Interesting article by Ben Bruno over at T Nation!
Here’s what you need to know…
- Weight and form are often inversely proportional: the higher the weight, the worse the form.
- Descending eccentrics clean up poor technique, encourage using a full range of motion, and also ensure that you’re selecting a weight you can control. They’re also great for hypertrophy and better tolerated by lifters with joint issues.
- However many reps you’re doing (5 or 6), the eccentric phase of the first rep should last that many seconds and decrease by one second on each subsequent rep. For example, do a six-second eccentric on the first rep, a five-second eccentric on the second rep, etc.
- You can apply the idea to virtually any exercise you want – bench press variations, glute-ham raises, pushups, or inverted rows, but not deadlift variations, free-weight rowing variations, and overhead pressing variations.
Getting clients and athletes to use good form is one of the ongoing struggles of any trainer or strength coach.
You can tell your athletes to go all the way down on chin-ups until you’re blue in the face. If you’re lucky, you may get them to comply with your demands for a few reps, but the minute you turn your back, they’ll inevitably start cheating in an effort to crank out more reps.
You’ll see the same thing with squats and Bulgarian split squats. If you don’t demand a full range of motion and stick to your guns – almost to the point of being a dick – you’ll almost never see it. And even if you do demand it, you’ll often see people start the set with good form and a full range of motion and then start to cut the reps short as pain and fatigue set in.
You’ll also see people try to increase the weight too quickly and just start using a reduced range of motion and sloppier form. In fact, weight and form are often inversely proportional: the higher the weight, the worse the form.