When you bend your arm for a bicep curl you are contracting your biceps. The goal is to build muscle so when exerting a force, like lifting a dumbbell up against gravity, the primary goal is the lift. In Eccentric training you focus more on controlling the speed as you are lowering the weight back down or in the case of a bicep curl, as you straighten your arm. A 2009 review determined that eccentric training performed at high intensities was show to be more effective in promoting increases in muscle mass. By resisting gravity and slowly lowering the weight you are working harder. The movement does not have to be as slow as possible but somewhere around 4 seconds. In the case of a deadlift, the main focus or concentric phase, is the lifting of the bar or torso up. Next time you try performing a deadlift, really take your time lowering yourself. Don’t speed though the eccentric phase of the exercise.
 It is easy to develop bad habits, like moving too fast through what feels like should be the easier part of the exercise. Maybe your speed is interfering with your goals for strength gains. Make the movement harder by resisting it and moving slow. Now let’s go build some muscle!
Contributed by Bethany Reynolds
Health & Fitness Professional

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