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Quick Question: Lifting tempo

Discussion in 'Weight Training/Bulking' started by Ender85, Aug 17, 2005.

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  1. Ender85

    Ender85 Well-Known Member

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    I'm looking at some programs, and was wondering how to interpret "Tempo" recommendations for lifting. For example, if tempo is "201" - what is that?
    thanks :bb:
     
  2. Bluestreak

    Bluestreak Well-Known Member

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    2 seconds to lift the weight, 0 seconds worth of pause at the top, 1 second to bring the weight down, lest I be mistaken.

    Personally, I don't listen much to people who advocate a specific tempo for lifting. Find your own. Put emphasis on good form. Lift as efficiently as you can while keeping form first in your mind. Tempo will take care of itself from there.

    -R
     
  3. 1FastGTX

    1FastGTX Elite Member
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    ^^^ What he said.

    There is some validity to trying not to uncontrollably swing the weight like a maniac, but I don't get caught up in slow tempo by any means either, at least not at this point in my training. I was never a fan of super slow rep speeds personally, but I don't go "fast" either. As I read on ast-ss.com once, "is strict form reSTRICTing your muscle gains?" :) (http://www.ast-ss.com/articles/article.asp?AID=255)
     
  4. Ender85

    Ender85 Well-Known Member

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    I going to start Chad Waterbury's TTT from t-nation today, and his routine includes a tempo - I figured I'd at least know what it was/try it out and see what happens :)
     
  5. RTE

    RTE Well-Known Member

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    Some things to think about. If you lift slow and controlled, without fast, forced or jerky movements your muscles are less prone to injury and the exercise is more intense. In the lowering or negative move, you can use about 40% more weight than you can in the lifting or positive mode, so you should slow that phase down to increase intensity.

    There are many variations but I suggest 4/4 as a good overall cadence. Try it this way take a good dumbbell curl weight and use it in your weak arm do as many curls as you can until you can't complete a rep in good form in a normal 1/1 cadence. Then do the same thing with your strong arm with a 4/4 cadence. Feel the difference? It was harder work, that is what you want.
     
  6. bradh

    bradh Well-Known Member

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    I can't see how its more intense you have to lift less weight. I also believe lifting slow will make you body reaction badly to everyday lifting situations. Unless your going to do a 4 sec lift to lift a child :lol:

    Personally i think you shouldn't over think tempo good strict form and effient.
     
  7. kmfisher

    kmfisher Well-Known Member

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    I think that's backwards.

    I think it goes: eccentric, pause under contraction, concentric, pause at lockout

    For bench press: 201 is a 2 second lower, no pause when the bar is at your chest, and a 1 second lift.
     
  8. tennisball

    tennisball Well-Known Member

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    I agree. The eccentric phase is usually longer. Many bodybuilders believe the eccentric phase is more conducive to hypertrophy.

    Chad Waterbury's more recent articles advocate a power concentric (as fast as possible), and a 2 sec eccentric.


     
  9. jsbrook

    jsbrook Well-Known Member

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    There are different reasons for different tempos. When lifting heavier weights I prefer a fast concentric and a controlled but not slow eccentric. Lifting faster generally recruits more muscle fibers. Faster twitch muscle fibers also respond better. When lifting lighter weights for more reps, I think there is benefit to a slower tempo. This way of lifting hits more slower twitch muscle fibers. There are benefits to both ways of training. Your distribition of muscle fibers is largely genetic, but they do respond to training stimuli. And upregulation and downregulation is common.
     
  10. Kino

    Kino Well-Known Member

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    Copy/paste explaining why I believe in holding the isometric on your reps...

    I would like to clear up any confusion about the 6 second contraction hold at the completion of the contraction. Holding a contraction for 2-6 seconds reinforces the actin/myosin myofibrals crossbride connection, therefore, making the muscle fibers to utilize the cellular metabolism to its fullest potential. The Anaerobic enzymes will eventually get bigger to house more sugar allowing lactic acid build up to be buffered making the atp/cp system to work longer before anaerobic glycolysis sets in. During a contraction the motor units are burning out and if you make each contraction as forceful as possible then you will utilize those motor units to there fullest potential. So, when you do your second, third etc. reps you will get deeper and deeper motor unit recruitment allowing for greater hypertrophy of the muscle fibers. I hope this clears up any confusion. Ron's suggestion is right on the money and I know Vince would agree. You can't argue against factual science.

    LATE EDIT: I do not hold this philosophy as carved in stone by any means. But if everybody's talking about getting BIG and stuff...
     
  11. RTE

    RTE Well-Known Member

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    Time under tension refers to the amount of time, the muscles are stressed or worked. To increase the quality of muscle breakdown and the engaging of fibers increase the TUT. Lets shoulder press 100 lbs if you do your reps 1/1 cadence or 2 secs a rep at 8 reps you were under tension for 16 sec. Now change to a 4/4 you are under tension for 64 sec. You worked the muscles harder for four times as long. Some can't do it at the weight they are used to "throwing" around.

