Tempo training is all about moving slowly and under control.
This past week we did some tempo work on our DB push press with 3 seconds down. Our focus in that wod was to maintain control of the dumbbell instead of mindlessly moving through the reps and losing control.
Each part of the tempo movement has its own number to it, which means the amount of seconds you take in each part of the movement. The first number is always the amount of seconds it takes to descend, which is the key focus of a tempo movement.
By lifting with a tempo, you’ll increase your time under tension compared to our normal lifting pace. For example, say you squat 125 lbs for 10 reps and each rep takes you 2 seconds to complete. So in total you’ll accumulate 20 seconds of tension. Now let’s say we throw in some tempo work in there, let’s take 3 seconds on the way down, 2 second pause at the bottom and then explode up, each rep should take about 5 seconds to complete. Do 6 reps at that pace and you’ll accumulate 30 seconds of tension.
With tempo training you’ll want to lower your weight and reps and focus on the descent and the ascend. This might be humbling in the beginning but you’ll accumulate much more time under tension and have your muscles quaking at 60% of your 1 rep max just as badly as 85% of your 1 rep max.
The greater the time under tension the greater the muscle gain!