#1 way to improve your workout
So, in every workout, most of us tend to focus on the amount of reps we do. BUT the thing is, when my clients ask me how many reps, I typically reply with the words "I don't know". See, your body doesn't respond to a number, it has no idea how many reps of a certain weight you just performed, all it knows is the amount of time you put the muscle under tension for (Time Under Tension). Muscular growth is an adaptation to a stress, so if you are only going for a particular number of reps, when you could've done a couple more, how will you truly improve?
When it comes to going for a specific number, people tend to neglect the time under tension portion to get to the specific number, instead of making the best out of every rep. So, they might rush to get to 12 reps so they can finish, but really, if they would have done it right, they would've got much better results by going slow and focusing on each rep individually. BUT how can you do that?
Well, lets break down a rep, there are 3 steps to every rep.
1. Eccentric - lowering the weight
2. Isometric - no movement (squeezing the muscle)
3. Concentric - raising the weight
The eccentric part, you are lengthening the muscle, and in my opinion, it is the most important part because its the most neglected. People tend to go down fast, just to get momentum to bring the weight up. So, they're missing the most important part of the workout. Most of the muscle damage happens in this part, so make sure to use it. You are also stronger in this phase, which is really important for athletes because they can overload the weight, and have someone spot them to be able to get used to handing that much weight. There is all types of stuff you can do with this movement. On my website, I utilize this the most in the workouts, it is a game changer for sure.
The isometric part, your muscles are contracting, but not moving. This is something else that is overlooked, because again, people tend to want to just lift the weight and think thats enough. This phase could be in two different spots, either eccentric or concentric, just depends. This should occur for a second or two before you bring the weight back up or down. There are so many training programs that utilize this as well.
The concentric, or muscle shortening, is the part people love. This is the part where you bring the weight back up. This is also the part where most people cheat to get the weight up and do whatever it takes, instead of using strict form. The goal is to control as much weight as possible, not lift as much weight as possible. Use your muscles, not momentum, if you are utilizing all 3 of these parts, you will certainly do that!
So try this!
On a regular bicep curl, instead of lifting like you do, lift it like this.
(4:0:1:0) Take 4 seconds to bring the weight down, hold for 0 at the bottom, curl it up fast (1), and don't lock out at the top (0).
Try it, and if you like it, start using it on all of your lifts! As always, let me know what you think! I'm here for any questions you may have!