The Power Of The Descent

October 13, 2015

At L.I.F.T. we preach respecting the equipment - don't drop 10 or 15 pound plates, don't throw the kettlebells, unload your bar cautiously, etc. I want to examine one of the reasons for this:


During workouts with multiple reps of lifts, we always say not to drop bars with skinny plates

(and recently our new 25#s). One reason is of course to take care of expensive equipment. 


But, there's something in it for YOU, too! 


Working the descent is like getting two complimentary lifts for the price of one. Yes - this will make your workout slightly harder until you get used to it. But everyone is looking for quick and easy ways to gain strength and put up bigger PRs.


What's quicker and easier than just controlling the descent during workouts you're already spending time on? There's no extra cost and there's no extra time. Just a bit of extra commitment. 


The short video below shows the basics of what you should and shouldn't do to get that extra bang for your buck WHILE respecting equipment every lift; WORK SMARTER AND HARDER:

 A few benefits, taken from

  1. Eccentric work strengthens the tendons more than concentric and isometric actions. Stronger tendons mean a greater overall strength potential and a lower risk of injury.

  2. Eccentric work increases your capacity to recruit fast-twitch muscle fibers. The better you become at recruiting these, the more easily you can gain strength and power.

  3. Doing controlled submaximal eccentric work improves motor learning and strengthens the body's capacity to maintain optimal positions during your movements. This will make you more efficient, which means you'll waste less energy in competition.

  4. Supramaximal eccentric work on the big basic movements will strengthen the core/stabilizer muscles. They also desensitize the Golgi Tendon Organs which are basically protective mechanisms preventing you from producing too much force. The more desensitized the GTOs are, the more force you can produce even without adding muscle mass.

  5. Handling supramaximal weights on partial or eccentric exercises will also give you more confidence when lifting heavy, but not maximal weights. These will feel lighter after doing supramax work and you'll suffer less psychological inhibition.











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