|Posted on 20 May, 2018 at 14:25|
Gym Plans Explained: Timing Under Tension
Key training principles
How to make YOUR routine more effective
In this series, RYPT examines important training principles in order to make your routine more efficient, enjoyable and effective.
Timing Under Tension (TUT)
Quite a simple principle and one that could be explained in about a sentence but perhaps the most significant one when it comes to training in the gym.
Without further ado, TUT is about keeping your muscles under tension for a set period of time when undergoing a weight training programme (and I’m not only talking about bodybuilding).
If you want to build lean muscle or even improve your physique then this is vital.
The first that I heard of this (aside from in the textbooks) was on a Les Mills Bodypump training course. Now the whole Les Mills concept is based around choreographing a class to music (and in this case, lifting weights). I’m still surprised at how popular this class is given the general perception that lifting weights makes you bulky but I suppose the results speak for themselves.
The training revolved around timing (obviously) and being in sync with the music. This would result in what was known as “super slow” which was four beats on the descent on the weight and four beats on the way up. This may not sound like a lot but given the load prior it could be tough I assure you! The class revolved around different tempos and pauses too (those isometric holds were one way of hitting muscles fatigue).
This ties in with the weight lifting principle of counting the time for repetitions and all the many variants that come with it.
A standard weight lifting routine (if you even consider it) would be 1–2–1–2 so the four segments are; one second at the top of the movement, two seconds down, one second pause and two seconds on the way up. This would be about an average gym routine.
Bearing in mind that to build lean muscle you need to strain the muscle and expose it to as much (sensible) force as possible, then you could consider extending this. Five second repetitions are quite common besides integrating a pause in between the movements too. These will expose the body to far greater force than simply pushing through repetitions for the sake of it.
If your routine is all about repetition counting and you don’t really feel that you get much from it then this is for you.
Try this little variation and I assure you that you’ll get more from your sessions and also subsequently enjoy them.
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