Exercising is one way to burn calories and can help with weight loss. Resting, or recovery is essential, but have you ever wondered if you could increase the number of calories burnt when resting? Express.co.uk spoke to Tyrone Brennand, founder of Be The Fittest and the Be The Fittest Mentorship Programme about eccentric training which helps build muscle, and in turn, muscle is metabolically more active than fat.
What is eccentric training?
Tyrone explained: “Eccentric training is basically working on the oppositional motion of traditional exercises – the negative phase.
“So, if you’re doing a pull up, it’s not the pulling up part you’re focussing on.
“Your focus is on the coming down motion, where you focus on fighting against gravity, it’s called a muscle lengthening contraction.
“Holding this phase for five or six seconds really extends the tension on the muscle.”
How does it work for an exercise, eg bench press?
The fitness expert said: “If you’re doing a bench press and if you’ve got a bar over your chest, it’s the eccentric negative phase coming down towards the chest that you’re working on, holding the weight for longer after the lift and slowly bring it down towards you.
“The added tension this brings compared to traditional reps makes it a popular and effective way to increase muscle gain.”
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Eccentric training is said to speed up muscle gains, provide greater metabolic boosts, increase flexibility, lower the risk of injury and help provide better overall sports performance.
Tyrone explained in more detail whether these are all benefits of eccentric training.
In summary, the Be The Fittest founder said eccentric training is “great for workouts”.
It also “shocks your body and muscles” and “uses energy systems but has greater effects”.
In terms of flexibility, “it can” be beneficial, “depending on the eccentric training you do”.
Tyrone said: “So if for example, you’re trying to stretch your hamstrings and you’re standing up and you lower yourself down, using the negative phase to further stretch the muscle can aid flexibility in that area.
“But I wouldn’t say eccentric training is ideal for flexibility training generally.”
What about avoiding injury? Tyrone commented: “Your chance of injury will increase if you’re trying new workouts and training you haven’t done before.
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“But in terms of eccentric training improving the odds of avoiding injury generally – because it improves range of motion your body is less likely to be shocked by any unusual movements it has to make.
“I don’t know if any studies have been released on the effects of eccentric training on injury reduction, but it seems self-evident that this would be the case.”
He also spoke about sports performance: “Again, it’s very dependent on your sport and the exercises you do.
“If you’re in a sport that requires considerable strength, eccentric training can help build muscle and strength incredibly well.
“It improves range of motion, so sports that involve a range of motion could be aided considerably but it’s all about finding a balanced workout that fits the athlete and the sport.
“It’s important to remember that eccentric training is just one part of a workout.”
As for any negatives of eccentric training, Tyrone said “there will be the DOMS effect, especially initially”.
DOMS is an abbreviation for delayed-onset muscle soreness.
It is a muscle pain that begins after a workout, and normally starts a day or two after.
Tyrone also explained why it’s a good idea to incorporate eccentric training into workouts.
“It’s always good to switch things up and shock the muscles – it will increase ripping of the muscles and get that DOMS effect – so muscle building is one of the most obvious benefits of eccentric training,” he said.
Muscle tissue is metabolically more active and burns more calories than fat tissue.
The more muscles you have, the bigger your resting energy expenditure, which means that your body burns more calories “while doing nothing”.
He added: “But it can also add more variety to workouts – some people can get bored doing the same workouts time after time.
“This adds a touch of variety and engages your brain as you have to think about engaging negative phases.”
Tyrone Brennand is the founder of Be The Fittest and the Be The Fittest Mentorship Programme.
His book Be The Fittest is available to buy (Quadrille, £15).