So let’s talk a bit more about tempo training…. I’ve mentioned it in my posts previously, but it I thought I’d go into a bit more detail because it is such a great training method to utilise and often doesn’t get the attention it deserves.
Tempo training is Time Under Tension (TUT), which refers to the total time it takes to complete 1 repetition. Tempo training is usually shown by 4 numbers, for example:
– First number is the eccentric phase
– Second number is the length of the pause
– Third number is concentric phase
– Fourth number is the pause before starting another rep
The eccentric phase is the lengthening of the muscle when under load. For example, for a squat or chest press it is when lowering the weight. It relates to controlling the movement under load, an area which many lifters tend to neglect.
This is the length of the pause in the middle of the exercise. When pausing between the eccentric and concentric phase, all momentum in the movement stops, increasing muscle tension.
This is the concentric phase, when the muscle contracts and shortens, lifting phase, push or pull. For example, the curl of a bicep curl, the explosive standing in the squat or press movement of a shoulder press.
This is the pause before starting another rep.
All together now,
-3 seconds down
-2 second pause
-1 second up
-2 second pause between reps
So why do tempo training?
Tempo training basically slows down the movements, which is something just about everyone can benefit from. It helps develop body control, improves stability and connective tissue strength, and also assists with hypertrophy training. By controlling the movement you also place stress on the muscle, as opposed to a bouncy movement that places stress on tendons and joints.
Adding tempo training to your workout can also help you avoid plateaus, as it changes the stimulus of the workout directly effecting the muscles time under tension. It can also assist with any muscular weaknesses you might have when completing an exercise. By slowing down the movement, you are able to notice your weak points and focus on them.
There are different types of tempo training you can use by changing up the timings. You can add a pause in the middle, slower the concentric phase or slow down the eccentric phase. All of these adjustments will add a different element to your training.