There are 4 phases to every exercise movement: the top position, the negative (lowering), the bottom position, and the positive (lifting).
1. Top position (full contraction of the muscles)
2. Lowering (negative or eccentric)
3. Bottom position (full stretch of the muscles)
4. Lifting (positive or concentric)
You should concentrate on performing flawless and perfect repetitions for every exercise on this program. That means you always get a full stretch at the bottom of each exercise and a full contraction at the top of each exercise.
Lower the weights under control (not really slow) and lift the weights as fast as possible but under control on the positive portion of each rep. Contract your muscles briefly in the top position. There is no slow lifting on ANY of our programs.
You lift each rep as fast as possible but under control and then lower the weight under control.
You NEVER cheat by stopping the rep short of full contraction or short of the full stretch position. Each aspect of a rep is very important in the strength and muscle building process. Do not shortchange your efforts by cheating on a rep.
If you can’t perform a rep properly, you have too much weight on the bar. Decrease the weight until you can perform reps with proper form. This is why you need to start out light and only increase when you perform the targeted number of reps with good form.
You might be thinking…
“But someone told me I should take 3 seconds to lift the positive portion and 3 seconds to lower the weight.” Well, that person hasn’t spent the time to actually think about what they are
Every exercise is a different movement.
For example, the bench press range of motion takes less time to perform than the squat range of motion. Think about it. The bar has to move a much further distance with the squat than the bench press.
It’s crazy to tell someone to lift with specified time intervals.
Ignore advice from this person or at least tell them to think about what they are saying. I’ve heard some very knowledgeable people give this advice, and it makes absolutely no sense at all.
The bar moves at least twice as far during the squat than during the bench press. Think about a calf raise for a second. The bar doesn’t move even near the distance during a calf raise as the bar moves on most other exercises. Compare a bench press to a full deadlift. Not even close. More movement from the body in the deadlift makes each rep last longer.
Follow the guidelines given on performing reps, and don’t worry about the time it takes you to lift or perform any rep.
Simply concentrate on proper form and technique during your exercises. Take each and every rep seriously and try to perform each rep flawlessly.