There is also an element of satisfaction to training this way, which is admittedly missing from lower rep, progressive overload style training. Let us know about your experiences in the comments below. Generally speaking, the greater a muscle’s TUT, the greater its potential growth stimulus is. If you do 10 reps per set, you’re looking at about 30 seconds of tension each time. We may earn a commission through links on our site. You can still make gains training like that, and many guys certainly have! The list goes on. If you maintain this tempo for eight reps, then the entire set will take 48 seconds, which falls right in the middle of the ideal time under tension range to build muscle (40 to 60 seconds). As I alluded to above, it wasn’t until the 1990s that time under tension (also known as TUT) started becoming a ‘thing’ in the bodybuilding community. Scientific evidence surrounding the effectiveness of time under tension workouts varies. That is, a really intense muscle burn that you’ll get from slowing down the tempo of your reps. Time under tension (or TUT for short) is commonly used in strength and conditioning and bodybuilding. Focus on the eccentric phase of each rep, taking five to six seconds to lower the weight, and then three to four seconds to lift it. Heavy Isometrics Build Strength Rapidly. If you’re thinking that I’m leading up to something less-than-wonderful about TUT, you’d be right! You are working in the 6-8 rep range, and so far you’ve been able to do 200 pounds for 6 reps. As long as the load is challenging, that’s typically enough to cause the kind of metabolic stress and microscopic damage that spurs the body to both repair the muscle and increase its size and strength in anticipation of lifting that load again. Tension is likely something you try to avoid in most areas of your life—relationships, work, Instagram comments. How much weight do you think that you’d be able to lift, compared to what you were doing before? And this study from the University of Oklahoma concluded that doing 4 weeks of regular resistance training produced more strength and muscle gains than slow training methodologies. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at, How Your Intercostal Muscles Affect Your Workouts, What You Need to Know About Anaerobic Exercises, What You Need to Know About Aerobic Training, How Your Body Type Can Affect Your Workouts, How You Can Use an Eccentric Focus for More Gains. Take this quick tip to learn how to maximize your muscle building by slowing down your reps. Shoot for a total set length of about 50 to 60 seconds using a weight that challenges you to complete around six reps during that time. This translates into putting increased load on the muscles, by using heavier and heavier weights over time. As you might have guessed, this has led 1000s of guys to obsess over how slowly they are doing each rep, timing the number of seconds just as they might time their rest intervals. The 60 Best Black Friday Deals to Check Out Now, My Secret to Navigating COVID-19 Mental Health, 8 Reasons to Quit Your Phone This Holiday Season, No, Vitamin C Supplements Will Not Save Us All, The Hypervolt GO Is the Mini Massage Gun You Need. … However, one might argue that the increased TUT outweighs the reduced amount of weight that you are able to lift. The regular bench pressing technique greatly outperformed the slow, time under tension technique in terms of power output. And while it may take a workout or two to get used to using tempo, the benefits are worth it. Time Under Tension: Hypertrophy, Strength and Endurance. Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site. Our product picks are editor-tested, expert-approved. And, really, the whole thing kind of made conceptual sense. But if TUT training isn’t one of them, you’re shortchanging your results. Now let’s imagine that you decide to bench press by following a common protocol for time under tension – 5 second eccentric phase (descent to your chest), 1 second pause, and 5 second concentric phase (pushing it back up). Your move: Lift slower for longer. Time under tension is another one of these methods, but it really only came into prominence fairly recently…. Basically, this And this is where the biggest problem with time under tension comes into play…. But in the gym, things are different. It was popularized by some of the biggest players in fitness at the time – namely Charles Poliquin and Ian King – and soon enough everyone was jumping on board. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if you were only able to get 6 reps of 170-180 pounds this way – far less than the 200 pounds that you were previously benching. Let’s dive into this concept and find out. This has been done by lifting the ‘regular’ way; that is, lowering the weight in a controlled movement to your chest, followed by pressing the weight back up in a fast, explosive motion. Whether that means adjusting exercises, rep ranges, number of sets, heavy vs light weight. But simply increasing the duration of each set isn’t enough; you also have to increase the amount of tension your muscle experiences. It refers to how long a muscle is under load or strain during a set. "But I think … Men's Health participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. If you pump iron and want your muscles to grow big and strong, you need to create as much tension as possible. In addition, studies started appearing to support the concept, like this one, as well as a bunch of anecdotal evidence from guys that had supposedly used it to great effect. This is Your Quick Training Tip, a chance to learn how to work smarter in just a few moments so you can get right to your workout. ), lifting tempos, and set durations into your workout plan. For muscle building, sure, you can get by with time-under … This content is imported from {embed-name}. Time under tension is another one of these methods, but it … The list goes on. Imagine that you get to the gym, and are ready to knock out a few sets of bench presses. If you answered ‘quite a bit less’, you’d be right on the money! Basically, time under tension has to do with specifically varying the tempo of your workouts; the length of time that you take to do each rep. Over the years, a number of fitness professionals and bodybuilders alike have embraced the concept of time under tension – believing that it is as important, if not more so, than the amount of weight that you’re lifting. Whether that means adjusting exercises, rep ranges, number of sets, heavy vs light weight. Copyright © 2020 Caliber Fitness Inc. All Rights Reserved. Trevor Thieme is a Los Angeles-based writer and strength coach, and a former fitness editor at Men’s Health. When you increase the amount of time each rep takes, you greatly reduce the amount of weight that you are able to lift, thereby limiting progressive overload.

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