Slow Reps Vs Fast Reps – Which is Better for Building Muscle?

Slow Reps Vs Fast Reps – Which is Better for Building Muscle?

There are many things you have to consider
when lifting weights. Rep schemes, amount of sets, amount of rest,
the weight itself, and even the distance between you and that girl you try to avoid eye contact
with through the mirror. With so many things to consider, there is
still one possibly important factor that people tend to brush off. How fast should you be lifting? Conventional wisdom is to lift at a moderate
tempo. Some say the speed doesn’t matter much, and
some say that slower is definitely better. There are a few reasons why people want to
slow down reps. One of the goals is to increase the amount
of time your muscles are under load. In the bodybuilding realm, this is known as
“time under tension.” The belief around these circles is that increasing
time under tension, aka TUT, or… tut, has magical properties to improve growth. Mechanically, it might make sense since placing
your fibers under longer tension should elicit greater fatigue, thus greater growth. Slower reps can also restrict blood flow through
longer contraction times. Cutting off blood circulation increases metabolite
buildup within the working muscle, creating one, a bigger “pump,” and two, the occlusion
creates greater lactic acid buildup, which has been linked to muscle growth. Going even a bit further with this, the “slow”
rep believers emphasizes the importance of slowing down specifically the lowering, negative
portion of an exercise. This touches base with more growth theories
where this negative, eccentric portion is responsible for greater muscle growth and
even strength adaptations. One of which deals with eccentric contractions
being responsible for the muscle tears during lifting. Know that sore feeling you get after your
workout? Blame eccentric contraction for that one. You can also partly blame eccentrics for activating
recovery-induced satellite cells, cells that are pivotal for growth. Eccentric contractions have also been linked
to the release of phosphatidic acid, which have also been linked to, you guessed it,
muscle growth. Well, it’s one thing to hypothesize the
possibility of slower reps and greater time under tension increasing growth, but how does
the applied research stack up? Studies that look directly into time under
tension have shown that, unfortunately, it doesn’t provide any significant benefits. And the big reason is, because greater time
under tension means you have to use… lighter weights. Let me explain. When you’re trying to find a weight that you
can perform for 8 reps per set using a conventional lifting speed, it’s usually a weight that’s
around 75% of your 1 rep max, aka the weight that you can lift one time and only one time. If my 1 rep max for an exercise is 100 pounds,
I can expect to do 8 reps of 75 pounds using a regular tempo. Now if I try 8 reps of 75 pounds at a slower
speed, say 5 seconds up and 5 seconds down, I won’t be able to do all 8 reps. So right away I have to drop the weight. And it’s at this point where things start
to go bad for the slower rep fad. You see, there are two things that generally
dictate muscle growth effectiveness. One is making sure that you take your sets
and reps as close to “muscular fatigue,” aka “failure,” as possible. Studies have consistently shown the importance
of volitional failure because failure means all muscle fibers are fully used. Slow and conventional rep speeds will be able
to achieve failure, but faster speeds have a small advantage. At a faster rep speed, you will not only be
able to lift heavier weights, but you will also simultaneously recruit more muscle fibers
to exert a greater force. Slower reps also utilizes mainly smaller type
1 fibers, which doesn’t help with growth as much as the bigger, type 2 fibers. But even with that mentioned, reaching fatigue
is the primary goal, and is more important than the speed in which you get there. Along with reaching muscular fatigue, the
other dictating factor is increasing total work volume. Total work volume is the product of the amount
of reps, amount of sets, and amount of weight you lift. Studies consistently show that greater total
work volume means greater muscle growth. Looking back at our 8 rep example, if I lift
75 pounds for 3 sets of 8 reps, that’s a work volume of 1800. Using a slower rep speed, I will probably
drop down to 55 pounds for the same 3 sets and 8 reps, totaling at a work volume of 1,320,
or 27% less volume than using normal rep speeds. To summarize, the effectiveness of slow rep
training might be held back due to the fact that one, although it does eventually recruit
all your muscle fibers, it does not recruit as much simultaneously as faster reps would,
which is important to muscle growth stimulation, but also important to increasing muscle strength. And two, slower reps ultimately mean lower
weights. Lower weights mean lower total volume. Lower total volume means lower gains. But it doesn’t mean slower reps are at all
useless. As mentioned earlier, there are some merits
to the hypothesis of eccentric contraction, but more importantly is the fact that one,
you are stronger during the eccentric, lowering phase of a movement. Stronger means lifting heavier weights, which
adds more to your total work volume. An eccentric-focused set, or some of you more
commonly have heard it being called “negatives,” can serve as a finishing set to push your
gains a bit farther. Another is that by lifting a slower eccentric
phase, you are assuring that you’re the one controlling the weight down instead of letting
gravity do all the work, keeping more tension in your muscle. Also, a generally slower rep scheme is good
for beginners to work on form and prevent injury. Obviously, the faster you go, the less in
control you are of the weight. By controlling your speed, you control the
weight. Now if all of this still makes no sense to
you, then the greatest takeaway is to simply just lift and not worry about it too much. Lift heavy, lift often, and lift consistently. IF lifting faster or slower works for you,
then as boring as this answer may be, just stick with the speed you are used to. What’s your thoughts of rep speeds? Faster or slower? What’s better? Please share your thoughts! Please also like and share the video if you
enjoyed and subscribe for more videos. As always, thanks for watching!

100 Replies to “Slow Reps Vs Fast Reps – Which is Better for Building Muscle?”

  1. When I see people in the gym doing fast reps at high weights, they swing the weight. Which yes, at some point in your workout a little cheating is okay, maybe your last rep or 2 but when you swing throughout all your workout, surly it would be better to lower the weight to something you can do without swinging.

    Typically, I go 2 or 3 seconds consentric and 4 or 5 esentic. So I get that fast movement upwards but my downward movement is slower. Each to their own I guess personally, I find myself gaining more doing that way than doing the fast movements I see others do.

  2. for muscle grow, Slow, because it increases the muscles "time under tension" and also increase volume. Also try to add "progressive overload" every week to maximize muscle growth. AND EAT THAT PROTEIN

  3. I'm doing a study to see if there's a link between information intake and the production of sleep hormones, you help my learning.
    Also if I can lift 6 kg with a rep speed of 4 seconds, 2 up and 2 down so what's my volume if I can do 10 reps

  4. almost all of the listed sources have nothing to do with 'rep speed'. What is the exact source of your video's content?

  5. Without accentuating the negative and using MOMENTUM in fast reps, how can it be better than slow reps? To recruit all fibers, how does a fast rep truly fatigue them, and “simultaneously” recruit them? Too much pseudoscience, not enough logic.

  6. I feel like 1 slow rep = 1.5 – 2 regular reps so you'd have to do less reps, more weight for it to be the same. basically doing 8 slow reps would be equal to 12-16 reps, basically endurance zone.

  7. u don't need to lower weights for slow reps because for me i start with less than 8 reps and i work my way up there without lowering the weights

  8. I’ve been doing up by 25lbs intervals on bench and it’s probably the best thing I’ve done. Before I used to go up by 10s. I also stopped my ego and have used 25lb plates more exclusively. 2 plates on each side is 90lbs and I get there faster by going 25lbs. With just 4 25lb plates I’m over the 2 plate benchmark which is 225lbs. It’s made my workout faster by about 15-20mins

  9. I think some of the advocation on slower reps is also based around using proper form and not recruiting outside of the muscle groups you're actually trying to build up.

    And from my experience Slow versus Fast doesn't effect weight used by very much, in lower rep ranges it just means you do less reps but more sets. I can do 5-6 sets of 3-4 rep 80lb barbell curls, it doesn't mean I can do 3 sets of 10-rep 100lb barbell curls if I just do it faster

    I'm actually more likely to use a lower weight for fast reps so I can maintain control of my form and to not be thrown around by the weight I'm trying to use..

  10. Basically, do slow reps only if you can do them with good form with the same amount of weight and reps as you would do normal reps

  11. Should mention the white muscle fibres and red muscles fibres. White fibres are bigger but you don’t necessarily have to do it fast both up and down. On the eccentric part it has to be slow but on the concentric part it has to be fast. You made it sound like both have to be fast.

  12. Very informative video. Thank you. I think the crucial thing to long term success in the gym is varied training. Both slow and fast repetitions have their benefits, so do both. A good method to do both simultaneously is explosive (fast) on the way up and controlled (slow) on the way down. Always prioritise good form – even if that means lowering the weight. Happy lifting x

  13. lower the reps to 6, not the weight. Quality over quantity . 3 sets is entry level. up it to 5 or 6. heavier weight = ego lifting & injuries

  14. I feel like this was really one sided (from fast reps) that it's essencially better than the slow work out, of course what he said wasn't false.. Tho I feel like keeping the form correct by doing it slowly and stabilized is quite important than doing it fast and using other muscles to help you do the whole exercise especially if you're trying to focus one main muscle..
    For example, I saw some guys in the gym, doing workouts for biceps (cross hammer body curls with one arm) absolutely crazy, they didn't have any form for it, they were doing it fast, with much more weight than they should of used and most above all, they had their back muscles help them do the work out that was suppose to be for their arms, but since I'm pretty sure they wanted to do the quick workout, anything worked for them as long as they "succeeded" the exercise in their mind when most importantly it wasn't all correctly done and would probably pay off in a much less gain on that specific part but more as in overall multiple muscle groups instead of the one you're trying to train…
    So at the end I think it's best to know what you're trying to achieve from your workouts, but overall, I'd go with slow workout and keep that good steady shape for the specific part I'm training.. (In my personal preference)

  15. so what's a good speed? i've had people tell me 3 seconds up and down, my normal for me is about 2 up and down if i'm going at my own speed.

