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Determine the Length of Your Workouts

Evaluate Your Progress

Keep Warm-Up in Perspective


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"Doing more exercise with less intensity,"
Arthur Jones believes, "has all but
destroyed the actual great value
of weight training. Something
must be done . . . and quickly."
The New Bodybuilding for
Old-School Results supplies
MUCH of that "something."

 

This is one of 93 photos of Andy McCutcheon that are used in The New High-Intensity Training to illustrate the recommended exercises.

To find out more about McCutcheon and his training, click here.

 

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Rep Speed
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jason_m

I'm just curious to see what rep speed the people here use. As for myself, I tend to prefer a "4 up, 4 down" cadence.

Jason.
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kata14

Personally I use 3 secs up 3 sec down, it's so familiar for me.
kata
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ryansergent

Kansas, USA

As fast as it takes to get about 5 reps and one rep shy of failure. If your hurt or new to an exercise keep it slow.

I do find that faster is better than slower for both hypertrophy and strength. Folks will argue but I know what works for me.

Ryan
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jrholt

Tennessee, USA

rediculous! I have seen all excuses.
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waynegr

Switzerland

Hi all,

Think it?s very good for a beginner to lift in the 2/4 or 4/4 HIT lifting style, it gets the form right, and gets them used to the feel of the weights, and stops the pulls and strains.

However when you want to up the intensity You will have to move at a fast rep tempo, I use 1/2, this SPEED IF FAR MORE INTENSE AND THUS MORE PRODUCTIVE, THAN SLOWER TRAINING, AS MY LITTLE EXPERIMENT PROVES, this speed is still fully controlled. And is not cheating exercises, throwing the weight, out of control ballistics, or not extremely bad form with higher speed reps.

Grasp a imaginary shot putt, now putt the shot in slow motion, you will find your muscles are barely working, and the putt does not go very far, now shot the putt, at a slightly faster, your muscles are starting to work harder, as they are pushing into the weight harder and more intense, now shot the put as hard as you can, now your muscles are working as hard as they can as they are pushing as hard, working as hard as they can, as the muscles are constantly pushing into the putt and trying too move the putt fast and faster, and the putt goes along way.

if you do move faster into a lift/rep you are just accelerating into the weights faster and Creating more force in the muscle, and pushing harder with the muscles, put your hand against anything, push gently with a little force, now press very hard with high, force, if you took away whatever you were pressing at, your hand would move fast when you were applying high force, fast movement, and very slow when pressing with low force.


While you can certainly argue against bad dangerous form, an argument can be made that increasing speed (to whatever speed you can safely use) will increase that power density.

Again, I am not talking about simply increasing biomechanical efficiency such as the "skilled" application of efficient lifting in a sport like Olympic lifting.

I am talking about training against a load so that the maximum amount of Intensity is possible.

You have not seen me suggest, bad form or throwing the weight, except in movements that call for that as part of their completion, such as the power clean.

If you are truly after the maximum intensity possible then "speed" is one of the training elements to be considered.

Safe speed yes, but speed nonetheless is part of adjusting and or creating "intensity".

Some people say, the faster you train, the more ballistic the lift. The more ballistic the lift, the more you offload the muscle. I think this is untrue, and momentum can only be brought on, on certain lifts, and not many at that.

However, this main man of his time Newton stated this,
Newton's 2nd Law,
An increase in the upward acceleration will increase and not offload the force exerted on the lifter. The only way to offload a muscle is to accelerate downwards with the load, not to slow it down while going upwards. The only way to totally eliminate production of momentum is to do isometric training. Mind you, load or force does not change with speed of repetition, but with only with acceleration, no matter what speed you are moving at.

This I think is very easy to prove, as Einstein said, take a bathroom scale into an elevator, stand on the scales, and see when it registers the greatest weight??? When the elevator is at full stop, or is moving upwards or is moving downwards. You will note that offloading takes place when the elevator accelerates downwards and that enhanced loading takes place as you begin to accelerate upwards.

Wayne
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Cherry

10/10 is sooooo much harder than 2/4, or 4/4 or 4/2 etc.

10/10 eliminates momo and for that reason it's hard. it;s got to better!

