Slow Reps vs Fast Reps
Whats better slow or fast reps? Is it better to go faster if you’re trying to lose weight? What about if you’re trying to build muscle will going slower help you build more muscle and burn more calories? will it give you a better workout? I’m going to answer all these questions today and you may be surprised by some of these answers.
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Let’s start with the benefits of going slower. The major benefit of performing slow reps is that during The Eccentric portion of the movement otherwise known as the negative portion of the movement so I’m talking about when you bring the bar down during a bench press for example or when your arms open and extend during a curl that considers the negative or The Eccentric portion of the movement and it’s during that portion of the movement that you’re breaking down muscle so when you go slower and you resist the weight coming down you spend more time under tension and break down more muscle.
The other thing that you do is you eliminate or at the very least reduce the momentum involved in the movement and typically your form will improve and you’ll be able to Target the muscle that you’re trying to work better. A Lot of times by doing the Reps slower and by dropping the weight a little bit you’re able to find flaws in your form that you can fix. Another huge benefit of doing slow reps is that you’re going to develop more endurance. When doing slow reps with lighter weight for high reps you’re going to be targeting your slow twitch muscle fibers more and those muscle fibers are responsible more for endurance…Let me explain that a little better, all your muscles have fast and slow twitch muscle fibers within them. Fast-twitch muscle fibers are typically targeted a lot more with heavy weight and fast explosive movements. Fast twitch muscle fibers are also the type of muscle fibers that are associated with producing the greatest muscular Force possible which means that fast twitch muscle fibers are associated with strength and they also have the highest potential for growth. Believe It or Not, There are still ways to Target your fast-twitch muscle fibers with slower reps and lighter weight.
The best way to do that would be to go really slow on The Descent and explode as fast as you can when going back up. With enough repetitions and enough fatigue even with the lighter weight, you’ll eventually exhaust your slow twitch muscle fibers and start incorporating your fast-twitch muscle fibers into the movement. So the point that I’m trying to make with this example is that slow twitch and fast-twitch muscle fibers aren’t necessarily the same exact thing as slow and fast reps because you can hit your fast-twitch muscle fibers with slow reps and you could hit your slow twitch muscle fibers with fast reps. So what are the benefits of faster reps? Well, I already mentioned one big benefit is that it’ll help you build strength because you’ll be able to concentrate on lifting a heavier load. Due to the fact that you’re not spending as much time under tension, you’re able to squeeze out a few extra reps of a heavier weight load by going faster.
The other thing that you can work on is your explosive strength. So for example, if you want to train for a higher vertical jump in order to be able to dunk a basketball then fast explosive reps are the way to go. The point is If you’re just concerned with strength and want to make strict strength gains I would go with faster reps. however, if your goal is predominantly to build muscle then you want to go with slower reps at least on The Descent. Even though faster reps are typically associated with more strength one study was done on 12 men conducted in Brazil compared men that lowered the weight at a 1 – 2 – 3 down Tempo and 1 second up-tempo and the other group of men other lowered the weight at just one second down and one second up. Surprisingly they found after 12 weeks that the men in the slow speed group showed nearly five times the progression in strength than that shown by the fast speed group. And the slow group also built nearly three times the amount of muscle. Even though this is a small study it very much fits with my personal experience.
I personally really enjoy combining both fast and slow repetitions and when you combine both you can get benefits of strength and power combined with the benefits of building bigger muscles. The best way to get the benefits of both is by going really slow during The Eccentric portion of the movements like I was talking about earlier.
My passion for fitness began when I was 14 years old. I naturally fell in love with training and haven’t stopped since. At 18 years I acquired my first personal training certification from ACE after which I opened my first gym in 2011, Gravity Training Zone. I'm now in the process of opening up my third location! I love to share my knowledge through personal training, my online courses, and youtube channel now with almost 1,000,000 subscribers! I'm always here for my customers so if you need help don't hesitate to send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org