So we’ve been training wrong this whole time! It’s not click-bait, it’s a hard science. The thing about conventional weight-lifting is that you rapidly burn through a lot of energy. You quickly cause fatigue – instead of strengthening muscles through beneficial damage, you’re wearing them out. You’re also putting an unwarranted strain on your heart and lungs, and then, you run out of steam. So what should we be doing? According to fitness expert Wiebke Hensen, head coach of Vitruvian Form, we should be dropping the weight instead of lifting it. Below Wiebke chats more about resistance training and the most efficient ways to reap the rewards
1. Don’t lift the weight, drop it
Focus the bulk of your work in the downward, or negative, phase of lifting, and you won’t have the limiting fatigue factor. If your goal is to train optimally – and why wouldn’t it be? – you should be trying to build strength efficiently in this way. It’s called eccentric training.
2. Train like a pro
Eccentric training is well-known among elite athletes, sports scientists and exercise physiologists as being more effective for increasing muscle strength and size. Simple examples are when you walk downstairs or lower weights back down. The concentric phase of a deadlift is getting the weight up; the eccentric when you put it on the floor. We are all inherently stronger in the eccentric, or negative, phase of a movement.
So if it’s that simple, why are we talking about it? Well, it is and it isn’t. Unfortunately, the weight load should be greater on the eccentric phase than on the concentric phase in order to really reap the benefits. How can you achieve that if you can’t add more weight at the top of a lift? And secondly, most people cannot adequately and consistently control their technique when lowering the weight. Some of us even just drop the weight, which means we’re losing 50% of our muscle activation!
3. Form and (smart) function
A new smart fitness device has revolutionized resistance training, with a particular focus on empowering the user with access to eccentric training. The V-Form Trainer is built on innovative algorithms that completely eliminates the need for momentum and having to lift any weight at all on the concentric phase. (It does, of course, have that function – which you can use for other intentional goals).
The remarkable resistance training technology acts like a spotter, adapting to your capabilities and loads the weight ready for the eccentric phase. It allows you to push to the top of a movement cleanly and lightly so that you’re ready to lower the full weight load down with greater control. The resistance required through the extension creates efficient, purposeful exertion. Through a few simple physical gestures, like increasing the speed you execute the concentric phase, you can increase the load.
4. Make gains in less time
An interesting factor of eccentric training is that it debunks the idea that the more you do, the more you gain. Efficiency is fundamental. The V-Form Trainer assists the user in keeping the right tempo and a mindful connection with the movement being undertaken. By keeping muscles under tension for longer but in fewer training sessions, you get greater muscle activation. The substantial time between sessions is critical because muscle tissue is metabolically more active. You need the time at rest to both burn calories and allow muscle recovery, which leads to growth.