Rethinking The Eccentric Phase (negatives)


Active Member
Here's an interesting analysis of the speed of eccentric movements.

As it turns out higher loads and unavoidably faster lowering cadence is more efficient at producing strength/hypertrophy than lower loads with slower speed of descent.
Quite an eye opener :)

Basically, if you want to lift quickly (concentrically), you must use a light weight. If you want to lift a heavy weight (concentrically), you must move slowly. If you want to lower a heavy weight (eccentrically), you must move quickly. If you want to lower slowly (eccentrically), you must only use a light weight.

Even though lowering slowly is a good idea when combined with a concentric phase, it is not the best way to get stronger in the context of eccentric-only training.

When using eccentric-only training, lowering slowly is less effective for gaining strength, because you force yourself to use lighter weights, simply so that you can lower them more slowly. If you lowered more quickly, you could use a much heavier weight (just don’t use a weight that is so heavy you can’t control it, and end up dropping it).

And even though the jury is out when it comes to lighter loads and hypertrophy (Schoenfeld et al. 2015), I think we can all agree that using heavier loads will almost always make you stronger, probably because they provide greater mechanical loading (Schoenfeld, 2010), and I would bet that this applies even when you are just doing eccentric-only training.

Since Farthing & Chilibeck (2003a) also observed greater gains in muscle thickness (measured by ultrasound), they ascribed these greater gains in strength to larger amounts of hypertrophy caused by the higher mechanical loading. These findings are in line with those reported by Paddon-Jones et al. (2001), who found larger gains in type II fiber proportion after fast eccentric training, compared to slow eccentric training.

Later, Shepstone et al. (2005) confirmed these findings, as they found greater gains in strength (at both testing speeds) and muscle fiber size in a fast group, compared to a slow group. In addition, they reported greater muscle fiber damage or remodelling in the fast group.

So basically we should prefer increasing loads even further to the point that the load goes down in about 1 second no matter how hard we try to slow it down.

Of course this doesn't mean that the usually recommended lowering speed of 2-3 sec is a waste of time, it's more like restricting yourself to loads you can lower for 2-3 sec is likely holding you back if your goal is to get stronger and/or more muscular.

Load is king.​
Bret Contreras is as asshole. Perhaps you should stick to just his site. Look at the dates of the studies you posted. If you want to be contrary, that is fine but please do so with credible up to date peer reviewed scientific studies.
You've miscredited the article to the wrong author while presenting assumptions "defending" your own home grown beliefs, not the factual data (some of which is pretty recent).
Then why did you "unignore" me? Please do me a favor: never reply to my posts because most of your replies have close to zero fat academic value.