Get fit or die trying.
Negative resistance training.
In weight training the negative part of the movement is the part that is helped most with gravity. The way down during a push up, the lowering back to the floor part of sit-up. Also known as eccentric contraction. Increasing effort or load during the eccentric or easy part of the exercise can improve your strength, help with progression and is often used in rehabilitation.
Swimmers can use negative resistance by swimming with clothes on, runners can use a small parachute attached to their back. In weightlifting it is often done with partner or spotter, that helps lift the heavier than normal weight back to the top again after you struggle with it on the way down. Alternatively weightlifters will do the eccentric phase or return very slowly or hold for a few extra seconds to resist gravity.
What's the point? Well if you can swim fast with clothes on, imagine race day with just your swimmers on. You'll be stronger, lighter and naturally swim faster. In powerlifting negative resistance is used to condition the muscles and progress to lifting a heavier weight. If done right will increase muscle soreness. It is never easy to add resistance, but doing so makes getting to the next level easier
For us normal folk who might just want to learn how to do a push up, practising the push down part when you first start out, is going to help strengthen the muscles you need to push back up again. Adam Pik gives an excellent how-to master pushups guide for wimps at his Road to Epic website
This N post took longer than expected because I've been struggling to find some sort of real life example of the positives of negative resistance. Why make things harder for ourselves than they already are?
I been stuck thinking about the negatives of weight loss, clothes no longer fitting, emotions stored in lipids and how they come to the surface as fat cells melt away. Sometimes even a positive is difficult and it just feels easier to give up when things become to hard.
Then it dawned on me lifting 100kgs is never easy. Adding resistance to anything is never easier, but the joy comes from both attempting and achieving. I hate adding resistance to my bike when I'm spinning but I feel like wonder woman when the climb is finished.
Maintaining relationships, eating right, keeping fit, writing a book - none of it is easy. Doing half a lift, talking about tough things when your in a good mood, savouring one piece of chocolate instead devouring the whole block will all help make the next leap to bigger, better, stronger, accomplished easier.
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