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Tempo in weight training

Posted on January 19, 2015 at 6:00 AM

When weight training, there are several variables to consider in order to reach your goal, train specifically and  avoid a plateau.  While the most well known variables are sets and reps, tempo is also an important factor.

Tempo is how fast you perform each rep.  When you receive a work out plan from me, it will include the tempo.  The tempo will consist of three numbers.  We will use a simple bicep curl as an example.  The first number tells you how fast to lower the weight.  So if your muscle is shortened, with fists up by your shoulder, you would lower the weight for a count of 4 seconds in a 4/2/1 tempo.  The middle number represents how long to hold the contraction.  So in this example you would lift the weight and hold it there for 2 seconds before lowering the weight.  The last number represents how fast you push or lift the weight.  In a 4/2/1 tempo for a bicep curl you would move the weight up in a count of one second, hold it there for two seconds and bring it back down to the starting point during a four second count.  

Tempo is a very important part of your workout.  It determines if you are working out concentrically, eccentrically, for strength, for bulk, for power and helps you avoid a plateau.

So when you get your workout and you see those numbers posted under tempo, do not dismis them.  It is a crucial portion of your workout, even more importantly if you have specific goals to reach.

Categories: injury prevention, athletic training, fitness

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