Negative Only Training

negative only pulldown

I performed a pretty simple WOW yesterday that consisted of (in the following order) :

  • Negative only pulldown
  • Negative only chest press
  • bicep curl (static contraction)

I haven’t done this in a while, and never have the sets been this high in volume (8 reps each for the negative work).

I was surprised on multiple fronts, even though I knew much of this in advance.

First, the repetitions were not that difficult to complete. In fact I felt like I could have just kept going, to 9, 10, even 11 reps. But almost intuitively, I decided to stop.

I was not that “winded” at the completion of either the pulldown or chest press.

But, minutes after I completed the bicep curl, the workout hit me like a truck. Normally DOMS hits me 24 hours post workout, almost to the T, and it varies from mild, to moderate, to strong.

Less than 10 minutes after my workout I had what I would call “severe” DOMS, which was not only stronger in degree, but obviously, way ahead of schedule.

And it was very sudden. In all of 30 seconds I went from somewhat fatigued, to not wanting to move.

Needless to say, I slept like a rock last night, and now 24 hours post WOW, I am every bit as sore as I was yesterday. Perhaps even more so, and I am just failing to notice it because it’s been 100% constant.

This video accurately portrays how I feel right now.

As far as negative only training itself, I suspect it represents a huge potential to stimulate growth. Above all, because you can cause so much trauma to occur in the muscles.

Not only because negative training causes more trauma in itself, but because it’s not using as much oxygen as positive/negative repetitions.

To put this in perspective, I normally do 4-5 hyper reps on the Omni.

Maximum positive, maximum negative. And I’m fried.

I was able to effectively exchange the positive portion of each rep for an additional negative. In fact, I could have at least done 1 or 2 more.

Now, all of this is predicated on more trauma = more growth stimulus, which may or may not be true.

And finally, this also brings over-training to mind, and how easy it would be to slip into doing negative only workouts back to back.

In fact I was warned about this by the Omni inventor when I got the machine.

He wasn’t kidding.


Drew Baye also has thoughts on negative (emphasized) training.

About Anthony Dream Johnson

CEO, founder, and architect of The 21 Convention, Anthony Dream Johnson is the leading force behind the world's first and only "panorama event for life on earth". He has been featured on WGN Chicago, and in the NY Times #1 best seller The Four Hour Work Week.    His stated purpose for the work he does is "the actualization of the ideal man", a purpose that has led him to found and host The 21 Convention across 3 continents and for 6 years in a row. Anthony blogs vigorously at and

11 Responses to Negative Only Training

  1. Jaime October 8, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

    Hey Anthony,

    Any word as to when the Omni is being released commercially?

    • Anthony Dream Johnson October 8, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

      Hey Jamie

      Do you mean factory produced? If so, I haven’t spoken to Mark since August about it. However when I did talk to him about it, it seemed that with a little luck, it was in the very near future.

      I’ll send him your comment and see if he can input further.

      • Jaime October 8, 2012 at 6:28 pm #

        Yes, that’s what I meant. Unless you’re saying that he’ll build it on like a custom basis or something. Thanks for the update!

  2. Mark Alexander October 8, 2012 at 4:25 pm #

    The Omni is available commercially. We still make them to order but are hopeful to have a larger scale production in the coming year. Feel free to email me: mark at arxfit dot com

  3. Jeroen October 13, 2012 at 10:08 am #

    Hi Anthony ,

    I don’t know much about the omni but it is interesting. I do a lot of eccentric training (most and fastest way to build up muscle mass, that i’m aware of) and you can load up to 40% more of your 1 RM. So how do you calculate this on the Omni, how do you know how much force the machine is generating?

    • Anthony Dream Johnson October 13, 2012 at 10:44 am #

      Actually the “extra strength” during a negative can vary from person to person. It’s not a clear cut 40%, and can exceed that amount, as I understand.

      The computer in front of me has a second by second force gauge that tracks my force output through all exercises on the machine, including both static and dynamic exercises.

      • Jeroen October 14, 2012 at 2:32 am #

        true it vary’s between 20-50% depends which study’s you read.

        But can you test you maximum concentric strength (1RM with normal weights) and can you adjust the force output up to 40%?
        Example i can do 1 bench press with 100 kilo’s. I do 3-6 eccentric reps with 140-145 Kilo.

        Is it possible to do such a training on the Omni? Can you adjust the maximum force output. What i know now (correct me if i’m wrong) is that every rep you do, you press/pull with 100% of your strength

        • Anthony Dream Johnson October 14, 2012 at 10:27 am #

          Sure you can, but, I don’t know who would. 1RM ceases to be an interesting measurement or impressive feat when your equipment is no longer limited by gravity.

          To answer your questions I’ll dig a little deeper : there is no way to adjust the force output, because the machine does not output any force. The force is determined by the person. It is feedback driven. Pull on the machine with 1,000 pounds of force, and that’s what you will get.

          There’s no need to adjust it to 40% — it’s giving you back exactly what you need at any given level of effort.

          Finally, you do not have to push/pull 100% on the machine. You can push/pull at any level of effort you desire, no matter how strong or weak you are.

  4. Jared October 15, 2012 at 1:09 am #

    What are your thoughts on Max contraction or Max Pyramid protocol ( I’ve heard they can cause quite a bit of growth or potential for growth as well, not sure if it can be done on the Arx Fit Omni though.

    • Anthony Dream Johnson October 15, 2012 at 11:11 am #

      Hey Jared

      You can perform almost any protocol imaginable on an ARX Fit Omni, so long as it does not involve explosive movement.

      Positive only
      Negative only
      fast hyper reps
      slow hyper reps
      Super Slow hyper reps
      Ultra slow hyper reps
      j reps
      rest pause
      Max contraction
      Max pyramid

      You can even do a hyper rep with a TSC in the middle of each rep at peak force output, which, I don’t even think there’s a name for.

      This is in part why I am so gung-ho about the machine. People do not have a fucking clue what they are missing.

      You can do all of these protocols, and more, with a perfect strength curve, on over 40+ exercises.

      It’s insane. And the machine costs like as much as a Nautilus leg press.

      As far as Max C and Max P, I’m not super familiar with them, and have never tried them. However they appear to be valid protocols should you desire to use them. (Well, as long as you’re familiar with Bill DeSimone’s work for Max Contraction, which I’m not sure if the original books are in alignment with).


  1. Negatives | The Dream Lounge - November 21, 2013

    […] video is a demonstration of negative emphasized pulldowns on the ARx Omni – different from negative only pulldowns I have blogged about […]

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