  16. I’ve found what works best for me is controlling the weight at a slower tempo for the first few sets, then very fast and explosive on my last few/ last set.

  17. For my part, I do slow reps when im warming up on a exercice, because I trink that it can prevent injuries I am right to think that way? Also I think it helps when you have not made an exercice in a long time for muscle memory. What do you guys think?

  18. I personally lift heavy enough to hardly get 12 reps out, then on my third set I make the weight heavier and shoot for 6, 4 then 2, with no breaks on the third set, each time I reach the number 6, 4 and 2 I'll up the weight. I like the slower side (NOT 5 second) more like 2 and I do a nice squeeze at the end hold position. I can't stand seeing people let gravity do half of thier without, and use muscles they're not trying to target. Looks ridiculous lol

  19. The way it works is if u are working for bigger mussels u need to do slower reps which means u have to go lighter if u are working for power u do fast but heavy weight so it depends on what u work on. Like so people know thank you

  20. im fat and obese I need help, whats cardio bcuz i came from a fat replacement surgery AND im FUCKED IN THE HOSPITAL.

  21. I do slow reps. Not dropping the weights. Start light then slowly increase the weight as you progress. watch calisthenics movement

  22. Just mix it up guys. Do something like 3. Second down explosive up or just lift slow in the same wheight and do less reps. Or just do normal reps not slow not fast just normal. I see a lot of guys at the gym cheat at bicel curls for example they cheat at speed and at the from(range of motion)if you cant lift it at a normal tempo and lift it all the way up just stop and take a lighter weight

  23. There are two schools of slow: one that wants time under tension, and another that emphasises control. The latter never includes really slow reps, but rather requires that the reps are slow enough that you cannot cheat with momentum. Thus there is faster, slower and/or conrolled

  24. Flawed logic here. If you're doing the exercise slower then you'll obviously do less reps, not do the same number of reps with a lower weight. The benefit of this is that you're eliminating momentum from the lift, meaning your is under tension the entire time. Less reps and momentum also means less wear on the joints, meaning the exercise becomes safer. Furthermore, by performing a rep slowly you are better able to focus on contracting the correct muscles and keeping strict form.

    So instead of doing 10 4s reps you can do 4 10s reps and get the same time under tension and build the same amount of muscle but put far less wear on your joints and have less muscle damage (because of lack of momentum).

  25. What he said about not being able to 2:30 has a simple fix. If u can't do as many reps after goin slower, u do less reps more sets to even it out. If you're lifting to gain muscle u wanna go heavy anyway. If your max for example is 100, then do 80-90: 4 rep sets; 5 sets. U don't make gains if u don't push past your limits. Don't just do what's comfortable, but don't hurt yourself either. Give yourself 3-5 minutes of rest in between intense sets so that u can perform properly. Performance is key

  26. in another video you said lifting to failure isn't that important, and in this one you said its one of the two things that contribute to muscle growth

  27. Moderate for most of the set slow for the last rep or two to increase tension, that's how I usually do it

  28. it depend of what your goal

    Bodybuiliding go for slow rep…

    For combat sport like boxing or mma go for fsat rep
    It depend on what type of muscle fiber u want … Type1 or TYpe 2

  29. Wait so heavier means faster reps and lighter means slower reps? Isn't it like when something's heavier you have a harder time lifting thus slower reps, so why does the example of slow reps show lighter weights

  30. 3:41 This is actually retarded. You do realize that this kind of math isn't applicable here since these different weights are also lifted with different speed, right?

    It is obvious that if you get to failure you have done roughly.the same amount of work volume, it's just that your definition of volume is oversimplified to the point where it's plain wrong.

  31. ''slow on the way down, explode on the way up. full extension'' Jay619 is absolutely right. This is what worked for me and my students for years!

  32. If more volume equals more mass, then why not drop the weights and just do 100 reps???

    Something is wrong here…

  33. You can create fatigue with lighter weights by restricting rest between exercises. I do dumbbell and body weight exercises in a circuit taking no rest between sets at the beginning, and resting for no more than 15 seconds between sets towards the end, and it really works. Try it sometime doing full body exercises in a circuit.

  34. This sounds like it would be a set back only in the beginning but after a while it would be better for you.

  35. Both…. You silly goose. That's like asking what's better? Peanut butter or jelly? You should cycle a variety of tempos and heavy/light weights to maximize gains. Brah

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