Bob Myhal
One of the most important things you can do if youíre interested in developing lean muscle mass is to emphasize the negative. Thatís right! Eccentric or negative training may be just what you need to take your body to the next level.

Think about it this way: the eccentric portion of an exercise is simply the negative, often the lowering, portion of the movement.

Research has shown beyond any doubt that the eccentric or negative portion of a movement is at least as important to muscle growth as the positive or concentric phase.

By periodically placing greater emphasis on the eccentric, you'll push your muscles harder than ever before . . . and as a result, you'll stimulate new growth.

For each bodypart, I like to focus on negatives once every couple of weeks. The easiest way to do this is to resist the weight during the negative, lowering slowly.

For instance, you can focus on the eccentric portion of the Standing Barbell Curl by raising the weight at a normal tempo (for me this is usually a 2 count) and then lowering the weight very slowly (a count of 4 or 5).

This is a high intensity technique that you shouldn't use every workout . . . doing so will likely lead to overtraining. For best results, use the technique periodically during a couple heavy sets of each bodypart.

Because muscles are generally stronger during the eccentric phase of the movement (muscles can resist more weight than they can lift), you can also use a spotter to allow you to use more weight during the negatives. Just have your partner help you out on the positive portion of the movement, and really blast your muscles with those heavy negatives.