Attempting to execute some of the moves you see being done at the gym, can really zap one’s self-esteem. When that happens, simply remember that a whole lot of work goes into nailing those exercises from start to finish. At some point, that guy on the bar probably used negative pull-ups to earn that strength. And, you can use negative training techniques to build your strength, too.
The technique I’m about to describe to you involves taking the part of a move that’s usually a bit easier (like the downward movement in a push-up), and changing the pace so that it feels very easy to perform. Then, you get to take a break during the difficult part of the move (like the upward movement of a push-up). A negative (also called the eccentric part of the move) refers to the deceleration portion of a movement. Many people refer to this as the “stretch”, or extension of the muscle groups working.
What I’m saying is that negative pull-ups, negative push-ups, and negative crunches help to build the strength necessary to perform the full exercise.
This type of training is also referred to as “time under tension training” in which you time the individual parts of each movement to increase muscle density.
Another important aspect of negative training is that it doesn’t require learning any movements you don’t already know.
I recommend that you spend one or two gym sessions each week performing two to three moves in a negative fashion.
You don’t even need to know how to do pull-ups for this one! Just have someone assist you in getting your chin above the bar or jump up on your own. Then lower to the count of five until you’re hanging with straight arms.
Reps: Repeat three to five times (or until you can no longer maintain good form.
Start in the plank position and lower yourself to the ground in five seconds. Then use your knees to help you get back up and return to the plank position.
Reps: Complete three sets of five reps.
Start in a sitting position with your feet on the floor in front of you. Lower down to the ground as slowly as you can (with assistance if necessary) while still keeping your core engaged. Release your core when your back hits the ground.
Reps: Complete three sets of ten reps.
So, off to the gym my friends; see you all next week.