So you’re in the gym working out pumping that iron then you stop to check yourself out in the mirror and think “why am I not getting any bigger?”
First of all, what are you doing staring at the mirror at the gym anyways? The mirrors in the gym aren’t for checking yourself out. You know who you are… They are for making sure you are using the right form, which most people don’t.
I don’t have time to dive into that today. The bigger point here is whether or not you are focused on the proper part of your lift?
A traditional lift consists of a concentric and eccentric contraction. Eccentric contractions are also referred to as negatives in most instances.
Let’s use a bicep curl for example. When you have the weight in your hand and you are bringing the weight up towards your shoulder that is the concentric phase as the biceps shortens. Bringing weight back down to 90 degrees is the eccentric phase as it is a slowed controlled lengthening of the muscle.
The importance of eccentrics is that during this phase you send more signals to the brain telling the body to make more muscle. When you increase the demand on the muscle your body has no choice but to increase the size of that muscle and therefore your size and overall strength.
So next time you are lifting weights be sure to focusing on both sides of the lift to maximize your benefits.