Tempo sometimes seems overrated. Some people like to stick to certain tempos, while others just do their reps.
In our opinion this is a major variable that can be manipulated to get better results. Although we understand the “just do the reps” crowd. Let’s look deeper!
For hypertrophy to grow a muscle it needs to be stimulated for 20-70 sec during the set. It is called the time under tension. If you work in a functional hypertrophy range for let’s say 6 reps, you need to focus on tempo to stimulate the muscle long enough. A tempo of 4010 will be good as an example, just make sure you stimulate the muscle for at least 20 sec. If you do 6 reps and don’t mind your tempo, you will not get the proper muscle stimulation for hypertrophy gains.
On the other hand if you go higher in reps and focus more on sarcoplasmatic hypertrophy, the tempo is a bit less a main factor because your reps are higher so you will automatically be in the 20-70 sec range if you just do your reps. It matters a lot to get maximum results, whatever your goal is.
Advantages of controlling tempo:
– Extra variable to manipulate
– slow eccentrics helps with stabilisation
– more muscle damage in slower eccentrics
– Isometric pauze can contribute in strength gains and overcome plateaus
– Fast concentric can stimulate more type 2 fibers
– Slower reps create more muscle tension