How to Use Time and Tension to Build Quality Muscle
I am sure you will agree at least 90% of gym goers start lifting weights to build muscle. Because its muscle that gives our body shape and form – the basis of all the “body transformation” plans you see on the fitness market are based on losing fat and building lean muscle. We would all conclude that weight training is the preferred and scientifically proven choice when it comes to hypertrophy (Muscle building). However, it’s important to understand the basic essence of what makes weight training so effective before you cloud your mind with fancy techniques. In this blog we are going to talk about TUT (Time Under Tension), and how important it is if your goal is to enhance your muscle building efforts in the gym.
The truth is tension is like the air we breathe when it comes to workouts. Without it our gains get suffocated and stifled irrelevant of how fancy our weight training program may be! Tension is the backbone of any effective weight training program, you could say it’s one of the absolute fundamentals that has to be applied to truly succeed.
I am going to run through the various elements and aspects required so you can take advantage of this somewhat obvious, but often overlooked muscle building asset – tension.
What is Time Under Tension?
Before I point out the benefits, it’s important to understand what it is. When we talk about time under tension, we refer to how much time the muscles are under stress. Basically, if you lift a weight and it takes you 40 seconds to complete that set, you have a total time under tension of 40 seconds.
For example my rep takes six seconds, two seconds up and three seconds down, one second static squeeze. If you do your reps in two seconds, one up and one down, your muscles are under load for only two seconds per rep. When performing resistance training, the longer time the muscle is under load, the more muscle fibers are recruited. This means that you get more hypertrophy out of each set. The entire point of resistance training is to recruit as many muscle fibers as possible with the available ATP. Since you only have about an hour’s worth of ATP, the more you can get out of each rep/set, the less you need to do per workout. Now remember, we’re speaking strictly hypertrophy gains here.
If you’re a seasoned athlete who’s primarily concerned with strength, power and speed gains, such a protocol is likely to be of little benefit. So we are talking strictly lean muscle gains here. So many trainers go out on the hunt for a fancy-pants muscle building program and put so much focus on the precise exercises they’re doing, how much rest they’re taking between the exercises, complex techniques, writing everything down, but then completely neglect the time under tension factor. If you get this one wrong, you’re missing out on a key element that can help you build some serious muscle!
Rather than just lifting weights from A to B we have to understand how the human body, or more specifically our musculature reacts to time under tension, and how we can maximize each rep and set to create enhanced hypertrophy(Muscle growth).
To learn how to use Time Under Tension in your training download Steve’s FREE eBook from our downloads page.
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