Positive and Negative Phases of a Repetition
Each repetition has a positive and negative phase. The positive phase of the repetition is when the muscle is contracting eccentrically (reducing its belly length). In a chin up for example, the positive phase is when you are pulling yourself up. During this motion, the bicep muscles contract, becoming shorter. The negative phase of the repetition is when the muscle elongates (lengthens). In the chin up, the negative phase is when you lower yourself down and straighten your arms.
An easy way to remember this is to keep in mind that the negative phase of a repetition is easier than the positive phase. So if you are doing a push, for example, and you want to figure out which is the negative phase, ask yourself: Which is the easiest part of the movement? The correct answer is the lowering phase.
Important Tip: Although the positive phase produces most of the muscle growth in an exercise, keep in mind that the negative phase (eccentric contraction) is also responsible for a significant part of it. Focusing on the negative rather than the positive phase is also another important factor in bodyweight exercise. You don’t have to overdo it as some people believe; however you need to be actively controlling the movement while you are lowering your weight instead of letting gravity doing the work for you.
How Many Reps Should I Do?
If you want to become strong and lean you need to build as much muscle mass as possible. Some people tell me oh well I don’t want to look like a bodybuilder. Don’t worry, getting that swollen without steroids look is almost impossible. Even if you do reach a size that you are happy with that you want to maintain, just watch your diet and calorie intake and you’ll be fine. It takes a lot of food to continue to grow after a certain point. After 2-3 years of serious work, once you have reached your genetic potential, muscle gains become slower and slower.
The more muscle mass you have the easier it becomes to stay lean. Keep in mind that there are also important nutritional parameters for this to happen which are discussed in the nutritional part of the book. When it comes to getting big, this is the most important thing you need to know.
Stronger is Bigger
10 Best Exercises For Weight Loss Men Photo Gallery
Say that once again and don’t forget it – Stronger is Bigger. This is the most important lesson I have learned from strength training while trying to gain muscle size. When you increase the strength of a muscle, whether you are using lower rep range (1-6 reps) or a higher rep range (7-20 reps), the muscle will always get bigger. There is however a prerequisite for this – you also need enough calories to facilitate the additional muscle growth. This is especially true if you’re a skinny guy, if you are trying to get stronger and bigger but you are not eating a bit more from what your body needs just to preserve its weight (calorie maintenance), your body won’t have enough energy to build additional muscle. It’s not as if you will be building additional tissue out of thin air. You might think that your body will use all your fat down to the last drop in order to build the extra muscle. That is not true. Yes, you can slowly build muscle and continue to lose fat if you are doing everything down to the letter, however the more you go lower than 10% body fat the more difficult and slower this process takes. Your body sees going lower than that as a threat to your existence. This is how your body thinks when you are losing too much fat: What if I don’t have enough fat to survive the following winter or the next time there will be food scarcity? I better save some of this fat and go easy on the muscle building…
Traditional (outdated) approach to Strength & Hypertrophy
Still, there are many approaches out there towards hypertrophy (muscle cell growth).The most typical approach is the bodybuilder’s approach, where training focuses on higher reps (12-20) with brief resting periods (usually 20-50 seconds). By now you are probably asking, So which is it dude? Should I do low reps or high reps to get big? If you want to get big in the most effective way possible, the answer is BOTH. The latest scientific research shows that you need a good strength foundation based on low reps to build on a higher rep range in order to build muscle mass in the most effective way. Homemade Muscle serves that goal by always starting you with five reps and focusing on building that up to 15. Once you reach 15 reps you move to a higher progression starting from 5 reps again.
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