When it comes to lifting weights, many people overlook the importance of tempo when lifting weights. Tempo refers to the speed at which you perform each repetition of an exercise. It includes the concentric (lifting, or shortening of the muscle) and eccentric (lowering, or lengthening of the muscle) phases of a movement as well as any pauses in between. In this blog, we will explore why tempo is important when lifting weights.
• Tempo training increases the time under tension (TUT) of each repetition, which can lead to greater muscle hypertrophy (growth). TUT refers to the amount of time your muscles are working during a set. The longer your muscles are under tension, the more they are challenged, and the more they are likely to grow. By slowing down the tempo, you increase the TUT, which can result in greater gains in muscle mass.
• By performing exercises at a slower tempo, you are forced to focus on your form and technique. This is because you have to control the weight throughout the entire range of motion, rather than relying on momentum to complete the lift. This can help you to develop better neuromuscular control and improve your mind-muscle connection. Additionally, using a slower tempo can reduce your risk of injury by ensuring that you are using proper form and not putting unnecessary stress on your joints.
• Slowing down the tempo can also enhance muscle activation. By performing the eccentric phase of the lift (lowering the weight) at a slower pace, you increase the time that your muscles are under tension. This can lead to greater activation of the muscle fibers, which can result in greater gains in strength and muscle mass.
• Varying your tempo provides a new stimulus for your muscles. If you have been performing the same exercises at the same tempo for a long period of time, your body may have adapted to the stimulus, and you may no longer be seeing gains in strength or muscle mass. By changing your tempo, you provide a new challenge for your muscles, which can help you to break through plateaus and continue to make progress.
• Slowing down the tempo can also increase the intensity of your workouts. By performing each repetition at a slower pace, you increase the difficulty of the exercise, which can make your workouts feel more challenging. This can help to push your body to new limits and promote further gains in strength and muscle mass.
In summary, tempo is an important factor to consider when lifting weights. By varying your tempo, you can increase time under tension, improve form and technique, enhance muscle activation, provide a new stimulus, and increase workout intensity. So, next time you hit the gym, slow down your tempo and see how it affects your workout!