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When is negative a positive? Not in math but in the gym a negative is a good thing. A negative training technique can be just the thing you need to awaken your muscles to more growth. The negative comes in the form of the most elemental area – the basic repetition.
In a negative repetition the emphasis of the action is on the eccentric, or downward phase of the lift. The weight is lowered very slowly and deliberately. How slow? Typically 3-6 seconds per downward rep.
The negative rep lets the body work with a much heavier weight load than it could get up on its own. A spotter or two help to get the uber heavy load up and ready to go, and then the lifter performs the main event, the lowering of the weight.
Negative reps can be performed for most exercises. It may take a bit of experimenting to get into the negative rep groove but once you do you can spark nice gains. Some lifters recommend starting with a 5-10 percent amount above your one rep max, and working up from there to yet heavier loads.
Perform 5-6 repetitions per set, and get in 2-3 sets of the super heavy weight loads for the negatives. You might want to separate out a couple of muscle groups to focus on at a time instead of trying to put your entire body on a negative routine at one time.
The negative repetition enables your body to work with bigger loads than you possibly could otherwise. This not only pushes new muscle growth but it also trains your muscles more ready to handle heavier loads down the road, and it trains your muscles and very important nerve interaction about these extremely heavy weight challenges. Negatives are a popular training tool as many lifters have experienced some very nice muscular gains from using a negative training cycle.
Note: For more information on High Intensity Training see The Colorado Experiment Workout
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