It’s always a good idea to try new things and switch up your training…. Especially if you’ve seemed to hit a plateau.
I’m not exaggerating when I say I learn something new with every workout. Not only am I building muscle but I’m building my knowledge of health and fitness. The most crucial theme in this ‘new’ training is the focus on eccentric movement which is often described as negative training.
Eccentric contraction in simplest terms is the lowering phase of an exercise. For example, lowering a barbell in a biceps curl. This movement focuses on slowing down the elongation of the muscle process in order to challenge the muscles. To make the most of your training, slowly bring the weight down instead of letting gravity take the weight back down to the start position. Using the bicep curl example again, shoot the barbell up as quick as possible, squeeze and hold the contraction, then within 7 seconds slowly lower the barbell back down.
Those 7 seconds BURN!!! At first, I noticed that I couldn’t push as much weight as I normally did mainly because I would burnout before I finished my reps. However after training like this for a few weeks my strength has definitely increased! My muscles look a lot fuller too (My biceps actually pop when I flex now!).