Slow or fast movements what is the best option?
Let's approach the subject in the context of hypertrophy, only, so if you want to know the ideal speed with which you should do your bench press to gain muscle mass, you are in the right place.
On the other hand, if your goal is to gain strength, or speed, this is not the ideal item.
So, let's get started.
Eccentric vs Concentric
It's the easiest phase, after all, you have gravity on your side, and just drop the weight, although it's not a good idea if you want to gain muscle mass.
Basically, it is the phase in which there is the greatest difficulty, and where the failure occurs.
As the titulo indicates, the concentric phase must be fast, especially in complex movements.
Fast means between one to two seconds, which will not always be possible.
If you are working with a good load, which is necessary for hypertrophy, the positive phase will slow down as the series progresses.
You start the first repetition to lift the weight in 1 second, and probably the last one has already taken 3 seconds to complete.
This is normal.
So, what should you do?
You must lift the weight quickly, but controlled enough to feel the muscle you are training to work with.
What you should avoid is to make this movement intentionally slow, as this will only cause the training volume to decrease.
If in the concentric there is no great discussion, in the eccentric it is very common to defend slower movements, to stay under tension for a longer time.
In comparison to the concentric phase, the eccentric phase should be slower, and the last thing you want here is to drop the weight.
You must do the movement in a controlled manner, and you must be able to feel the muscle in question at work.
Now, this doesn’t mean that 30-second negatives will give you more results.
The time the muscle is under tension is important, but the load is also important, and if you significantly lower the load to increase the time under tension, you end up decreasing the magnitude of the tension itself.
Therefore, this phase must be controlled, but not necessarily slow, and something between 2 to 3 seconds will be ideal for not only being able to control the weight, thus stimulating the muscle effectively, but also feel the muscle working and avoiding injuries.
The speed of execution of the exercises when the goal is hypertrophy is important, but it is not the most important, and you do not need to walk with a stopwatch behind.
You must bet on making the concentric movement quickly, but with good technique, and an eccentric phase in a controlled way, but not too slow.
If you can throw the weight in the air during the positive, and hold 10 seconds in the negative, it is probably a good idea to increase the load.
If your positive is slow since the first repetition, and you can't take more than a second in the negative, then you must be using too much weight.
Each complete repetition should last an average of 3 to 6 seconds, and although you can, and you should even try other times, these should be the basis for your training.
Don't forget, you should control the weight, and it shouldn't be the weight that controls you, that is, no cheating to get more weight, focus on movement and the muscle group you work with, and give enough time between sets to be able to recover.