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FamilyBeer

Duration of bodyweight exercises

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I read somewhere that "they" recommend, for a bodyweight squat, a 5-2-0-1 timing which means 5secs lowering, 2sec pause, 0sec (fast) rise, and 1sec pause, for each rep.

 

How does this fit with this group's opinions? What timings would you recommend for squats, pushups, inverted rows, pikes and romanian deadlifts?

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I haven't thought about it so specifically, but the idea makes sense.  Go slow during the eccentric movement, be explosive during the concentric, and pause in between so there's no helpful rebound effect (unless you're doing plyometric training, in which case it's all about that rebound effect).  In general, I think that's supposed to be the "standard" way to lift.

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could I get a definition of concentric and eccentric in this context?

 

Concentric and eccentric are ways to describe what's happening to a specific muscle as it contracts.  If it's getting shorter, it's contracting concentrically (the standing up part of the squat, or the raising part of a curl).  If it's lengthening, it's contracting eccentrically (the lowering part of the squat, or the lowering part of a curl).  Yes, a muscle can lengthen even as it "contracts."  In fact, there's a third classification called isometric contraction where the muscle neither lengthens nor shortens (this is the case for static exercises, like planks).  Replacing the word "contracts" with "acts" makes it less confusing for me, personally.

 

Eccentric contractions are pretty cool.  You're strongest eccentrically (you can lower much heavier things than you can lift), and the "eccentric phase" of lifts may provide especially potent muscle-building stimulus.

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Yes, that is correct but I tend to think of the efforts as positive and negative where positive means lifting or moving the weight and negative means resisting the weight. They can be either concentric or eccentric depending on what type of exercise you're doing: pushing the weight up in a bench press is eccentric and positive whereas lifting for a barbell row is positive but concentric. I guess isometric contraction is like holding your body from touching the floor at the lower end of a pushup.

 

Yes, eccentric contractions are cool. I was told something similar about muscle-building stimulus: if you can't do a pull-up, stand on a chair to get yourself into the top position, grab the pull-up bar/handles, then slowly (as slow as you can) lower yourself, repeat until you can't. Do that for a few or so workouts and then try pull-ups, you'll see that you can do much better.

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I wouldn't stress too much about the duration of concentric and eccentric contraction of an exercise. Focus on doing it in a controlled manner.

 

This means, if you're new to an exercise or unsure if you're using correct form, do it really slowly. Make sure everything is going where it's supposed to go.

 

Once you've practiced an exercise enough, focus on lowering with control (so it's really lowering and not dropping). The lifting part should be done powerful but controlled. This means lift as fast as you can while maintaining good form. 

 

The numbers you've found, while sounding reasonable, are a bit arbitrary. Depending on the kind of exercise you do or the weight you lift, you cannot always use this exact timing.

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