The Muscle Building Pros of Cons

Bust through training plateaus with eccentric loading.

Lee Boyce, CPT

We all know about the classic exercising scheme, when you start to lift “slow and controlled” so that you can feel each rep of work-out in the gym. That’s the mainstay of the workout science. It is like the trunk of a great tree, and in genealogy of workouts, all other workouts come from it. We have to admit that’s the perfect scheme for beginners. It’s your best friend, if you are a beginner. But you are not a beginner anymore. This exercising program will not work for you.


You’ve spent a lot of time and energy at the gym, and no doubts, you’ve got a great body. But it’s not enough for you. It’s time to go on the next level. It’s time for changes. It’s time to shake something up.

Just don’t go crazy. Don’t be in hurry. Don’t become insane about your training.


Focusing on exaggerated negative (eccentric) reps of your exercises will be a very humbling experience.  Using a 50X0 tempo – and being disciplined about doing so – will be the biggest shock your muscles have received since whiplash.  We have to remember that our muscles are comprised of 3 major types of muscle fibers.

Type I

“Slow twitch” fibers. These are very resistant to fatigue and are capable of producing repeated low-level contractions. This type fibers benefit endurance activities such as walking, standing and carrying a moderate weight over time.

Type IIA

“Fast twitch” fibers. These are much stronger, and much less resistant to fatigue. These are geared towards anaerobic movements that are explosive in nature. These type fibers benefit power-based sports.

Type IIB

“Super-fast twitch” fibers. These are the strongest muscle fibers present in the body. Though they’re least resistant to fatigue, their potential for max strength is very high. These fibers are found in large quantities in the muscles of the arms.

Genetically influenced muscle structure should guide the exercise program. You should use each muscle fiber according to its features. Activation of specialized muscle fibers requires extensive practice and targeting exercises.

Based on the above, we can now stop thinking about traditional strength training with weights. A standard set of strength and size training will usually make the type II muscle fibers take control of the lift. Imagine a bench press to a 10 rep max. On the 10th rep, you reach failure, and can no longer push the weight off the chest. The catch is this – you haven’t reached negative failure. Even if you could no longer perform any reps off the chest, it’s almost guaranteed that you could hold the bar with extended arms, or at least lower the weight slowly for more reps. THESE stores of strength are dominated by the type IIb fibers. And that is why, you will only win if you work towards the negative fatigue and failure and do these exercises to make your muscles stronger.

The Moves

This short workout is a total body approach that uses supersets. Don’t be fooled by its simplicity, however. This will leave your muscles screaming if you perform the reps correctly.

A1) Barbell Bench Press – 5 second negatives – 10 reps
A2) Pull-ups – 5 second negatives – max reps

Perform 5 rounds. Rest 2 minutes between rounds.

B1) Barbell Back Squat – 5 second negatives – 10 reps
B2) Barbell Push Press – 5 second negatives – 10 reps

Perform 5 rounds. Rest 2 minutes between rounds.

C1) Inverted Rows (palms in) – 5 second negatives – max reps
C2) Eccentric Glute Hamstring Raises – 5 second negatives – 6 reps

Perform 3 rounds. Rest 2 minutes between rounds.

Get result

If you learn your body engine, you can find an approach to use every your muscle. That’s how it works.  Workout and you will see the difference already after 6 weeks. You will increase not only in size, but also in strength. But be ready, this workout is going to be tough.

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