Lifting Speed – does it matter?

Does the speed you lift a weight matter?

Yes. No. It depends, as always, on your goal.

If you are simply looking to build some muscle mass for aesthetic and health purposes then no, pick a speed which suits you and have at it.

Anyone involved in power orientated sports simply cannot afford to lift in a manner other than attempting to move quickly (albeit in a controlled non jerky fashion).

Attempting to lift fast is more important than the actual speed of movement

Whilst speed may have no bearing on size it certainly alters the characteristics of the muscles themselves.

Continued and deliberate slow lifting speeds will alter the characteristics of fast twitch motor units toward that of slow twitch and vice versa. Although the motor units will not actually change they will change their behaviour e.g. shortening velocity

While some may argue the potential risks of attempting to move a weight quickly a professional athlete must take calculated risks to ensure success and thus a pay cheque.

Asking the body to adapt to slowed lifting AND a power sport is asking two different things and will compromise results.

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