Lifting speed

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    Jun 04, 2009 12:00 PM GMT
    I´ve been working with a physio therapist/personal trainer for the last month, and one thing I have noticed is that all the reps are done SLOW and totally controlled. Lower weights and really slow. It´s much harder like this.

    I also notice now that most people in the gym throw the weights around, relying on momentum to do the work rather than their muscles.

    What is the deal on lifting speed?
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Jun 04, 2009 12:09 PM GMT
    I think people like to lift heavier than they should because it looks more impressive and it's psychologically more impressive for themselves. When I lift with my bf, I always tell him to slow down, and he can never do as many reps.
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    Jun 04, 2009 12:44 PM GMT
    http://www.videojug.com/interview/muscle-fitness-2#are-slow-repetitions-better-for-building-strength


    The above short video discusses slow reps..
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    Jun 04, 2009 1:01 PM GMT
    should have been clearer. We sometimes do fast reps, but the goal is always total control and mind/muscle connection.
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    Jun 04, 2009 3:48 PM GMT
    One needs to use a variety of lifting cadences to a variety of effects.

    Common sense dictates a variety of cadences and reps be used for maximum affect.

    What's idiotic is 1/4, 1/2, reps, in very poor form. It's stupid; it's how you get injured; I see it every day by folks who can't learn via observation.

    I freaked some folks out the other night. :-) I was doing shoulders. I did behind the neck should presses at 185 for 8, 10, along with some higher reps at lighter weight; did some various delt exercises. Sometimes, I can do 225, but, the other night it wasn't there. Anyway, I got done with the heavy stuff, and second to last exercise in my shoulder workout I did reps of 25 with 10# weights on side lateral raises. There was a young man next to me, as I stood there all pumped up at 215# and 5'5" that says to his girl, "that looks so weird to see a 200# guy using 10's." I was drenched in sweat, all pumped up, I giggled a little bit, and took my 54 inch shoulders and walked away. :-) It's fun to blow those myths away.

    In the meantime, two other kids were doing 1/4 reps with 90# dumbbells on flat bench. I wanted, so much, to say something, but, of course, they almost certainly wouldn't have been receptive.

    Oh, well.

    Stupid people are stupid.
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    Jun 04, 2009 6:17 PM GMT
    I am working with a personal trainer ( for about 3 months now). My trainer is doing the same thing. He has me do lower weights, makes me slow down ,and is strict about me following form. I always went to the gym before using a PT but unfortunately did the wrong thing with higher weights, pushing too fast, and never having form( and I thought I was doing it right. Yikes!) . I have to say that I am getting the best results ever with lower weights, slower speed, and proper form.
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    Jun 05, 2009 5:32 AM GMT
    About four years ago, with some post-sports-injury supervision from a physical therapist and an ortho, I started making the mental switch away from "OGG LIF HEAVIEST ROCK, MAKE ARMSES BIGG, KILL THUNDR LIZZRD" to "better form = better lifting = better living". The past six months I've been totally converted -- being mindful not just of good form by the main working muscle group, but by holding the entire body in good form and moving very deliberately and thoughtfully with each rep. It's amazing how those big dumbbells you like to curl on your biceps suddenly kick your ass after just a few reps when you focus on holding your back muscles in static position. And it's not that your biceps reach total failure, it's that they're suddenly not able to cheat by calling on the cumulative ripple of small adjustments by the rest of your torso/core muscles to help out. You feel like a 7-year old kid who is forced to wash off the spelling words he wrote on his arm before the test. But after 4-6 weeks of constant attention to this form, not only did I feel like I got a better workout, I felt better AFTER every workout. No more waking up the next morning and thinking, "Why the heck do I have a big sore tight knot right there between my shoulder blade and my spine -- I only did arms and chest yesterday!?" Now I look back on that and think: well duh.

