FallOut CrossFit – School of Elite Fitness Tri-cities, WA

From the Blog

November 7, 2014

STRENGTH: 5 x 5 Deadhang pull up skill work. Work negatives if you don’t have an unassisted pull up…no bands, no kips.

WOD: AMRAP Triple Up!

AMRAP 3:00 –

10 x wall balls 

20 x double unders 

1:00 min rest

AMRAP 3:00 –

Front squats 

1:00 min rest

AMRAP 3:00 –

10 x wall balls

20 x double unders

 

What exactly are negatives?

Negatives or negative reps are the part of any weight training exercise where you’re not doing any actually pushing or pulling so for example…

  • In the bench press when you lower the weight down to your chest that’s the negative part and when you push the weight up that’s the positive part and…
  • In the squat when you squat down that’s the negative part and when you push or stand up that’s the positive part and…
  • In the pull-up when you pull yourself up that’s the positive part and when you lower yourself down that’s the negative part so…

Here’s 3 ways you can do negatives to build muscle…

1. Focus more on the negative

You can focus more on the negative part of any muscle biding exercise you do by taking 3-to-10 seconds to complete the negative part of each rep so for example…

  • If you did 10 reps on the bench press you would take 3-to-10 seconds to lower the weight down to your chest for each rep to get a better chest workout or for another example…
  • If you did 5 chin-ups you would take 3-to-10 seconds to lower yourself down for all 5 chin-ups for a better arm & back workout and generally…

Proper exercise technique requires you to take at least 3 seconds to do the negative part of any muscle building exercise and if you’re taking less than 3 seconds to do the negative parts of your muscle building exercises…

Then you’re probably using momentum (and not your muscles) to complete most of your reps making it harder for you to build muscle so focus more on the negative to build muscle faster and/or if you’re having trouble building muscle.

2. You can do Heavy negatives

When you do heavy negatives you use heavy weights that are more than 90% of your 1-rep max (or the most weight you can lift one time) and you do multiple negative ONLY reps that last for 8-to-15 seconds and…

If you can’t do the negative part in more than 8 seconds then the weight is TOO Heavy and if you can do the negative part in more then 15 seconds then the weight is TOO light and…

  • You can use heavy negatives to help you do more reps (see #3 below) OR…
  • You can use heavy negatives as a part of your muscle building workout where for example… You could do them as the last set of your workout OR…
  • You can replace an entire workout with heavy negatives where for example… Instead of doing 5 sets 5 regular rep chin-ups… You can do 5 sets of 5 “heavy negative rep” chin-ups with extra weight but when doing heavy negatives…

The weight is probably going to be too heavy for you to do the positive part or the pushing or pulling part of the exercise by yourself so…

You’re going to have to find a way to get the weight back into starting position so you can quickly do another heavy negative rep without too much rest and you can do that by…

Having a partner help you push or pull the weights back into starting position and if you don’t have a partner… Watch the video below to see how to do heavy negatives without a partner…

3. Use negatives to do more reps

After you’ve done all the regular (positive + negative) reps you can do on a set of any muscle building exercises… you can keep doing negative only reps using the same weight to get a more intense muscle building workout so for example…

  • After you exhausted your arm muscles doing 5 regular reps with 100 pounds for a set of bicep curls…
  • You can keep doing more reps to make the set last longer by doing MORE Negative only reps taking at least 5-to-10 seconds for each negative rep and since your arm muscles are exhausted from doing the 5 regular reps…
  • You would have to cheat the weight back up or have a partner help you quickly get the weight back up into starting position to do another negative rep and…
  • You would stop doing reps once you can’t do the negative part for more than 5-to-10 seconds.

 

4. You can do Light or Super Slow negatives

You can do super slow negatives using lighter weights that are at least 70% of your 1-rep max where you would take 20-to-60 seconds to complete the negative part of each rep you do and when you do super slow negatives…

You only need to do 1-to-5 reps per set because if you do them right… Your muscles will be so exhausted that you won’t be able to make it to 20 seconds after doing 1-to-5 reps and since super slow negatives are very intense…

You may have to cheat on the positive part or have a partner help you quickly get back into starting position to help you do another super slow negative rep and…

  • You can use super slow negatives as a part of your muscle building workout where for example… You could do them as the last set of your workout Or…
  • You can replace a regular workout with just sets of super slow negatives but you’ll only want to do 1-to-5 sets of 1-to-5 reps of super slow negatives because they’re very intense Or…
  • You can use super slow negatives to help you do more reps on set.

 

 

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