T Nation

Negetive Reps

I have been working out on and off for about 5 years now and have been really serious for the past 6 months (with proper diet, training schedule, etc.). In the last 3 months I noticed that I have most of my power in the positive motion of the rep. but seem to be hurting more in the negative part (especially in the biceps and chest), so I started concentrating on a controlled positive rep. and then a super slow and controlled negative rep. I found that this method just chewed the hell outta my muscles in the best way possible. Since I started doing this I have increased my bench by 50 pounds(in sets, not max) and my dumbbell curls went from 20 lbs to 45 lbs. I also gained almost 3 inches now on my arms and almost 6 inches on my chest. Am I just deluded or have I accidentally found my own personal “Holy Grail” for my genetics? Any advice would be appreciated.

i think most national and world class strength atheletes do little or no negative work at all. i don’t think louie simmons incorporates slow negatives. i used to do some negative work but not much now. supposedly works well for hyprtrphy, but maybe not necessarily for strength.

let’s see… poliquin once said that if you have weak eccentric strength then you need to work on doing more reps. Whether or not this has to do with focusing on concentric strength not sure. But you seem to have found what works for you. Stick with it! But remember to switch it up before you hit a wall. Wow, impressive gains.

I don’t mean to be offensive but with
regard to the measurement changes, let’s
say that an error has almost certainly been made rather than that you’re “deluded.”

Unless you allowed your weight to crash
far below your previously well-trained
weight, I think it’s impossible to gain
an actual six inches on the chest in three
months, or almost three inches on the
arms (e.g. from 14" to almost 17".)

However, with a change in measurement
technique, an error of three inches
is easily possible with the chest, and perhaps error on the arms could account for an inch or more.

Ordinarily, one would have to gain about
40 lb in muscle mass for the arms to grow
that much. And one would think that a six
inch actual change in chest measurement would
be worth more than a 50 lb improvement in
the bench press.

I’m sure you’ve had excellent results and congratulations are in order, and you’re quite right that having periods in which you emphasize the negative can definitely strongly stimulate gains during that period especially when it’s a relatively recent change from what had been done before.

I can see your point for sure Bill about measuring my chest. I have made gains all over so if you look at it I am also measuring my back with my chest, or am I doing it wrong? What is the proper way to measure your chest?

There’s more than one consideration regarding
what would be proper.

From the standpoint of anthropometrics, or the systemized method and study of measurements of man, the method is to measure at nipple height with breath being normal, neither any particular inhalation nor exhalation.

From the standpoint of tracking your own progress, the most important thing is CONSISTENCY. If you measure at different heights at different times; flared lats at some times but relaxed at others; full breath of air at some times but normal breath at others, etc. then you cannot gauge your progress.

Personally I prefer normal breath, just under armpits, lats relaxed, normal good posture.