Was thinking about tempo and motor unit recruitment the other day, and had a question. Maybe someone will have an answer.
Ok, so its pretty clear that you should almost always perform the concentric motion of a lift as fast as possible, or with as much intent for speed as possible.
This leads to maximal MU recruitment. And as far as strength goes, a fast eccentric is optimal as well. But if your concerned with size, most recommend a slower eccentric, for example 4 seconds.
So maximal MU recruitment occurs with the concentric movement, and likely their is a drop off of MU at the top of the movement, and in order to initiate the eccentric movement, more MU’s must be deactivated. So a 4-second eccentric does produce a greater TUT, but at the cost of decreased MU recruitement. And the MU’s that aren’t being worked here are the ones with the greatest potential for growth. If they aren’t being activated they cant grow.
But… What if you keep contracting fully, and initiate the eccentric not by decreasing MU recruitement, but instead by activating antagonistic muscles. For example on a bench press, the eccentric movement would be performed by pulling the weight down with the lats and biceps.
I dont think this is anything new, it seems like a lot of bb’ing training would involve something like this. But what rep/set recommendations would fit this type of training. It seems like it would only work with less reps, because its basically constant maximal tension.
Thanks in advance, what are your thoughts.