Good afternoon, Fit City Family,
Today’s newsletter is brought to you by the letter "S", for slooooooooooow.
In a lifting movement, there are four main parts:
1. The bottom of the movement, where the targeted muscle is stretched.
2. The “lift”, or when the muscle starts to contract. This is known as the “concentric” or “positive” phase.
3. The top of the movement, where the muscle is fully contracted.
4. The lowering of the weight back to the original position. This is known as the “eccentric” or “negative” phrase.
To put this in possibly more familiar terms, think of a standard bicep curl. The bottom of the movement is when the weight is hanging down and your arms are stretched; the positive phase is when you begin to lift the weight upwards; the top of the movement is when your biceps are contracted as the weight is as high as you’re going to lift it; the negative phase is when you lower the weight back to its starting position. The sequence then begins again.
Many people focus all their attention and energy on the second part of the movement, the positive phase, and rush through the negative phase to start another lift, leaving a lot of potential improvement and growth on the table.
Instead of letting the weight drop back down to the starting position, try lowering it slowly, like three or four seconds. This will be tough! You will likely need to lower your weight, but you will notice improvements in strength, size, and endurance like never before.
For more information, check out this article.