Negative lifts, basically when you slow down the phase of lowering the weight towards you before exploding and pushing it away from you, are where THE MAGIC HAPPENS.
Or the more coined sentence ‘Think negative to grow!’
But, as always, here is a quick summary sourced from speaking to and reading articles by personal trainers, Ironman athletes, gymnasts and body builders. Quite the range, quite the tip!
- Mass: Negative reps put an additional amount of stress on the muscle and force it to control the weight for a longer duration thus contracting and overloading the muscle, helping to achieve hypertrophy
- Strength: The negative phase or eccentric phase as it’s known allows you to lift more. The muscles produce the most force during this phase and so it is great for breaking through plateaus
- Aesthetic: You’ll call upon more fast twitch muscle fibers to work through the lift. Your muscles will respond by rebuilding more and stronger fast twitch muscle fibers so that it can meet the challenge next time
- Stronger connective tissue: Which in turn will aid in preventing injury
- Greater flexibility: The negative portion of the lift causes growth of your muscle fibers in length
- Increase Power: Mix up negative with explosive for example: Heavy eccentric bench press with low rep explosive push ups or med ball tosses
- Negative reps should have a contraction time of between 4 – 6 seconds
And we’re not just talking negative reps in weight lifting, negative reps apply to TRX moves, pull ups, certain controlled Kettle bell movements, push ups etc etc
Just be careful, negatives put more stress ultimately tearing them aggressively on your muscles so don’t over train it. A full amino acid supplement like these BCAA tablets can help with recovery.