By ERIC BROSER Iron Man Magazine
We can resist a lot more weight on the negative stroke than we can lift on the positive.
We’ve been using your FD/FS program with amazing success two out of every six weeks. We especially love the challenge and soreness that the eccentric emphasis brings about. Still, we were wondering if you’ve ever advocated the use of negative-only sets for fiber damage. We figured we might be able to take advantage of always having two spotters.
A: I love that you called me “coach,” as more and more people are starting to refer to me that way, even if they are not my personal clients. I’m ecstatic to hear that FD/FS is working well for you and your partners, which further validates this unique approach to hypertrophy-focused training. As for your question, I think it is great that you have the opportunity to use negative-only training, and I encourage you to do so.
Most trainees don’t realize that we can resist a lot more weight on the negative stroke than we can lift on the positive. Thus, when doing negative-only reps, you will likely be able to use somewhere between 120 and 150 percent of the weight you would use on a normal positive-negative set. That’s why this type of training requires a couple of competent partners—they lift the weight, and you lower slowly. Plus, they are there in case you get stuck.
As for negative-only sets: 1) Use them only once for each bodypart in your FD/FS cycle, as they are very traumatic to both the muscles and central nervous system, which then require extensive recovery; 2) keep negative-only sets in the range of four to six reps, which seems to be the sweet spot; 3) experiment with varying rates at which you lower the weight from workout to workout, using a minimum of four seconds and a maximum of eight.