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Negative Only Training?
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shlevon

I'm just curious who out there is consistently performing negative only or negative accentuated work.

I've had periods of time where I've relied on negative chins and negative dips as my major upper body movements. Possibly as a coincidence, possibly not, these are far and away my two strongest upper body exercises. They're also probably two of the easiest exercises to perform negative only yourself.

I'd like to also offer some tips and tricks for performing NO style work.

Negative chins: the easiest way I've found to do this is actually in front of a power rack that has a chin attachment. Simply set the safety catches on either side of the power rack to a height that allows you to climb up and get your chin well above the bar. This sounds awkward, but actually isn't too difficult, is easier than the chair/stool method as you don't have to start as awkwardly.

Negative dips: find a dipping station that allows you to 'step up' into it, or one that's close enough to the ground where you can simply stand yourself back up to restart the movement. The dip stand I have at home works very well for this, allowing me to achieve more or less full ROM while also being able to do negatives. In fact, doing negatives in dips this way is retardedly easy.

Negative 1-legged squats: I'm not sure how many of you practice pistols, but I do have a reasonable idea on how loaded one-legged squats are possible.

Firstly, if you're sufficiently weak, simply standing in front of an open door with its handles on either side is a good way to do negative one-legged squats or assisted one-legged squats. Simply hold onto the handles, keep yourself tight/upright, and lower down slowly towards the floor. Use the other leg to help you back up.

As you grow stronger, and if you have access to a power rack, set a bar at chest height or so as if you were going to squat. Now, take a box of some sort and put it directly in front of the power rack. Step onto the box with whatever leg you want to exercise, grab hold of the bar with one arm while holding a dumbbell in the opposite sided hand of the leg you're exercising. From here, allow your hand holding the bar to ONLY brace for balance (there is a fine line between this and self-spotting), and lower yourself in control.

Then, simply stand up with both legs and reset the movement.

The only downside to this method is that it requires working both sides separately instead of getting it done with in one fell swoop.

As a sidenote, I've gotten my quads more sore by doing negative one-legged squats than any combination of squatting I've ever tried in my life.
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garethit

Hi shevlon,

I've always loved negatives myself and have done neg only chins and dips more than a few times through the years. I find the immediete effect from one hard set of negatives feels unlike anything else I've ever done.

Theres something going on inside the muscles when you perform neg only exercise thats not been fully explained yet, if you were to measure the inroad created by neg only set compared to a standard rep set against each other the difference would be huge.

I think that one of the reasons for this is that during a neg only set the last few reps are being done as slow as you can, in effect the last SEVERAL reps are all to failure. At this point in a normal pos/neg set you would reach failure and have to stop the movement but with neg only it just goes on and on causing deeper and deeper inroading.

So in a pos/neg set you reach failure(or probably more importantly a point of max recruitment and rate coding)once but in a neg only set you reach this point and keep it there rep after rep albeit for shorter and shorter ammounts of time as the reps become quicker due to fatigue.

Thnx.
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chaire

North Carolina, USA

I have been training negative-only for the last 2 years. I am also including max-contraction in my training. At age 51 I use more weight on no chins now than when I was 25. I have the advantage of using Eccentric-Edge equipment. Keep traing NO and watch the results.
God Bless
Charlie
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shlevon

AJ seemed to believe that a NO/NA type routine would be 'ideal' where possible in terms of strength and muscle mass, and as far as I know never had a change of heart concerning this position.

In his MedX book, he does mention it being impractical for many exercises, but where possible, I'd guess he'd still have trainees perform this style if another Colorado experiment were to come along or something.

It strikes me as a little odd that, in the many years since AJ proposed these types of routines, that more people haven't given it a shot. The potential for eccentrics to induce growth is second to none, imho.
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STanner

Texas, USA

I've been training my calves NA style for the past 2 months after trying them DC-style (Extra long stretch/stretch hold). I actually lost size doing them DC style but gained the size back in 3 weeks of NA-style calves.

I added negative-only lateral raises to my routine 2 weeks ago. I'm looking forward to the result.
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shlevon

Another comment on negative only training...

Some people are concerned that negatives do not transfer properly to "normal" (con/ecc) movements, and there is a certain logic to this.

