Ok, so recently a guy living locally to me wanted me to critique his form. He was complaining that a few of his body parts just weren’t responding and he wasn’t gaining.
After watching, I have to say his form was pretty good. In fact, the only thing I could see after a few sets was that his negatives (lowering) were executed way too quickly.
No probs. So I tell him, “Slow those negatives down and perform them under full muscular control”.
He agreed…but did the same thing again.
Rather puzzled, I repeated, “You need to do those negatives slower; you’re losing muscle fiber recruitment when you do them like that”.
He agreed. Then…
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He pretty much did the same over again. At this point, I’m scratching my head.
“Dear God, let me show you”.
We were testing this out with sets of bicep barbell curls. So I knock out a set and do the negatives more slowly than the positives and REALLY MAKING SURE that it’s actually my biceps doing the lowering – I’m not letting gravity do the work.
This made all the difference!
It actually took him to physically SEE someone do negatives under full muscular control before he really knew what it meant.
And that’s fair enough. Sometimes we really don’t know what our own form looks like. We assume we’re doing it right.
There’s something about a fresh set of eyes that can point out any weak spots in your form.
My advice? Get someone to watch your form and critique it.
The guy in question reported to me that after 3 proper sets supervised by me, he experienced DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) in his biceps the next day…and for the first time in years!!
It can really make all the difference in the world to your results!
My second suggestion you already know…
slow down those damn negatives! It:
- Increases muscle fiber recruitment
- Creates more muscle damage
- Maximizes metabolic stress
…all of which increases protein synthesis rates, or in layman’s English, stimulates more growth!Click here to see why slowing your negatives produces more muscle growth Click To Tweet
I write about the importance of your technique and feeling the muscle, not the weight in this post. You might be surprised at how many top guys agree with me on this.
If you need to reduce the weight to accomplish this, so be it. Leave your ego at the gym door.
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