Yesterday I went over the negatives of too many “garbage negatives.” The negative stroke on every rep of a standard set is lighter/easier than the positive; however, it’s the negative that causes the majority of the damage—and without a lot of hypertrophy return…
Doing half of your sets for each muscle with a faster rep speed, like 1.5 seconds per rep, as in the Old Man ,Young Muscle workout, can reduce damage and speed muscle growth…
However, I’ve also mentioned that stretch-position exercises, like incline curls for biceps or overhead extensions for triceps, can be dangerous when using an accelerated rep speed.
In the OMYM workout, I would use a 1-second-up, 1-second-down cadence—slightly slower to mitigate the danger somewhat…
But new research suggests a better way to reduce the damage from stretch-position exercises without using Speed Sets.
Researchers are beginning to agree that the bottom stretch is the most important part of the stroke, so…
Training only partial reps at longer muscle lengths (stretch), can help reduce damage on stretch-position exercises—and may be better for hypertrophy than full-range reps.
From a 2022 meta-analysis by Wolf, et al., the conclusion reached was…
It is possible that partial ROM at long muscle lengths may be equal to, or even superior to, full ROM for inducing muscle hypertrophy.
Does this mean you should do your stretch position exercises in X-Rep-Only style—doing only the bottom third of the range of motion?
That would certainly reduce the garbage negatives, which means less damage accumulation and more recovery energy left for growth.
More on this in the next few newsletters, along with some ways to apply it to your mass workouts.
Note: For a chart of stretch-position exercises for each muscle, as well as the ideal and contracted-position moves, see pages 42 and 43 of Old Man, Young Muscle.
Sculpt your perfect physique: Get the ideal exercise for each muscle, the best stretch and contracted add-on moves for ultimate mass, complete 35-minute workouts, exercise start/finish photos, and details on building muscle fast and efficiently in Old Man, Young Muscle.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
Former Editor in Chief, Iron Man Magazine
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