The eccentric hooks, which you can get from Fatgripz.com
are perfect for eccentric loading of extensor muscle chains. They are originally a Soviet concept, popularized by the German publication Leistungssport in the early seventies.
Al Vermeil of the Chicago Bulls, further improved their designs. By the way, Al will be speaking on athlete development, at the Eleiko Summit, May 18 to 20, here at the Poliquin Strength Institute.
There a few companies who make them, I find Fatgripz.com
does the best job at building them, as they provide a wider supporting surface, and micro-adjustments in length.
Swedish PICP level 2 coach Dr. Helen Liljenberg D.C uses the eccentric hooks at the Poliquin Strength Institute.
If you are training alone, eccentric hooks are ideal as they are very safe. Of course, you can only do singles when training alone. You will need two well synchronized partners if you are to do multiple reps. You can also have your partners use the eccentric hooks after you have reached concentric muscle fatigue, you will need them to assist you in the concentric though!
When doing them for singles, I like to use 10 sets on a 10:0:X:0 tempo, every second workout.
The concentric load should be roughly 80% of your 1 R.M. or something that would be your best load for 7 R.M.. The eccentric load you be heavy enough that you look like you are having a severe case of Parkinson’s on the eccentric lowering. Yet, it should be light enough that you will not lower it faster than 8 seconds. Ten seconds would mean that you are in full control.
Another way to use them is to alternate an heavy conventional triple with a heavy eccentric for 5 pairing. So someone with a 200 kg full back squats would end up doing something the following after properly warming up:
Set 1: 180 x 3 regular back squats at 40X0, rest 3 minutes
Set 2: 160 kg for concentric + 2 x 20 kg hooks for 10 seconds lowering, rest 3 minutes
Set 3: 180 x 3 regular back squats at 40X0, rest 3 minutes
Set 4: 160 kg for concentric + 2 x 21 kg hooks for 10 seconds lowering, rest 3 minutes
Set 5: 180 x 3 regular back squats at 40X0, rest 3 minutes, rest 3 minutes
Set 6: 160 kg for concentric + 2 x 22 kg hooks for 10 seconds lowering, rest 3 minutes
Set 7: 180 x 3 regular back squats at 40X0, rest 3 minutes
Set 8: 160 kg for concentric + 2 x 23 kg hooks for 10 seconds lowering, rest 3 minutes
Set 9: 180 x 3 regular back squats at 40X0, rest 3 minutes
Set 10: 160 kg for concentric + 2 x 24 kg hooks for 10 seconds lowering,
As you can see, the load on the eccentric would tend to go up, as the trainee “learns” the load.
By all means, if I can see that the weight on triples can go up, I don’t miss the occasion to bump it up, even if it is only 1 to 2 kg.
To learn more about eccentric training, please read: