Stop Being So Positive!
The positives of negative training: Weight training is a sport that requires a good attitude. But what about getting negative? I’m not talking about a negative attitude, but rather the value of negative training.
Few people are aware of the value of the negative portion of a repetition. Negative only training can break plateaus, combat staleness and significantly increase strength.
Some studies suggest that the eccentric portion of a rep is the most valuable for stimulating strength increases. Creating a workout based only on negative reps is a good way to shake up your routine.
It should be used with caution, however, because it is a brutal way to train and severely taxes ones recovery abilities. Sets should be kept to a minimum (no more than 3 per body part) as well as frequency (2 sessions per week max).
To properly use negative only training, one should have at least 2 spotters and sometimes more depending on the weight being used and the exercise being done.
For example, if you’re performing bench presses, it would be ideal to have 3 spotters (1 in the lift off position and 1 at each end of the bar). It’s important that only the spotters perform the positive portion of each rep with absolutely no help from you, as the trainee. To do otherwise would negate what you’re trying to accomplish.
Negative Only Routine
One way to set up a negative only bodybuilding routine is to split it into upper and lower body training. An example would look like this:
After thorough warm up:
- Bench Presses or Weighted Dips – 2 sets of 3-4 reps
- Press Behind Neck – 2 sets 3- 4 reps
- Weighted Chins – 2 or 3 sets of 3- 4 reps
- Triceps Pushdowns – 1 set of 3-4 reps
- Machine Curls – 1 set of 3-4 reps.
After this workout, rest at least 3 days.
After thorough warm up:
- Leg Extensions – 2 sets 3-4 reps
- Leg Presses – 1 set 3-4 reps
- Leg Curls – 2 sets 3-4 reps
- One Legged Calf Raises – 2 sets 3-4 reps each leg.
Again, rest at least 3 complete days….and GROW!
Tips and Suggestions:
You will feel very tired after one of these sessions, but not necessarily pumped. That’s OK. Don’t worry about pump.
Performing negative reps is not merely lowering the weight, but rather doing your best to keep the weight from being lowered. There is a huge difference. Each rep should take in excess of 5 seconds and the longer the better.
Remember progressive resistance. You should add weight whenever possible. This will enhance the productivity of this type of workout.
Finally, negative training is very taxing when performed properly. You should practice it sparingly, using this technique for no more than 1 month at a time. Two weeks is probably enough for most. Go back to normal training for a few months before attempting it again.
If you employ it properly and sparingly, negative training has the potential to really enhance your overall workout regimen by boosting your overall strength. Now that is a very positive thing!