Negative Sets to Break Pleateaus

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How has your strength training been going? Do you feel like you are hitting a plateau and need to do SOMETHING different, anything different? Maybe it is time to get negative about your training….but in a good way. Wait what?

How to add negative sets to your routine to blast through plateaus!

What are Negative Sets

This is also known as eccentric training, or focusing on the lowering portion of the lift. To focus on this part you need to be exaggerating or slowing it down. Studies have shown that during the eccentric phase of lifting your body can tolerate up to 1.75 times more weight than during the shortening phase (concentric). 

Too often during lifting when we go to lower we release our muscle and let gravity take over. Therefore, we really only get half the benefit of the lift. If we slow down and focus on slowly lowering the weight and resisting gravity you give yourself the chance to increase the amount of stress that is put on your muscles. More stress = better gains in strength.


Benefits of Negative Sets

By focusing your efforts on the eccentric movement you will increase your time under tension. This benefits your body by changing the way you are overloading your muscles and then you can break through that plateau. 

We hit plateaus due to our body adapting to the things we are doing and not overloading and continuing to stress our muscles in different ways. If you change it up and surprise your body you are going to continually build more strength and lean muscle. 

Studies have also shown that when integrating negative sets into your exercise regime properly you will also build your tendon and ligament function. This will increase your ability to prevent injury. 

How to add negative sets to your routine to blast through plateaus!

How to do Negative Sets to Break Plateaus

You will want to incorporate these into your program periodically and not on a regular basis.

Remember earlier I told you that you can lift 1.75 more weight with the eccentric phase. That means you need to go HEAVY!!

Aim for 3 sets of 8-10 reps.

Lift the weight as you normally would and then lower it for 8 seconds.

Superset your heavier, negative exercise with a set of fast, explosive movements to recruit all of your muscle fibers. 

Rest 45-60 seconds between each set performed and rest a full 7 days between negative training when first starting out. 

This is great to use on full body exercise days. 


Here is a killer Upper body workout that incorporates negative sets!



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