Negative Reps

Posted by Connie K on

You only perform so many reps per muscle group in any given month.  Why not make each one count?  Individual goals may be different for everyone but this is a technique I use to really help make the most out of each rep. Lifting things up and setting them back down, that’s what we do right?  Yes, well, sort of, but the focus shouldn’t always be on lifting the weight up.  Sometimes the most effective lifts I have are when I place more of the focus on putting that same weight back down rather than all the focus on lifting the weight up.  Although this is a common practice for experienced lifters, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a beginner use this technique effectively. *Some lifters even go so far as to use weights that are too heavy for them to lift up, and have a spotter help them so that 100% of the lift is used to just “lift” the weight back down. Try this: when performing a lift, instead of lifting the weight up and then dropping the weight back down to the bottom, aim to explode up (in control obviously) and then try and bring the weight back down slowly.  Where it may take a second or two to lift the weight up, try to use 4-6 seconds to bring the weight back to the bottom of the lift.  Then after you try this get back to me and let me know how you feel the next day –I’m about 99% sure you’ll be more sore than you expect. There are a wide variety of different timing patterns for your lifts and this pattern isn’t the best for everyone, but working to explode up and control the weight back down has, for me, helped to improve both my size and strength. Jack Burdick is majoring in Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota and along with hisweightlifting workouts, he competes in marathons and ultra-marathons (50 mile races) and is looking to earn a Cross-Fit title or to be recognized with The World’s Fittest Man title which is reserved for an ultra endurance power athlete.