Slow Down The Tempo
I love a good fast sweat intense workout but those style of programs do cause stress to our bodies and can hinder our recovery and performance if we don't balance our training. They do burn a boat load of fat and come with an amazing after burn but we also want to conserve our muscle and continue to build some. Having a body with a leaner muscle mass will help make your results more sustainable and long term. Also, having a healthy ratio of muscle can also boost your metabolic function.
Slowing Down The Tempo
When I talk about tempo, I am focusing on how fast you move to complete a rep. Playing around with different tempos can effectively change the exercise without having to redefine your workout. Some tempos include 4-4, 3-1 and 2-2.
Time Under Tension
Let's use a simple exercise like a squat. When we associate a tempo with the movement we are talking about Time Under Tension. The more time we spent under tension the more muscular damage we create. So the question is how do you know how much time. When I use a 4-4 tempo, it is a super slow movement. So squatting down for 4 counts and slowly rising for 4 counts. 3-1 is a moving slow in the eccentric component of the squat with a fast and explosive concentric response. In other words, slow as you sit down for 3 counts and 1 count to stand up. This strategy can total change how the exercise feels and can create new challenges in your workout.
Leave Room For Progression
The body adapts fastest to weight and reps but it takes much more time for your body to actually groove the patterns of exercise. Using different tempos will also you to take your current workouts to new levels before advancing to more advance movement patterns. We sometimes get so caught up in the newest exercises but we haven't really mastered the basics. Try changing your tempos in your next workout to see for yourself.
Next time you hit the gym give your workout a new twist with tempos. Place some focus on time under tension to really challenge those muscles. More muscular damage means more energy spent during recovery. Faster metabolism and a stronger you. Master your movements first and implement different intensities in your programs to aid in recovery and results.
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