Are you using negatives?
Bodybuilders are interested in training for size and the research on muscle adaptation is fairly conclusive in this area. Ebbeling did some research in which he ascertained that while the stimuli from eccentric and concentric training were similar, the proportion of the stimuli from the load were different. On a concentric lift, the load is spread over a greater number of fibers, while on the eccentric lift, the load is spread over a much smaller number of fibers. (1) This means that there is much more force for a smaller number of fibers on the eccentric phase of a lift. Therefore, that would leave one to believe that increasing the load on the eccentric portion of the lift will increase hypertrophy. Follows is a study by Hortobyogi that proves this hypothesis:
Adaptive responses to muscle lengthening and shortening in humans.
Hortobagyi T, Hill JP, Houmard JA, Fraser DD, Lambert NJ, Israel RG.
Biomechanics Laboratory and Department of Medicine and Physical Therapy, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina 27858, USA.
We tested the hypothesis that exercise training with maximal eccentric (lengthening) muscle actions results in greater gains in muscle strength and size than training with concentric (shortening) actions. Changes in muscle strength, muscle fiber size, and surface electromyographic (EMG) activity of the quadriceps muscle were compared after 36 sessions of isokinetic concentric (n = 8) or eccentric (n = 7) exercise training over 12 wk with use of a one-leg model. Eccentric training increased eccentric strength 3.5 times more (pre/post 46%, P < 0.05) than concentric training increased concentric strength (pre/post 13%). Eccentric training increased concentric strength and concentric training increased eccentric strength by about the same magnitude (5 and 10%, respectively, P > 0.05). Eccentric training increased EMG activity seven times more during eccentric testing (pre/post 86%, P < 0.05) than concentric training increased EMG activity during concentric testing (pre/post 12%). Eccentric training increased the EMG activity measured during concentric tests and concentric training increased the EMG activity measured during eccentric tests by about the same magnitude (8 and 11%, respectively, P > 0.05). Type I muscle fiber percentages did not change significantly, but type IIa fibers increased and type IIb fibers decreased significantly (P < 0.05) in both training groups. Type I fiber areas did not change significantly (P > 0.05), but type II fiber area increased approximately 10 times more (P < 0.05) in the eccentric than in the concentric group. It is concluded that adaptations to training with maximal eccentric contractions are specific to eccentric muscle actions that are associated with greater neural adaptation and muscle hypertrophy than concentric exercise.
Note that type II muscle fibers area increased more than 10 times the amount due to Eccentric loading then Concentric loading! Type II fibers are those that contribute the majority of growth produced by bodybuilding type training.
I have made it a point in my weight training to include eccentric training as part of every workout. The weight that should be used is one that takes you 3-5 seconds to perform the eccentric portion of the lift. I go to the gym and see most bodybuilders take the opposite approach. They put on as much weight as they can and drive the weight through the concentric portion and then breeze through the eccentric portion with NO EFFORT. Make your last one or two working sets a fight between you and the weight. This is the most important thing you can do for hypertrophy and sattelite cell differentiation if you are a gear user as microtrauma is the key signalling effect for differentiattion and eccentric loading produces more tension over a smaller amount of fibers inducing microtrauma. It is most certainly not about VOLUME, as most lifting programs center in on.
1) Ebbeling CB, Clarkson PMExercise-induced muscle damage and adaptation. Sports Med. 1989 Apr; 7(4): 207-234. Review.
It's very easy to overtrain using negatives, imo they are something best left for experienced lifters. I see a couple of the smallest weakest guys pound for pound in the gym that I train at using negatives set after set workout. Negatives have their place, but must be used with care as not to overtrain the muscles.
liftsiron is a fictional character and should be taken as such.
I don't believe I have seen any real evidence to support negatives being a bad thing, I just think it is the way that one applies them. if one is training with heavy volume AND doing eccentric training, well that is a recipe for overtraining.The way that I look at it is that you should apply the type of training that best suits your goals. As bodybuilders, our goal is hypertrophy and eccentrics are the fastest path to that goal. Similar to how a football player is doing a lot of plyometrics and endurance training, a bodybuilder can focus on these types of exercises. I can't ignore the science, and it is that eccentric training is a powerful stimulus for hypertrophy.
Attention should be paid to the manner that they are applied. It is really a simple matter of slowing the rep down so that your eccentric portion takes about 3 seconds, maybe 5 seconds for your last few reps of your working set. The difference is that instead of Volume training, one does fewer sets but spends more time on each set. Bodybuilders in the mags purport these insane training regimens and people emulate them. Half of those training programs are bullshit. If a person suts the sets down to a manageable number and incorporates eccentric training into their routine, they WILL get more out of it.
I think Volume training has produced greater results than any other method as far as competitive bodybuilders are concerned. Mike Mentzer and his brother Ray built their physiques with volume training then made a mint selling that bullshit heavy duty system.
In an interview Mike was asked why he claims to only do 1 to 2 sets per body part, when in the gym he's seen doing 6-8 sets per exercise. He said something to the effect that the first 6 or 7 sets don't count because they are only warm up sets for his one working set.
Negatives can be used to increase strength and perhaps mass, done on occasion, but volume training has always been the core of bodybuilding training. I'm talking single set training. Once you get into multi drop sets, triple sets etc, once agin you're setting your self up for overtraining.
I think that I misinterputed what you meant by negatives, I was thinking of the guys who load the bar with a weight greater than they can lift, then lower it, and need spotters to lift the weight from their chest.
I always like the slow eccentric lowering of the weight the way that you described. I think that the term "negative" threw me. Also by volume, I mean 4 to 6 sets per exercise and 2 to 4 exercises per bodypart. Not the crazy ass workouts described in most muscle mags. So I think that actually we may be on the same page.
liftsiron is a fictional character and should be taken as such.
Personally I use 2-3 reps of "negatives" to finish off my last set of every exercise. My pesonal experience is that I get much better gains using this system, mainly I thought becasue it helps me to focus and finish every rep of the last set.
I learned this by working out with wrestlers in HS and College. Wrestlers are generally concerned with maintaining a force in a singluar position and then exploding from that position. The last set of every excersice in that particular workout was on the 10 count system. Explode up (Concentric) in 1-2 counts and lower the weight at a controlled even velocity in 10 counts. Always with working weight amounts, or in many cases, less.
I've watched many large men cry and at least 1 division 1A program still has many of their wrestlers and offensive lineman practicing this technique.
Re: Are you using negatives?
Type I muscle fiber percentages did not change significantly, but type IIa fibers increased and type IIb fibers decreased significantly (P < 0.05) in both training groups. Type I fiber areas did not change significantly (P > 0.05),[b] but type II fiber area increased approximately 10 times more (P < 0.05) in the eccentric than in the concentric group.
now i'm started eccentric training, but i want to know one things:
both trainings decreases IIB fiber but
IIB fibers is important to sprint, jump and explosive strenght. right?
how can increase IIB fiber?