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Slow Negatives for Hypertrophy

The Matrix Mass Program

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Bodybuilding and Fitness Newsletter 1/24/2018

Lower Slower, Gain Faster

Our bodies operate holistically which means everything is inter-related and all the working parts are only as strong as its weakest link. We know that all anaerobic exercises using resistance are specifically designed to build muscle mass using tension. It is a good habit to make a decision to train heavy and fast or slow and light when you walk into the gym before you start a weightlifting session.

It needs to be pointed out that you're not training incorrectly when you use either speed training or tempo training, but you need to be aware that these two training methods will get different results. When you lift with a slower tempo you are effectively stimulating muscle growth. Conversely, when you train with a fast tempo you increase strength.

Dropping the weight to increase your negitives or eccentric time will increase the TUT (time under tension). Increasing your strength using explosive lifts will give you a very potent foundation for your negitives control. The problem is that many lifters lack any negitive strength and therefore leave important gaps in their own training.

There are four main benefits to increasing your negitives strength. The first is that it will increase your muscle mass because doing controlled eccentrics will always provide a greater muscular damage, enabling hypertrophy. Extensive research clearly shows eccentric training will always cause increased micro-trauma to the muscle fibers, leading to an increased muscle growth.

Controlled eccentrics will cause greater muscular damage enabling migration of the required nutrients to speed up recovery and growth. There is a very fine balance between acceptable soreness (DOMS) and excessive soreness. This difference will show itself by varying your training intensity, your frequency and your athletic performance in general.

Trainees who are looking to maximize muscle gain always need to consider the trade-off between their training soreness they get and training frequency. Muscle soreness comes from training for hypertrophy, however it should never exceed your recovery capabilities because it will hinder your training frequency.

Controlled eccentric training with isolation and additional hypertrophy-focused work needs to always weigh up the risk-reward factor, because if your fatigue and your soreness is going to limit your training frequency and your training intensity, it will counteract the muscular demands of your chosen sport.

When you train with concentric and/or ballistic movements you will be limiting the development of your eccentric strength. If you are an athlete, then you should always use a stable range of motion (ROM) because it will reinforce your movement mechanics and increase control of eccentrics on all non-ballistic weight-training movements that you do, until full control is completely ingrained.

Eccentrics will also improve your lifting technique because whenever you can't control a heavy weight when doing an eccentric using submaximal weight, you will break form when under any near-maximal loads. Controlled eccentrics will require controlling your body through full range so that your sticking points are minimized to improve your strength.

Controlled eccentrics or lower, slower training will improve your technique because you're focusing only on your power and your explosive technique. It's important to note that incorrect eccentric training can often just cause injury because of the excessive weight used. When doing slower lowering reps correctly you get time to check joint position while doing the lifts, which reinforces your mental and your physical engagement when training.

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