Build Muscle Fast Through Slow Eccentrics | STACK

Build Muscle Fast By Slowing Down Your Sets

October 14, 2012 | Gabe Lazzaro

Must See Strength Training Videos

One of the most valuable techniques for athletes trying to quickly put on muscle is to vary their rep tempos during a workout.

There are three basic types of muscle contraction:

  • Concentric: where the muscle shortens under tension
  • Isometric: where the muscle remains the same length regardless of tension
  • Eccentric: where the muscle lengthens under tension

Eccentric muscle contraction results in muscle growth, so when it comes to putting on some serious size, that's your moneymaker. (Click here for a full explanation.) By slowing down your sets, you can put more emphasis on the eccentric phase of your lifts. More eccentric stress leads to greater gains in muscle size.

In addition to increasing muscle mass, slow eccentrics are great for developing strong, durable tendons and connective tissue, crucial for injury prevention.

An easy example of varying the speed of an exercise is performing a Push-Up with a 2-0-2-0 tempo. That simply means lowering yourself (eccentric) for two seconds with no pause at the bottom, pushing up (concentric) for two seconds and again not pausing at the top. This keeps constant tension on the muscles throughout the set and increases the difficulty tenfold.

If you are trying slow eccentrics for the first time, don't overdo it. Start with controlled two-second eccentrics and see how your body responds. Eccentric stress is more damaging to muscle tissue, so expect to be more sore than usual. Gradually build yourself up to six-second eccentrics.

Want more challenge? Try double tension training.

More Cool Stuff You'll Like

5 Reasons Why You're Not Ripped

Well, it's that time of year again. You know what I'm talking about; spring is about to roll full steam ahead, board shorts and bikinis are being...

Build Bigger Arms With This Bicep Workout

3 Reasons Why You're Not Getting Stronger

Tips for Healthy Weight Gain

3 Simple Moves for Bigger Triceps

A Simple Strategy for Serious Muscle Growth

I Lift Weights But Can't Build Muscle. What's Wrong?

Quickly Build Muscle for Football

The 15-Minute Beach Muscle (Plus Hustle) Workout

5 Food Swaps that Help Athletes Bulk Up

6 Skinny Pro Athletes Who Dominate Their Sport

How the Actors of 'Blue Mountain State' Get in Shape

How to Build Muscle: A Game of Angles

When to Use Isolation Exercises for Growth

5 Easy Muscle-Building Tips for Hardgainer Athletes

Increase Metabolic Stress for Size and Performance

Pressed for Time? Try This 20-Minute, 200-Rep Workout

Mechanical Overload: A Strategy for Bigger Muscles

Get a Big Chest With 5 Stand-up Exercises

How to Strengthen Small and Weak Muscles

Why Hard Work May Not Always Beat Good Genes

Can Your Diet Prevent Sports Injuries?

Why You

You Need Rest Intervals. Here's Why

Get Strong and Thick With Strongman Exercises

Pack on Muscle by Wave Loading

The Weakling's Guide to Working Out

Build Muscle in Less Time With Massed Practice

Keys to a Successful Full-Body Transformation

Q&A: Brad Schoenfeld on Maximizing Muscle Growth

Why You Need to Change Your Workouts More Often

Shoulder Workouts for Mass: 3 Tips

What You Need to Know About Gaining Muscle Mass

5 Reasons You Can't Build Muscle

The Food Rules for Building Muscle

The 4 Rules of Bulking Up

Build Bigger Biceps Without an 'Arm Day'

The 8 Craziest Things People Do to Build Muscle

5 Tips to Increase Lean Body Mass

Build Muscle Faster With This Simple Weight Room Trick