But in the gym, things are different. If you do 10 reps per set, you’re looking at about 30 seconds of tension each time. However, in reality, is time under tension really all that it’s cracked up to be? Put your muscules under tension for a longer period of time, and they’ll be forced to develop by getting bigger and stronger. Basically, time under tension has to do with specifically varying the tempo of your workouts; the length of time that you take to do each rep. Over the years, a number of fitness professionals and bodybuilders alike have embraced the concept of time under tension – believing that it is as important, if not more so, than the amount of weight that you’re lifting. There is also an element of satisfaction to training this way, which is admittedly missing from lower rep, progressive overload style training. Our product picks are editor-tested, expert-approved. To be clear, that’s not the only lifting strategy you should follow. Generally speaking, the greater a muscle’s TUT, the greater its potential growth stimulus is. The general consensus is that increasing TUT will maximize hypertrophy. Let’s dive into this concept and find out. What do you think of time under tension training? As I alluded to above, it wasn’t until the 1990s that time under tension (also known as TUT) started becoming a ‘thing’ in the bodybuilding community. “Time under tension might not be as effective as explosive movements at getting muscles to respond, making them bigger," Lagree told MensHealth.com. You can still make gains training like that, and many guys certainly have! If you pump iron and want your muscles to grow big and strong, you need to create as much tension as possible. Men's Health participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. How much weight do you think that you’d be able to lift, compared to what you were doing before? Whether that means adjusting exercises, rep ranges, number of sets, heavy vs light weight. If you’re thinking that I’m leading up to something less-than-wonderful about TUT, you’d be right! Well, a number of recent studies that have been conducted comparing ‘fast’ vs ‘slow’ training don’t support this…. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site. Heavy Isometrics Build Strength Rapidly. Your move: Lift slower for longer. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if you were only able to get 6 reps of 170-180 pounds this way – far less than the 200 pounds that you were previously benching. Imagine that you get to the gym, and are ready to knock out a few sets of bench presses. It refers to how long a muscle is under load or strain during a set. As you know from my previous articles, one of the biggest factors that impacts muscular development is progressive overload. We may earn a commission through links on our site. And while it may take a workout or two to get used to using tempo, the benefits are worth it. If you answered ‘quite a bit less’, you’d be right on the money! Time Under Tension: Hypertrophy, Strength and Endurance. The list goes on. Time under tension is another one of these methods, but it … This University of Connecticut study demonstrated that slow training resulted in less peak force and power than fast training. "But I think … You’ve likely heard the term time under tension” (or simply “TUT”) kicked around the weight rack. The regular bench pressing technique greatly outperformed the slow, time under tension technique in terms of power output. Use the time under tension technique (TUT) so you can get more out of your reps and grow your muscles by slowing down your reps to maximize the time your muscles spend under stress… Time under tension is another one of these methods, but it really only came into prominence fairly recently…. The list goes on. But if TUT training isn’t one of them, you’re shortchanging your results. Now let’s imagine that you decide to bench press by following a common protocol for time under tension – 5 second eccentric phase (descent to your chest), 1 second pause, and 5 second concentric phase (pushing it back up). But when it comes to muscle building, more tension is even better. Whether that means adjusting exercises, rep ranges, number of sets, heavy vs light weight. When you increase the amount of time each rep takes, you greatly reduce the amount of weight that you are able to lift, thereby limiting progressive overload. It was popularized by some of the biggest players in fitness at the time – namely Charles Poliquin and Ian King – and soon enough everyone was jumping on board. Bodybuilders get so big because they are keeping their muscles under stress for longer periods of time when lifting. This content is imported from {embed-name}. Focus on the eccentric phase of each rep, taking five to six seconds to lower the weight, and then three to four seconds to lift it. Now I would not go as far as to say that time under tension training is terrible…. Let us know about your experiences in the comments below. This is because you are much more likely to induce cellular fatigue and muscular damage by training this way, leading to increased intra and post-workout soreness. But make no mistake, the research clearly suggests that this type of training simply isn’t as effective, in terms of building strength and muscle, as more traditional training. Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site. This translates into putting increased load on the muscles, by using heavier and heavier weights over time. Scientific evidence surrounding the effectiveness of time under tension workouts varies. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. Shoot for a total set length of about 50 to 60 seconds using a weight that challenges you to complete around six reps during that time. And this study from the University of Oklahoma concluded that doing 4 weeks of regular resistance training produced more strength and muscle gains than slow training methodologies. However, one might argue that the increased TUT outweighs the reduced amount of weight that you are able to lift. Basically, this You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io, How Your Intercostal Muscles Affect Your Workouts, What You Need to Know About Anaerobic Exercises, What You Need to Know About Aerobic Training, How Your Body Type Can Affect Your Workouts, How You Can Use an Eccentric Focus for More Gains. You are working in the 6-8 rep range, and so far you’ve been able to do 200 pounds for 6 reps. Time under tension (or TUT for short) is commonly used in strength and conditioning and bodybuilding. Surf the internet and you're bound to see a slew of training recommendations based on the concept of time-under-tension (TUT). Are you starting to see the problem here? As you might have guessed, this has led 1000s of guys to obsess over how slowly they are doing each rep, timing the number of seconds just as they might time their rest intervals.