Rep Speed Risks - Why Repetition Speed is a Smoking Gun

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Why is repetition speed a smoking gun?

Discover how rep speed risks kill your training.

Repetition Speed Roulette

You are not a weight lifter. Your goal is to build muscle, safely and effectively.

Does this sound obvious to you? Perhaps. Yet you would be amazed by how many gyms-goers commonly hoist the heaviest weights possible in a misguided attempt to build their bodies - and in so doing, run the risk of injury.

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Instead, what these gym-goers should be doing, is lifting and lowering their weight under strict control. Moreover, each repetition should be deliberate, with no sudden jerking, yanking or thrusting.

Why? Such jerking, yanking and thrusting, is not only an inefficient way to train, but is like playing Russian roulette with a Magnum handgun.


Photo courtesy of joxin

Rep Speed Risks

For an example of these risks and the trauma your joints and connective tissues undergo, consider this:

  • Lifting and lowering a barbell weighing 100 pounds in a controlled fashion while standing on a force plate, will typically generate 100 pounds. So will holding the same 100 pounds in a "static" fashion.
  • However, jerk or yank or thrust this same 100 pound barbell, and you amplify the trauma to your joints and connective tissues TEN-TIMES OVER. That is over 1,000 pounds or 1,000 percent!
  • Now imagine the stresses on your muscles and tendons and ligaments such training can produce.
Do you NOW see how this type of training isn't only foolhardy but is like playing a dangerous game of Russian roulette?

How to Minimize Momentum

A properly performed high intensity set of 6 or more repetitions to muscular failure is very different from the traditional way of training.

Why? The problem with most other routines, is they have you lifting weights that are too heavy and at repetition speeds that are too fast. When this happens, your workouts become more about the iron on your bar and less about correct lifting form.

This isn't the case with high intensity training. Instead, the weight is lifted under strict control at all times. Here is how:

  1. Each repetition should take no less than 10 seconds to perform.
  2. Spend 4 seconds lifting the weight, a further 2 seconds spent holding the weight, then a further 4 seconds to lower the weight.
  3. These three elements of each repetition combine to work the muscle completely and safely, meaning you avoid any risks of injury.

In Summary

Why is repetition speed a smoking gun?

Playing Russian roulette with your training is too big a risk when the cost is your health. This is why slowing your rep speed is one of the easiest and most effective changes you can make to your training.


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