What is a negative?
When I say a negative, I am not referring to you having a bad workout or in other terms, nothing is negative about negative training, it is only all "positive"..
A negative rep is one where, after warming up properly, you take a weight that is way over your max weight, you load up the bar or piece of equipment you are using. You should also have a spotter on hand to help you with the positive part of the move.
Lets say for instance you are doing Flat Barbell Bench Press:
- After warming up for as many sets as you need: Say you can press out 225 for 5 reps, well, load up the bar with 275 for instance.
- Prep yourself for your lift, have your spotter ready to go and be sure he/she isn't a weakling.
- Get in position on the bench, tuck your shoulder blades if you know how to do so, this will assist your spotter in helping you push the weight up
- Get a lift off from your spotter.
- Now you start the Negative part of the move, as you lower the weight, take is as slow as you can, it can take up to 5 seconds to get to the bottom part of the move. The longer it takes you to hit the bottom, the better you are doing...
- As soon as you hit that bottom of that rep, your spotter should already be ready and in position to pull the weight back up. So push all you can and help him/her get the weight back to the top.
- Repeat , the slower you go, the more fibers are recruited and the better off the results will be in the long run. Depending on your goals: Shoot for reps in the range of 5-10. Lower reps for mass, higher reps for cuts and possible mass with the negatives recruiting other fibers..
I think this happens due to the fact of all the stress you put on the muscle being worked as well as deep fibers in that muscle that are rarely hit. When doing negatives you also recruit many more parts that surround the area being worked, for example, on flat bench, you would recruit delts and tris and possibly back and traps.
Here is an example of how I would add in Negative work to help add Lean Mass and Obtain Muscle Cuts.
-Every 1st set is for 12 reps- Normal lifting speeds.
-Every 2nd set is 10 reps- All negatives
-Incline Barbell Press: 3 sets: 12/10/12
-Flat Dbell Press: 3 sets 12/10/12
-Nautilus/or Hammerstrength Incline Press: 3 sets: 12/10/12
-Flat Dbell Flyes: 3 sets of 15
You can pretty much do negatives on everything except squats and deadlifts.
I wouldn't go over 5 weeks at a time doing negatives due to the strain it will put on joints..
In the video below, you will see I am doing negative reps, but I had no spotter to help on the positive part of the move, so I had to improvise and go with lighter weight , I also didn't take the negative as slow as I should have..