Dwayne Johnson has had an enviable physique ever since he was introduced to us through WWE. Most of us would be happy if we were blessed with the kind of fitness level he had 20 years back. However, the Hollywood icon has not slowed down a single bit and never got complacent with what he had already achieved. At 49 years of age, The Rock still pushes his limits every single day and keeps getting better and better.
Recently, Dwayne Johnson shared a short video on his Instagram account to share insights on building pectoral muscles. The video shows Johnson performing a 120lbs dumbbell bench press on the chest day. The Rock made a point to maintain a slow and controlled motion in the lowering stage, ensuring that it takes approximately 3 seconds. He performed a set of 10 reps of 120lbs dumbbells in the video and also suggested pausing at the top position before initiating the next rep.
Courtesy of Dwayne Johnson’s Instagram account, you can watch the full video here:
“Breaking down the pec fibers.
Flat DB presses
120lbs slow and controlled.
10 reps with a 3 second negative and a slight squeeze pause at the top.
Torn it up, tore it down.” Dwayne Johnson wrote in the caption.
How does Dwayne Johnson benefit from the slow lowering motion?
Performing the positive phase or the lifting phase of any workout with powerful motion is important. However, most people ignore the negative or the lowering phase, which is an equally important half of the equation.
Also called the eccentric phase, the lowering phase of the workout provides multiple strength and muscle benefits. Performing the negative phase of the dumbbell bench press with slow and controlled motion allows Dwayne Johnson to get a higher degree of eccentric contraction in the pectoral muscles for a longer duration. Therefore, each rep becomes more effective and results in higher gains for the time spent.
It is true that a slower negative phase is more effective than performing at a regular pace. However, there are certain things to remember if you wish to try them. Weight training stimulates hypertrophy, which is an increase in the size of muscle tissues to accumulate more structural contractile proteins. In other words, muscle gain. Performing the negative phase of the exercise slowly increases the time spent by muscles in tension and increases the potential to stimulate hypertrophy.
However, performing them too slowly can significantly reduce the mechanical stress of the reps. This can reduce the gains significantly. Therefore, getting the slow reps in at just the right pace is the key to getting the maximum benefit out of them.