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Article by Infofit

Negatives for Positive Training Results

Training method for building strength and size

Negatives Training Method is Very Effective

Did you know that you are stronger on the lowering phase or the eccentric portion of a repetition than on the lifting or concentric phase? During the eccentric portion you can create greater amounts of muscle damage and generate more growth by slowing down the repetition or by using a weight that is heavier than you are used to.  This training method or technique is known as Negative Training or Negatives. Typically, you can eccentrically lower 25% more weight than you are able to lift, which is the reason negatives are so effective.

Negatives – An Advanced Training Method

Negatives are an advanced training method used by Personal Trainers for building strength and size not only for themselves but also for their clients. This training method is great for when you are wanting to break through a plateau, shock the muscle into new growth or simply to increase your strength.

2 Ways to Implement Negatives

There are 2 ways that you can implement negatives into your own routine:

Method 1:  Complete your usual workout (e.g.)

  • Bench press 3-4 sets X 8-12 reps.
  • Rest 1 minute and then complete the following:
  • Bench press 1 set X 3 reps (5 second eccentric lowering phase)

Method 2: Complete your usual workout:

  • Bench Press 3-4 sets X 8-12 reps
  • Perform reps 10-12 with a 3-5 second slow eccentric contraction for every set

Intense Technique

One reason that not too many people use negatives in their fitness training program is because it is an intense technique and it will leave you with greater DOMS than regular reps.

Benefits of Using Negatives

However, intensity aside, benefits of using negatives training method in your training program include:

  • Recruitment of more muscle fibre leading to greater gains of lean muscle
  • Increased strength gains leading to improved lifting performance
  • Increased production of the natural muscle building growth hormone (GH)

Negatives are taxing on the body, so ensure that you are allowing at least 48 hours rest between workouts for optimal recovery.

Personal Trainers Tip: Because you are going to be working with a weight that is heavier than you are used to, you should always have a spotter on hand to assist you if needed.

Break Through a Plateau, Increase Your Lean Muscle Mass

So if you are looking to break through a plateau, or to increase your lean muscle mass, try introducing negatives training method into your program.