and a pull-up). With rings, you can also add difficulty to push-ups, and also do dips. Seriously, even with so little equipment, one can do quite a bit. For legs, you are kind of limited to pistols (or one-leg deadlifts (bent or stiff-legged), as extra variation) but, that in itself is still good. As for protocols, that would require a whole long article but, I can recommend some good links to get you started.

          Reply
          • Just had to look up al these things cause I’d never heard of them before;pistols&such….
            Probably have to watch the video’s a couple of times in order for them to stick in my memory of what it is.:)

          • There is an amazing book called ‘You Are Your Own Gym’ by Mark Lauren that is great for learning a huge variety of very effective bodyweight exercises, with variations included to tweak the level of difficulty.

          • Thanx 4 the tip Brandon:) I’ll try to look it up on the net.

          • If you’re interested in pistol squats, this was by far the best advice I found on the web

            http://www.maxwellsc.com/blog.cfm?blogID=60

            And for everybody interested in pull ups/chin ups I just happened to notice that the beast skills web site has a ton of interesting info in its tribute to Jasper Benincasa

            http://beastskills.com/blog/

            which led to this link…

            http://www.dragondoor.com/articles/the-one-arm-chinning-guide/default.aspx

            Lots of good stuff about training that should be applicable to 2 hand pull ups

  20. Is there any cchance you could make your articles into a printable version?. I am terrible with computers so can’t do it myself. Thanks.

    Reply
  21. Would anyone here know why divers in the sport of jumping from a platform or springboard, sometimes while performing acrobatics have huge lower body ,especially quadriceps.I don’t think they squat with weights or go to muscular failure while their practice.I say they don’t squat with weights because even the youngest divers have the same appearance.

    Reply

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