“No, just throw the weight around bro, progressive overload is king.”
“No, 6-second eccentrics on everything bro, slow it down, the mind-muscle connection is king”.
As with most things in fitness, we seem to find ourselves often in “camps,” with absolute, or dogmatic perspectives, or “this is the right way.”
These questions are why coming back to “it depends” is so important, and drawing contexts.
Both are correct and can offer a unique benefit to hypertrophy, strength progression, or both.
Lets first talk about the idea of “Internal Focus,” in the context of being performed with dips.
If I were focusing on an external cue (think like trying to push the handles into the ground), rather than feeling the muscle work with slow, deliberate ROM, I would be getting far more reps.
This type of movement I’m focused on the mind-muscle connection and more metabolic stress response for muscle hypertrophy.
It makes the most sense to utilize these type of movements after the big compound lifts, which focus more on “external focus.”
External focus cues are going to help to progressively overload the muscle, develop the CNS, and allow you to get stronger gradually.
Gaining strength is an essential part of hypertrophy.
For example, if you are using external focus, you are thinking of or visualizing the weight stack or bar moving.
So with a barbell row, I’m thinking about driving my elbows through the wall behind me, not necessarily only focusing on the “mind-muscle connection.”
This does not mean mechanics become less critical.
We should still focus on driving mechanical tension through the desired muscle and controlling the reps.
With that said, though, a little body English from time to time isn’t necessarily a “bad thing.”
It all depends 😉 …
Hopefully, this helps, and for a further explanation of this, go check out @Jmihaly IG post on April 7th, where big sexy breaks this down gracefully.