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The Doctor Said: Slow Down Your Strength Training

Rushing through the eccentric phase of an exercise defeats the purpose.

Tom Van Ornum is a Doctor of Physical Therapy in Washington, D.C., who specializes in sports medicine and performance enhancement. 

Control freaks get better results in the gym. Simply put, it's equally important to be able to control movement, whether it’s your body or a weight, as it is to produce movement. Gravity is constantly pulling on us, and those who can’t safely decelerate against gravity put themselves at risk for injuries. What's more, the benefits of eccentric training—or the controlled lowering portion of a movement—can facilitate significant improvements in strength and lean muscle mass. 

While certain trends in fitness emphasize knocking out as many reps as quickly as possible, a little deliberation in this lowering portion of a movement, in particular, can go a long way. Here's why: