Slow Reps. Vs. Fast Reps.

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    Aug 29, 2014 2:38 PM GMT
    I'm trying to gain some more muscle mass. Especially in my chest and arms and legs.

    It's been about 2 weeks now that I have been using free weights at the gym. For the maximum strength building and muscle growth. Which is best, faster reps or slower reps?
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4865

    Aug 29, 2014 5:02 PM GMT
    Probably there will never be total agreement on this. However, I've read a book on competitive swimming. According to the author, very slow repetitions result in muscles that are unable to contract quickly and are detrimental to swimming. Probably such slow repetitions would also be detrimental to running or any type of activity which requires muscles to contract quickly. However, slow repetitions may be the most effective way to build muscle mass.

    Personally, I would prefer balance. It may be necessary to decide between having massive muscles and having muscles which can contract quickly for running, jumping, swimming, throwing a ball, etc., or having some compromise between the two. From the standpoint of physical appearance, it is not necessary to have the biggest possible muscles. For example, many swimmers look very attractive and they are not heavily muscled. They tend to be lean and the muscles they do have show very well even though they are not massive.
  • mybud

    Posts: 11837

    Aug 29, 2014 5:53 PM GMT
    Slow and controlled...
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    Aug 29, 2014 6:48 PM GMT
    Definetly controlled. Fast or slow.
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    Aug 29, 2014 7:10 PM GMT
    FRE0 saidProbably there will never be total agreement on this. However, I've read a book on competitive swimming. According to the author, very slow repetitions result in muscles that are unable to contract quickly and are detrimental to swimming. Probably such slow repetitions would also be detrimental to running or any type of activity which requires muscles to contract quickly. However, slow repetitions may be the most effective way to build muscle mass.

    Personally, I would prefer balance. It may be necessary to decide between having massive muscles and having muscles which can contract quickly for running, jumping, swimming, throwing a ball, etc., or having some compromise between the two. From the standpoint of physical appearance, it is not necessary to have the biggest possible muscles. For example, many swimmers look very attractive and they are not heavily muscled. They tend to be lean and the muscles they do have show very well even though they are not massive.


    RespectablyBuffed saidDefinetly controlled. Fast or slow.


    Yes, Im only trying to put on a few more pounds of muscle because I feel too skinny but I feel as though Im just only getting more define.

    I'm a runner who stopped to put on some weight. When I squat with weights and do weight leg exercises I'm able to do them faster because of the already developed strength and my gluts down to my hammier seem to be getting bigger.

    But I go slow with the bench press and the inclined bench press and my chest and arms are the same. I've had 2 friends tell me they do fast reps to build muscle but they've been doing body building for a long time already since High School and College.

    So should I try a mixture of both fast and slow reps? While always keeping in mind to always stay in control.
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    Aug 29, 2014 9:16 PM GMT
    After 2 weeks you really don't need to worry about any thing other than getting to the gym and lifting heavy ass weight.
  • Rhi_Bran

    Posts: 904

    Aug 29, 2014 10:40 PM GMT
    Agree with "controlled". The speed with which you do reps ultimately determines how many reps you need to do, really. Slower puts more strain on your muscles per rep. If you're just starting a new type of exercise, or one you don't do often, start off slow. Otherwise you may find the muscle group you're trying to work out can't yet cope with fast reps, and you could hurt yourself.
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    Aug 29, 2014 10:42 PM GMT
    Both can be good as long as it's done in good form.

    You can alternate fast-reps / slow-reps for muscle confusion too.
  • UFJocknerd

    Posts: 392

    Aug 29, 2014 11:14 PM GMT
    "Fast" reps are ok so long as "fast" means "explosive and controlled" and not "throw the weight up on the concentric motion then drop the weight during the eccentric."
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    Aug 29, 2014 11:38 PM GMT
    polfsky saidBoth can be good as long as it's done in good form.

    You can alternate fast-reps / slow-reps for muscle confusion too.


    What are the pros of this? Because I did this with my running which sounds familiar. I would jog and sprint in intervals on the track or sprint hills and jog flat areas.
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Aug 29, 2014 11:39 PM GMT
    Always slow reps.
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    Aug 29, 2014 11:53 PM GMT
    Webster666 saidAlways slow reps.


