T Nation


Poliquin says that in lifting for strength that eccentric tempo should be for 3-5 seconds and concentric from 1-4 seconds. The Westsider’s advocate, as far as I know, quick, powerful, controlled movements. Not much slow work. Who is right? Or is it two different schools of thought?

Both are right. Alternate them if you’d like. I’d lean towards Poliquin’s method most of the time if you’re a bodybuilder and are primarily concerned with hypertrophy. The slow negatives will be more conducive to that, while the Westsiders method might be better for triggering neural adaptation.

I don’t think Poloquin nessessarily reccommends “slow” tempos for powerlifting. Instead, he has talked about lifting heavy weights explosively as you can, even though the weight may be going “slow” because the load is so high. It is most important to concentrate on exploding up each rep. IMHO, both methods of lifting light weights explosively with great speed and heavy weights explosively should be used.

Interesting quandery, but while asking myself the same question the other day reading some of Louie’s articles I came across a quote of his saying something to the effect, that they didn’t believe in eccentric lifting (i.e., paying attention to the eccentric tempo). However, explaining box squats the way he does them I can only come to the conclusion that like it or not, they are taking 3-5 seconds going down, sitting on the box prior to exploding back up. That’s enough time for the plyometric effect to be negated for the most part. However, PLers should take advantage of it, in certain stages of training (IMHO), as they have to take advantage of it in competition in order to lift maximal weights. I think TUT is the main thing under consideration, as opposed to tempo. Eccentric training undeniably works to build strength in addition to size however and leaving it out of a program is simply not utilizing another tool.

The reason simmons doesn’t recommend much eccentric training is because it causes too much muscle damage, leads to a loss of speed and leads to neural exhaustion…Afterall, in powerlifting you’re trying to lift as much weight as you can doing as little damage to your muscles as possible. If you’ve seen Louie’s squat video no way do they take 5 seconds to get down on the box…maybe 1.5 or 2 seconds at the most…Then the hips are relaxed before exploding back up…breaking the concentric/eccentric chain. As far as poliquins slower tempo training goes I would say it’ll work for a while on a heavy phase 90%+…but I agree with Louie when he says training like that over a period of time leads to a loss of explosive power which is needed for a powerlifter.