Originally Posted by Tannhauser
Something you guys (BTB and Fazc) were discussing on another thread piqued my interest. Steve was saying that he needed to get his eccentrics faster and Fazc said he would start moving forward again when they did.
I'm interested in this idea with regard to bench press. At the moment, I can't bench enough for this to be an issue, but in the past, everytime I got over 150kg on bench, the eccentric would become a huge problem. For a start, my shoulder pain would be excruciating and make it hard to control the bar. Secondly the bar would descend achingly slowly - though I sometimes had difficulty controlling the last 3-4" to the chest. I often felt that this took a lot out of me and stopped me from hitting big 1RMs.
On squats too, past 200 kg and I was descending at a glacial pace. I wonder if this saps some strength, too.
What's your take on eccentrics and the speed thereof?
One of the keys to helping my eccentric speed was core strength. I was stubborn and refused to train abs. Right now even a little work keeps my core feeling stronger, and helps my eccentrics. Mileage may vary person to person. I like the combination of side bends and weighted situps.
Bench has been different. Shoulder and elbow strains became a real issue for me. The only thing that has helped me personally was the use of a Sling Shot. I feel more in control when benching and my eccentrics are faster.
I have noticed that the more strains and joint issues i have at a given time, the slower my eccentrics were. I had to baby the lift. This week I was beat up a bit in the shoulders and my bench eccentrics suffered. My only point is that if there is a weak link in the chain my eccentrics suffer. The Sling Shot allows me to train healthy and the result is quicker eccentrics.
On real heavy work the first rep is usually the slowest for me. When I do triples the second and third rep are quicker (as I gain confidence). This might not be the case for you, but it's worth a shot. Perhaps add some triples each week - a 5x3 or something like that, where you can place some focus on eccentric speed.
Part of this is mental too. I needed to learn to descend quicker while trusting my form. This took time and practice.
I hope some of the other guys will chime in, as I am no expert in this area.