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. 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. Let us know about your experiences in the comments below. It refers to how long a muscle is under load or strain during a set. We may earn a commission through links on our site. Let’s dive into this concept and find out. This University of Connecticut study demonstrated that slow training resulted in less peak force and power than fast training. This translates into putting increased load on the muscles, by using heavier and heavier weights over time. The Truth About Time Under Tension Guys are always looking for ways to make their workouts more effective. Bodybuilders get so big because they are keeping their muscles under stress for longer periods of time when lifting. Time under tension is another one of these methods, but it really only came into prominence fairly recently…. If you do 10 reps per set, you’re looking at about 30 seconds of tension each time. Are you starting to see the problem here? Time under tension is another one of these methods, but it … 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. Surf the internet and you're bound to see a slew of training recommendations based on the concept of time-under-tension (TUT). 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. Put your muscules under tension for a longer period of time, and they’ll be forced to develop by getting bigger and stronger. To be clear, that’s not the only lifting strategy you should follow. Tension is likely something you try to avoid in most areas of your life—relationships, work, Instagram comments. 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. If you want to optimize muscle growth, you need to incorporate a range of rep schemes (low weight/high rep, high weight/low rep, etc. Now I would not go as far as to say that time under tension training is terrible…. You are working in the 6-8 rep range, and so far you’ve been able to do 200 pounds for 6 reps. For muscle building, sure, you can get by with time-under … 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. “Time under tension might not be as effective as explosive movements at getting muscles to respond, making them bigger," Lagree told MensHealth.com. You’ve likely heard the term time under tension” (or simply “TUT”) kicked around the weight rack. How much weight do you think that you’d be able to lift, compared to what you were doing before? Do you need to do your reps at a certain tempo in order to get the best results? But when it comes to muscle building, more tension is even better. As you know from my previous articles, one of the biggest factors that impacts muscular development is progressive overload. Whether that means adjusting exercises, rep ranges, number of sets, heavy vs light weight. 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. What do you think of time under tension training? Time under tension, or TUT, is the amount of time that a muscle or group of muscles is under stress. "But I think … You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site. 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. 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). 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). But in the gym, things are different. 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. Your move: Lift slower for longer. 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. Take this quick tip to learn how to maximize your muscle building by slowing down your reps. 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. Scientific evidence surrounding the effectiveness of time under tension workouts varies. This Dumbbell Arm Series Puts Time on Your Side, Does This Trendy Time Under Tension Workout Really, This Pushup Challenge Is About Time-Under-Tension, This Time Under Tension Drill Grows Your Biceps, Blast Your Biceps With The Spider Curl Countup. The standard advice is that to maximize strength gains, the ideal time under tension is about 20 seconds or less; to build muscle, it’s at least 40 seconds; and for muscle endurance, it’s at least 70 seconds. This is because you are much more likely to induce cellular fatigue and muscular damage by training this way, leading to increased intra and post-workout soreness. The list goes on. Well, a number of recent studies that have been conducted comparing ‘fast’ vs ‘slow’ training don’t support this…. ), lifting tempos, and set durations into your workout plan. Time under tension (or TUT for short) is commonly used in strength and conditioning and bodybuilding. But if TUT training isn’t one of them, you’re shortchanging your results. Trevor Thieme is a Los Angeles-based writer and strength coach, and a former fitness editor at Men’s Health. If you answered ‘quite a bit less’, you’d be right on the money! And while it may take a workout or two to get used to using tempo, the benefits are worth it. The general consensus is that increasing TUT will maximize hypertrophy. That is, a really intense muscle burn that you’ll get from slowing down the tempo of your reps. This content is imported from {embed-name}. But simply increasing the duration of each set isn’t enough; you also have to increase the amount of tension your muscle experiences. Essentially, it refers to how long a muscle is under strain during a set. Heavy Isometrics Build Strength Rapidly. Time Under Tension: Hypertrophy, Strength and Endurance. There is also an element of satisfaction to training this way, which is admittedly missing from lower rep, progressive overload style training. 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. If you’re thinking that I’m leading up to something less-than-wonderful about TUT, you’d be right! You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io, 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. However, one might argue that the increased TUT outweighs the reduced amount of weight that you are able to lift. Copyright © 2020 Caliber Fitness Inc. All Rights Reserved. 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. Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.