Eccentrics! – Are You Doing This?

Eccentric Phase - Elements4Life

Eccentrics! – Are You Doing This?


Well this term has nothing to do with your personality however in training terms it will definitely define your character and composition.


There are three phases in the movement of muscles and tendons.

Eccentric, Concentric and Isometric.

FYI – Isometric Contraction (static or no movement), and a Concentric Contraction (contracting or the shortening of the muscle).

An Eccentric Contraction is the movement of an active muscle while it is “lengthening” under load. This movement has also been described as “negative training”.

Eccentric training is doing a set or series of eccentric muscle contractions with a focus.


Eccentric training can lead to stronger muscles, faster muscle repair, muscle growth and an increasing metabolic rate.

These attributes alone make eccentric training necessary for the best results.

I find with my clients I do have to remind them about this phase often as it can be easily forgotten when we instinctively want to get on with the job and are instinctively dynamic animals. Maybe we are just a little impatient too. 🙂

Not enough people focus on the eccentric phase in their movements.

It takes a level of awareness and discipline to maintain the tempo and tension required. It can be hard work!


Eccentric training is especially effective on compound movements such press and curls and any skill that you can maintain a focused tempo.

Any exercise that is able to be effectively spotted can be further intensified with the use of eccentric training.

Although you are essentially stronger while performing the eccentric phase of a rep, you are actually using less muscle tissue than you would concentrically. It requires less motor units and less muscle fibre recruitment to perform the negative portion of an exercise as opposed to the concentric phase.

That is just science.

However, the muscle fibres that are actually being recruited are receiving a much higher percentage of stress, force and damage, therefore allowing these particular fibres to repair and grow much denser and stronger than otherwise possible.

That is why we do it! Gains bro!!! 🙂

Your eccentric training or negative training will support better quality muscle tissue and you will then be able to handle heavier weight concentrically.

In order to perform eccentric training and reap its desired effects, you will need at least one training partner to do the concentric phase of the exercises for you.

There are two different methods of eccentric training that may be applied to your workouts.



A workout dedicated to negatives only, which I consider to be the least effective of the two however an essential part of training for individuals with different skill levels and for those building a foundation to a specific skill.

Example: The Pull-Up

Many people can’t do a pull-up so what we would work on is some isometric active bar holds and some negative phases where appropriate at different degrees of difficulty based on the individual.

This generally gets their base level strength up to a level which will support their progress.

Great way to also smash through a training plateau.


The second type of eccentric training, which I believe to be by far the better of the two as it suits a wider general population, consists of performing your negatives on the last set of your workout by performing 2- 4 extra eccentric reps.

We do this type of training in many of our cycles. It is easy to instruct and manage.


Do it! It puts the necessary stimulus on your muscle lines that will promote a greater result in all areas.

My suggestion is practice your phasing with lighter weights and always condition your body for heavier loads.s

Do the work however we do have time to progress at an intelligent rates.

If you do it, you will get stronger, firmer and more defined.

Have a great week phasing eccentrically….


What to be eccentric with me?

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