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Should you weight lift fast or slow to get the best results? The short answer is that both ways are effective, and each one offers something different. Some people say you should do it fast, and some say to do it slow. Are you looking for strength? Agility? Muscle growth? Control? Or, all the above? There are many opinions and scientific studies that promote one over the other. Often what people recommend depends on personal experience and the intended result. No matter what speed, proper technique and knowing your fitness capabilities are important to prevent injury.

Muscle fatigue is the route to achieve muscle growth. When lifting weight, the muscles contract and this causes microscopic tears to develop, which leads to muscle growth because the body repairs the muscles in the recovery phase to be bigger and stronger. This is how lifting works:

  • Positive motion (Concentric contraction) is when weight is lifted and the muscles shorten.
  • Negative motion (Eccentric contraction) is when weight is lowered and the muscles lengthen.
  • Repetition (Rep) is the complete motion from start to end and sets are a series of reps.
  • Intensity is the amount of muscle exertion to the point of overload when muscles fatigue.

FAST for POWER, SPEED and AGILITY

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Fast reps help you get explosive power by training your muscles to respond with strength, speed, and agility. It’s also easier to lift heavy weights more quickly because fast lifting recruits the fast-twitch muscle fibers that help with speed and strength. Fast reps also help with agility because the stabilizer muscles get fired up, which promote balance and core stability. This makes it popular for sports training. The quick movements allow you to lift heavier weights, so it’s essential to maintain proper form because there’s also added stress on the joints.

SLOW for CONTROL, FORM, and GROWTH

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With slow reps, there’s less risk of injury, and less stress on the joints. You can perfect technique and see any weak points in the motion. Also, intensity is met faster to achieve muscle fatigue. It’s harder to lift more slowly, but you get more control because when the bigger muscles get tired, the smaller ones take over. The muscle fatigue of slow reps helps to increase muscle growth. Slowing it down targets muscles and helps the mind-body connection, which reinforces proper form when you’re doing fast reps.

FAST-SLOW COMBO

Fast reps tend to build muscle strength, while slow reps build size. In the end, speed is subjective and it’s up to you to find what works best. See what you can gain from targeting your muscles in different ways and by mixing it up in your weightlifting routine. Just make sure to maintain technique and focus. Incorporating both fast and slow reps will help you to get the best of both strength and size.