How important is TEMPO

How important is TEMPO for weight training?

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What is Tempo?

No it’s not the name of the gym!

It is the duration of each repetition of an exercise, the amount of seconds spent during isotonic (concentric/eccentric) contractions. I see a lot of people at the gym throwing weight like it was on fire, assuming that the quicker they do it, the faster they will get results… No, no, no! Don’t just go through the motions of performing the exercise by completing the set amount of sets and reps. Take into account the amount of time spend per each rep (time under tension (TUT)). Concentric Loading is still beneficial in creating muscular damage, but Eccentric Loading has been shown to create the majority of the damage during the set.


Why is Tempo so important?

Although Tempo does not take precedence over Progressive Overload or Mechanical Load (this is for another day…), it is still important in adding variation to your training. It leaves your muscles guessing, in order to adapt to the given stressor. Focus on increasing the TUT that your muscle tissues has to endure.


How can you incorporate Tempo into your training?

Simple. As above, Tempo is the duration of each repetition. Each repetition is composed of a 1) Concentric Phase (muscle shortening), 2) Eccentric Phase (muscle lengthening), 3) Isometric Phase (increase in muscle tension without change in length) 4) Midpoint/pause.

Barbell Wide Squat

Sets 5 sets

Intensity 75 % 1RM

Reps 12-12-10-10-8

Phase Hypertrophy

Tempo 4010 (seconds)

4-  Eccentric contraction (lowering of the Squat)

0-  Lowest point of Squat (no pause)

1-      Concentric contraction (pushing bar up against gravity)

0-      Highest point of Squat (when knees are extended)


Give it a go, you won’t be disappointed

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