T Nation

Two Questions: Eccentrics and Getting Lean


#1

I decided to put two questions I've had together. They are not necessarily connected.

First, about eccentrics. I will sometimes do 2-3 eccentrics (normal speed of decent) into my training. Is it a waste of effort to do an eccentric single at 105-110% as the LAST set on an exercise, without any concentrics following? I was thinking about using a 5-4-3-2-1-N approach and using the negative at the end. The other option was to go N-1-2-3-4-5, but then I have to ramp all the way up to the negative before working down. Do either of these approaches have merit?

Second, what is the basic approach to training when trying to cut around 500 cals a day? Would you stick with lower reps and count on the calories to reduce bodyfat, or would you train in a specific way to burn more fat? Basically the question is higher volume/reps or lower volume/reps when cutting calories?


#2

[quote]mertdawg wrote:
I decided to put two questions I’ve had together. They are not necessarily connected.

First, about eccentrics. I will sometimes do 2-3 eccentrics (normal speed of decent) into my training. Is it a waste of effort to do an eccentric single at 105-110% as the LAST set on an exercise, without any concentrics following? I was thinking about using a 5-4-3-2-1-N approach and using the negative at the end. The other option was to go N-1-2-3-4-5, but then I have to ramp all the way up to the negative before working down. Do either of these approaches have merit?

Second, what is the basic approach to training when trying to cut around 500 cals a day? Would you stick with lower reps and count on the calories to reduce bodyfat, or would you train in a specific way to burn more fat? Basically the question is higher volume/reps or lower volume/reps when cutting calories? [/quote]

  1. Supramax eccetrics are VERY powerful and do not require a large dosage… 2-3 negative reps is fine at the end of an exercise to get the benefits from this method.

  2. I just finished writing an article on that topic which should run fairly soon. But the bottom line is “use lifting to prevent muscle loss (or stimulate muscle gain) NOT to increase fat loss… this means doing everything possible to at least maintain your strength. Use conditioning/energy systems work and diet to lose fat”.


#3

Thanks for the response. Your last article on eccentrics focused on using them as the first rep of 2-3 non-consecutive sets, and didn’t mention using them as stand-alone sets at the top of a ramp.


#4

[quote]mertdawg wrote:
Thanks for the response. Your last article on eccentrics focused on using them as the first rep of 2-3 non-consecutive sets, and didn’t mention using them as stand-alone sets at the top of a ramp. [/quote]

That was submaximal not maximal eccentrics… not the same purpose


#5

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]mertdawg wrote:
Thanks for the response. Your last article on eccentrics focused on using them as the first rep of 2-3 non-consecutive sets, and didn’t mention using them as stand-alone sets at the top of a ramp. [/quote]

That was submaximal not maximal eccentrics… not the same purpose[/quote]

So when I wrote that I used 105 to 110%, I meant 105 to 110% of my concentric max. Is that enough to qualify as a supramax negative? I am doing these on squats so with a current max of 440, I’m doing one controlled but normal speed negative at 485, and one at 525 (and progressing) at the end of half of my squat workouts. I am squatting twice a week for two weeks, and once a week on the third week.

Since there are a lot of stabilizers involved, they may be near 90-100% of their limit even though the hips and thighs could handle more.

So is a supramax negative going to be anything above a concentric max, or is it closer to your eccentric limit, like 120-130%

As long as I’m over 100% of my concentric max, and adding 5 pounds to those 2 negatives I think it is helping me get used to handling heavier weights but I could use 485-525 with concentric from a high box as well, say 4 inches above parallel.


#6

[quote]mertdawg wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]mertdawg wrote:
Thanks for the response. Your last article on eccentrics focused on using them as the first rep of 2-3 non-consecutive sets, and didn’t mention using them as stand-alone sets at the top of a ramp. [/quote]

That was submaximal not maximal eccentrics… not the same purpose[/quote]

So when I wrote that I used 105 to 110%, I meant 105 to 110% of my concentric max. Is that enough to qualify as a supramax negative? I am doing these on squats so with a current max of 440, I’m doing one controlled but normal speed negative at 485, and one at 525 (and progressing) at the end of half of my squat workouts. I am squatting twice a week for two weeks, and once a week on the third week.

Since there are a lot of stabilizers involved, they may be near 90-100% of their limit even though the hips and thighs could handle more.

So is a supramax negative going to be anything above a concentric max, or is it closer to your eccentric limit, like 120-130%

As long as I’m over 100% of my concentric max, and adding 5 pounds to those 2 negatives I think it is helping me get used to handling heavier weights but I could use 485-525 with concentric from a high box as well, say 4 inches above parallel. [/quote]

I mean, when I said that I used accentuated eccentrics at the beginning of a workout it was in the form of a superslow, submaximal eccentric to activate mTor… not to stimulate the neural factors, which is done with supra-maximal loads… unless I’m confusing something here


#7

I’m talking about this article:

Where you say that heavy negatives should be the first rep of a set, so you get a negative at say 105% of concentric max followed by additional concentric+eccentric reps at around 80-90%.

You said to do them as the first rep of the set, but maybe that just means not to do them at the end of a set, but rather when you are fresh. I suppose that a stand alone 110% negative is still the first rep of a set. My basic question was whether it was a waste to do 100%+ concentric max negative, but NOT to immediately follow it with regular reps with less weight.

Also are 1-3 heavy negatives a good way to keep strength when reducing cals a little, due to being more neurological and less metabolic?


#8

[quote]mertdawg wrote:
I’m talking about this article:

Where you say that heavy negatives should be the first rep of a set, so you get a negative at say 105% of concentric max followed by additional concentric+eccentric reps at around 80-90%.

You said to do them as the first rep of the set, but maybe that just means not to do them at the end of a set, but rather when you are fresh. I suppose that a stand alone 110% negative is still the first rep of a set. My basic question was whether it was a waste to do 100%+ concentric max negative, but NOT to immediately follow it with regular reps with less weight.

Also are 1-3 heavy negatives a good way to keep strength when reducing cals a little, due to being more neurological and less metabolic? [/quote]

Right forgot about that article.

Yes, this is mostly in reference to using the weight releasers.

This is a great way to activate the nervous system and increase performance and fast twitch recruitment.

Basically with eccentrics you can do:

  1. Supramax eccentrics early (beginning of a set or beginning of a workout as a stand-alone) to potentiate the nervous system and increase fast-twitch recruitment throughout the workout.

  2. Submax eccentrics done superslow at the beginning of a workout for a specific muscle to turn on mTor as much as possible prior to do stimulatory work

  3. Supramax eccentrics at the tail end of an exercise to continue the neural ramp. This is mostly to “prepare” your body to lift heavier in the future. As well as to stimulate the fast-twitch fibers a bit more after your heavy (normal) work.


#9

Thanks, I appreciate the info on the good options.