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Monday, December 3, 2018

The Perfect Rep Speed for Growth

By: Jimmy Peña
Muscle and Performance

From the first day you picked up a dumbbell, you’ve been told to keep your rep speed under control, and I’m not about to tell you any differently here. But what exactly is “under control,” especially knowing what we do about the importance of varying rep speeds. (Think slow negative reps.) So if your routine could use a shake-up, a little change of pace will do the trick.

Be A Pacesetter

In general, if you’re working with a sufficiently heavy weight, you should be trying to move it as fast as you can on the positive (concentric) portion of the rep and resisting it on the negative.

Take the bench press with a 6RM load (that’s a weight you do for six and only six reps) on the bar, for example. When you’re pressing it off your chest, even though it’s moving rather slowly, you’re actually moving it as fast as you can, aren’t you?

The pace is as quick as you can muster. Speed in this case is relative. That fact is critical because when you explode the weight through a range of motion, as in the bench press, you’re calling into play the fast-twitch muscle fibers, which produce the greatest muscle force (i.e., strength) and have the highest potential for growth. When you’re working with a weight that’s relatively light, to recruit the fast-twitch fibers, you should again try to be explosive.

The faster you can move a weight, the more power you develop, and increasing power will successfully increase your strength. With all this fast-twitch and fast-rep talk what possible good can you derive from moving slowly during a set?

Plenty, as a matter of fact.

Read more at Muscle and Performance.