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Rep Speed Bodybuilding
Slow reps or fast reps?
Rep speed in bodybuilding is an age old argument that has been going on for years. Even with the advent of Sports Science we are still arguing about the best speed to do a rep. There seem to be benefits with both fast and explosive reps as well as slow and constant reps.
A study done by sports scientists showed the advantage of both explosive lifting as well as the slow, high tension, movements. Basically they use different muscle fibers and will each recruit different results. It is however important to note that explosive lifts can be dangerous to the connective tissue.
The force that you generate when you lift a weight can easily be summed up as a push or pull that can cause an object with mass to change its velocity. Force is directly proportional to mass and/or acceleration. When lifting a weight we are creating a force against a mass (weight).
Two things are involved in creating more force. Mass (weight in this case) and acceleration (speed). When we have a very heavy weight, the bar will probably move slowly because it is difficult to lift - thus a high amount of force.
When we have a light weight but we move it as fast as we can, is there less force because the weight is lighter? The answer according to sports science is no as there is still a high force rate that is required to lift the weight in an explosive way.
A muscle basically sees the same thing! A heavy weight, slow (but maximum effort) speed repetition or lighter weight, fast explosive speed repetition is virtually the same in producing force. The result is that you will get gains from both a slow as well as a fast repetition.
There are some slow rep advocates that say the rep should be 30 seconds each way. But the answer on which will produce the fastest result more than likely has to do with the genetic mixture that you have with regards to the amount of slow twitch (red) muscle fiber and fast twitch (white) muscle fibers.
In conclusion it is more than likely best to use both in order to recruit the maximum amount of muscle fibers. But you need to do a bit of trial and error to see what works best for you. It usually takes a good bodybuilder years to workout specifically what works and what does not work.
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