Q: I recently saw where one of the researchers you quote often, Chris Beardsley, said that slow lowering on reps enhances hypertrophy. He suggested that it’s from extra mechanical tension. Your application of Speed Sets has me confused. Should I stick with a normal three-second negative on reps or use your Speed tempo [1.5-second reps]?
A: There’s no question that there are hypertrophy benefits to lowering reps slowly; however, the question is, How much do you need?
Slow lowering causes damage—it’s what makes you the most sore. That indicates that you should only use the minimal dose you need to get the benefits, not an excessive amount.
I believe you only need about half of your sets in a standard lift-in-one-second-lower-in-three tempo to get those benefits, which include proliferation of satellite cell activity and heat-shock proteins.
The results I achieved at age 62 with the Old Man, Young Muscle workout is a result of doing about half of my sets for each muscle in Speed Set style—1.5-second reps.
I eliminated Speed Sets for a while and quickly lost muscle. I was doing all four sets for each muscle in standard 1/3 tempo.
I soon discovered that if you lower the weight slowly on too many sets, you trigger excessive damage without a lot of hypertrophic return. And you really can’t tolerate a lot of damage when you’re a member of the GBC—Geezer Bodybuilding Club…
Speed Sets reduce muscle damage by eliminating the slow garbage negatives that occur on standard 1/3 tempo sets.
So yes, Beardsley makes a good point—you do need some standard-tempo sets with slower eccentrics. But it’s a lot like sets to failure—you don’t need a lot. The rest should to accumulate mechanical tension without excess trauma…
In fact, I believe too much damage is one of the biggest reasons for the slow to no growth most bodybuilders put up with…
I’ve mentioned this before, but it needs repeating: Shouldn’t training correctly three to four days a week for an entire year yield more than just a couple of pounds of muscle? I think so.
That’s 156 to 208 workouts a year for maybe five pounds of muscle—if you’re lucky. Something is not right, and I think it’s too much unnecessary damage derailing faster growth.
GROW like never before: Get the complete Stretch-First POF Pre-Ex Workout as well as the Base-STX Workout, which both include the ideal exercise for each muscle and the best stretch and contracted add-on moves for mass, in Old Man, Young Muscle.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
Former Editor in Chief, Iron Man Magazine
Testosterone prescriptions do more HARM than good for older men
Millions of men are struggling with the problems associated with low-T in today’s world, such as extra belly and chest fat, low energy and stamina, lack of sexual desire, ED problems, and loss of muscle.
Sadly, millions of men also turn to Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) to try to overcome these problems and try to feel like a new man again…BUT there are some VERY concerning problems with TRT that every man NEEDS to know.
After reading the article below, you might want to consider alternate routes of boosting your T levels naturally instead of through something that’s potentially as harmful as TRT…