T Nation

Motor Units & Antagonistic Eccentrics

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.

[quote]dankid wrote:

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.

Thanks in advance, what are your thoughts.[/quote]

Man, you’re a geeneeaas ! (lame Algernon reference here)

I mean, this sounds like the best way of removing yourself from the gene pool, I say you should try it out !

On a more serious note:

This is the bodybuilding forum.
Getting big is not rocket science, and those who try to make it into that are invariably small.

Stop worrying about this crap.

If you go from a 9012 CGP to a 51016RP, well guess what’s going to happen to your triceps?

And It’ll blow straight through all the fast-twitch, slow-twitch, HTMU,-whatever kind of bullshit.

Your answers dont make any sense, it may be the language barrier or something.

Are you saying you’ll get bigger triceps if you go from benching 90x12 to 510x16?

Well duh, but how many people ever bench 510x16.

Or was that suppposed to be tempo numbers, because it made no sense to me.

[quote]dankid wrote:
Your answers dont make any sense, it may be the language barrier or something.

Are you saying you’ll get bigger triceps if you go from benching 90x12 to 510x16?

Well duh, but how many people ever bench 510x16.

Or was that suppposed to be tempo numbers, because it made no sense to me.[/quote]

I think you’re not familiar with weightlifting terminology:
CGP = Close Grip Bench.

There are better versions than the standard one (as far as triceps growth goes), but you get the point now?

Even CGPing 400*12 is going to make your tris pretty damn big, the number is not important, only that you always get better.

The RP after the 510*16 means Rest-Paused, just more effective for me.

And to settle your tempo-issues:

Explosive positive, controlled negative (not slow, just under control so that you could reverse the direction the weight is traveling at will).

This is only for working in the hypertrophy zone, mind you (5-20 or so, you get the point), not necessarily ME work, about which I know nothing.

Seriously, don’t overthink this kind of stuff.
Get stronger on your exercises in the hypertrophy rep-ranges, choose exercises that allow you to add lots of weight over time, there you go.

What your saying doesn’t make much sense still. I understand your terminology, but your reasoning is completely flawed.

Very few lifters will ever be able to CGBP 400 x 12. Yes its clear that if you eat to build muscle and can do this, you’ll likely have huge arms, but its unrealistic.

Its like saying if I qualify for the olympics in the 100m dash, will I have muscular legs and a low BF.

I agree that people should focus on increasing both max strength, and strenght in the hypertrophy zone, but you can only train one way for so long. Your going to need periods of decreased load, as well as certain “tricks” to continue to progress to heavier weights.

What I described seems to make sense, but would certainly need special precautions taken. It would be very similar to heavy eccentric work, so it could easily be misused.

I know you think your cute for coming on with your smart-ass answers, but really it just decreases the quality of these forums. People that have serious questions would like serious answers. Otherwise, it will be the downfall of the T-Nation forums, as we are already well on the path toward the bodybuilding.com forums. Next we’ll start to see a massive influx of “whats the best tricep exercise” threads.

THANK YOU!

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

[quote]dankid wrote:
What your saying doesn’t make much sense still. I understand your terminology, but your reasoning is completely flawed.

Very few lifters will ever be able to CGBP 400 x 12. Yes its clear that if you eat to build muscle and can do this, you’ll likely have huge arms, but its unrealistic.

Its like saying if I qualify for the olympics in the 100m dash, will I have muscular legs and a low BF.

I agree that people should focus on increasing both max strength, and strenght in the hypertrophy zone, but you can only train one way for so long. Your going to need periods of decreased load, as well as certain “tricks” to continue to progress to heavier weights.

What I described seems to make sense, but would certainly need special precautions taken. It would be very similar to heavy eccentric work, so it could easily be misused.

I know you think your cute for coming on with your smart-ass answers, but really it just decreases the quality of these forums. People that have serious questions would like serious answers. Otherwise, it will be the downfall of the T-Nation forums, as we are already well on the path toward the bodybuilding.com forums. Next we’ll start to see a massive influx of “whats the best tricep exercise” threads.

THANK YOU![/quote]

Your stats:
Occupation: student- KIN
Weight: 195lbs.
Height: 5’11"
Body fat %: 13%
Years Training: 8, 3 seriously

I think you should listen to people who are way bigger than you.

Rotate your exercises to keep from stalling, if you stall on one anyway, drop it from your rotation and pick another one that works the same main muscle-group. (this is an example of avoiding and getting around plateaus, there are obviously other ways).

You also seem to have reading comprehension issues.

I wrote that the actual number that you CGP is not important, but the fact that you get better all the time is.

Also, I never wrote that one should work on max strength as this is completely irrelevant to bodybuilding.

Increasing strength in the hypertrophy zone is what you should be doing.

On another note… Are you a troll by any chance… your last paragraph sort of looks like you are headhunter’s twin-brother…

Go train and see where it gets you, even if you could only do 300*12 it would still be way better than what you are doing now, is this really so hard to understand?

[quote]AlteredState wrote:
Whilst I think I see where you are coming from with your idea to try and ‘force’ the weight back down by contracting anatagonistic muslce pairings, there is something called ‘reciprocal inhibition’ whjich will make this nigh on impossible to do with anything of any weight - unless of course you can somehow presuade your body to overcome its basic spinal-level reflexes.[/quote]

He only needs to repeat all his big words about HTMU’s and whatnot until his spine gives up in frustration.
If anyone can do it, he can.

[quote]AlteredState wrote:
Whilst I think I see where you are coming from with your idea to try and ‘force’ the weight back down by contracting anatagonistic muslce pairings, there is something called ‘reciprocal inhibition’ whjich will make this nigh on impossible to do with anything of any weight - unless of course you can somehow presuade your body to overcome its basic spinal-level reflexes.[/quote]

Ah that makes sense. I didn’t think about reciprocal inhibition. Thanks, that was the type of answer I was looking for.