But i wonder is it?
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Drew Baye

Florida, USA

One should move just slowly enough to maintain strict form. This includes being able to:

1. reverse direction in a smooth, controlled manner with no jerking, yanking or bouncing

2. maintain proper body position and/or alignment

3. focus on and feel what the target muscles are doing continuously throughout the exercise

Most people are unable to maintain strict form (by our standards) moving more quickly than 3 seconds during either the positive or negative except on very short movements, and if you're doing them in 2 seconds or less, you're certainly not reversing direction in a smooth and controlled manner, and probably not maintaining very strict body positioning either.

The movement doesn't have to be extremely slow (although it does help at first for learning purposes and for correcting problems with form), but it should be just slow enough to maintain good form.

There certainly is no benefit to moving fast during exercise. In fact, research shows no significant difference in results regardless of speed used, so you might as well move a little more slowly just for the sake of avoiding injury and saving your joints.

I think a 3/3 would be fine for most people if they're using reasonably strict form, but we go a little slower with our clients (5/5) to err on the side of safety.
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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

I can't top what Drew said, except to add that it's exercise dependent. A 1/3 cadence may be slow enough for wrist curls. A 3/3 cadence is too fast, however, for machine pullovers, an exercise I usually do at about a 4/7 or 4/8 cadence.

Short Answer: Going just slow enough to avoid jerks or bounces will do most people just fine.

Scott
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TheSofaKing

Manitoba, CAN

waynegr wrote:
Some people say, the faster you train, the more ballistic the lift. The more ballistic the lift, the more you offload the muscle. I think this is untrue, and momentum can only be brought on, on certain lifts, and not many at that.


You rehash this same speal everytime this topic comes up. Do you actually type this out everytime, or do you just copy & paste? Brian Johnston did a great little study with some force gauges.... you should probably read it.

http://www.cscforce.com/...orce%20gauge%22

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Paul Marsland

What it is actually being discussed here is rep CADENCE not rep speed as a 10/10 cadence requires a different speed to that of a 3/3 cadence if using the same exercise.
Paul.
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Yes

I focus on good form and smooth movement, and fatigueing(is that a word?) the targeted muscle(s). The cadence changes throughout the set.

Maybe the first reps are 3/4, nearing failure it gets slower and I work longer on the negative. Sometimes I even speed it up a little bit, to get a few extra reps, and perhaps slow down on the negative.

It depends on how the muscles feel, my goal is to work them as hard as possible so I practice a few tricks and cheats not to reach failire too easily.
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Drew Baye

Florida, USA

The following is an example of a strict, 5/5 rep on the Nautilus Nitro mid row, recorded for Saseme when he was asking about the machine earlier.

http://baye.com/...tro-mid-row.MOV

This is the speed we use with our clients. We typically start them out a little slower for learning purposes, but once they've got the form down on an exercise we speed them up to this. In addition to making it easier to maintain strict form, it makes it easier for us to observe the client's form, which makes it easier to detect and correct problems and "fine tune" their performance.

If the client were moving too quickly, it would be more difficult to correct problems, since by the time you identified what they were doing wrong and finished speaking the instructions on how to correct it, they'll be on the next rep or even the second past it. It's better to have them correct what they're doing wrong as soon as possible.

If you move too quickly, unloading does occur. See BDJ's force gauge study mentioned ealier in the thread. Movements that are "explosive" or "ballistic" in nature should definitely be avoided during exercise.

If you move too slowly, it is possible the set might be slightly less effective due to fewer excursions, since it is likely the action of performing the negative is more important than the time spend performing the negative where microtrauma is concerned.

For example, whether you perform a set of 4 reps at 10/10 or a set of 8 reps at 5/5 you're still spending 40 seconds of time doing negative work, but in the second example you're going through the negative twice as many times, while still moving slowly enough to avoid unloading and allow for strict form.

Don't go too fast. Don't go too slow. Just go "slow enough" to maintain strict form and be able to focus on the target muscles.
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spud

I watched that video and timed it using the clock on my computer.

The 2 reps Drew performs take near enough bang on 20 seconds.

Watching that makes me think "Why would anybody need to move any slower than that?"

You can't say that the reps Drew performs are fast, sloppy or out of control in any way.
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Law&Order

spud wrote:
I watched that video and timed it using the clock on my computer.

The 2 reps Drew performs take near enough bang on 20 seconds.

Watching that makes me think "Why would anybody need to move any slower than that?"

You can't say that the reps Drew performs are fast, sloppy or out of control in any way.


Indeed - i actually thought the video was in slow motion.
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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

Law&Order wrote:
Indeed - i actually thought the video was in slow motion.


