Everyone has different goals in the gym. Some want to get bigger, some want to get stronger. But whatever the goal may be, many miss doing one very important thing when it comes to how they are repping the bar or freeweights. Lets remember that lifting weights is not simply about JUST lifting, but the form you are using to do it.
Form is where you will make your muscle
Me personally, I am looking for more mass before I slowly transition into a toning period. So since my goal is mass, I was trying to lift 3 sets of 10, making sure the last set is the one I would fail on. These were heavy sets of 10, but what I was lacking was form. I was slowly seeing results, but I knew something was missing. After some great research, it was clear what needed to be done!
Half your weights, and focus on the form you are using to lift. Try this with every exercise you do. Once you understand the difference this is making in your muscles, you can start to re-add your weight and then find the appropriate sets. Now to get specific, what do I mean by form? For me what I was missing was that when you lift, you explode up and lift the weight, but slowly bring it down, driving immense control into your muscles. I call it reloading. Reload very slow and control it all the way down, and then explode up. You will notice the result after your very first workout. It really makes your muscles feel like you have never even worked out before.
What I describe as reloading is partially what negative reps are. Wikipedia describes them as:
A negative repetition (negative rep) is the repetition of a technique in weight lifting in which the lifter performs the eccentric phase of a lift. Instead of pressing the weight up slowly, in proper form, a spotter generally aids in the concentric, or lifting, portion of the repetition while the lifter slowly performs the eccentric phase for 3–6 seconds. Negative reps are used to improve both muscular strength and power in subjects, this is commonly known as hypertrophy training.
Of course, negative reps are only half of reloading. But knowing the importance of them and adding them to your workout, you will see a major difference by the end of the first week. You will notice a profound amount of soreness in your muscle, but this is normal. This is breaking your muscle down better, and rebuilding it stronger. Not only is this going to make your time in the gym worth more, but you will begin seeing results sooner. Its great for adding mass and actual, physical strength too. You’ll be doing yourself a favor anytime you incorporate this into your routine.
Try it out and let me know the results you get!