This is how to make your strength training three to five times more effective
Bodybuilders and fitness fanatics can build up three times as much muscle mass and five times more strength if they take three seconds to do their return movements instead of just one second when doing reps. Brazilian sports scientists at the Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo write about this in the International Journal of Applied Exercise Physiology.
The researchers got 12 healthy men, all experienced strength trainers, to train their biceps by doing Scott curls twice a week for 12 weeks. Each workout consisted of three sets of 8 reps. The men trained to failure.
Half of the men made relatively fast movements. They took one second each to do the lifting and lowering movements [Fast Speed]. The other half did their reps more slowly. They took one second for the upward movement, but three seconds to do the lowering movement [Slow Speed].
The researchers made scans so they could measure the circumference of the participants' biceps, before and after the twelve weeks. In addition they measured the amount of weight with which the men were just able to complete one rep of the curl [1RM].
At the end of the 12 weeks, the participants in the slow speed group had made almost five times more progression than the participants in the other group. In terms of muscle mass, the slow-speed group had done three times better than the high-speed group.
"We conclude that slow speed training is more effective to improve hypertrophy in well-trained adults", the Brazilians wrote.
IJAEP. 2016 Jul;5(2).
Slow reps: strength training with light weights does give results 09.02.2014
How to make training with light weights just as effective as training with heavy weights 09.12.2012
The slower your reps, the more your muscles grow 06.01.2012