Eccentric training is a training system which pushes your muscles past their normal point of failure by focusing on the eccentric contraction, this is the contraction where the muscle lengthens as opposed to a concentric contraction with the muscle shortens. For example in the bicep curl the eccentric part of the movement is lowering the weight and the concentric part of the movement is raising the weight, therefore with eccentric training we will focus on increasing the stimulus on the muscle whilst lowering the weight.
One way of including eccentric training in your workout program is by using forced repetitions; you will need a partner for this one. If you are using forced reps your partner will assist you in the concentric phase of the movement as you will be using a way that is too much for this section of the exercise, it will be whilst lowering the weight during the eccentric part of the movement that you will be putting an increased workload on the muscles. For example on a bench press your partner will help you lift the barbell up and you will lower it by yourself, therefore using more weight and overloading the muscles more than a usual bench press.
If you don't have a partner you can use bodyweight negative's for eccentric training. For example in a pull up you will jump up to the top of the bar and lower yourself slowly down, therefore using more of your body weight in the eccentric part of movement then you are in the concentric section of the pull up. This is useful when starting out with pull ups, as many people can’t handle their own body weight at first.
Another way you can use eccentric training is by using two up one down negatives. You will use both limbs to raise the weight and just one to lower it. For example when doing a leg extension, use both legs to raise the weight, then take one out and lower the weight slowly down back down. Repeat for the desired amount of reps and then swap legs.
The fourth way to use eccentric training in your program is the change the tempo of your lift. You will need to raise the weight at your usual speed but then take 3 to 5 seconds to lower the weight back down. For example when squatting, move upwards at your usual pace but take 3-5 seconds to lower yourself back down.
The best way to use eccentric training is at the end of your workout on your last lift.
How to include eccentric training in your program safely:
• Always warm up and cool down properly.
• Ensure adequate recovery between sessions as eccentric training boosts the intensity of your workouts.
• Do not expect to use more than 40% extra weight on the eccentric part of the movement, start off lower and increase as necessary.
• Use a spotter as you're using extra weight!
• You are stronger in the eccentric part of the movement then in the concentric part.
• Use eccentric training at the end of your workout to boost the intensity.
• You should limit the frequency at which you use eccentric training to ensure adequate recovery.
• You are 30 to 40% stronger eccentrically!
• It is a great tool for bursting through through plateaus.
Laura Ciotte is a personal trainer and tutor/assessor for trainee personal trainers. She is based in Worthing, West Sussex and likes travelling, motorbikes and good food.
All the information on this website is published in good faith and for general information purpose only. www.lauraciottept.co.uk does not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability and accuracy of this information. Any action you take upon the information you find on this website www.lauraciottept.co.uk, is strictly at your own risk. www.lauraciottept.co.uk will not be liable for any losses and/or damages in connection with the use of our website.
From our website, you can visit other websites by following hyperlinks to such external sites. While we strive to provide only quality links to useful and ethical websites, we have no control over the content and nature of these sites. These links to other websites do not imply a recommendation for all the content found on these sites. Site owners and content may change without notice and may occur before we have the opportunity to remove a link which may have gone 'bad'.
Please be also aware that when you leave our website, other sites may have different privacy policies and terms which are beyond our control. Please be sure to check the Privacy Policies of these sites as well as their "Terms of Service" before engaging in any business or uploading any information.
By using our website, you hereby consent to our disclaimer and agree to its terms.