    The only real drawback is that adding just a few extra seconds to each rep can increase your overall workout by 10-20 minutes. Since I go through seasons were I might already be at work 11 hours a day, I'm jealous of my time usage. My PT suggested that when time is an issue I switch to doing supersets, and after a few months of experimentation, I discovered that not only did it save time, it also added a little bit of an endurance challenge to my workouts, as well as giving me a better pump when certain exercises are combined. He particularly emphasized "push-pull" sets to help with some shoulder problems. Most of us guys get so fixated on building pecs that the chest muscles overwhelm the torso and pull the shoulders and shoulder blades away from their normal job of scapular stabilization. So if I hit the bench press really hard that night, I follow it or combine it with something equally challenging for the back, like rows or pull ups, that will stretch the chest out and pull those shoulders back into Ten-Hut!

  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Jun 05, 2009 5:51 AM GMT
    Studies have suggested that doing a rep is no more effective, and in some instances it's even worse, than performing a faster rep.
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    Jun 05, 2009 12:23 PM GMT
    calibro saidStudies have suggested that doing a rep is no more effective, and in some instances it's even worse, than performing a faster rep.


    Well "they" didn´t study me. icon_eek.gif
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    Jun 05, 2009 12:30 PM GMT
    kneedraggen saidhttp://www.videojug.com/interview/muscle-fitness-2#are-slow-repetitions-better-for-building-strength


    The above short video discusses slow reps..


    I just want to know;

    What is up with the guy's eyebrows in the vid?
    And why is he wearing lip gloss?
  • UFJocknerd

    Posts: 392

    Jun 05, 2009 7:28 PM GMT
    I think most literature supports moderate to fast reps (with good form of course), mostly because to go really slow you have to drop the weight, and end up losing more from that weight drop than you might be gaining with a slow rep (for a review, see Kraemer & Ratamess, 2004; pg. 680 talks about rep velocity)

    I personally like using faster positives and slower, controlled negatives. But "fast" should never mean "bad form" or "using momentum."
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    Jun 05, 2009 7:36 PM GMT
    From musculardevelopment.com

    High Reps vs. Heavy Weights: Which is Better for Muscle Growth?
    Contributed by Robbie Durand
    Monday, 01 June 2009
    “Everyone wants to be a bodybuilder, but no-one wants to lift heavy ass weights!”
    -Ronnie Coleman
    Muscle growth is a complex process; professional bodybuilders are

    divided into two camps: the light weight, high rep camp and the heavy

    weight. In order for a muscle to grow, muscle overload must occur with

    resistance exercise - no argument there, however several books have

    advocating high rep exercises to stimulate muscle growth. The best

    example, the 50 rep squats to blast leg muscle to grow is a commonly

    method to blast leg muscles into growth. The most famous bodybuilder

    advocating high reps for muscle growth was Tom Platz; he was famous for

    sets with reps of 20 to 30 in the squat. A small reminder, Platz was

    known to squat 500 pounds for over 30 reps!!! Proponents of the high

    rep training claim that high reps increase blood flow which enhance

    nutrient delivery, cause massive increases in nitric oxide and greater

    muscle pumps which stimulate muscle growth.