    This is all sort of helpful and appreciated of everyone, but because I'm hearing different things. Does anyone have any reasoning with their response. I got one for slow reps with a comparison of swimming and repetition of muscles but is there more?

    I'm new to free weights and body building.

    Like, why should I do slow reps? Why should I try both slow and fast reps for muscle confusion? Or any other helpful suggestions welcomed, I want to do this right and efficiently.
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    Aug 30, 2014 2:49 AM GMT
    What you need is CALORIES. Cadence and fiber type development are more sport specific. E.g., the unbalanced back of a swimmer, or the overly developed legs of a biker, etc.

    Study hypertrophy. Comes back after you've read that. Actually, you won't have to come back, because you'll then know the answer.

    Why would you intentionally want to be out of balance? Seems rather silly.

    You need CALORIES.
  • BloodFlame

    Posts: 1768

    Aug 30, 2014 2:59 AM GMT
    FRE0 saidProbably there will never be total agreement on this. However, I've read a book on competitive swimming. According to the author, very slow repetitions result in muscles that are unable to contract quickly and are detrimental to swimming. Probably such slow repetitions would also be detrimental to running or any type of activity which requires muscles to contract quickly. However, slow repetitions may be the most effective way to build muscle mass.

    Personally, I would prefer balance. It may be necessary to decide between having massive muscles and having muscles which can contract quickly for running, jumping, swimming, throwing a ball, etc., or having some compromise between the two. From the standpoint of physical appearance, it is not necessary to have the biggest possible muscles. For example, many swimmers look very attractive and they are not heavily muscled. They tend to be lean and the muscles they do have show very well even though they are not massive.


    I agree with this. Just remember that you have to be patient with this too. IT won't happen very quickly but if you keep at it, you'll start seeing results and ChuckyStud's mention of calories might have something to do with it.

    I know this because it's hard for me to consume a ton of calories. After a few weeks of eating a bit more than usual, i've went from 119/121 to 129-130. And I'm starting to notice a teensy difference in my build so yeah, be sure to try to eat more as well. Good luck!
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    Aug 30, 2014 3:05 AM GMT
    chuckystud saidWhat you need is CALORIES. Cadence and fiber type development are more sport specific. E.g., the unbalanced back of a swimmer, or the overly developed legs of a biker, etc.

    Study hypertrophy. Comes back after you've read that. Actually, you won't have to come back, because you'll then know the answer.

    Why would you intentionally want to be out of balance? Seems rather silly.

    You need CALORIES.


    I am already aware of the calorie intake and how much I need, I guess I should have mentioned but my intention isn't to just gain weight, I want to gain muscle mass and strength. But I want to make sure I am getting the most of my workouts.
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    Aug 30, 2014 3:23 AM GMT
    chuckystud saidWhat you need is CALORIES. Cadence and fiber type development are more sport specific. E.g., the unbalanced back of a swimmer, or the overly developed legs of a biker, etc.

    Study hypertrophy. Comes back after you've read that. Actually, you won't have to come back, because you'll then know the answer.

    Why would you intentionally want to be out of balance? Seems rather silly.

    You need CALORIES.


    Although I bow to Your expertise Chucky -- Your statement is a bit misleading. The TYPE of calories are essential. Oreos and Crisco will supply calories. Ask anyone in Branson.

    And I have yet to see an "unbalanced" Swimmer....

    As to the OP, My two cents - which ain't worth two cents, is that periodically alternating speed while maintaining form is ideal. I LOVE to get thru a workout ASAP and move on with My life and used to think that the faster I got thru it the better...until I intentionally slowed it down and it kicked My ass.

    Also, I am a classic ecto and there has been a lot of research that seems to indicate that slower workouts with longer rest periods seem to benefit ecto growth.

    Lift hard, heavy, with good form and (like Chucky indicates) HIGH QUALITY calories will get the size that You are genetically capable of.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 30, 2014 3:26 AM GMT
    Mr. Cash? Yer cocktails are all set up in the Deliverance Room.
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    Aug 30, 2014 3:39 AM GMT
    Cash said
    chuckystud saidWhat you need is CALORIES. Cadence and fiber type development are more sport specific. E.g., the unbalanced back of a swimmer, or the overly developed legs of a biker, etc.

