Negative Repetitions

Negative Repetitions

In this lesson you will learn how to do negative repetitions (also called negatives or forced repetitions). Negative repetitions are used to make a set more intensive after you reach momentary muscle failure. Find more bodybuilding training methods and exercises at weight training main.


  • This is how you do negative repetitions with the biceps preacher curl.
    Let's say you already did 8 biceps curls with 50lbs and you can't do a 9th repetition -> You reached muscle failure. That's where you training partner comes into play. He helps you over the positive part of the repetition (up-motion) and you do the negative part of the repetition alone. Your training partner should not lift the weight for you. He should just help enough so that you can get back up within 3 seconds.
  • Now, as the weight is up, your training partner releases the barbell, and you lower the weight as slow as you can. Don't let the weight fall. This is the negative part of the repetition and the reason why this is called "Negative Repetition".


  • Your spotter only helps in the positive part of the repetition. He doesn't help in the negative part. He shouldn't even touch the barbell in the negative part.
  • Negative Repetitions are popular among HIT (High Intensity Training).
  • Lower the weight slowly and concentrated.
  • Recommended exercises for negative repetitions: Barbell Bench Press, Barbell Biceps Curl, Barbell Shoulder Press
  • Stop immediately if a joint hurts. Never let the weight fall.