Accentuated Eccentrics: Advanced Negative Training. It’s likely that you’ve heard of amplified eccentric loading. “Yeah, that’s simply a fancy phrase for negative training — gently dropping a weight,” you would think. In a nutshell, yes and no. It’s a technique in which you increase resistance throughout each rep’s eccentric (negative) phase. It’s done by manually modifying an exercise in the middle of a rep.
For example, on the way up, execute a dumbbell bench press, then seamlessly transition into a dumbbell chest flye on the way down (eccentric phase). You may also conduct the concentric half of a machine exercise with two limbs (bilaterally) and then the eccentric half with one (unilaterally).
Do the “up” phase of a leg extension with both legs, then remove one leg at the top and decrease the weight with the remaining leg.
WHY IS THIS KIND OF NEGATIVE TRAINING SO POWERFUL?
You can raise the burden on each set to make it simpler to reach the appropriate stress thresholds for effective adaptation. If properly planned, exaggerated eccentric loading can provide equivalent or better strength improvements than regular loading settings (1, 2). Neurological modifications are most likely to blame for these increases.
You’ll recruit a lot of motor units and fire them relatively rapidly if you’re training at a high intensity and creating a lot of force (3). When compared to traditional training techniques, the amount of time your muscles spend contracting at a high intensity is considerably larger, implying that a large number of motor units will fire rapidly for a longer length of time. You’ll feel a little more tired as a result, but you’ll see some incredible strength increases.
Let’s go through some more workout combinations before I get into the specifics.
PAIRINGS OF EXERCISE THAT WORK
When practising emphasised eccentrics, there are a variety of methods to couple exercises together, but they are simple and effective.
- Concentric: Dumbbell Bench Press MOVEMENT TARGET: PRESSING
- Dumbbell Close-Grip Chest Press (Eccentric)
- Dumbbell Rear Delt Row (concentric)
- Dumbbell Rear Delt Flye (Eccentric)
- Dumbbell Hammer Curls (concentric)
- Dumbbell Reverse Curl: Eccentric
- Bilateral Leg Press (concentric)
- Eccentric: Leg Press (Unilateral)
- Bilateral Lying Leg Curl (concentric)
- Eccentric: Lying Leg Curl (Unilateral)
- Bilateral Smith Machine Hip Thrust (concentric)
- Unusual: Smith Machine Hip Thrust in One Direction
Why don’t you try the deadlift? The torque placed on your lumbar spine by supramaximal loads isn’t good. It’s preferable to employ emphasised eccentric loading to indirectly strengthen the strength of the muscles that produce this movement pattern.
INCLUDING IT IN YOUR EXERCISES
- Consider one or more lifts where your strength has plateaued.
- Identify the three training days each week with the lowest training volume throughout the first three weeks of your next training cycle.
- Pick one exercise combination that focuses on a muscle that’s involved in a major lift you want to enhance.
- On such training days, replace your accessory exercises with your emphasised eccentric loading movement pairs. Add these activities towards the conclusion of your workout if you didn’t intend on doing accessory work.
- Calculate the eccentric phase’s concentric 1RM for the exercise you’re about to undertake. Find your 1RM for the flye – the component of the rep you’ll be decreasing – if you’re doing a dumbbell bench press and flye combination.
- For the eccentric movement only, choose a load that is about 105 percent of your concentric 1RM. To put it another way, you’ll be lowering a weight that you can’t lift.
- Perform three sets of ten reps.
- On week two, increase the load by 2.5 percent of 1RM. On week three, increase the load by 2.5 percent of 1RM.
When you’ve been stalled or are at the start of a training cycle and are well-rested, this type of exercise is the greatest option. Otherwise, the additional training load introduced by this strategy may result in excessive tiredness and a reduction in training quality later in your training cycle. If you’re a beginner, skip the highly exaggerated eccentric loading for 3 weeks at a time.