    Study hypertrophy. Comes back after you've read that. Actually, you won't have to come back, because you'll then know the answer.

    Why would you intentionally want to be out of balance? Seems rather silly.

    You need CALORIES.


    Although I bow to Your expertise Chucky -- Your statement is a bit misleading. The TYPE of calories are essential. Oreos and Crisco will supply calories. Ask anyone in Branson.

    And I have yet to see an "unbalanced" Swimmer....

    As to the OP, My two cents - which ain't worth two cents, is that periodically alternating speed while maintaining form is ideal. I LOVE to get thru a workout ASAP and move on with My life and used to think that the faster I got thru it the better...until I intentionally slowed it down and it kicked My ass.

    Also, I am a classic ecto and there has been a lot of research that seems to indicate that slower workouts with longer rest periods seem to benefit ecto growth.

    Lift hard, heavy, with good form and (like Chucky indicates) HIGH QUALITY calories will get the size that You are genetically capable of.


    Thank you, that is good to know Cash. Thank you.
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4865

    Aug 30, 2014 6:58 AM GMT
    Some guys recommend increasing protein intake for muscle building. You could try muscle building for a while without changing your diet and when the gains become slower, try increasing protein intake somewhat, perhaps by adding an egg everyday for a month or so and see whether it really makes a difference. The most convenient way to do that would be to hard boil a dozen eggs at once and keep them in the refrigerator, but you may prefer other methods.

    Some guys recommend massive protein intakes, but even if that doesn't add excessive fat, it does put a strain on the kidneys and beyond a certain point, adding protein has no benefit.

    Don't give up your running! Aerobic fitness is also important. However, depending on how much running you are doing, you may want to reduce it. Intervals once per week combined with a couple three miles runs twice per week is sufficient for good aerobic fitness and yet won't burn a huge number of calories.
  • buddycat

    Posts: 1874

    Aug 30, 2014 7:45 AM GMT
    Cash said
    chuckystud saidWhat you need is CALORIES. Cadence and fiber type development are more sport specific. E.g., the unbalanced back of a swimmer, or the overly developed legs of a biker, etc.

    Study hypertrophy. Comes back after you've read that. Actually, you won't have to come back, because you'll then know the answer.

    Why would you intentionally want to be out of balance? Seems rather silly.

    You need CALORIES.


    Although I bow to Your expertise Chucky -- Your statement is a bit misleading. The TYPE of calories are essential. Oreos and Crisco will supply calories. Ask anyone in Branson.

    And I have yet to see an "unbalanced" Swimmer....

    As to the OP, My two cents - which ain't worth two cents, is that periodically alternating speed while maintaining form is ideal. I LOVE to get thru a workout ASAP and move on with My life and used to think that the faster I got thru it the better...until I intentionally slowed it down and it kicked My ass.

    Also, I am a classic ecto and there has been a lot of research that seems to indicate that slower workouts with longer rest periods seem to benefit ecto growth.

    Lift hard, heavy, with good form and (like Chucky indicates) HIGH QUALITY calories will get the size that You are genetically capable of.


    Yes, Crisco and mayonnaise as a sundae or pizza topping would definitely give you the calories. I think that if you are lifting quickly and not feeling anything, it is time to increase your weight.
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    Aug 31, 2014 8:37 AM GMT
    To gain mass it's better to do reps slowly. Fast reps are more for developing power (explosive force).

    as a general rule for strength use these numbers per exercises:


    Speed(what you asked about) should be 2/0/2
    this means 2 secs up. no pause. and 2 secs back to starting point. repeat.

    Sets / 2-6 sets
    Reps / 1-12 reps
    Rest in between sets: 45 secs - 1min
    and you should be lifting 70-100% of your max

    BUT, big but here, if your asking that question I think you need to go find a program that has already been created.

    Don't go rogue in the gym and do random exercises and ask why you do/don't get the results you seek. It's even workout programs on this site. A good program should extend over the course of at least 2 - 3 months. Before you gain mass, your body should be ready for it. Build the foundation first!