Enjoy The Negative!

Dumbbell Curl after dumbbell curl you find yourself only feeling tired and wishful that someday a bicep will appear. After forcing your body to get up and get to the gym you feel frustrated at the fact that you are just not seeing any results. Resistance training has been acknowledged by the medical community as a way to build muscle size and strength; but only if done properly.

One aspect of proper resistance training that you may have neglected is following through with a perfect negative. The word 'negative' has a bad social stigma and when talking about resistance training, ironically, it is critically important! The negative, or eccentric,  movement in resistance training is the time a muscle lengthens with resistance against gravity. The positive, or concentric, movement in resistance training is the time a muscle shortens and contracts.  For the dumbbell curl, the negative movement is when the bicep is stretching and the dumbbell is moving from the shoulder to the hip.  For the pull up, this is when you are lowering your body and your arms are straightening. Paying attention to this part of the movement will radically enhance the activation of your muscle fibers and speed your muscular development.

Focusing on the negative means choosing a weight that allows you to comfortably slow down the negative portion of a movement to a full three second count. As an example, for dumbbell curls this would mean that as you are lowering the dumbbell you count to 3 seconds just before the dumbbell is resting at your hip. Perform 12 – 15 repetitions in this fashion and this simple trick will have you feeling a strong burn. Over the next few days muscle soreness will set in letting you know you did a good job. After a few weeks you will become stronger and feel more stability in your muscles from strengthening stabilizers which will also enhance your coordination and balance. Soon you will enjoy the negative and each workout will become a wonderful challenge that welcomes results! 

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