10 Things You Shouldn’t Do If You’re Trying to Build Muscle: Body Building

3. Speed through the eccentric phase (drop the weight).

Everyone focuses on the concentric phase of a lift. The lifting off the bar off the floor in the deadlift. The press upward during the bench and overhead presses. Even the generic term — “lift” — implies the primacy of the concentric phase.

But there’s evidence that the eccentric phase is just as important for hypertrophy and strength gains. A 2014 study showed that training emphasizing the eccentric phase resulted in extremely high post-workout biomarkers of muscle anabolism. This didn’t show actual muscle gain, but that’s because it was a one-shot look at the acute effects of eccentric training. And a 2009 review determined that high-intensity eccentric training can increase muscle mass to a greater degree than concentric training.

You don’t necessarily have to lower the weight as slowly as possible, but lower it with control. Don’t let gravity do the work for you. Resist it.

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