    “Everyone wants to be a bodybuilder, but no-one wants to lift heavy ass weights!”
    -Ronnie Coleman
    Muscle growth is a complex process; professional bodybuilders are divided into two camps: the light weight, high rep
    camp and the heavy weight. In order for a muscle to grow, muscle overload must occur with resistance exercise - no
    argument there, however several books have advocating high rep exercises to stimulate muscle growth. The best
    example, the 50 rep squats to blast leg muscle to grow is a commonly method to blast leg muscles into growth. The most
    famous bodybuilder advocating high reps for muscle growth was Tom Platz; he was famous for sets with reps of 20 to 30
    in the squat. A small reminder, Platz was known to squat 500 pounds for over 30 reps!!! Proponents of the high rep
    training claim that high reps increase blood flow which enhance nutrient delivery, cause massive increases in nitric oxide
    and greater muscle pumps which stimulate muscle growth.
    Vascular Occlusion with Light Weight Produces Muscle Hypertrophy
    It was previously thought that only performing resistance exercise at a load greater than 65% was enough to stimulate
    muscle growth. However, some recent studies have reported that muscle tension is not the only way to produce
    muscular hypertrophy. For instance, a low-intensity (~50% 1RM) resistance training performed with leg extensions
    caused a marked increase in muscular size [~12% gain in muscle size and strength (~20% gain) when combined with
    moderate vascular occlusion8. The effects of these exercise training regimens with restricted muscular blood flow are
    likely mediated by the following processes: 1) stimulated secretion of growth hormone by intramuscular accumulation of
    metabolic byproducts, such as lactic acid10; 2) moderate production of free radicals and tissue damage promoting tissue
    growth9; and 3) additional recruitment of fast-twitch fibers in a hypoxic (low oxygen) condition11. These studies suggest
    that the muscle mass building effects of resistance exercise involves not only muscle tension (weight) but also metabolic,
    hormonal, and neuronal factors. Higher repetition exercises has been shown to increase testosterone, growth hormone
    (GH) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1)1,2,3,4. You will definitely feel a greater muscle burn with a lighter weight
    Muscular Development Online Magazine
    http://www.musculardevelopment.com Powered by Joomla! Generated: 5 June, 2009, 14:35
    and feel more pumped, but does a light weight high rep program such as the 50 rep squat routine lead to greater muscle
    growth?
    Light Weight Exercise vs. Heavy Weights: Which is Better?
    Researchers tested a light weight protocol and a heavy resistance exercise program to determine if light weight
    programs with lots of reps can stimulate muscle growth. Researchers took 12 healthy young men and made them
    perform 12 weeks of resistance exercise on a leg extension machine; they performed three workout sessions per week.
    They performed a total of ten sets were assigned to two groups:
    A.) One leg with light weight -36 repetitions per set (15% of a 1-RM)
    B.) The other leg with heavy weight- 8 repetitions per set (70% of a 1-RM)
    Here is what really interesting, even they performed different rep ranges, and both groups performed the same workout
    volume. The good thing about this study is that the subject’s served as the own control’s so they were not
    being compared to other people.

    Heavy Resistance Exercise Beats Light Weight-High Rep for Muscle Size
    At the end of 12 weeks, the cross sectional size or muscle growth of the each leg demonstrated increases in muscle size
    but the heavy resistance group demonstrated greater gains in muscle mass5. The heavy resistance exercise group
    demonstrated a 7.6 ± 1.4% gain in muscle mass while the light weight group gained 2.6 ± 0.8%. The heavy resistance
    training group also gained greater increases in muscle strength as well. The study shows that light weight/high rep
    routines do increase muscle mass but just not to the same extent as heavy resistance exercise. Despite getting a good
    muscle pump, you are not going to grow like loading up the bar with some iron! When I read this study, I remember an
    episode of NO BULL RADIO where Dave and John were discussing; “Who was the strongest builder
    ever?” Several names were mentioned: Johnnie Jackson, Dorian Yates, and Greg Kovacs. Flex Wheeler set the
    recode straight, “Ronnie Coleman was the strongest bodybuilder ever...Period!” Is it any coincidence that
    as heavy as Ronnie trained, he also racked him up eight Mr. Olympia’s! No high rep training for Ronnie, only
    heavy weights!!
    Muscle Hypertrophy without Increases in Acute Anabolic Hormones
    Another interesting finding was that the study found increases in muscle hypertrophy that occurred without increases in
    circulating anabolic hormones. This finding of increases in muscle growth without changes in circulating levels of
    anabolic makes one question: How important are the acute anabolic hormone responses to exercise? When I first started
    studying exercise endocrinology, I thought that the workouts that caused the greatest increase in anabolic hormones had
    to increase muscle mass. Current research shows that acute anabolic hormones responses are important but are not the
    Holy Grail for increasing muscle size. Remember, endurance exercise can produce considerable increase in GH and
    testosterone in response to exercise yet they don’t produce muscle hypertrophy. Powerlifters demonstrate
    significant muscle size yet the typical powerlifting workout produces low anabolic hormone responses. Previous studies
    have shown that ingestions of whey protein before exercise blunted testosterone and GH responses6 but many studies
    suggest that pre-exercise protein supplementation is essential for increasing muscle mass. I would not miss a pre
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    exercise whey protein shake in hopes of a better acute testosterone response.
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    Jun 05, 2009 7:38 PM GMT
    Muscle Tension May be May Important than Acute Hormone Responses
    This research also is in conjunction with Researchers at the Exercise Metabolism Group at McMaster's University who
    recently reported that muscle hypertrophy took place without acute increases in anabolic hormone concentrations7. Ten
    healthy young male subjects performed unilateral resistance training for 8 week (3 days/week). Unilateral resistance
    exercise is basically where you train one leg, while the other leg is used as a control or untrained muscle. Exercises
    performed in the study were knee extension and leg press performed at 80-90% of the subject's single repetition
    maximum (1RM). Blood samples were collected before, immediately after, 30, 60, 90, and 120 minutes post-exercise.
    The first training bout and following the last training bout were analyzed for total testosterone, free-testosterone, GH, and
    insulin-like growth factor-1, along with other hormones. Thigh muscle cross sectional area of the (vastus lateralis) were
    measured pre- and post-training. Acutely, no changes in GH, testosterone, or IGF-1 concentrations were observed in the
    90 min period following exercise and there was no influence of training on the anabolic hormones measured. GH did
    show a moderate increase 30 minutes post-exercise but returned to baseline values by 90 minutes. Training-induced
    increases in muscle hypertrophy were observed in type IIb and IIa muscle fiber. No changes were observed in muscle
    size in the untrained leg. In conclusion, unilateral training induced local muscle hypertrophy only in the exercised limb,
    which occurred in the absence of testosterone, GH, or IGF-1 circulating levels. The moral of the story, don’t get so
    caught up in the acute anabolic hormone response that you limit your poundage.

