Negative Only Workout Program

How would a completely negative-only workout program look like?

Due to the new advancements in technology there is more and more home exercise machines that are being released that have negative focused or negative-only modes.

How would a full body workout look like that using a negative-only overload mechanism in terms of sets, rep ranges etc.

Dr @Ellington_Darden any insights?

I’ve read your NEG-10 for arms, which is absolutely terrific, but how would something similar be possible for the rest of your muscle groups such as chest and programmed good enough to leave consistent growth.

I believe you need both negative and positive overload to build muscle in the most efficient and effective way. My best overall results in any of my groups in Gainesville were from the ones who did the X-Force machines in 2012. During this research, which involved more than 100 subjects and is reported in The Body Fat Breakthrough (2014), no more than 8 exercises were performed in any workout. I’d suggest that you get this book and study it.

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I’m curious if anyone has tried any of the electromagnetic machines which allow for automatic upload of resistance on the negative? I’m aware of at least 4 now (Tonal, Vitruvian Form, Speede, Oxefit). The equipment options in this space seem to be expanding rapidly.

I have a Vitruvian Form V2, great machine.

Which is why I was inquiring regarding a negative-only workout program.

I think that makes you an early adopter! I’d love to hear more about your thoughts on the machine.

By way of background: early motorized machines (ARX, Exerbotics) were isokinetic devices that provided “dumb” resistance. You get a beefy motor that drives the machine at a constant rate, and the force levels are determined entirely by the user’s degree of willful contraction. Performing that that kind of contraction seems a lot like doing an overcoming isometric, except the contraction is performed against a moving object with unalterable velocity, instead of an immovable fixed object. As an early critic suggested: it is like working against a trash compactor. (I’m thinking of that scene from one of the early Star Wars movies.)

I believe the motors in these new machines are much more sophisticated, and work in a somewhat different manner, providing a somewhat different feel and means of training. But since I’ve never been able to try one, I am inferring this from some of the videos I’ve seen.


  • What kind of feel does the machine provide? Can you perform reps that feel more like conventional isotonics? How similar or different is it to a free weight movement?
  • Does your machine also support isokinetic training?
  • Safely wise, are there hard stops programmed into the range of motion, such that you can’t get trapped under a loaded bar while doing a chest press or back squat? (Assuming, for example, that you attach the cables to the end of a bar).
  • What happens if the handle or bar suddenly slips out of your hand?
  • Can you vary the degree of negative overload? What happens when you fatigue to the point that you can no longer control the speed of the eccentric?

I don’t want this message board to be cluttered, if you’re interested just take a look at the their website, all your questions are answered there.

Or send me a PM.

Interesting subject. Checked the Vitruvian website.

What are your personal pros/cons with this machine?
What kind of leg excercises are possible?
Is the weight delivered enough?

It would also be interesting to hear other users re similar training devices. It truly sounds like the perfect next generation home gym - but is it any good?

When i retire in two years, i plan on moving within an hour of an xforce facility (not the reason for moving, lol)…i will definitely try the machines for an extended period of time and track results

Fantastic! But you can be completely honest on here. Of course you plan to move because of Xforce. :laughing:

You got me Big Swede. :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

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I will try the site again, since it has been awhile since I looked.

My prior experience, with all 4 web sites, is that they have lots of flashy graphics, highly produced video clips, celebrity endorsements etc., but not a lot of substantive explanation for the nature of the technology being used. Being an engineer, I find that frustrating. But I’m obviously not a typical customer.

Being an marketer I think the same :wink:

Basically it’s kinda like this, you have a great cable machine that acts like your spotter, if I do 100KG negative bench press (either with the bar or just the handles) and literally drop it fast, the machine will deload to zero KG in miliseconds.

They have more modes inside the system (a mode that feels like an elastic band, 1KG /3KG increments per rep, Old school weights, pump work (the faster you go, the higher amount of resistance)

And ofcourse Negative-only, which as a reader of T-nation, spotted my eye instantly.

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Retire… the one in Palm Harbor or Tampa, lol

Either or…they are only about half hour apart, but i plan on lookin to retire near the “villages” in summerfield, fl…right now i am Stuart, fl

I have been to the one in Tampa…maybe even check out Gainesville Fitness