However, you can overcome this by simply including BOTH in your routine. They don't even have to be on the same day or anything, just have both in the overall routine.

When doing that, imho, you WILL notice a very positive transfer from the negatives to the normal movement.
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cokerat

I have always wondered why Arthur Jones had such fanatastic results with NO training with himself and those he trained but I have never heard of anyone else having those same results, myself included. When he first wrote about in IRONMAN it sounded as if he had found the Holy Grail.

Dr. Darden,

We have all read about Bill Bradford's results with the Deland H.S. weightlifting team and their record, but have never heard anything as regards to their degree of development. How was it?
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shlevon

cokerat wrote:
I have always wondered why Arthur Jones had such fanatastic results with NO training with himself and those he trained but I have never heard of anyone else having those same results, myself included. When he first wrote about in IRONMAN it sounded as if he had found the Holy Grail.

Dr. Darden,

We have all read about Bill Bradford's results with the Deland H.S. weightlifting team and their record, but have never heard anything as regards to their degree of development. How was it?



Just out of curiosity, how have you included NO movements in your routine in the past?

I'd also be interested in hearing people's experience with negative accentuated exercise.
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BIO-FORCE

California, USA

I am a big proponent of properly loaded "eccentric" actions. In fact I was so taken with the considered advantages of adequately loaded eccentric actions that I designed and patented a force device and exercise machines that provide the ability to add "any" eccentric load one might wish to use.

That said, I am not a fan of "eccentric only" training.

The value of load/force training, in my opinion comes to a large degree from stimulating most of the components of the muscles action. This is more than true at the eccentric to concentric transition.

The value of this transition is one of the single most important elements of strength and hypertrophy.

Eccentric Only applications have a tendency to lose this "transitional segment", and with it the corresponding value.

While it can be done. I don't think it can be effectively. There are some exercises where this may not be important, such as Leg Extensions, but in general, the value of that transition, can be lost when trying to perform the EO action.

It disturbs the motor sequencing, and the significant stimulus of the MMMT (Momentary Maximum Muscle Tension) which offer the largest benefits.

This is not to say they cannot be effective, but it is my opinion that using the fully loaded concentric, transitioning into the "fully loaded" eccentric, is the best value as far as stimulus.

I can clearly recall performing 10 strict reps in the pulldown with 320#, as the last set of my workout, and my partners (2 of them) applying the eccentric load on the way down.

The incredible feeling was that at the bottom of each hard fought rep, that 300# virtually exploded back up, as they let go of the stack. Here was a HUGE weight (to me anyhow) and after each eccentric stroke, if "FLEW" back up like a feather, and felt as light.

It was truly a great feeling, to realize that our strength perceptions are "relationship based" and the potential for greater results could lie in tapping into the smooth and adequate implementation of adequately loaded eccentric actions.
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shlevon

I'd be very curious to see the following comparisons:

eccentric/eccentric

concentric/eccentric

concentric/concentric

Matching total reps/TUT (and you have to do twice as many negatives or concentric only to properly match volume with a normal concentric/eccentric exercise), I'd guess the eccentric/eccentric group would win, particularly if you loaded it to capacity.
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shlevon

It disturbs the motor sequencing, and the significant stimulus of the MMMT (Momentary Maximum Muscle Tension) which offer the largest benefits.

Off the top of my head, I can think of a pretty easy example of an extremely result producing exercise that doesn't depend on the con/ecc switch for momentary maximum tension...

Deadlifts.

Starts from a dead stop, and when repping it, many simply deload it onto the ground, pausing between reps. And this still works wonders in building muscle/size.

Even if eccentric only action lacked this transition, wouldn't it more than make up for it with the increased potential loads?
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BIO-FORCE

California, USA

shlevon wrote:
It disturbs the motor sequencing, and the significant stimulus of the MMMT (Momentary Maximum Muscle Tension) which offer the largest benefits.

Off the top of my head, I can think of a pretty easy example of an extremely result producing exercise that doesn't depend on the con/ecc switch for momentary maximum tension...

Deadlifts.

Starts from a dead stop, and when repping it, many simply deload it onto the ground, pausing between reps. And this still works wonders in building muscle/size.

Even if eccentric only action lacked this transition, wouldn't it more than make up for it with the increased potential loads?


