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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 06-30-2010, 07:46 AM   #1
Matthew Gogel
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Negative Reps

I've never really seen any programming that calls for negative repetitions for increasing strength. In the past, negative repetitions seemed to help with increasing my bench press.

Are negative reps less productive than the other methods used typically (5 sets of 5, or 7 sets of 1, etc)?

My legs are weak and I had considered starting to do negative reps for squats and deadlifts, but I was curious as to why they never seemed to be programmed into crossfit.
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Old 06-30-2010, 08:03 AM   #2
John Stone
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Re: Negative Reps

I'm new (so take it with a grain of salt): my understanding of negatives was that they helped build mass and some strength, but not explosive power (or cardio). eg. they are more for body-building / less for metcon.

I could be wrong, though.
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Old 06-30-2010, 08:27 AM   #3
Jamie J. Skibicki
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Re: Negative Reps

One, negative reps with deadlifts and squats are difficult to pull off. Second, what is your squat, deadlift and body weight.
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Old 06-30-2010, 08:30 AM   #4
Ryan Hoegner
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Re: Negative Reps

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Originally Posted by Matthew Gogel View Post
I've never really seen any programming that calls for negative repetitions for increasing strength. In the past, negative repetitions seemed to help with increasing my bench press.

Are negative reps less productive than the other methods used typically (5 sets of 5, or 7 sets of 1, etc)?

My legs are weak and I had considered starting to do negative reps for squats and deadlifts, but I was curious as to why they never seemed to be programmed into crossfit.

OPT often calls out specific rep tempo.

I wouldn't recommend "negatives" on deadlift.
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Old 06-30-2010, 09:23 AM   #5
Matthew Gogel
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Re: Negative Reps

I'm 5'7, 175#.

My max squat is #270.

I've seldom done squats or deadlifts, so I don't have sufficient weight in my home gym now to max on deadlifts (I need to get bumpers). I have 405# and can do that, but can't hit it for two reps so I think my max is probably 405 or very slightly more.

I think my deadlift is misleading too...I think comparatively my max looks better than it is. I am very strong on pull ups and my back strength masks how weak my legs really are.
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Old 06-30-2010, 09:26 AM   #6
Jamie J. Skibicki
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Re: Negative Reps

You aren't a 2 bw squat yet, there really isn't a need for complex programming. WHen there is, there are better things to do than negatives.
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Old 06-30-2010, 01:00 PM   #7
Bryce McDermott
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Re: Negative Reps

Although he's squatting 270, I don't think negatives could hurt anything. Negatives have helped me out a lot with both pull-ups and my squat, I think they're a great way to build strength.

EDIT: Make sure you do it periodically, not constantly.

Last edited by Bryce McDermott : 06-30-2010 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 06-30-2010, 06:10 PM   #8
Chris Mason
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Re: Negative Reps

Negatives, or only performing the eccentric component of an exercise can be an effective strength and size builder, but is not something I would recommend for either.

You can lower roughly 40% more than you can lift with good form. The eccentric portion of a movement seems to incur more muscular trauma, or damage than the concentric. These are a couple of significant reasons that negatives can build size and strength.

The main problem lies in overtraining. It is VERY easy to overtrain with negatives and that is almost invariably what occurs when one includes them in their training. A secondary issue is that they are difficult to perform without multiple training partners, and even then difficult with the compound movements especially as one gets stronger.

Matthew, if you want to address your leg strength then you should do so with complete reps using a Westside style template. You will be told here that it is too complicated for you and that linear progression is the best thing for now. I disagree as I feel a conjugate based training is best for everyone from the rote beginner to the most advanced trainee. A beginner can and should not alternate their ME exercises weekly, rather every 4th week, but that and total volume are the only real variables for varying experience levels.
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Old 06-30-2010, 10:03 PM   #9
Nolan Womack
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Re: Negative Reps

One way you can do negatives without using a spotter is to isolateral lowering, and bilateral raising of the weights, that way you can still lift the load, but it will also still be supramaximal loading. Anybody that says negatives are bad, well, their advice should be taken carefully, because negatives are IMO one of the best ways to gain strength. What's the easiest way to learn a 1-Handed Pullup? Negatives. Negatives do work for other movements besides Pullups, too, you just have to know how to use them properly. Yes, they are very easy to overtrain with, but they are a high-risk high-reward component, so are Isometrics (you get the most value from these by working on your weak point in the lift).
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Old 06-30-2010, 10:34 PM   #10
Jacob Israel Briskin
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Re: Negative Reps

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Originally Posted by Chris Mason View Post
Matthew, if you want to address your leg strength then you should do so with complete reps using a Westside style template. You will be told here that it is too complicated for you and that linear progression is the best thing for now. I disagree as I feel a conjugate based training is best for everyone from the rote beginner to the most advanced trainee. A beginner can and should not alternate their ME exercises weekly, rather every 4th week, but that and total volume are the only real variables for varying experience levels.
I don't mean to get in your grill, but why do you feel that a novice needs that kind of training complexity? Or to put it another way, why DON'T you believe in taking advantage of a novice's ability to add weight to his squats, presses and pulls every time he trains?
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