If you’re looking to ramp up the amount of weight you’re lifting, it is easy to experience some frustration when, despite all your efforts, you’re not seeing the gain in max results you desire. Many people are breaking through this barrier with eccentric training. This technique is very effective in helping you increase your lifting potential in the gym, and primes your body gain more muscle and strength much more quickly.
What Is Eccentric Training?
Eccentric training is also known as “negative training,” and is a lifting technique that can help you lift up to 40% more weight by pushing your muscles past the normal point of failure.
The eccentric phase of your lift occurs when your muscles lengthen during the down motion of lowering the weights, while concentric muscle engagement happens when the muscles contract and shorten in the up motion of the weight.
Eccentric training focuses on using control, and engaging your muscles during the eccentric phase. It’s much easier to lower a weight than lift it up thanks to gravity. However, by using eccentric training you use gravity as added traction, and lower the weight with concentrated effort and control.
Why You Need It
Eccentric training can help you up your lifting game in the gym, but it also gives you some other great advantages when added to your workout plan.
When your muscles are lengthened in the eccentric phase, they have the ability to withstand more weight, and much more force, ranging from 20-60% higher than concentric movement of contracted muscles. You can harness this as a part of your training regime to make gains not only in your eccentric strength, but in your concentric strength as well. Studies have shown that increasing the one rep eccentric max leads to a 5-15lb increase concentrically as well.
In addition to getting stronger and healthier, you’re probably hitting the gym because you simply want to look good and feel confident in yourself and your body. Eccentric training can help with that too.
In order to see results in the growth of your muscles, you have to break them down first so they can rebuild. Using the slow, controlled motions of eccentric training requires that your muscles hold more weight under tension. This leads to more stress on the muscle, and greater damage. This means bigger, stronger muscles rebuild, and do so much faster than without eccentric exercises.
Waste Less Energy
Even though eccentric movements are tougher on your muscles, they don’t require as high an energy output or level as concentric motions do. This keeps you fresher longer, and will enable you to add more reps, more weight, and more time to your workout due to the energy saved in the movements.
Become More Adaptive And Flexible
Using eccentric training helps not only your muscle strength and size, but also works to increase your flexibility, and make your movements more fluid and adaptable in other activities you enjoy in life. This is because using eccentric motions and exercises positively impacts your connective tissue as well as muscles.
Increase Protein Syntheses
During a workout, protein syntheses decreases as your muscles are broken down and fatigued, and during the recovery period the proteins build back up leaving bigger and stronger muscle tissue in their wake.
Eccentric exercises as part of a workout plan have been shown to speed up this recovery and rebuilding period, leading to bigger gains in strength and muscle.
If you’re feeling stuck in your workout routine, or are dissatisfied with the results you’re seeing despite all your hard work, try adding eccentric training to your workout plan for added strength, muscle, and flexibility.