The deadlift is not an example of what I suggest "NOT" happening, but and example of starting from the down position.

You can do the same in most every exercise.

Try starting your heavy squats and benches at the bottom to see what happens. They will plummet.

And all serious deadlifters know that the first rep is the most difficult, and the second which allows eccentric laoding and transition is "MUCH" easier.

This is because of the "eccentric loading" and elastic tensioning I spoke of. This MMMT is a stimulus, and when combined with adequate reps, creates the greatest results in Strength and Hypertrophy overall.

The lack of this loading, is the main reason the deadlift is less than the squat for most.
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BIO-FORCE

California, USA

shlevon wrote:

Even if eccentric only action lacked this transition, wouldn't it more than make up for it with the increased potential loads?


Any time you "deload" the muscle it reflexivley relaxes to meet the reduced load requirement.

So no, you won't handle more weight, and there is no reason to think you will.

All eccentric actions are preceded by an concnetric and vice versa. The transitional junctions are very important to how the exercise affects the muscle(s) involved.

Going from "no load" to maximum eccentric load is far less effective than going from concentrically loaded to greater eccentric load, and it aloows a proportionally larger effort, under natural conditions.



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shlevon

BIO-FORCE wrote:
shlevon wrote:
It disturbs the motor sequencing, and the significant stimulus of the MMMT (Momentary Maximum Muscle Tension) which offer the largest benefits.

Off the top of my head, I can think of a pretty easy example of an extremely result producing exercise that doesn't depend on the con/ecc switch for momentary maximum tension...

Deadlifts.

Starts from a dead stop, and when repping it, many simply deload it onto the ground, pausing between reps. And this still works wonders in building muscle/size.

Even if eccentric only action lacked this transition, wouldn't it more than make up for it with the increased potential loads?

The deadlift is not an example of what I suggest "NOT" happening, but and example of starting from the down position.

You can do the same in most every exercise.

Try starting your heavy squats and benches at the bottom to see what happens. They will plummet.

And all serious deadlifters know that the first rep is the most difficult, and the second which allows eccentric laoding and transition is "MUCH" easier.

This is because of the "eccentric loading" and elastic tensioning I spoke of. This MMMT is a stimulus, and when combined with adequate reps, creates the greatest results in Strength and Hypertrophy overall.

The lack of this loading, is the main reason the deadlift is less than the squat for most.


Actually, I'd guess 90-95% of people will have a bigger deadlift than squat. Take a look at almost any raw PL competition.

Those who don't probably aren't squatting to parallel (crease of hip below top of knee) or below, I'd guess. For the most part.

Of course, there are exceptions.

Anyways, I understand what you're saying that the eccentric --> concentric switch does make you stronger, and I don't disagree.
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shlevon

BIO-FORCE wrote:
shlevon wrote:

So no, you won't handle more weight, and there is no reason to think you will.


I'm not sure I understand what you're saying here. I am saying that people are capable of handling far more weight in a negative only movement than a normal concentric/eccentric movement. Are you disagreeing with this?

I think maybe you're saying the turnaround will actually make you stronger from con-->ecc or ecc-->con.

True, but in conventional movements we're limited, generally speaking, by our concentric strength. Obviously, the best of both worlds would be overloading both to their capacity, which would only really be possible with machines, as you've mentioned.

All eccentric actions are preceded by an concnetric and vice versa. The transitional junctions are very important to how the exercise affects the muscle(s) involved.

Going from "no load" to maximum eccentric load is far less effective than going from concentrically loaded to greater eccentric load, and it aloows a proportionally larger effort, under natural conditions.


I'm not sure you (or the collective we) have any actual evidence this is the case.

I can see your point when talking about functional improvements towards "normal" muscle function, which tends to involve both concentric and eccentric actions.

But strictly from a hypertrophy point of view, in which muscle fibers are responding to imposed strain, I'm having a hard time believing it would matter.

Stretch overload models, afaik, don't necessarily involve any concentric actvitity at all, and produce far more growth than any other protocol I'm aware of (in animal models, of course - this would be unethical in humans).
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shlevon

Incidentally, I realize now that I actually start my weighted chins in a way to capitalize on the ecc-->con switch.

