This blog topic by CRB Tech Reviews discuss most effective, yet less utilized, tool in the gym to build muscle.
When you first started doing an exercise, you went through all the performance pointers like flash cards in your head to ensure you were doing the movement right. But, with time, the movement became second nature so you didn’t have to think about it. That freed up your mind to instead focus on other important topics. Today, we shall discussthe tempo.
Experiences teach that knowing how to manipulate rep tempo, the speed at which you raise and lower a weight is one of the most effective yet less utilized muscle-building tools. That’s basically true with chest training, and here we’ll show you how to use rep tempo with this pair of chest exercises.
Manipulating rep tempo needs you to pay particular attention to the two main phases, the eccentric and the concentric. Manipulating either (or both) of these phases allows you to effectively alter the training stimulus.
1. Bench Press
From the top position, take a 2-second negative, lower the bar under complete control to a point just above the chest. A muscle is strong on the eccentric contraction than the concentric, so controlling the descent in a well manner helps you to increase the benefits of the negative rep.
As you approach the bottom of the rep, smoothly reverse direction without bouncing the bar off your chest. The smooth motion helps you to take advantage of the elastic energy that builds up when you lower the weight. If you come to a dead stop, you lose that elastic energy.
On the positive rep, use a strong, explosive motion to push the bar back to the top. The quick tempo helps the greatest number of fast-twitch muscle fibers in the pecs to come alive. Note that you may be pushing as hard as possible, but with a loaded bar, it doesn’t actually move very fast. Also, being “explosive” still needs control, so do not throw the weight up and allow yourself to get sloppy.
2. Pec-Deck Machine
Keep a slight bend in the elbows minimize triceps extension, which is best for better pec isolation.
From the top position, use a slow eccentric for 2-3 seconds. This way you’re allowing the weight to slowly pull your hands apart. The deliberate control here is critical in order to take advantage of the eccentric contraction. The slow speed also helps you to stop the motion so you don’t end up overstretching your shoulders.
When smoothly reversing the motion at the bottom, you can again take advantage of the elastic energy. On the concentric, go back to a more powerful, explosive motion while still keeping control over the movement.
To count the total number of repetitions is not the only way to measure success. The length of your set is also important.
The concept of “time under tension” (TUT) is one that hasn’t been well studied, but evidences suggest that a strength-based set must last 4-20 seconds, while one for muscle must last 40-60 seconds. When training for size, pushing a weight as fast as possible and lowering it quickly without control might not optimize TUT.
You must still select a weight at which you fail between 8-12 reps, which is optimal for hypertrophy. But, the rep tempo means the set must last about 40-60 seconds.
When done right, TUT leads to the production of metabolites like hydrogen ions, ammonia, and inorganic phosphate. This increase in metabolic stress signals the body to enhance the production of hormones important for synthesis for muscle protein which is the key process in muscle growth.
We conclude now.
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