I’m really enthusiast about negative training. In addition of strength benefit, negatives give a also a huge mental force gain. Making a CoC#4 handles touching or lifting a 270lbs pinch block in a negative lift, give us a great adrenaline boost, making able to manage lower tension in a good way. In the part 1 we focused on gripper negatives, using longer handles and grip machines. Now we want to extend this kind of training for pinch grip (hub lift and 2 inches pinch bloc) and we also try to introduct some interesting variations.
How negatives work is pretty easy to understand and apply for dynamic lift, because concetric are opposite to negatives. In first case we win an external force, in the second is the external force that win ours, and we have to limit it as much as possible.
Good… but how can we adapt a negative approach to an isometric effort, such 2 inch block or 3 inch hub lift? Ok let’s try to introduce and analize all force vector involved in these kind of lifts, and try to understand how and if it’s possibile to get some benefits.
|A force to win to perform the lifting. It’s determined by the applied weight
B opposite strength vector, determined by the static friction of pinching hand.
C additional force to win, created by lift acceleration. More is the acceleration, and more the hub will tend to slide off. For this reason a linear lift allows a better control.
To lift the Hub the module of vector B will be greater then the sum of A and C.
Negatives work well, more or less, for a reason: they allow us to eliminate all the inevitable “wastes” of energy that technically we must spend in a lift. The vector C (so the acceleration antagonist to the friction that is generated) is one of these, and the mental and physical strenght that we must use to counter it don’t allow us to use our energies entirely.
So, in a pinch lift like hub or monolithic 2 inch block, the only way to avoid these wastes of energy is to start from the higher point, using the other hand for helping us in the lift. If we are using both hands, is sufficient to push the thumbs against the leg. When the higher point is reached we can remove the thums from the legs and try to keep the weight.
From a physical point of view pinch negatives are very similar to grippers negatives: having saved energies of the concentric phase, we can apply neural inputs on our hands, forcing them to exert extreme tensions.
Sometimes we complain about how the negatives do not lead to the desired results and after dozens of training sessions thrown with possible regressions we realize that the question is being addressed incorrectly. Often the negatives are not in fact intense enough to bring the benefits they should, and maximal or sub-maximal tensions and weights are used, prolonging the execution in a real isometric restraint. The very high intensity in a very short period is the key in negatives, and for those very short moments the mental work required is not less than the physical one. To get benefit from this technique you need a certain attitude and mental rigor, where we force ourselves to go beyond our limit and try to transmit to our muscles as much energy as possible in the shortest amount of time. This real physical and mental technique (which is in all respects an optimal recruitment of fibers) must be learned, and one of the possible ways to do it (it is very subjective) are severe negatives. These extreme executions carried out with extreme tensions put us in front of a wall impossible to break through in the medium and long term, (but most likely a wall that we will never break through). In this case the goal becomes that of managing the movement in the short term, and managing the entire negative lifting or closing in the medium or long term. By working sparingly with these extreme negatives, we will get our body used to managing these hyper-maximal tensions as super-maximal tensions, and over time we will be able to better manage the classic negatives, “downgrading” them to new PR.
This system can be applied again very well with grippers. Let’s take a classic situation of an athlete who can manage whitout problems a CoC#2.5 and lacks a CoC#3 by a few millimeters.
Most probably those few missing millimeters depend not only on strength but on a series of other factors such as setting and hand size. The fact is that a CoC#3 is no longer sufficient to use as negative to increase neural peaks, but it is necessary to use something more intense. If a CoC#3.5 or equivalent in RGC such as G6 and GHP8 are excellent candidates for important negatives, on days when we feel particularly tenacious we can try extreme negatives by using the toughest grippers in circulation such as CoC#4.
We should specify that if the negatives are to be used sparingly, the supernegatives need even more attention, especially in grippers, because in addition to the risk of joint and muscle inflammation, the handles push against our hands with very high tensons, which can cause compression of the nerves if the hands are unfamiliar and if the technique is not optimal. The use of super negatives is more an experiment than a real workout, and like all experiments it can bring benefits but also problems. In this case the goal is to adapt our hands to tensions of all kinds, in particular those that it cannot manage yet and that it probably will never manage. We must to be realistic, because even with all the dedication of this world very few athletes will be able to close a gripper like CoC#4 or GHP10, but this does not mean that we have to give up, because with a good training, a lot of dedication and desire to experimenting, we can transform what we initially believed to be an alien and inconceivable undertaking, in the challenge of our life, which will give us a journey full of emotions, and even if we do not get there, we can at least see and discover that there is a goal.
Nick Greppi GBI Staff