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Eccentric Exercises Build Muscle Twice as Fast: with examples

Eccentric Exercises Build Muscle Twice as Fast: with examples

New Study Shows How to Get Fit with Half the Effort

Most think that lifting weights is the best way to get “ripped,” but it turns out lowering weights builds muscle twice as fast as lifting them, says a new study.

“Eccentric” contractions, like lowering weights, involves lengthening muscles under tension.

Also known as negative reps, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson used eccentric workouts to build muscle for his roll in the new movie, Black Adam.

These techniques The Rock swears by are now backed by science.

“This latest study shows we can be far more efficient in the time we spend exercising and still see significant results by focusing on eccentric muscle contractions,” said Ken Nosaka, co-author of the study.

Researchers in Australia tested different dumbbell workouts on university students, and found participants doing eccentric exercises had more muscle growth with half the efforts (reps).

The other types of contractions are concentric (tightening muscles like when lifting weights) or isometric (like holding still in a plank position).


How to Do Eccentric Exercises

The key to negative reps to slow down and control a weight while lowering it, instead of letting gravity do the work.

Here’s some easy eccentric exercises:

  • Descend in “slow-motion” from the top of a push-up or pull-up
  • Slowly lower into a squat or lunge to a count of 5 or 10
  • Lift a dumbbell normally, but lower it slowly, feeling the pull
  • View this Eccentric Exercise video for examples in action

For a mega-boost, use both arms or legs to lift a weight, then use a single arm or leg to lower it.

“I love negatives,” said The Rock’s strength coach, Dave Rienzi. The mental thing with negatives is you’re thinking about controlling the weight, or fighting the weight on the way down. You’re exerting more effort. It’s one of the most effective techniques in my opinion.”


Conclusion

There’s now an “old-fashioned” way to build muscle, and a better, more efficient way. Next time you’re working out and you see someone putting all their effort into lowering a weight, you’ll know they know.

And isn’t that the beauty of science, teaching us how to get double the results from the same effort. ?


pictured: “The Rock” as Black Adam. Credit: Time Warner