Time Under Tension: one of the most important loading parameters
Rep Tempo (Time Under Tension) affects all the others. Speed of contraction is the rate of movement of the involved body parts. It can easily be measured by the amount of time it takes to complete each part of a repetition. Tempo is the total amount of time taken to complete the full repetition.
There are 4 main parts to any movement
- Eccentric Contraction: happens when a muscle lengthens under load, generally has a longer time.
- These are the downward or lowering of weights in exercises such as squats, push ups or pull ups. These are controlled movements that are associated with greater muscle strengthening than concentric contractions.
- The muscles and tendons act to control and slow down the action. You are lowering and controlling the weight rather than simply allowing gravity to do its job.
- The Pause in the Stretched Position (i.e. isometric pause): These pauses in “disadvantageous” positions will further boost your strength development as it increases intramuscular tension.
- Concentric Contraction: occurs when a muscle shortens, generally has a shorter time.
- Pause in the Shortened Position: These pauses in “advantageous” position increase the recruitment of more fast twitch muscle fibers, which provide the most increases in strength and power.
Enjoy greater control of your movements to get faster and greater results in strength and muscle development.
It is important to vary the Tempo of your training to get the best results. It will help to produce impressive strength gains in lesser training sessions. Using Fast/Slow tempo or a variety of isometric holds are great additions to any training program.