Slow Reps vs. Fast Reps

Slow Reps vs. Fast Reps

Which is better for building muscle?

Opening Argument:

  • Defense – Normal pace for reps usually means 1-2 seconds on the positive and 1-2 seconds on the negative portion; a super-slow pace would be 3-10 seconds on the positive part and 3-10 seconds on the negative.
  • Prosecution – Fast reps consist of doing the positive part of the rep as fast as possible (< 1 second), but still going slow and controlled on the negative part of the rep.


  • Slow reps result in small but significantly great gains in biceps muscle size as compared to fast reps. Fast reps result in much greater gains in muscle strength than slow reps.
  • Slow reps increase size better than fast reps due to a greater increase in growth hormone and testosterone levels. Slow reps increase GH and testosterone levels over fast reps.
  • Fast reps likely increase muscle strength and burn calories better because they utilize more of the muscle’s fast-twitch fibers. Doing fast-rep squats burn 10 percent more calories than slow-rep speed. The fast-rep workout also burns 5 percent more calories at rest postworkout.

Verdict: Slow Reps

For increasing muscle size, stick with slow and controlled reps, but occasionally use super-slow reps to instigate more growth.

Sentencing: Slow and controlled reps should be the norm. However, you should change up your rep speed on occasion. Use super-slow reps (5 seconds on the positive and 5 seconds on the negative0 to encourage more growth, but also use fast reps (as fast as possible on the positive rep) to build more power and strength and even burn off bodyfat.



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