    The faster you lift a weight, the more momentum comes into play taking the work off muscle. As It often is said, leave your ego at the gym door. You want to lift heavy weight but you should try to lift it in the most effective and safe way.

    It is no skin off my nose what speed you lift at. I don't feed any of you or pay your bills. But I suggest you give slow and controlled, a real try. :tucool:
     
  12. 1FastGTX

    1FastGTX Elite Member
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    Agreed.

    I've incorporated some slower rep tempos before, and am utilizing a slightly slower approach to bicep rep speed but only as a change to my routine which was running the same way for a very long time (more explosive, BUT NOT SLOPPY!). The change has invited and shown some progress, but I think it's more "the change" that invoked it and not "you're lifting slow now that's why you're growing, so do it that way with every exercise forever." During long stints of very slow reps, I really didn't receive much except for longer training sessions to be totally honest.

    Again, there's a benefit to maintaining decent form and slowER speed than, say, Jay Cutler uses, but I'm NOT going down the "Superslow(TM)" route anytime soon. (I know nobody advocated that, I'm just saying...)
     
  13. jsbrook

    jsbrook Well-Known Member

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    Completely agreed. Ego should be checked. And a faster lifting tempo and lower rep schemes should not be used simply because they allow you to move bigger weights. But time under tension is not the full story. It is was, the 10x3 rep and loading scheme would not be so effective at adding size and strength. But it is.
     
  14. JeremyLikness

    JeremyLikness Well-Known Member

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    My Take on Tempo

    My Take on Tempo

    Tempo is a very powerful tool. The fact that most top strength coaches (Charles Poliquin, Ian King, etc) utilize this technique is enough to at least raise a flag that, hey, maybe there is something to this.

    Jeremy
     
  15. jsbrook

    jsbrook Well-Known Member

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    Yes. I incorporate different training protocols on a regular basis. I do heavy, extremely explosive days. I do very heavy and fast but not extremely explosive days. And I do higher rep training with a slow and controlled cadence. I don't have all the studies at my fingertips, but there are physiological reasons why all are effective and all have their place in a well-planned training program. Whether in the same cycle or in different micro-cycles.
     
  16. jsbrook

    jsbrook Well-Known Member

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    Very good post, Jeremy. I'm a big believer that there is a benefit to changing different aspects of tempo for maximal progress and making it an important factor when using different loading and rep schemes.
     
  17. 1FastGTX

    1FastGTX Elite Member
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    Just what I was about to say. TIME UNDER TENSION cannot be everything of course. If it were, I would could do a 5 pound shoulder press at a 50/50 tempo for 500 reps and grow like a freak, right? Okay, now I just being goofy. :) Of course there are other factors, but I assume everyone in here knows that...

    "The faster you lift a weight, the more momentum comes into play." Well, maybe, but maybe not. A 1/1 temp doesn't necessarily mean the trainee was using momentum, he/she might have just been lifting it quickly.

    Absolutely agree with "leave your ego at the door" though.

    RTE: Another thought (and I'm looking to learn here, not contradict): What if you cannot lift said weight (100lbs) for 8 reps at a 4/4 tempo? I think there's a flaw in your example, or at least another side to it. If Johnny can lift 100 pounds at 1/1 for 8 reps (failure) then I don't think he could do 8 reps at 4/4. I guess now we're going to have to get into "ideal rep range." But even if the reps were cut in half (4) the TUT would of course still be longer (32 seconds as opposed to 16). RTE, you would say "pick a weight that has you fail at 8-10 reps," right? Anyway, interesting discussion as usual.
     
  18. Kino

    Kino Well-Known Member

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    Drop the weight to one that can be lifted for the target rep range at the desired tempo. Johnny may have to cut his lifts to 50-60lbs.
     
  19. 1FastGTX

    1FastGTX Elite Member
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    Right, that's all I was saying. I didn't know if it was as obvious to newbies that Johnny most likely couldn't lift 100 pounds as in RTE's example. :tucool:

    Thx Kino!
     
  20. RTE

    RTE Well-Known Member

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    Johnny, could drop the weight to 80 lbs. 16sec X100lbs = 1600 while 64X80 = 5120. Still more work. If Johnny keeps trying to add weight, he can get back to 100.

    You want to do something that is efficient and effective without being boring and unproductive. Super slow has its place for body weight exercises and real light weights. 4/4 seem a good compromise for most exercises.

    Of course, the rep range is 8-12 reps and Johnny only needs to do one set to failure to get to all his fibers, which he was born with and he won't know what he has till someone disects him :D
     
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