Slow-Rep Speed Squats Increase Strength and Muscle Size, But Not Power

Performing squats at slow speeds using moderate weights increases muscle size and strength but has no effect on power— according to researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Japan. During an eight-week training program, subjects performed squats either slowly (three seconds down, three seconds up) or normally (down under control, up fast). Slow-rep training— performing exercises slowly under high tension— is very popular with some. It is not a good way to train because it does not overload the fast-twitch muscles, so only some of the muscle fibers grow. Few athletic movements are slow, so this type of training is not applicable to power athletes. While the method is novel and interesting at first, it hurts and gets boring, so you might be less likely to stick with the program. In balance, slow-rep training is OK if you need a taste of something different, but it is not appropriate as your main training dish. (International Journal of Sports Medicine, 37: 305-312, 2016)

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