Gee whiz, you can't get much mechanical work done at that pace can you?
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Law&Order

simon-hecubus wrote:

Gee whiz, you can't get much mechanical work done at that pace can you?


My thoughts exactly.Hecubus,you have a sharp eye - ideal for observation.

Unfortunately your wit is not quite as sharp....

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jrholt

Tennessee, USA

Remember Arthur's research in the 70's where most people were S type responders(77%) to exercise and some were G type responders (23%)? Anyone who responds as well with fast speeds as with slow controlled speeds may be a G type responder in that the resistance and froce production is the greatest at the beginning of the contraction phase and then quickly decreases due to momentum.

G type responders can benefit from any speed then and S type responders need to work with control throughout the full range of motion. S= specific and they responded best specifically to full range of motion while g= general and they responded with strength increases throughout the full range of motion even when only a partial ranges of motion were trained.

Best bet, however, is for most people to train with controlled movements throughout the full range of motion so the muscles are challenged at each angle throughout the ranges of motion.

Jeff

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Cherry

Pick any exercise, use your usual 2/4 resistance but do a 10/4 cadence. From the 1st rep that feels 3X more difficult. One reason is drastic reduction in momo that's ever present in the 2/4. momo is a nono. it's a 'cheat' (and main reason AJ went to a short stroke on MedX.) I believe Less momo leads to a greater avg tension in muscle which should translate to greater gains.

Drew speculates that 'excursions' have smthg to do with muscle gains.. no evidence or reason to believe this at this time. greater avg tension is key makes more sense of evidence (also why negative training is more productive too)

my thoughts.
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Cherry

further thoughts..

the absolute cadence will vary as a function of the length of 'stroke' of the movement. choosing a 10/10 or 5/5 etc is arbitrary. isn't it reasonable to allow the exercise stroke dictate the cadence? simply move as SLOW as possible, just quick enough above choppy motion. no fatser, no slower. the cadence is whatever it will be. brilliant!
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Drew Baye

Florida, USA

Inroad, thus motor unit recruitment, is less efficient with very slow repetition speeds. You should go just slowly enough to be able to maintain strict form and avoid unloading due to momentum.

Although ROM should dictate the actual speed, it is easier for teaching and recording purposes to use a single cadence, erring on the slow side to take longer-ROM exercises into account.
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Cherry

Drew Baye wrote:
Inroad, thus motor unit recruitment, is less efficient with very slow repetition speeds. You should go just slowly enough to be able to maintain strict form and avoid unloading due to momentum.

Although ROM should dictate the actual speed, it is easier for teaching and recording purposes to use a single cadence, erring on the slow side to take longer-ROM exercises into account.


Inroad and motor unit recruitment is less efficient? I see it the other way around.. more efficient and complete. How is it less?

I just did a WO slowing everything down to a point where the resistance was moving just fast enough to avoid choppiness (i was doing 4/4) I didn't count but just focused on intently watching the bar or movement arm to keep the SLOWEST constant speed i could.

Didn't care what the absolute cadence was. i uesed SAME resistance i was using for faster cadence. IT WAS DANG HAAAAAARD! very hard! much harder than faster cadence i was using. so this is why i am back to this again :)
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Drew Baye

Florida, USA

This is a problem if you go too fast or too slow, for different reasons. Due to unloading if you're going too fast, due to a reduction in demand on the muscle if going too slow. Although there are far less problems with going too slow than going too fast, it's still not recommended.

Although the relationship between mechanical and metabolic work is not direct, there is a relationship. You can have metabolic work without performing mechanical work on the resistance source, but you can not have mechanical work without metabolic work, and the more mechanical work being performed, the greater the amount of metabolic work, if all else is equal.

If you perform an exercise to failure using a 2/2 or 4/4 cadence, then wait an hour and repeat the exercise with a 10/10, you will be able to go considerably longer. It is easier, not harder.

I wrote a detailed explanation of this at http://baye.com/...ournal0035.html

If you move too slowly, you inroad less efficiently, rather than more efficiently. This is why we recommend going just slowly enough. Although for the sake of safety it's better to err on the side of slowness, there are problems with moving both too slowly and too quickly during exercise.
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waynegr

Switzerland

TheSofaKing wrote:
waynegr wrote:
Some people say, the faster you train, the more ballistic the lift. The more ballistic the lift, the more you offload the muscle. I think this is untrue, and momentum can only be brought on, on certain lifts, and not many at that.

You rehash this same speal everytime this topic comes up. Do you actually type this out everytime, or do you just copy & paste? Brian Johnston did a great little study with some force gauges.... you should probably read it.

http://www.cscforce.com/...orce%20gauge%22



Hi,

I cut and paste it, and if it dose not convince you or anyone that a fast speed is more intense, I do not know what will, as in a fast 1/2 your at very high intensity for the muscles, as they are working as hard as they can, but in slower movements your muscles are coasting, and not working at high intensity, and are not working as hard as they could be.

I thought slow reps were best about 2 years ago, and debated for them, but I realised I was wrong and openly stated so, and am so glad now.

I have been told from a very good person, BIO-FORCE that the study?s were not done with all weighs only light ones were used, which was 15kg, that is not the kind of weight I or anyone here lifts, so the study is not a study.

If you could pick at my original cut and pasting, and tell me how you think it might be wrong, I would be happy to answer your questions.

Wayne

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Drew Baye

Florida, USA

waynegr wrote:

I cut and paste it, and if it dose not convince you or anyone that a fast speed is more intense, I do not know what will, as in a fast 1/2 your at very high intensity for the muscles, as they are working as hard as they can, but in slower movements your muscles are coasting, and not working at high intensity, and are not working as hard as they could be.


This simply is not true.

If you are going too fast, you are not working as hard due to the use of momentum, and if you're going too slowly, you're not working as hard (per unit of time) due to the reduction in work being performed. You have to find a middle ground. Additionally, if you're moving too quickly, it is difficult to maintain very strict form, which is not only important for safety, but helps keep the load on the target muscles as well.


waynegr wrote:
I thought slow reps were best about 2 years ago, and debated for them, but I realised I was wrong and openly stated so, and am so glad now.


And now you've gone too far in the opposite direction and are still wrong.

Show me a video of you performing any exercise with a 1 or 2 second movement in either direction, and I will show you a number of problems with your form, the least of which will be poor turnarounds.


waynegr wrote:
I have been told from a very good person, BIO-FORCE that the study?s were not done with all weighs only light ones were used, which was 15kg, that is not the kind of weight I or anyone here lifts, so the study is not a study.


If you're going to talk about studies, you should provide references.

If you read the critique of the ACSM position stand, which has been mentioned here again, and again, and again ( you can look it up in the journals section at www.asep.org ) you'll see there is NO SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE IN RESULTS with different rep speeds. In which case, you might as well move more slowly for the sake of safety.
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Tougher

Alberta, CAN

A little physics info that applies here:

1. An object at rest wants to stay at rest. Therefore the heavier the object, the more force is required to start it moving.

2. An object in motion will stay in motion unless there are opposing forces (ie. gravity, friction - including air friction, etc.)

3. Force = mass x acceleration

4. Momentum = mass x velocity

Therefore if you take a weight, more force is required to get it moving at a greater speed, however moving the weight at a greater speed, also increases the momentum.

The more momentum an object has, the greater opposing forces are required to slow it. In the case of lifting weights, the opposing forces (excluding tension in opposing muscle groups)are usually constant - air friction and gravity.

Therefore if you take a weight and do fast reps, you need a greater force to get the weight moving, however once you get it moving, you will need to use exert less muscle-wise to keep it moving at that velocity than if you were to do slow reps. However, with slow reps, you use less force to start it moving.

There is always momentum no matter how slow you go, however, this momentum is inversely proportional to the needed muscle exertion during the lift.

Which is better? Lifting faster, for more reps, knowing that while you need to exert more force to get the object moving, you will use less to keep it moving; or lifting slower for less reps, knowing that while you are exerting more to keep it moving, you are generating less force to start it moving. I guess the key is finding that personal balance.

You also may want to keep tension time in mind. If you want to have a set time and rep goal, than that will affect what weight and rep speed you use. If you're doing wrist curls, with its short ROM, in order to get (for example) 10 reps and 60 secs, you will need to go slower than you will in, say, bench press. You could do a heck of a lot more wrist curls than bench press in 60 secs if you wanted to.

I'm not saying which is better than which, but rather, this is just stuff you may want to keep in mind. Or you may not - up to you.

Sorry if any of this didn't make sense, I'm writing it at 2:30 in the morning and kept adding/deleting stuff.

Ben



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