T Nation

Slow and Controlled or Fast Reps


So I have pretty much always used a fast and explosive lifting technique, not worrying so much about being a stickler for form and just trying to move the weight as fast as possible. Recently I have started using slow and controlled perfect form movements (3 second concentric and 3 second excentric) for my biceps and lats, as they are lagging behind. I feel that I am getting more of a pump and targeting them and working them much more and using much less weight. I am considering doing all of my lifting in this manner, and I was just looking for input. How many of you lift fast or lift slow and concentrate on proper form, or do you mix it up? And what do you feel works best for you?


Fast concentric and controlled eccentric for me.


woah dude this is a huge can of worms you just opened

fast and explosive actions are more CNS intensive
slow and controlled (with 100% effort) for each repetition causes the most 'strength' gains as you get much more muscle stimulation

only doing slow and controlled or only doing fast + explosive is detrimental to your gains man

as coach thib explains (+ i think I bodybuilder) lifters generally dont do enough CNS intensive training and recruiting fast twitch muscle fibers and hence severely limiting strength + size gains etc etc

check out articles like this

its important to try and incorporate both aspects into your training
eg. for benching (as its a common one) for heavy weights + low reps you want as much MUSCLE stimulation as possible hence why its a slower movement

high reps + low sets + low weights and going full out crazy speed is very CNS intensive and activates your fast twitch etc etc necessary to pull big weights

BOTH ARE NECESSARY for max gains

form should be solid regardless


btw the above post applies to all muscles and movements not just compound or isolation ones

as long as its muscle you gotta train it FAST + HARD (Separately of course)

and also its normal to get way more of a 'pump' 'skin spliting' feeling etc etc for the fast light weights

TRY 50-75g of dextrose monohydrate or surge recover (2 scoops) 15 mins before your workout. you'll get an insane 'pump' and it pumps protein + creatine + all other nutrients into your muscles 600x faster etc etc blah blah

hope i helped


Yes I know that for maximal gains you should include maximal (high weight 1-2 rep max work), dynamic, and repetition work. But I have never really done very slow and controlled movements before, all of my movements were to move the bar as fast as possible even tho on a max bench or squat that is not that fast lol.

My body is responding well to what I am doing for my biceps/lats right now so I think I may give it a chance and see how it works out.

At least give me a little credit I do know the science behind lifting. I have done every thing from 5x5 to a few months of a Max and dynamic Bench/squat/deadlift routine with some assistance lifts. I just wanted to see what other people are doing, and if any one has tried a month or 2 cycle of basically slow extremely strict form movements.

But never mind I guess I am going to get flamed, so let it commence.


both have their place.



Why not explosive and controlled?? you cant move heavy shit and purposly try to move it slow - thats a sure great way to never get over the weight you currently use. to produce more force(explosive training) more motor units will need to be recruited specifically fast twitch fibers which equals more fibre stimulation....correct me if im wrong.....Anth.


Fucking Christ forget I made the thread and let it fucking die.


Great thanks for the advice Stu. Real detailed explanation... add another post to your count bud.




Both will work. All depends on what you've been doing, what you did last month, last year, etc.


I usually do give pretty detailed advice, but in this case, there's just so much stuff on the site already (articles, questions for Thibs etc) that I didn't feel the need to waste my time. :slight_smile:



Personally I don't think a person should be trying to jerk or throw the weight up as fast as they can, and I also don't think you should be going so slow and steady that you can actually count how many seconds it is taking you.

Smooth deliberate reps done at a brisk pace has always worked to build muscle and prevent injury.



Actually Stu's post is probably the best info so far, even though he didn't elaborate.

Both types of reps have a place in bodybuilding, as CT has been proving to us the last few months.

So to OP, I suggest you look at his work and videos for some more ideas.


Agree! Just to add my 2 cents: IMHO, for the majority of bodybuilders NOT lifting explosive and NOT doing enough CNS-intense work is a big limiting factor in terms of maximal muscle gains. 'nough said.


Hmmm. I always thought strength and the cns were directly related. Mind explaining your theory of fast reps for the cns and slow for strength. Wouldn't increases in cns efficiency make you stronger?


Stu is one of the most helpful guys on this site, and he provides a boatload of information. Educate yourself before dissing others.



Someone get Stu a Poptart!


Don't be a moron. Stu put it plain and simple, most of us Intermediate- Advanced lifters use a low rep one week, high rep another week template along with tempo change etc. I might rest 2 minutes one week for almost everything except calves and forearms and have a 1010 tempo and the next week might be 3x6 or 4x4 with a 3131 tempo etc.

And i dont want to throw around terms that bother people but this way you hit both myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic aspects of the muscle fiber every other week.