FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS
How working out with a spotter can lift you out of a weight-training plateau
Ungodly morning alarms and terminal shower queues might seem a fair trade-off when you’re setting PBS on a weekly basis. But when you’re racking up the same old weights on autopilot, fitting in your reps can feel like performing a thankless task.
Well, do not fear: it would seem that lifting was never the answer anyway. Research from the University of Jyväskylä in Finland found athletes who hit a strength plateau were able to re-start their progress simply by focusing on the eccentric (lowering) part of the move and adding 40% to their usual lifting weight. “Humans have a greater ability to produce force when lowering a load compared to lifting, so it seems logical to train with greater eccentric loads,” explains study author Simon Walker.
Crucially, lone wolves might need to rethink their stance – to make this work for you, you’ll need a good spotter. Pile on the plates and have them assist with the lifts while you practise the slow, downward phase of moves such as chest presses and front squats. And should anyone cast a disparaging eye at your efforts, we’d retort with a variation on the popular bro-ism: “Do you even lower?”
MAKE YOUR NEXT SESSION SOMETHING TO SHOUT ABOUT