Q: You’re critique of regular sets, and how three-second negatives on every rep is too damaging, is genius. You’ve made me realize that the negative stroke is too light, even at the end of the set, to do much for muscle growth. My question is, Why not do all sets Speed style [1.5 seconds per rep]? Total Speed Set workouts would reduce the damage from “garbage negatives” even more, leaving more protein synthesis for growth instead of repair.
A: You make a great point. I am a genius. Seriously, I simply extrapolated my garbage-negative conclusion from the research and Chris Beardsley’s analysis of muscle damage.
He’s the real genius—at least on a lot of things pertaining to hypertrophy. He may be like Einstein, who was a genius in physics but couldn’t figure out the hair brush…
As for your question, I’ve thought about that as well; however, there are researchers who believe the negative stroke contributes unique factors to hypertrophy, including…
1) Heat-shock proteins
2) Satellite cell proliferation
The question becomes, how many slower negatives do you need to get those benefits? Remember, they are damaging, and you have to repair that damage before growth can occur.
Some researchers say only one set with slow negatives get those growth factors into motion…
In the Old Man, Young Muscle workout, you see two regular “slower-negative-stroke” sets (1/3) and two Speed sets (1.5-second reps) for most muscles.
That worked well for me. Would I have made better gains doing only a single standard-tempo set and the rest Speed for each muscle? I don’t know.
I like the two at 1/3 and two as Speed—just for insurance. Or in the case of biceps and triceps, two sets 1/3 and one Speed.
I’m getting older, so the less damage at each workout, the better. It will require experimentation for new mass creation—another genius epiphany right there.
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
How to Lose 17 Pounds in 21 Days…
Today’s fitness industry dieting advice is secretly ruining your metabolism, crucifying your most powerful male hormones, and forcing your body to store ugly bodyfat around the clock.
But there’s good news…
After years of plowing through unproven paths and suffering through fitness ups and downs, the hidden passage to achieving your dream body has been discovered …
And it only takes 21 days.
No, it doesn’t include hours of boring cardio, a boring and bland meal plan, or run-of-the-mill fat burners that don’t deliver on their promise…