Have you stopped growing? Have you stopped feeling the pump in the gym? Do you not get that aching feeling after your workouts any more? This article will introduce a radical new approach to your training that will get you growing again like never before - negatives, the secret weapon of many pros.
All too often you see guys in the gym doing the same thing time and time again. They do the same weight, in the same way even at the same time! Crazy isn't it? How can you grow if you get your body used to a routine? The body needs to be shocked. It needs to be surprised and tricked into growth.
Have you heard the saying "do the same thing and get the same result"? This pretty much applies to most things in life including bodybuilding. Take Bicep training as an example. You go in, maybe do some back work and then you do your various curls. You lift the weight up contract, lower and the same.
When was the last time you held the contraction for an insane amount of time, say 1 minute? When was the last time you pyramided the weight up or down or you did supersets or you did the all important "negatives"?
Negatives are a crucial part of growth and if you do them and do them right, you literally guarantee yourself a new growth phase that will take you to new levels in your muscle building goals.
Let's stick to bicep training for now. A "negative" in this exercise is the "lowering of the weight" part. Chances are this is probably the part where you pay the least attention to. Most people lower the weight quickly so they can get the momentum to curl the weight back up again - WRONG. This is the classical "lifting the weight" but not "working the muscle" mistake.
For your new growth phase to kick in, you need to consciously start doing negatives and paying attention to them. In fact, you need to prioritise them and make sure they are done on every rep and done correctly.
The typical routine which emphasises negatives will consist of you performing every rep and making sure that the lowering or the negative part of the exercise takes 5 times longer than would normally take. If you lower the bar in 2 seconds, you now need to devote 10 seconds to it on each and every rep. It's crazy but it works!
Bicep curl - This will be the lowering of the weight after contraction.
Tricep pushdown - This will be the elevation of your hands after you have pushed the weight down.
Bench Press - This will be the lowering of the barbell on to your chest.
Barbell Rows - This will be the lowering of the weight back towards the floor.
Shoulder Press - This will be the lowering of the barbell/dumbbell back on the shoulders.
You get the idea, right? By performing negatives and taking 5 times longer than your usual, you are putting a great deal of pressure on your muscles and forcing that muscle to grow.
It is no point performing negatives if your heart is not in it. The idea is that you are paying particular attention to the muscle group and the way it is working. In the bicep curl, you initially raise the barbell/dumbbell up and contract. This contraction needs to be tight & hard to signal growth to the muscle being worked. By then lowering the weight very slowly and making the muscle work 5 times as hard, you are really giving it some punishment. It is this kind of punishment that will signal new growth.
Some of the best bodybuilders in the world use negatives and concentrate on their correct performance in every workout. Try it, make sure you really "work the muscle" and you will be amazed. You will feel the pump as you are doing it and you will know you have kicked a new growth phase from the aches and pains the next day!
Good luck and remember if you want to see different results, do something different!
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