I start a few inches from full hang and lower myself slowly, keeping tension on the working muscles, until I'm at the bottom of the ROM. Then I briefly pause, and lift. Feels very natural that way, much more so than starting with a strong contraction from relaxtion.
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Ciccio

Sure, bouncing out of the bottom squat position makes you look stronger but you aren't. And it has nothing to do with a "switch". It's just cheating. Same for bench.

And you really want to state here that we can't use more weight on NO then we can on a standard pos./neg.set? Ridiculous!

Thanks for teaching us again.
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Ciccio

shlevon wrote:
Incidentally, I realize now that I actually start my weighted chins in a way to capitalize on the ecc-->con switch.

I start a few inches from full hang and lower myself slowly, keeping tension on the working muscles, until I'm at the bottom of the ROM. Then I briefly pause, and lift. Feels very natural that way, much more so than starting with a strong contraction from relaxtion.


I start from full hang and feel comfortable. I also start my leverage bench/Shoulder press from the bottom (because my machine is build like this). Same with shrug, any kind of row, curl and so on and so forth.
There is no ecc->con switch!

Franco


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shlevon

Ciccio wrote:
shlevon wrote:
Incidentally, I realize now that I actually start my weighted chins in a way to capitalize on the ecc-->con switch.

I start a few inches from full hang and lower myself slowly, keeping tension on the working muscles, until I'm at the bottom of the ROM. Then I briefly pause, and lift. Feels very natural that way, much more so than starting with a strong contraction from relaxtion.

I start from full hang and feel comfortable. I also start my leverage bench/Shoulder press from the bottom (because my machine is build like this). Same with shrug, any kind of row, curl and so on and so forth.
There is no ecc->con switch!

Franco





A few things:

1) I could just start at a dead hang, but the lowering a couple inches beforehand does feel like it braces me for the effort ahead.

2) I'm not talking about the "switch" like it's magical, I just literally mean the transition from eccentric to concentraction action or vice versa.

Starting with an eccentric really does help strength, even without the bounce.

If you doubt this, compare starting from a dead stop in a bottom squat in a power rack versus starting by lowering, pausing at parallel, and then raising back up.

I think you will find the former is much more difficult.

3) Why are you trying to be antagonistic to Bioforce/John? He may be opinionated, but he is obviously educated on the topic and has, to the best of my knowledge, always given respectful replies.
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Drew Baye

Florida, USA

shlevon wrote:

Stretch overload models, afaik, don't necessarily involve any concentric actvitity at all, and produce far more growth than any other protocol I'm aware of (in animal models, of course - this would be unethical in humans).


Perhaps an ethics board could be convinced to allow the use of brain-dead individuals on life-support for this kind of research?
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Ciccio

shlevon wrote:
Ciccio wrote:
shlevon wrote:
Incidentally, I realize now that I actually start my weighted chins in a way to capitalize on the ecc-->con switch.

I start a few inches from full hang and lower myself slowly, keeping tension on the working muscles, until I'm at the bottom of the ROM. Then I briefly pause, and lift. Feels very natural that way, much more so than starting with a strong contraction from relaxtion.

I start from full hang and feel comfortable. I also start my leverage bench/Shoulder press from the bottom (because my machine is build like this). Same with shrug, any kind of row, curl and so on and so forth.
There is no ecc->con switch!

Franco





A few things:

1) I could just start at a dead hang, but the lowering a couple inches beforehand does feel like it braces me for the effort ahead.

2) I'm not talking about the "switch" like it's magical, I just literally mean the transition from eccentric to concentraction action or vice versa.

Starting with an eccentric really does help strength, even without the bounce.

If you doubt this, compare starting from a dead stop in a bottom squat in a power rack versus starting by lowering, pausing at parallel, and then raising back up.

I think you will find the former is much more difficult.

3) Why are you trying to be antagonistic to Bioforce/John? He may be opinionated, but he is obviously educated on the topic and has, to the best of my knowledge, always given respectful replies.


Because a lot of what he has to say is to say the least, speculative, sometimes completely wrong (about negative strength in this thread for example) and he's touting that his direct compensation is more HIT then HIT when it's not even nearly fitting in the HIT definition (as per ED, and he coined the term!).

