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Slow vs Fast Weight Lifting

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If you have been training for more than a year you should have worked this out yourself by simply looking at what producers the best results. However this is for some strange reason still a controversial issue in many bodybuilding forums, which is something that can now be proven.

The problem might be a bit of confusion setting in when we talk about fast-twitch muscle fibre compared to fast movements and these two should NEVER be confused, as they are worlds apart. We already know that adding any resistance to any movement will slow the movement down; you cannot squat as fast with 200 pounds on your back as you can with just your bodyweight.

Many studies have been done on this controversial subject and it is now conclusively proven that it is all about Time Under tension (TUT). Even when studying the specific concentric and eccentric movements and looking at the average force and peak force achieved plus the average power and peak power, including the total work done or volume and total impulse the studies proved that results were directly connected to TUT.

We know from the Henneman’s Principle which explains about muscle fibre recruitment that the lower a demand like a light weight with a faster rep recruits less fibres than a heavier weight with a slower velocity. This simply means that training with a slower speed and a heavier weight will recruit more ‘fast twitch’ muscle fibres.

This may seem like a contradiction, as some bodybuilders believe that in order to recruit fast twitch muscle fibres you need to move fast, but this has now been proven not to be true. When we call a muscle fibre fast or slow twitch we are talking about the time it takes to reach fatigue and NOT the time it takes to contract maximally.

The bottom line is that in order to stimulate the most muscle fibres and get the maximum muscle hypertrophy you can, you need to stimulate as many muscle fibres as possible. When trying to achieve maximal failure the speed at which the movement is done the objective should be to get to volitional muscular fatigue when you simply cannot do another rep, to do this you need to SLOW DOWN and not speed up your sets as hypertrophy is about TUT.


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