On a time and equipment constraint, but feel the need to mix it up and get more out of your sets? Change Your Tempo..!
A small change in the tempo of your repetitions during a set can have a much different effect on a muscle without having to change your equipment, exercises or increase your workout time.
The tempo of the repetition during a set is something most of us don’t even think about. What is tempo? Tempo involves the three phases of contraction during a repetition. The eccentric or negative phase (first digit), the static or isometric phase (second digit), and the concentric or positive phase (third digit). By increasing or decreasing anyone of these phases will in effect increase or decrease the number of repetitions you perform but not the length of the set time. For example if you normally work at a 2-1-2 tempo for 8 repetitions the set would take 45 seconds to complete. Mix it up and change to a 2-0-1 tempo and perform 15 repetitions to complete the set at the same time (45 seconds) as the 8 repetition 2-1-2 tempo set. You can adjust the tempo to many different combinations using this example and by doing so have a profound change on muscle fiber recruitment therefore, effecting both the strength and/or endurance of the muscle being used. Just be sure to do your math correctly so that your adjusted repetitions added with the adjusted tempo allow you to complete the set in the same amount of time in order to keep your workout time the same. Here’s how the above example would look:
Until next time, keep up the tempo!
Yours In Health,
The Fitz Factor