Weight and Resistance Training - Speed of reps?




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fiberlover
03-24-2008, 12:32 PM
When I do my reps on the bowflex, I try to do a 4 count each way. Is going too slow a detriment? I do find I reach fatigue much quicker when the reps are slower, which I suppose is good - but I wonder if this is okay?


Depalma
03-24-2008, 03:09 PM
I don't worry a whole lot about actual tempos, but I do try to do the concentric portion of the lift as fast as possible. In most every day activities and, especially in sport, you are trying to become either more dynamic, quicker, faster, and/or more powerful. This achieved by training the concentric as fast as possible. Of course, at max weights, as fast as possible can sometimes be pretty darn slow.

An isometric pause for about a 1 count is beneficial for the connective tissues.

A slower, more controlled eccentric is good. This ensures that you are resisting the force and not letting the force (momentum) do all the work.

Of course, tempos, like all training variables depends upon your goals. Super-slow concentrics are detrimental to some goals and beneficial to others. As you have found, they do fatigue the muscle quicker and I've seen some people with hypertrophy as their main goal, use it with some success as they increase total time under tension which is a major factor in hypertrophy.

And as I said, eccentrics should be at least slow enoughto demonstrate control. In fact, if you cannot pause at will on the eccentric, you are not in control of the weight and should consider going lighter. Of course, using light weights as in dynamic training, you can be under control at quite fast tempos.

RobertW
03-24-2008, 03:10 PM
Hi Fiberlover,

Fast explosive reps develop strength, but don't do much for muscle size. Slow reps are good for muscle growth.

You will notice olympic lifters and power lifters do a lot of fast reps, and bodybuilders do a lot of slow training, more like you are doing.

Robert


fiberlover
03-24-2008, 03:31 PM
Thank you!

RobertW
03-24-2008, 04:19 PM
I don't worry a whole lot about actual tempos, but I do try to do the concentric portion of the lift as fast as possible.

I only go as fast as possible when I am doing true speed work (50-55% 1repmax for 6-8 sets of 3 reps). When I am doing sets of 5 or 10 reps with heavier weights, I just try to pause each rep at the bottom, and lift quickly but not at maximum speed.


Robert

Depalma
03-24-2008, 04:29 PM
We might be saying the same thing in different ways Robert. As I said, with max weights, as fast as possible can be pretty darn slow. "Max speed" on dynamic effort days and "Max speed" on max effort days is certainly not the same tempo.

RobertW
03-24-2008, 04:57 PM
We might be saying the same thing in different ways Robert. As I said, with max weights, as fast as possible can be pretty darn slow. "Max speed" on dynamic effort days and "Max speed" on max effort days is certainly not the same tempo.

Hi Depalma,

I am not doing any Max effort work these days, because I find I overtrain too easily, even with the exercise rotation recommended by Westside. For my 5x5 and 3x10 schemes I try to keep short of failure for all my sets, but do each rep quickly. Leaving a rep "in the tank" keeps me from overdoing it.

I drank the HIT "Kool-Aid" as a teenager (thank you Joe Wieder!), so it has taken me a long time to accept that I will make better progress if I avoid training to failure altogether. I follow a single progression increasing weight on no more than one set, and cut a set short if the rep is too difficult. Seven singles with 95% of my 1 rep max does much more for me than a Max Effort workout.

You are certainly right that if you are grinding out a hard rep you are lifting as fast as you can. IMHO, Max effort work is really hard on your CNS, but speed work trains your nervous system without as much risk of overtraining.

Robert

jaypaul
12-20-2008, 05:02 PM
Keep it smooth and regular. Do your reps as fast as possible but do not rush through it all.