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It's time to discuss the sexiest part of all lifts and bodyweight movements. That's right. The concentric. The part where you actually lift yourself or the weight. Because even though isometrics and eccentrics are GREAT tools, we really are looking toward being able to work toward the concentric part of the movement.

 

Unlike eccentrics and isometrics, concentrics don't have as much variety. There are primarily three kinds of concentrics and you will likely use one or two of them for most of your life.

 

THE CONTROLLED CONCENTRIC

This is going to be where most concentric motions are. It will usually be a "1" in the tempo. For example (4,0,1,0) You'll move the weight or your bodyweight in a controlled but powerful manner.

The key to note here is it might take more than 1 second to actually move the resistance. That is okay. The important part is that you TRY to move it powerfully. As long as you try, your body will make the right adaptations for this stimulus.

 

THE POWERFUL CONCENTRIC

This type is used in exercises like Olympic Lifts and Plyometrics. It is written as a "X" in a tempo. Think "X" for explosive. The movement should be fast and powerful. For Plyos and Olympic Lifts, this makes sense. These are movements that must be done explosively and cannot be done slowly. The powerful contraction can have uses elsewhere as well but this is the one you'll likely see the most.

 

SLOW CONCENTRICS

These are ones you may also see but they're more rare and for good reason. Slow concentrics are good for rehabilitation due to the control and learning. It helps your body to "relearn" the patterns you want to achieve after you get injured. It can also be appropriate for bodybuilding if all you want is to get as massive as possible and have trouble fitting through doorways.

For strength training and athletic endeavors, slow concentrics should typically be limited in use. Teaching the body to move slowly ends up with your body learning to move... well, slowly. And you don't want that. You want to be fast, strong, and powerful. If you have these, moving at a slow speed will still be doable. Don't worry. You'll still be able to bust out that 30s Muscle-up that everyone seems to love.

 

There you have it. The sexiest part of the lift actually only has a few options. But it's still an important part and you should definitely concentrate on the concentrics to make maximum gains.