Building Strength with Negative Training

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

At some point in your routine, you will hit the dreaded plateau. And if changing up your routine didn’t keep you from overcoming said plateau, why not consider negative training? Negative training is a fitness technique bodybuilders and power lifters use to build strength. It’s a technique reserved only to those who are serious about taking their fitness to a completely different level!

What Is Negative Training?

Negative training focuses on the negative part of fitness. You lower the weight instead of pressing it. Negative training is all about slower, more controlled motions to support and resist – not push – the weight.

Benefits of Negative Training

Builds Power

If you are serious about building power, then you will benefit from negative training. This technique will help you transition to lifting heavier weights. That’s because negative training makes positive elements of an exercise easier. It will increase the weight and workout through negative reps. Once you successfully built strength, you can simply switch back to doing both parts of the exercise – but this time with heavier weight.

Improved Form

Do negative training if you want to achieve the perfect form. Not a lot of people put effort into lowering the weight. And so, they end up using the negative portion of the exercise to rest instead of building power. This might allow them to boost their reps but at the expense of their workout quality.

Through negative training, you will know the difference between lowering weights in a controlled motion and letting gravity take over. Your form will improve, you will get definition and power. When the motion is slow and controlled, the underlying muscles develop. Moving too fast will not give you the same results.

Faster Results

Did you know you can get better results in half the time with negative training? That’s right! You spend more time in the negative area of the exercise to achieve faster results. There’s also less effort on your part. Just focus on slower, controlled and deliberate movements to sculpt your body.

Increase Muscle Mass

Perhaps one of the greatest things about utilizing negative training is it increases muscle mass. This is the reason why negative training is a favorite technique of bodybuilders. The technique literally overloads the muscles. This triggers muscle hypertrophy. When the muscles are overloaded, tiny tears will form in the muscle fibers. The tears are repaired with larger muscle fibers. As you continue with your routine, your body will build bigger muscle fibers to repair the tears. This increases muscle mass.

Performing Negative Rep Training

Want to give negative training a try? We recommend doing it on days when you have a lifting partner. You want someone to spot you throughout the negative phases for better results.

Now, for every exercise, we recommend using weights that are 130% of the maximum you could press, lift or push in one rep. Count to three to complete each negative phase. If you cannot resist the weight for at least 3 seconds, you have to take some weight off. Do three or four sets that include negative reps and then do more sets of the same exercise. But make sure to reduce the weight to 75% of your 1RM as you complete 10 to 12 reps.

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