Slow negatives and the unique position of the body are the secret of creating a stunning physique. Ask the rising star of Julian's fitness "Mr. Quadrietsa" Smith.
Author: Heather Eastman, personal trainer, certified by the National Association of Strength and Functional Training (USA)
Julian Smith speaks in defense of some things that many lifters either hate or simply do not notice. Here are some of his favorites: Smith's simulator, sissy squats and very slow negatives – and I mean really slow.
This comprehensively developed athlete once received many offers from colleges to play for a football team, but he realized the downsides of this cruel sport after several concussions on the graduation course. When one of the options for continuing the sports career had to put a cross, he turned his gaze to bodybuilding. Since then, Julian has developed a pair of legs, thanks to which he earned the nickname "Mr. Quadricepsy", and at the same time became a cult figure in social networks, known for his broad views on the training process and the ability to introduce innovative ideas into the classics of the gym.
In general, Smith tends to the old school's training method – an honest approach with complete control over the eccentric phase of the movement in each exercise for maximum muscle growth.
"The essence of negatives is that we must stop the sharp movement of the working weight down," explains Smith. "The extension of the negative phase recruits more muscle fibers and forces the muscles to do more work."
Here are five favorite Smith exercises in which you should turn around at 180 degrees and slow as much as possible. However, slow negatives can cause a strong syndrome of delayed muscle pain, so treat them carefully, reduce the working weight and get ready for the difficulties – in a good sense of the word.
1. Pulling up a wide grip with a D-grip
When it comes to developing the traction power of the top of the body, pulling out of competition. But paying all attention to how many times they can pull themselves up – either to break their record, or to complete high-intensity training – many lifters pull themselves up quickly and with jerks, and this limits the development of strength and muscle mass.
Smith's decision is to increase the time under load to a maximum due to a sharp deceleration of the eccentric pull-up phase. "You will benefit more from this than from any other exercise!" – he promises.
Notice something else unusual? By attaching the D-handle to the top of the normal crossbar for a neutral grip, Smith gained the advantages of activating the widest back muscles with a wide grip, and did not turn the grip strength into a limiting factor.
Smith admits that most of the techniques he devised and hacks were originally a forced measure.
"I started training in the gym, where there was one simulator for traction on the upper block, one Scott bench and one frame for squats," he says. – If you came there during peak hours, you had to wait at least 30 minutes until the simulator you need is available. I found all sorts of variations, because I did not want to wait. "
Static thrust is not the most obvious choice for increasing the time under load. In fact, many lifters insist that in every repetition after reaching the top, the bar should be thrown and swear that any slow movement is extremely dangerous. But as Smith explains, if you do not feel standing in the widest muscles, the back of the thigh and the gluteal complex, you do not have to hang more pancakes to solve the problem – you just have to hit the brakes and slow down.
Smith makes a setup with 8-10-second negatives in each repetition. Really! He even uses a chronometer on the phone to honestly sustain this interval.
"I do not do the usual thing a lot," he admits, "but I try to put it in every second or third back training. I noticed that from the slowing down of the eccentric phase, more benefit, and it really makes my back work. "
The key to mastering long negatives in understanding when and where to slow down – and how to maintain concentration of attention. Concentric repetitions Smith performs in a tempo and powerful style. It looks as if he is doing the reverse on the contrary – and that's the point. If you take a weight that you can barely tear off from the ground, this approach will work in one or two uncertain repetitions. But if you control the bar, you will find that your muscles have to remain under constant tension to lower the projectile.
"I got a lot of negative comments," Smith says of the opinions of readers on social networks. – People wrote that "you do not need to slow down so much." I do not want to sound self-assured, but you will not understand this from the series until you try it yourself. "
Do you think that bench press can be done with only two legs on the floor, with two hands on the bar and with a moral attitude to large numbers? Smith asks you to consider a fundamentally new approach.
"I'd rather choose the option with the smallest possible weights, if it will stimulate the muscles accordingly," he says.
Most of the insurers will fall asleep from boredom, watching 10-second negatives in every repetition in bench press. That's why Julian Smith chooses the friendly boundaries of the Simulator simulator as a safer option, which fits perfectly into his concept of lifting at a slow pace.
"It will wake up every muscle fiber in your chest," he says proudly. "I like to lower the bar to the middle or lower chest, holding the shoulder blades together throughout the exercise."
Using Smith's simulator also allows him to lengthen the pause at the bottom of the movement, which gives the muscles of the chest a serious stretch just before each contraction.
In this version of bench press Smith also puts his feet on the edge of the bench to exclude the assistance of the muscles of the lower body.
"Many do not even realize that in a bench press with heavy weight a significant part of the power is generated by the lower part of the body," he explains.
Turning off the legs from the movement, you guarantee that all the work goes to the target muscle group. The muscles of the chest are under constant tension, and this helps to develop the body with a relief dry mass.
4. Squats in Smith with raised heels
Why sit down in the simulator, when most coaches insist that free weights are the best choice? Two words: the dominance of quadriceps. Being a veteran of bodybuilding with 12-years experience, Julian Smith is well versed in the issues of aesthetic lifting.
"Do you think Smith's trainer for girls and weaklings? Try this exercise, "he advises.
"People like to criticize sit-ups in Smith's simulator, but the truth is that it gives you the ability to crouch in positions where the emphasis shifts to either quadriceps or gluteal muscles. With free weight, you can not squat like that, "says Julian.
Smith was not for nothing called "Mr. Quadriceps". He knows how to isolate muscle groups by manipulating the position of the body during controlled movements. In this exercise, he raises his heels to the edge of the dumbbell to focus on the tension of the quadriceps. It also gives him the additional advantage of a low platform to pause at the bottom of the traffic in front of the explosive positive phase.
Better take my word for it, these extraordinary variations cause surprise and bewilderment. "Too many people call this garbage, although they never even tried it," Smith says. – I saw, became interested and tried – and it worked, I felt every centimeter of the muscles of the thigh! "
5. Bench press on an incline bench
For the last exercise in the mandatory program negatives Smith uses the usual barbell and insurer, although the latter does not pay attention to the bar. In bench press on an incline bench, Smith stands 4-second negative phase in each repetition, dropping the projectile to the upper pectoral muscles.
If you do not get a feel for the muscle exercise in which you should feel it, Smith advises you to try different grips and different hand positions to find the options that work for you. In this case, he prefers a narrow grip with diluted elbows. "If you think that this is too narrow a grip for you, do not do it . everything is simple," he says.
If you use a weight that is able to fully control, you can find other ways to take the work of your partner. For example, during repetitions, Smith asks the insurer to lightly press the upper chest, and this helps him to recruit these muscle fibers. This is a time-tested technique that can be used in almost any exercise.
Try these techniques and get ready to wonder how much stronger you will feel. Then include them in the workout on a regular basis. In the end, this approach turned an ordinary guy into "Mr. Quadriceps".
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