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. … Imagine that you get to the gym, and are ready to knock out a few sets of bench presses. 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. 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. Finally, this study from Ithaca College in New York specifically compared the power output of regular bench pressing (fast eccentric phase with no pause at the bottom) vs slow TUT-oriented bench pressing (4 second eccentric phase and 4 second pause at the bottom). 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. But in the gym, things are different. Whether that means adjusting exercises, rep ranges, number of sets, heavy vs light weight. What do you think of time under tension training? If you answered ‘quite a bit less’, you’d be right on the money! 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. 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. That is, a really intense muscle burn that you’ll get from slowing down the tempo of your reps. 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). Do you need to do your reps at a certain tempo in order to get the best results? We may earn a commission through links on our site. If you pump iron and want your muscles to grow big and strong, you need to create as much tension as possible. How much weight do you think that you’d be able to lift, compared to what you were doing before? Essentially, it refers to how long a muscle is under strain during a set. this study from the University of Oklahoma, this study from Ithaca College in New York. Copyright © 2020 Caliber Fitness Inc. All Rights Reserved. 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. There is also an element of satisfaction to training this way, which is admittedly missing from lower rep, progressive overload style training. Scientific evidence surrounding the effectiveness of time under tension workouts varies. Trevor Thieme is a Los Angeles-based writer and strength coach, and a former fitness editor at Men’s Health. Time under tension is another one of these methods, but it really only came into prominence fairly recently…. You’ve likely heard the term time under tension” (or simply “TUT”) kicked around the weight rack. You are working in the 6-8 rep range, and so far you’ve been able to do 200 pounds for 6 reps. 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. 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. Let’s dive into this concept and find out. Your move: Lift slower for longer. "But I think … Time under tension (or TUT for short) is commonly used in strength and conditioning and bodybuilding. Our product picks are editor-tested, expert-approved. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. The list goes on. For muscle building, sure, you can get by with time-under … Time Under Tension: Hypertrophy, Strength and Endurance. 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. 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. Put your muscules under tension for a longer period of time, and they’ll be forced to develop by getting bigger and stronger. So if you want my advice, keep things simple – focusing on reps and weight, and not trying to deliberately slow your sets down. To be clear, that’s not the only lifting strategy you should follow. Let us know about your experiences in the comments below. Time under tension is another one of these methods, but it … However, in reality, is time under tension really all that it’s cracked up to be? You can still make gains training like that, and many guys certainly have! “Time under tension might not be as effective as explosive movements at getting muscles to respond, making them bigger," Lagree told MensHealth.com. Generally speaking, the greater a muscle’s TUT, the greater its potential growth stimulus is. 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. 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. Bodybuilders get so big because they are keeping their muscles under stress for longer periods of time when lifting. It refers to how long a muscle is under load or strain during a set. 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). This content is imported from {embed-name}. 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. one of the biggest factors that impacts muscular development is progressive overload. 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. But simply increasing the duration of each set isn’t enough; you also have to increase the amount of tension your muscle experiences. 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. But if TUT training isn’t one of them, you’re shortchanging your results. Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site. If you’re thinking that I’m leading up to something less-than-wonderful about TUT, you’d be right! And, really, the whole thing kind of made conceptual sense. But when it comes to muscle building, more tension is even better. The Truth About Time Under Tension Guys are always looking for ways to make their workouts more effective. 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. 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