*Lifter sees you pinned under a bar.
“Do you need a spot bro?
*The reply you need to save face.
“Oh, thanks for the offer, it’s okay though, I’m doing Eccentrics & Isometric holds, I’m not pinned.
*After lifter leaves slither out from under the bar you loaded way too heavily and hope no one check CCTV.
Time to talk about eccentrics.
Ah the English language, what an interesting thing it is.
When it comes to utilising this overload principle you’ll find you can get results coming thick and fast.
However, with a fast rise there is an equally fast fall awaiting those who become greedy.
Eccentric training often recommends the use of 100-130% of a person 1RM, depending on the movement.
In some cases when people have reached superhuman levels of strength their eccentric ability to handle loads can be a high as 170-200% of their 1RM.
Yea, I know, that’s just nuts.
As a guideline for knowing if someone is ready for this style of training with extra loads (as in not on bodyweight movements), there are some things to remember.
What comes next has been lifted from books such as SuperTraining, The Science & Practice of Strength Training and many years of working with coaches far smarter than I am.
– For lower body you’ll want to be able to handle 1.5-2xBW on a squat minimum.
– Pressing movements to fall between 1-1.5xBW
– Hinging is better off at 2xBW
This may seem excessive to some.
Heck, there are plenty of people who use eccentrics with loaded movements without these strength levels, however the progress that can be made will always be compromised.
One crucial thing to remember is that this style of lifting puts a hefty stress on the body, not to mention the ligaments & tendons take a lot longer to ascertain their fortitude, unlike muscles where this happens relatively quickly.
You’ve also got to remember that the GTO is there to protect you, if you don’t have the base strength required then it won’t allow you to even hold a heavier load without shaking like a defecating dog.
As such this method should be respected.
So, how can you use it?
Well provided you’ve got the required strength levels.
No major or chronic injuries to speak of.
Then you’re good to go.
Here are three ways I use eccentrics in training.
Each method would last for 3 weeks, then not be repeated or used again for 12-16 weeks.
Yep, you’ll find more benefit if you do this 2-4 times per year.
As for sessions you’re looking at one of these every 5-7days for this style of training.
More sessions than that in the 5-7 day period is often too taxing for anyone not very well trained, for now 💪
More is not better, it’s just more.
Method 1 – Hold, Hover, Hoist
This is made up of three mini-sets you could say that make 1 full set, or a three-phase eccentric lift.
First, you load a bar with more than you can lower, un-rack it and hold it for 10-30seconds, the rack it.
Second, take out a supra-maximal loaded bar, you’ll be looking at a 10+second eccentric phase on this as you will be looking to hold the weight isometrically for 2-3 seconds 2-3 times during your lowering phase.
Say you’re doing it on a squat, you’d stop first at a 1/4 position, then again at half, then again at 3/4, and then fight it to the bottom where the bar can now rest on the pins and you can safely step out from under it.
Finally, load the bar with 70-80% of your 1RM and crack out a set of 3-6 reps with solid form.
Rest 5-10min then repeat once or twice more if you’re some kind of inhuman beast lobster.
This plays heavily on tension as its main overload driver.
Method 2 – That’s what friends are for
A classic method of loading a bar with 100-110% of your 1RM.
You will want the eccentric portion to be 6-10second on the first rep, then try to sustain this for each subsequent rep, have your training partner help spot you up.
1-5 total reps rep set.
3-5 total sets.
5min rest between sets.
Method 3 – Decelerate to Accelerate
This one can be done alone.
Load a bar with 100-130% of your 1RM and perform 1 eccentric.
Next perform and explosive variation of the lift you just did, if it was a bench press you might do a plyo-push up or an explosive med-ball floor press/throw.
3-5 explosive reps
*Or until you lose speed, which you’d need a tool to measure for accuracy.
There you have it, three methods to shatter plateaus and make epic gainzzzz.
^^ The more Z’s the more progress, it’s science.
Oh yea, I mentioned that this can help you gain followers on social media.
These methods are sexy to watch people perform.
They sound awesome and create a curiosity among people who want to make progress.
Plus who doesn’t want their Instagram videos to be with impressive weights or toilet mirror selfies under – ‘that good lighting’.
You’ll also be able to explain to people why you’re using the methods above (extreme overload, plateau breaking, nervous system training) and why/how they can adapt them.
These are truly worth your time.
Since this post is long enough I will leave the topic of Strength Deficit for today, however if you do CrossFIt you NEED to dig in to that to avoid injury.
Here is a great place to start:
One final note.
You can perform certain eccentric movements on your own, things such as push press, cheat curls, etc are all good for using to allow you to do eccentrics on smaller movements.
You can also do individual limb eccentrics as you can lift the load with both and lower on one.
There are just so many options, it’s truly a deep habit hole.