Weekly Fitness Tips
Clients of mine are always ask me why I get them to use tempos when lifting weights, there is a list of reasons but the biggest one for me is so we can make sure things are measurable. The body responds differently to 30 seconds under tension as it does to 90 seconds under tension, so when working on a goal and you are constantly changing the time under tension from rep to rep it makes progression 100 times more difficult.
3 more reasons to start manipulating your tempo
- Train different energy systems and see greater result – Explosive movements with a faster tempo such as the snatch and the clean and jerk target the central nervous system, whereas slower eccentric and concentric movements with a slower tempo like the squat or deadlift lead to a larger metabolic response and change in body composition.
- You are stronger in the eccentric phase of a lift – Have you ever noticed that you can lower more in bicep curl or bench press than you are able to lift, so would it be smart to take advantage of this effect and see better performance in sports and faster gains in strength. The best way to do this is to go slower on the way down than on the way up.
- The Eccentric phase of a movements causes more muscle damage and faster results – If you are looking to change the shape of your body as fast as possible try lowering the weight in all of your lifts for 4-6 seconds, while aiming to do between 4-6 set of 8-12 reps 3 times per week.
When reading a tempo it will normally be writing in a 4 digit formula such as 4010. The first number indicates the eccentric portion of the lift or the lowering of the weight, while the second number shows how long to pause in the most disadvantageous position of a movement (the bottom of a squat is a great example). The third number should how quickly to lift the weight and the last number in the rest before starting the next rep.