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Brian Stone
09-28-2009, 06:04 AM
I've read a good amount on the importance of various programs surrounding the core compound movements relating to mass gain. I have seen only limited reference within to the focus on time through the movements, but that may be more due to limited exposure on my part to various programs than the literature not being there.

Specifically, it's my understanding that more muscle stimulus is done on the eccentric phase of the movement, but there is little focus on this. Since I plan to begin a strength routine soon, this is of particular interest to me.

What are everyone's thoughts on ROM control and time through movement, through both the eccentric and concentric phases of the movement? It seems there is a tradeoff here, as the more controlled a movement the less weight will probably be able to be moved, as explosiveness will be sacrificed.

Brian Merklin
09-28-2009, 08:44 AM
There will certainly be more educated replies, but I'll throw in my two cents.

As I've come to understand it, the length of time spent on the actual movement of the lift is something more related to a bodybuilding concern right along with things like "peak contraction" and whatnot.

I'd venture to say if you're lifting heavy and not cheating on your movements then "counting to four on your way down and two on your way up" or whatever shouldn't matter as much. Remember, mass gain and bodybuilding aren't one in the same.

Squat, Press, Pull, eat - as I'm sure you already know.

Gavin Harrison
09-28-2009, 09:23 AM
Rep speed is a big gimmick. If you want a scientific view, it has been shown that a MODERATE rep speed is best for strength gains, not fast, and not slow. Medium. You can't lift heavy weights slowly. Some program with a clear progressive path for strength increases with food/milk will do you just fine. Just go through the requisite range of motion, don't cheat too much, use a form that is at least not unsafe, and eat to support the strength gains.

Brian Stone
09-28-2009, 11:49 AM
Interesting - I was under the impression at least that there was strong evidence that showed the eccentric phase to be much better at garnering a muscular response. With that in mind, though, I didn't want this to become too heady and lose the forest for the trees (basic what Gavin said).

Thanks for the replies.

Gavin Harrison
09-28-2009, 12:46 PM
The eccentric portion of a lift is what causes the majority of muscle fiber damage, thus soreness and may have some contribution to hypertrophy, but it doesn't have much application to strength.

Steven Low
09-28-2009, 12:51 PM
While it's true that the eccentric phase there is more damage to the muscle, not as heavy weights can be used and in general is more limiting to workout frequency.

Both are adequate stimulus for weight gain, and moving heavy weight as fast as possible confers more benefits along with working higher frequency.

So there's very little to discuss honestly.


edit: whoops didn't refresh for 3 hours before I responded. :D

Mike ODonnell
10-01-2009, 12:26 PM
To sum up every bodybuilding magazine ever written in 1 sentence.....

the best hypertrophy only gains are controlled tempo with a 3-4 sec eccentric phase for sets of reps 8-12 (lasting about 35 seconds per set) with 30-40 sets per bodypart focus.

Mix in some alternating strength work around it at any pace/tempo you want....eat right and sleep, you won't have to worry about anything else.