    A light weight, high rep protocol does produce muscle hypertrophy, but light weight, however heavy resistance exercise
    produces greater muscle mass gains. Muscle "burn" does not stimulate growth, overload stimulates growth.
    “Muscle pumps” and "feeling the burn" are not really what building muscle is about nor is it a good indicator
    of muscle growth as the study demonstrates. You can get a good "burn" by doing 20-30 repetitions; however, training at
    that rep range does not efficiently overload the muscle. The bottom line of the study is that training loads less than 70%
    of a 1-RM are not going to induce significant gains in muscle mass or strength. High rep training may be good for muscle
    pumps but not good for increasing muscle size or strength.
    Key Points:
    ? Light weight, high repetition workouts do not stimulate muscle growth effectively; heavy resistance exercise is a greater
    stimulator of muscle growth.
    ? Muscle hypertrophy occurred despite increases in anabolic hormones; muscle growth factors (IGF-1, MGF) may be
    more important than the acute hormone increases.
    1. Hakkinen, K., and Pakarinen, A. Acute hormonal responses to two different fatiguing heavy-resistance protocols in
    male athletes. J. Appl. Physiol. 74: 882-887, 1993.
    2. Raastad, Truls., Bjoro, Trine., and Hallen, Jostein. Hormonal responses to high- and moderate-intensity strength
    exercise. Eur. J. Appl. Physiol. 82:121-128, 2000.
    3. Kraemer, W.J., Marchitelli, L.J., Gordon, S.E., Harman, E., Dziados, J.E., Mello, R., Frykman, P., McCurry, D., and
    Fleck, S.J. Hormonal and growth factors responses to heavy-resistance exercise protocols. J. Appl. Physiol. 69:1442-
    1450, 1990.
    4. Hakkinen K, Pakarinen A. Acute hormonal responses to two different fatiguing heavy-resistance protocols in male
    athletes. J Appl Physiol. 1993 Feb;74(2):882-7.
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    5. Holm L, Reitelseder S, Pedersen TG, Doessing S, Petersen SG, Flyvbjerg A, Andersen JL, Aagaard P, Kjaer M.
    Changes in muscle size and MHC composition in response to resistance exercise with heavy and light loading intensity.
    J Appl Physiol. 2008
    6. Hulmi JJ, Volek JS, Selänne H, Mero AA. Protein ingestion prior to strength exercise affects blood hormones and
    metabolism. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2005 Nov;37(11):1990-7.
    7. Wilkinson SB, Tarnopolsky MA, Grant EJ, Correia CE, Phillips SM. Hypertrophy with unilateral resistance exercise
    occurs without increases in endogenous anabolic hormone concentration. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2006 Dec;98(6):546-55.
    8. Takarada Y, Sato Y, and Ishii N. Effects of resistance exercise combined with vascular occlusion on muscle function in
    athletes. Eur J Appl Physiol 86: 308–314, 2002.
    9. Takarada Y, Takazawa H, and Ishii N. Applications of vascular occlusion diminish disuse atrophy of knee extensor
    muscles. Med Sci Sports Exerc 32: 2035–2039, 2000.
    10. Takarada Y, Nakamura Y, Aruga S, Onda T, Miyazaki S, and Ishii N. Rapid increase in plasma growth hormone after
    low-intensity resistance exercise with vascular occlusion. J Appl Physiol 88: 61–65, 2000.
    11. Takarada Y, Takazawa H, Sato Y, Takebayashi S, Tanaka Y, and Ishii N. Effects of resistance exercise combined
    with moderate vascular occlusion on muscular function in humans. J Appl Physiol 88: 2097–2106, 2000.
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    Jun 05, 2009 7:38 PM GMT
    Please note that they are calling "heavy" 8 reps, and "light" 50 reps.

