Easily the most overlooked detail of lifting is Tempo. Lifting tempo, or lifting cadence is the rate and rhythmic pattern the weight moves. You could have excellent form, range of motion, and could be using the right weight at the right rep range and missing the time variable. There are 4 phases of a lift: concentric, contraction, eccentric, and stretch, and they are all important.
This is the positive portion of the rep. The part where if you’re pulling your bringing the object closer to you, or you closer to the object. If you’re pushing your moving the object away from you or you away from an object. This phase should be as fast as possible. Force = mass x velocity squared. So the speed you move the weight has more relevance to your muscle strain than the weight. By moving the weight as fast as possible you make every rep valuable, not just the final rep. This is why powerlifters do speed work, they know that the fast twitch fibers respond to speed as well as mass. This allows their joints to recover while still training their central nervous system and fast fibers to fire with 100% neuromuscular precision. To maximize your explosive strength and make your concentric phase more effective a DHT converting prohormone like Epiandro would help.
This phase also called the “Top” of the rep is when your primary muscles are as contracted as possible, like your chest on a pec fly, or your quads on a hack squat, or your lats on a pulldown. This contraction and concentrating on the pain is believed to facilitate definition by etching in detail. Its more likely that the contraction starves the tissue of oxygen momentarily and increases the ability of the muscle to get a pump to compensate for this starvation. This pump releases factors which make the muscle fibers grow and split and thus the muscle gets more defined because it gets bigger. To provide the nutrients necessary for the best possible pump use a pre-workout product, and branch chain amino acids mid workout.
This is the negative portion of the rep. Its when your lowering yourself from a pullup or lowering the bar in a bench press. Many novices skip this phase and just relax, using this portion of the rep to recover some energy. The strange thing is: this is when your strongest, and can handle the most weight. Its important to go slow, 3-6 seconds on this phase. Going slow and struggling on the eccentric does the most damage to the muscle and through the inflammation pathway initiates muscle growth. Its what makes you sore, and a good recovery product is important to minimize the time it takes to recover from strenuous negative reps. A negative is when you use a weight heavier than you can lift, and a partner helps you by spotting you through the positive part of the rep. At the top of the rep, your partner either lets gravity do its job, or actually pushes down on the bar adding to the difficulty and you have to fight the negative, try to keep the barbell in place as it slowly creeps downward. Either adding 3 of these at the end of a normal set or an all negative set of 6 reps like this is plenty of muscle damage for growth. A wet prohormone is the fastest legal way to facilitate the growth of muscle. It keeps your joints and muscles full of water for joint safety and hydraulic pressure. For the best wet cycle click here!
This is a very overlooked phase. In the stretch phase it creates passive tension on the muscle, priming it to contract, and not supporting muscles. Bouncing off the bottom of the range of motion is like using your tendons as slingshots. A solid 1 second pause is ideal for getting the most muscle strain and growth out of a set, and least amount of damage. If you’re having joint issues, you may want to include a joint support and make sure your stretching before using an inflamed or damaged joint.
There you have it, each set should have a .5-1-3-1 tempo or maybe even longer contraction and negative phases. This tempo will maximize strength, muscle growth, definition, and flexibility and joint health. Just rapidly pumping away my build strength and size, but may be traumatic to the joints. while it is safe to go super slow all the time, you will advance slowly if not plateau.
Nothing in this article or on this site should be considered medical advice or as an endorsement to violate any law of the country in which you reside. The information given is for fun and entertainment purposes only. All claims are 100% dependent upon proper diet and exercise. Please consult a medical practitioner prior to any diet and exercise program.