T Nation

Negatives Only?


The concept of selecting a weight with which you can not push/pull up/down but focus on the negative aspect of the movement, taking extended periods of time to lower/raise it, like 9-12 seconds, and calling that one rep. Doing a few reps of that, and calling it a set. I'm sure it's an idea most of you have heard of, but what are your opinions? I do them every once in a while for weighted dips, or sometimes on different machines at the end of my workout to completely blast whatever body region im doing that day. Opinions/research/feedback would be appreciated


I'm in on this part 2

Never done em', closest I've done would be GVT


Honestly if I did that, my recovery would be shit and my performance would go to hell.


I'll say this statement and let you interpret it how you will:

I see lots of people (mainly "bros") who look like they've never lifted before, doing these long negatives with weight. I never see huge, accomplished lifters doing them.


i think if i could do a twelve sec negative OHP - whiich would take a hell of a lot control - I could actually press it


great for pullups when a beginner is not able to do 1 yet...but I think that's about it.


I have done negatives where partner assists on positive, you control negative when overloading an exercise. They have me horrendous DOMS on iso stuff.
Guys who train DC use very slow negatives for calves, the weights are much lower because of this.
John Meadows like 3 sec negatives for quads.

I wouldn't do it, but ultimately try it for yourself and report back.


Louie simmonds says that negatives break up more muscle fibres and make you much more sore but do not make you any stronger. I'm pretty sure most people wouldn't have the recovery to make it worth while.

And I'm sure that any of the million people using thibs approach to training will tell you that it is way too much stress on the CNS to be worth while, I'm inclined to agree,

More than anything though, plenty of dudes got pretty huge without using them.


tell to Simmons (performances coach) to have a chat with Dorian Yates (6xMO,mass gainer expert)about the importance of eccentric phase of lifting.
of course,if you train per performances (PL,OL) you can't put much enphasis on negative part of lifting as it affects deep your recovery and you can' t perform often that paths (excercises) if you are deep sore.
and in performances sports,the more you train the better your performances are.
(cfr. shot putters; 15'000 trhows per year????? before having the BIG ONE).
but -we are on a bbing board- and our goal should be become biggers (and ,for conseguence stronger).
not stronger tout court.


I use slow negatives after a big squeeze on some reps only when doing burnouts for my isolation work because I've noticed that I get "the burn" sooner, maybe 5 reps instead of 10 done at a regular tempo. then I do AMAP with a regular tempo to get more blood in the area, then more depending on how much pain I can tolerate for the movement.

I don't see much point of doing it for compound movements for large muscles especially if secondary muscles end up taking more of the load. for instance if I did that for chest on the first day of the week, I'd really mess up recovery for my tris on ohp's on shoulder day and pressing on arms day.


never gotten anything out of negatives. right now i'm looking to move up a weightclass in powerlifting. whenever i want to gain muscle size i incoroporate in circuit work, drop sets, and rest/pause into my training and i blow up.


i'm pretty sure slow negatives helped get me stronger on chin-ups (along with other strategies). i don't know about hypertrophy... but i'm surprised simmons doesn't think negatives help strength.


It's funny because some fat guy at my gym is always trying to help me out on how to lift(which is very annoying..) and is always telling to emphasize on the negative because it gives the most growth.


Dr. El Darden wrote about this in 'The New HIT (High Intensity Training)' years ago. I read it and drank the kool aid for a bit. I still incorporate it, but only occasionally when I'm at a plateau.


Ya, i've got that book, He's who i got it from.

don't ya just love that, advice from those whom are in worse shape than you... happens on this site as well


Amazing the lack of history.

Arthur Jones did a program of negatives only way back with a (if I remember correctly) Florida school.

0 injuries

Everyone got stronger.

Only positive reviews.

Nothings new here.


Colorado experiment.
but Casey has been very sick before the CE and most of his gains were just not gains but muscle memory............


Ive used and trained people with negatives before. When they cant dip/pullup with their own bodyweight, i turn them onto negatives. I wouldnt say the best idea is to solely do negatives, but to do them at the end of a set, when you cant perform anymore.

For example, was doing dips the other day, and decided to get heavy, which i havent done in awhile. Worked my way up, ended with 3 45's on my belt, barely got 4 good reps, so, pulled a couple more negatives just to feel that great stretch.


phil hernon too is a fan negative/eccentric work,I have done for a while negative only reps on flat bench (after my regular sets) with 130% of my 1rm,soreness was deep :-),I quit because as I train alone I had to de-load the bar ,lift,rack it,re-load ,go under the bar....rest between reps was about 40s,too much for my taste...


I see a lot of frat boys doing negatives in the gym to the tune of partner bench/rows. What I dont see is big guys doing them. I dont do them because I dont trust anyone to lift that much weight off my chest, and I lift alone. Something else to think about is that you can train the eccentric phase with weights that you can handle and just slow down your tempo.