Building muscle mass and strengthening muscles for more effective workouts are only achieved through a gradual introduction of more intense exercise. In the previous article, you learned about the impact and precautions of doing forced repetitions with the help of a training partner. Here we’ll focus on another greatly beneficial way of “shocking” your muscles in order to maximize your workout: Negative Repetitions.


It is important to note that muscles exert strength in 3 distinct ways:

  • Positive strength — the ability to raise a weight.
  • Static strength — the ability to hold a weight.
  • Negative strength — the ability to lower a weight.


What most bodybuilders forget to cover in their training sessions is improving negative strength. While muscle failure can easily be achieved by exerting positive and static muscle strength, true muscle failure comes when even lowering the weight becomes a real challenge.

You can enhance your workout with a negative reps by adding them post-positive muscle failure. Ask 1 or 2 training partners to help you get the weight to its highest positive position before allowing you take control of lowering it. Keep repeating until you can no longer control the rate at which you lower the weight, marking the true end of your set. Take caution however with performing negative reps during leg exercises as doing negative squats can harm your knees.

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