Negatives are great for increasing strength because...
One. You are increasing time under tension.
Two. Studies have shown that the eccentric phase of an exercise tends to produce a greater muscle response.
You can lift heavier weight in the eccentric phase... and go longer under tension.
Three. You also groove good form if you take your time and focus on the movement patterns you're doing.
Two Phases of Every Rep
There are two phases a muscle goes through when you workout.
Concentric... the muscle is shortening and contracting.
Eccentric... the muscle is lengthening back to its normal state.
Again, the negative mainly focuses on the eccentric state.
Let's make this a little more general...
A negative is a slow rep.
A great book by Arthur Jones... he use to train Arnold Swartzeneger back in the day... talks a lot about how bodybuilders would use this form of training.
In fact, Arnold and his friend Mike would do negative bicep curls where one rep would last over 45 seconds.
It was so intense, they would only do one rep because the muscle would be shot at that point.
We're not going to do 45 second negatives.
Our goal will be...
Let's look at some of the exercises you can start using this technique with to get stronger.
Of course pushups. This is an exercise women struggle with... and who doesn't want stronger pushups?
Here's what to do...
Use a box, chair, or the back of the couch if you need to.
Start in the top of a pushup position.
Tighten up your body so you legs, butt, core, are engaged... not relaxed... but don't squeeze too hard.
Begin to lower yourself down to the ground for a count of 8 seconds.
When you get to the ground, you can come back up to the top anyway you want... you do not have to pushup back up.
Repeat this for a set of 8 to 12 reps for 3 to 5 sets.
It's kinda of boring but if you really work at this, your strength will explode!
And you use these to also work on end range of motion strength training which helps considerably.
This can be a little more difficult to do by yourself because getting back up will be hard if you go hardcore heavy.
So have a box or chair right in front of you.
Here’s how to do this...
Grab a heavy dumbbell or kettlebell. Hold it in goblet position.
Twist your feet into the ground so your legs are turned on and your weight is position towards the outside of your feet.
Keep your core engaged and start to lower down slowly for a count of 8 seconds.
When you get towards the bottom of the squat, as gently as you can... put the weight on the box or chair.
Stand up... shake it out... grab the weight and repeat.
Your legs will get a lot stronger if you keep practicing this.
Just be careful putting the weight on the box or chair so you don’t drop it or slam it down.
I suggest you do this barefoot so you can really feel your weight distribution and balance.
Before you do this one... make sure your press form is on point.
If you need help learning... you should join FWW LIVE and request this as a topic for a coaching session.
Here's how to do this one safely...
Boost the weight over your head... by boost I mean you may need to use your legs to help get the weight up.
Find your balance and start lowering the weight for a count of 8 seconds.
Pay very close attention as the weight gets to the bottom of the press... this is where most people lack strength.
Squeeze the handle of your dumbbell or kettlebell... flex your arm to help solidify the position down...
I would suggest doing these in sets of 3 reps so you don't over fatigue your arm. These muscles are smaller... they fatigue fast.
After 3 reps... shake it out... grab some rest... then repeat safely.
BTW... these work really well. If you do them consistently, you'll improve your press strength significantly.
You can do negative deadlifts with a kettlebell or lighter weight on a barbell.
...Make sure you have really good deadlift form so you don't put yourself at risk for a dumb injury.
If you're going to use a heavy kettlebell...
Put the kettlebell on a box so you don't have to lift it up...
Grab the bell and in great form and very slowly... probably around 14 seconds... lower down.
Feel your butt and hamstrings doing the work.
If you're going to use a barbell...
It helps to have a rig so you can use hooks and start the barbell high.
Grab the barbell and with great form lower down.
Because you can go heavier with a barbell... you don't need to slow it down to 14 seconds. Go back to 8 seconds with the proper weight.
The hard part comes when you need to re-deadlift the barbell into starting position.
It helps a lot to get a friend to help you.
When I do negative deadlifts... I like to focus on the balance of the move.
This is also a great chance to use FatGripz or some other tool to work your grip strength. Try to be efficient and knock out two birds with one stone.
I'm sure at this point... you get the idea.
And it's the same with rows.
Lift the weight up either by rowing it... or deadlift it to a box.
Other Exercises I Like Negatives For
The hardest part is finding the time to use negatives... they extend the time of a workout.
So here's what I like to do...
Pick one exercise for the month. Let's say pushups in this case.
Every single day... do 5 sets of 8 to 12 negative pushups.
A set or two in the morning...
A set or two around the lunch hours...
And and set or two at night.
Track your progress and see how you improve during a 30 day period.
If you want to get stronger in specific exercises... negatives are one of the best ways to do it.
Are You Ready To Get Stronger?
You have to come try FWW LIVE .
This is a special program where Dan and I lead 3... yes 3... LIVE classes per day.
And every day has its own theme for the workout.
Of course we work on negatives. But so much more.
The best part is... it's a small private group where you get direct access to Dan and I for personalized help.
Think of it like one on one training for a small fraction of the cost.
We are enrolling right now so learn more about FWW LIVE and sign up for a FREE 14 day trial .
But hurry because this will get popular and it will get hard to get a spot.