The second reason is, I would rather like to see here some fruitfull discussions about the application of ED/AJ's HIT.
I'm on this board since more then 2years and believe me, the endless discussions about 1set not beeing enough (and exactly this is the underlaying theme of bioforce's posts) or that moving faster/explosive/whatever is better then smooth and controlled are annoying and outright nonsense.

Franco




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Ciccio

shlevon wrote:
If you doubt this, compare starting from a dead stop in a bottom squat in a power rack versus starting by lowering, pausing at parallel, and then raising back up.

I think you will find the former is much more difficult.


It is not! I just gave you examples where I do start with the positive.

It may be for one or two maybe three workouts for you just because you did it always, maybe for years, the other way.
Motor learning (negative skill transfer), nothing else.

Franco
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BIO-FORCE

California, USA

shlevon wrote:
BIO-FORCE wrote:

Going from "no load" to maximum eccentric load is far less effective than going from concentrically loaded to greater eccentric load, and it allows a proportionally larger effort, under natural conditions.

I'm not sure you (or the collective we) have any actual evidence this is the case.

I can see your point when talking about functional improvements towards "normal" muscle function, which tends to involve both concentric and eccentric actions.

But strictly from a hypertrophy point of view, in which muscle fibers are responding to imposed strain, I'm having a hard time believing it would matter.

Stretch overload models, afaik, don't necessarily involve any concentric actvitity at all, and produce far more growth than any other protocol I'm aware of (in animal models, of course - this would be unethical in humans).


What I'm talking about here is that if you go from a "no load" status to a "full load eccentric" it is not as effective as going from a "loaded concentric" to a "full loaded eccentric".

It has to do with the fact that under no load the muscle and motor system need to "ramp up" to a greater degree, and "my experience" has been that it adds a discontinuity to the action, and degrades the performance.

It is not a big deal, it is simply a recognition of the muscle action continuum offering a slightly better stimulus.

And the "stretch overload" models have not been compared to a tensioned or concentric pre-action in any research I know of.
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BIO-FORCE

California, USA

Ciccio wrote:
Sure, bouncing out of the bottom squat position makes you look stronger but you aren't. And it has nothing to do with a "switch". It's just cheating. Same for bench.

And you really want to state here that we can't use more weight on NO then we can on a standard pos./neg.set? Ridiculous!

Thanks for teaching us again.


Hi Franco,

You can't change muscle physiology, and biomechanics.

The body has evolved to work in a dynamic fashion.

Surely, if you are a SS advocate, then you may not be able to use more weight load dynamically, but I'm not sure why you would want to use less stimulus, and get reduced results.



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BIO-FORCE

California, USA

Ciccio wrote:

3) Why are you trying to be antagonistic to Bioforce/John? He may be opinionated, but he is obviously educated on the topic and has, to the best of my knowledge, always given respectful replies.

Because a lot of what he has to say is to say the least, speculative, sometimes completely wrong (about negative strength in this thread for example) and he's touting that his direct compensation is more HIT then HIT when it's not even nearly fitting in the HIT definition (as per ED, and he coined the term!).

The second reason is, I would rather like to see here some fruitfull discussions about the application of ED/AJ's HIT.
I'm on this board since more then 2years and believe me, the endless discussions about 1set not beeing enough (and exactly this is the underlaying theme of bioforce's posts) or that moving faster/explosive/whatever is better then smooth and controlled are annoying and outright nonsense.

Franco


Franco,

While you might think what I suggest is speculation, it is not. It may be that I am just not explaining it in a way you can understand.

Regarding High Intensity Training, and what constitutes it, I can only say that the term "intensity" is a common one. It designates a "magnitude or density" of power or energy output. The program I suggested is true to that common definition, and not restricted by other assumptions.

Regarding "single set" being enough for maximum strength and hypertrophy; I can only state, that given the fact that I don't think there truly is any such thing as Super Compensation, and that no strength athlete in the history of the world has reached maximum potential via a single set system, then it would be hard to believe it can be that way.

The single set training system was developed to accompany lines of machines, with the promise that a single set to momentary failure would give one the best result. And for general fitness and even slightly beyond, that can be true.

For serious Strength Athletes, BodyBuilders, PowerLifters, and such, it is not. There is no harm in recognizing the realities of life. The harm comes from attempting to get the world to adapt to your paradigm, if it is not accurate.

Calling it nonsense, does not offer substance to an argument.
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