When to Use Slow Eccentrics for Building Strength?

Hi CT,

I just finished my third block of Pendulum Bodybuilding and was really pleased with my size gains. I also noticed that I had better control of weights during the heavier blocks. I’m moving on to a Preparation block on your Power Building program, but I’m fixated on the slow concentrics from pendulum since they worked so well for me.

My question is whether to include slow concentrics on the main and assistance lifts if I’m running this program to ultimately build strength along with some size. So, for example:

A. Back Squat 5x8 (3010)
B. Front Squat 3x10 (3010)
C. Split Squat 3x10 (6010 - like in Pendulum Powerlifting)
D. Isolation exercises 3x8-12 (to failure)

Will this limit the weight on the bar too much to increase strength? Or is this a decent set-up for a 2b?

Thanks very much.


Slow eccentrics are never a waste. They are an integral part of my omni-contraction system, the foundation of the programs I sell on Thibarmy. They represent roughly 1/3rd of the weekly volume of work.

Thanks, CT, that’s good to hear. My limited experience with slow eccentrics so far has shown that the technique works! And the mind-muscle connection is something I obviously really need to make progress.

I ran the squat day I posted above at 65-70% of my ORM and was absolutely drained by the end. With the Power Building set up, is it best to use slow eccentrics on just the main lift? Or use that technique on all the lifts and reduce the weight in order to survive the session?

Thanks again. Your advice is always appreciated.

I’ve done both. When using more of a lift-specific or body part split I like to use slow eccentrics on 1-2 exercises. When using more of a whole body approach I stick to the same contracting type for every exercise in the workout.

That’s really helpful, CT. Thanks for taking the time to help. For the next few phases, I’ll stick with slow eccentrics on 1-2 lifts each day. That gives me the excuse to avoid them on front squats – don’t that I’m mentally tough enough to face 10 reps of those each week!

Two last questions. Would you recommend adding weight each week or adding time to the eccentric? And would you include them for conventional deadlifts or should I limit the slow eccentrics to GMs and RDLs?

Thanks again.