    My personal experience is that I have my best results with 8 to 15 reps, with a few 20s to 25s, and a few 4s, 5s, and 6s, in perfect form.
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    Jun 05, 2009 10:00 PM GMT
    Chucky...Thanks for taking the time to post the information. I learned a lot.
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    Jun 05, 2009 10:31 PM GMT

    It's harder when you do it slowly. That's what I do always.
    Try in push ups to go down very slow, let it take 10 seconds and then hold your position for few more seconds without moving. It's the best training for people who want to add muscle mass rather than ripping their muscles..
    Do the same with crunches and squats.. good luck in that.. icon_wink.gif
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    Jun 05, 2009 11:18 PM GMT
    actually after reading this and watching people at the gym, my speeds are NOT super slow. They are controlled, moderate and smooth, with slower negatives. Unlike the sloppy, rushed and jerky movements that some use. I didn´t notice this before.

  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Jun 06, 2009 7:56 AM GMT
    Form is key. Fast with light weights will only tone. Fast pump slow negative will increase muscle size. Fact-- I don't need to google cut and paste BS. lmao
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    Jun 06, 2009 5:25 PM GMT
    There are two different types of muscular hypertrophy: sarcoplasmic hypertrophy and myofibrillar (muscles also increase in size due to a small amount of hyperplasia but this contribution is minimal). During sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, the volume of sarcoplasmic fluid in the muscle cell increases with no accompanying increase in muscular strength. During myofibrillar hypertrophy, the myofibrils, comprised of the actin and myosin contractile proteins, increase in number and add to muscular strength as well as a small increase in the size of the muscle. Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is characteristic of the muscles of bodybuilders while myofibrillar hypertrophy is characteristic of extreme weightlifters.[4]
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    Jun 06, 2009 5:26 PM GMT
    Strength training typically produces a combination of the two different types of hypertrophy: contraction against 80 to 90% of the one repetition maximum for repetitions (reps) causes myofibrillated hypertrophy to dominate (as in powerlifters, olympic lifters and strength athletes), while several repetitions (generally 12 or more) against a sub-maximal load facilitates mainly sarcoplasmic hypertrophy (professional bodybuilders and endurance athletes). The first measurable effect is an increase in the neural drive stimulating muscle contraction. Within just a few days, an untrained individual can achieve measurable strength gains resulting from "learning" to use the muscle.[citation needed] As the muscle continues to receive increased demands, the synthetic machinery is upregulated. Although all the steps are not yet clear, this upregulation appears to begin with the ubiquitous second messenger system (including phospholipases, protein kinase C, tyrosine kinase, and others).[citation needed] These, in turn, activate the family of immediate-early genes, including c-fos, c-jun and myc. These genes appear to dictate the contractile protein gene response.[citation needed]

    Muscle hypertrophy due to strength training does not occur for everyone and is not necessarily well correlated with gains in actual muscle strength: it is possible for muscles to grow larger without becoming much stronger.[5]
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Jun 06, 2009 5:41 PM GMT
    Yup, control is key. It really annoys me when someone is using weights, or worse a weight machine, and is wasting their efforts and sloppy form. I really wish gym staff would be responsible and educate their clients. I approach the person if I think they're open to suggestion.