Fit Tip Thursday: The Power of Eccentric Training

Posted On Jan 22, 2015 By Tom Holland

The Power of Eccentric Training

My first "real" fitness job was, yes, working at a Nautilus facility almost three decades ago. A teenager at the time, I was in charge of taking people through the machine strength circuit and was taught Nautilus founder, Arthur Jones's two-second, four-second technique for strength training. Simply put, this means that you raise the weight on a two count and lower on a four count. So, the "down" part of the exercise, also known as the "eccentric" phase, is performed twice as slowly as the "up" or "concentric" phase.

Fast forward to today, and this technique is now a cornerstone of my personal training philosophy and one of the major "secrets" of my success.

It seems so simple and insignificant, yet it is incredibly powerful. The vast majority of people do not utilize this technique; In fact, most people do the exact opposite. This is one of the reasons they fail to truly transform their bodies. They use incorrect amounts of weight, bad form, fast movements and momentum. All of these things lead to dramatically decreased results and increased chance of injury.

By slowing each repetition down and focusing on making the eccentric phase a little longer than the concentric, you increase the muscular "time-under-tension," recruiting more muscle fibers and getting the most out of your workout.

Try it during your next workout. Make the "down" of each repetition just a little longer than the "up." This goes for everything: Biceps curls, push-ups, squats, bench press, etc. Keep the tension of the muscles throughout the entire range of motion. Make eccentric training a part of your strength program and you will increase your results exponentially!

Like what you see? Watch more Fit Tip Thursdays for great tips to help enhance your workouts.