Tempo training is an important and often overlooked aspect of many popular training programs on the market today. By incorporating tempos within your training you can drastically improve the amount of time spent under tension and after all is this not one of the goals of hypertrophy. I have dedicated myself to researching and incorporating ways to get more out of your training and optimize the results of you the individual. By adding time under tension to specific contractile phases, we are able to change the training adaptation from cell volumization (muscle pump), to mechanical stress (tension), to joint angle specific strength (isometric training) or speed development.
Tempos are an incredibly valuable tool that can be used to enhance any program, regardless of whether you are a beginner,intermediate or world champion lifter.
Tempo Training for Cell Volumization
When we are designing training programs focused on maximizing blood volume, we use a technique referred to as “metabolic sets”. During these metabolic sets, the lifter will select 40-50% of their 1RM and perform 25-30 repetitions under control at maximum speed. Utilizing a rapid tempo allows fast twitch muscle fibers to be trained. Fast twitch muscle fibers produce metabolic byproducts such as lactate, which are important in creating the muscle pump response that bodybuilders have craved for decades.
Tempo Training for Eccentric Adaptations
The three determinant factors of muscular hypertrophy are the amounts of metabolic stress, mechanical tension and muscle damage created. The eccentric (negative) phase of a rep creates the most muscle damage of any contractile phase. Therefore it may be wise to add time under tension to the eccentric phase. Try performing 4:0:2 tempos at 60% of your 1RM for sets of 8-10 reps to achieve the benefits of lengthier eccentric phases.
How to Read Tempos:
Squat: (4:0:2:1) – the first number is the time in seconds during the eccentric phase, the second number is the time in seconds during the isometric phase, the third number is the time in seconds during the concentric phase and lastly the fourth and final number will be the rest prior to transition back to the eccentric portion of the movement.
These are two methods that we successfully utilize with our physique athletes to attain results in an efficient and innovative manner.
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Matt Jansen – Strength and Contest Prep Coach
INOV8 Elite Performance