When you’re trying to improve strength, or build some muscle, it seems logical to just lift weights more often. You should increase your strength the more you do it, right?
While this is definitely true, there are some specific techniques known to increase strength at an accelerated rate.
If moving more weight, doing more push-ups, or performing more pull-ups are among your fitness goals you’ll want to add negative reps to your workouts.
What Are Negative Reps?
When you’re lifting weight in a gym, there’s only two directions it can be moved. In most lifts, it’s either up or down. When you lift weight up, its known as the concentric contraction. This forces your muscles to contract and get shorter.
When you lower the weight it’s called the eccentric contraction, or negative rep, which forces your muscles to elongate.
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Why You Should Do Them
What’s the big deal, right? Why is the negative, or lowering of the weight, so important? Most people are typically 20-30% stronger on the negative rep allowing them to handle more weight than usual. This excessive load can increase your strength at an accelerated rate compared to normal lifts.
Negative reps also recruit more fast twitch muscle fibers, which are the holy grail of quick burst and strength movements.
You’ll also cause more muscle damage (in a good way) during negative reps. As your muscles stretch and elongate, it causes more damage as they try to contract.
It’s the microscopic damage created during your workouts that results in increased muscle size after the damage is repaired.
Related: How to add 15 lbs of muscle
Here’s How To Do Negatives
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