Updated: Oct 31, 2019
What Is Eccentric Training & Concentric Training?
Eccentric Training also known as Negative Training and Lengthening Contraction. Well what actually is it you're probably wondering? Eccentric training is the motion of an active muscle while it is lengthening under load, in simple terms, it is the downwards portion of a rep, where you are lowering the weight instead of lifting it up.
Concentric Training also known as the Positive Aspect or Shortening Contraction. In simple terms it is the lifting portion of a rep, where you are lifting the weight against gravity.
Eccentric training allows you to handle a 30-40% heavier weight than lifting it concentrically (the opposite of eccentric training - the lifting the weight portion of a rep) thus forcing your muscles to be under a load they are not capable of lifting but are capable of resisting, which in turn creates a situation in which your muscles need to grow.
However, using just eccentric training alone will not do much more than concentric only for you, you must combine eccentric training with concentric and even isometric training in order to maximise your training program to its full potential.
Benefits Of Eccentric Training:
EMG (Electromyography) data supports the fact that during muscle shortening (concentric contractions) the neural drive is higher than that of lengthening contractions (eccentric contractions), this means that a higher number of motor units are recruited during concentric training than during eccentric.
Muscle Protein Synthesis (MPS) was not found to be statistically different between concentric or eccentric training, likewise, Myofibrillar Fractional Synthetic Rates (FSR) was also no different between groups at most timestamps, however did increase statistically compared to concentric training at 4.5 Hours after training. These results should be taken with a grain of salt.
Exercise Induced Muscle Damage (EIMD) is predominately found after eccentric contractions, leading to the hypothesis that inflammatory response and protein turnover could lead to heightened muscle growth compared to concentric training. However this remains to be determined since EIMD is known to decrease after the first few training sessions.
Both concentric and eccentric loading (isometric as well) lead to near identical anabolic processes, similar increases of mRNA content, IGF-1 mRNA and Protocollagen 3 were seen, as well as a decrease in Myostatin mRNA. Lastly, mTOR C1 signalling was not modulated by contraction mode.
The Satellite Cell (SC) pool has been shown to increase after an eccentric training bout greater than that seen with concentric training. However chronic concentric training has led to an increased Satellite Cell pool compared with eccentric training. Thus showing Satellite Cells may be modulated by mode of contraction.
Myostatin mRNA was found to be decreased the most after eccentric training compared to concentric training, along with a greater increases in Connective Tissue Growth Factor (CTGF), Transforming Growth Factor b1 (TGF-b-1) and Mechano Growth Factor (MGF). Collagen type 1 a1 also underwent a larger increase compared to concentric training.
51 Genes were differently expressed after 3 Hours of eccentric vs concentric training, these genes were mostly related to Protein Turnover, Cellular Stress and Sarcolemmal Structural Remodelling.
But you want to know how to use Eccentric Training with your program? We have the post for you! How to Use Eccentric Training