Why you’re not building the muscles you want
If progress has slowed in strength, growth or just physical aesthetics then it’s time to mix up your training. You need to SLOW IT DOWN.
Did you know the negative/eccentric portion of a rep holds more potential for growth than the lifting portion? ‘Time under tension.’ The main reason people avoid this is because you have to reduce the weight, but over time, and patience, it will make you bigger, stronger and more jacked than ever. I could take you through a workout with no heavier that 15lb dumbbells that would leave your shoulders feeling like they are not even there anymore, but people avoid this as too light or too easy – more fool them.
Slow movements also allow you to perfect Forman’s really isolate the target muscles. It’s the main reason why all CrossFit training needs to be supplemented with ‘body building’ style training. Take any CrossFit workout. The main aim is to get the work done as quickly and efficiently as possible. In order to be efficient, you want time under tension to be minimal. This means that you are never taking the weight into the eccentric movement.
Take a power clean – very often you will rush the bar to the ground under zero tension – this allows you to move fast, but not have any tension in the muscles. Sometimes even dropping the bar from shoulder height so that you are more efficient, but there is no eccentric phase at all. Or a shoulder to overhead, where you will push the weight up, but let it drop straight back into your shoulders, again minimal eccentric movement.
Pull ups – where 2/3rds of the power comes from your hips in the kip – again, efficient because it saves your back from all the pulling – not so good if you want to build your back stronger. That’s why the majority of my training over the past year has been focused on these isolation movements. Pain free, injury free, feel and look great….because that’s why we train right?
Call it ‘isolation work’ ‘accessory work’ or any other fancy name you like, but it is just plain simple bodybuilding. Building a body that is strong enough to do whatever it is you want to do. Try adding it into your training and see the results for yourself.
By: Ben Davies, Performance Coach