At The Strength Shoppe, we’re not just about lifting weights; we’re about understanding what our muscles are actually doing during each rep. When you step into our studio and begin your session, you experience three crucial components of muscle action: concentric, isometric, and eccentric. Today, let’s shine a spotlight on the often-overlooked portion – eccentric muscle action – and explore how it contributes not only to your strength but also to the unique way our bodies grow muscle.
The Three Muscular Movements: Breaking It Down
- Concentric Phase: This is the lifting phase, where our muscles contract and shorten as we lift a weight.
- Isometric Phase: A brief pause or hold, where muscle length remains constant.
- Eccentric Phase: The lowering phase, where our muscles lengthen as we lower the weight.
Have you ever noticed that when you reach muscle failure during the concentric phase (lifting), you can still control the lowering (eccentric) phase? This phenomenon led researchers to a pivotal question: How much stronger are we eccentrically compared to concentrically?
The Science Behind Eccentric Strength In a recent meta-analysis, scientists dove into over 11,000 participants and 290 studies, seeking to unravel the mysteries of eccentric strength. Here’s what they uncovered:
- Eccentric Strength Reigns Supreme: On average, we are about 40% stronger eccentrically than concentrically. In simple terms, if you can lift 100 pounds, you have the strength to lower 140 pounds with control.
- Men vs. Women: While men and women exhibit similar eccentric strength, women tend to have a slight edge in this department.
- Age and Eccentric Strength: As we age, the gap between our concentric and eccentric strength widens. Our bodies showcase a remarkable ability to retain the strength needed to lower a weight, even as our ability to lift diminishes.
Applying Eccentric Strength at The Strength Shoppe Understanding the science behind eccentric strength opens doors to innovative training techniques. Here’s how we apply this knowledge to elevate your workout experience:
- Partnered Concentric Training: When you hit concentric muscle failure, our instructors step in to assist with the lifting, allowing you to focus on the controlled lowering, maximizing the benefits of eccentric muscle action.
- Partnered Eccentric Training: When you hit concentric muscle failure, our instructors administer additional resistance, enhancing the intensity of muscle failure and the eccentric phase, maximizing the benefits of eccentric muscle action.
- Eccentric-Only Reps: Ever tried lifting a weight that’s 140% of your usual load? With our “eccentric-only” reps, we utilize a weight that challenges your muscles in the lowering phase, promoting enhanced strength and growth.
At The Strength Shoppe, we’re not just guiding you through workouts; we’re empowering you with knowledge that transforms your understanding of strength. It’s not merely about lifting; it’s about understanding the full potential of every muscle action. Join us in this journey of discovery, where every rep brings you closer to a stronger, healthier you. 💪✨
Ready to explore the world of eccentric strength? Give us a call at The Strength Shoppe! 626-999-4850