As a part of my new routine for the new year, I have finally started lifting weights.
In your last column, you said that the best part of lifting weights was lowering weights.
Can you please explain this in a little more detail?
— Kini in Kilauea
Congrats on your decision to lift (and lower) weights, Kini. My next few columns will focus on the specifics of this super secret to strength.
Many years ago, I revealed the science of “Eccentrics” as the foundation to my 12-Week Physique Program and Super 7-Week Shape-Up System. Working out the way your body works really works.
The word “eccentric” literally translates: “Ec” (away) from “centric” (center) – to one side − off-center − going from the inside to the outside.
Eccentrics is an “off-center” approach to fitness, unconventionally refreshing in physiology and psychology. Yes, it’s truly different, genuinely ingenious, and often the opposite of what you’d expect. While each quadrant is unique and justifies a separate explanation, the collective application of strength, stamina, stretching, and sustenance is the true genius behind the system of Eccentrics.
Strength, the most important component, is where we need to begin; for this reason, it is going to be my primary focus for now. If you want to move into the other components more quickly, you can sneak a peek at the free content on my website.
With regard to strength, Eccentrics refers to the lengthening of muscle away from its center as you lower weight slowly. This is when and where the physiological magic occurs. In fact, the only reason you lift weights is so you can lower them. Lifting does very little; lowering does a lot!
Lengthening muscle under tension, by slowly lowering weight, will transform your muscles overnight — literally. I’ve seen this rapid reformation of muscle happen firsthand with thousands of clients.
Maintaining metabolically-active muscle is the key to fitness. Though your skeleton gives you structure and support, without muscle, you’re just a bag of bones. Your 600-plus striated skeletal muscles, connecting bone to bone (and often to more bone), give your body the ability to create an almost infinite number of manners and motions.
Whether your goal is to develop muscle tone, size, or strength, your body must be subjected to forces beyond those to which it is normally accustomed. Compared to every other exercise in existence, Eccentrics produces the most force within a muscle. Period!
This is not my opinion; it’s a fact. This is just how your body works. Thus, as the single best stimulus for everybody and every body, Eccentrics is the ideal training modality regardless of your specific objective — tone, size, or strength.
Controlling the speed of lengthening muscle under tension generates biomechanical and biochemical events that command adaptation. Strong forces force your muscles to change, and change quickly. Slowly lowering weight is the safest and soundest of systems.
Remember, the only reason you lift weights is so you can lower weights. The only reason you lower weights is so you can stop, rest, and relax as your body promptly prepares for its next challenge. Your body immediately develops muscle tone, even after only one workout — seriously. Size and strength will then continue to increase relative to the forces at hand.
If your goal is to develop big powerful muscles, keep gradually adding resistance. Eccentrics is your secret solution. Often used by competitive bodybuilders and powerlifters, the lowering motion of weight “lifting” is a shortcut in their quest for mass and power. The sky is truly the limit when it comes to resisting gravity.
And, if your goal is to develop only well-toned (but not overly muscular) muscles, Eccentrics is as easy as it is simple.
A few minutes per week per muscle is all that it takes to tone. A little bit of a good thing is often the best.
Also, in addition to weight lowering being better than weight lifting, it also makes you better at weight lifting. This is called “positive strength transference.” Lifting weights improves only lifting weights; however, lowering weights improves lowering weights and lifting weights. So, at the very least, the strength of Eccentrics is two-fold.
It doesn’t matter if you work out with dumbbells, barbells, machines, weights plates, or even your own body weight. Whichever object is moving during the exercise, slowly lower that object from its highest point to its lowest point, control it throughout its full range of motion. I prefer a pace of seven seconds down, from the top to the bottom.
Next time, I’ll lead you through a specific exercise that uses a very specific technique. In the meantime, if you do nothing else, try slowly lowering weight to the tune of seven seconds. You’ll love it.
Doug Jones earned his Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Maryland and has served professionals and personalities as a concierge fitness trainer for decades. As a resident of Kaua`i and Connecticut, he has helped millions of people learn the secrets of fitness and fat loss, both online and in person. To submit your questions, or for more information, please visit: www.DougJonesFitness.com
Source: The Garden Island