Exercise Time Under Tension vs. Working to Failure

time under tension

Time under tension refers to how long your muscles are under tension during an exercise.

Hey there!

When it comes to building muscle, there are a couple of popular approaches: time under tension (TUT) and training until failure. So, which one’s better for muscle gain? Well, both can be effective depending on your goals and preferences. But there’s some evidence suggesting that TUT might have some unique benefits.

So, what is TUT and training until failure? TUT refers to how long your muscles are under tension during an exercise. You can achieve this by slowing down your reps, using lighter weights, or adding pauses at the peak of a contraction. Training until failure means doing a set until you can’t do another rep with good form.

One study in the Journal of Physiology found that higher levels of TUT (about 90 seconds per set) were more effective for muscle growth than lower levels of TUT (about 30 seconds per set). Longer TUT may create more metabolic stress and muscle damage, which can stimulate muscle growth. Plus, it might activate more muscle fibers and increase muscle fiber recruitment, both of which contribute to muscle growth.

Another study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that longer TUT (around 6 seconds per rep) was more effective for muscle growth in trained individuals than shorter TUT (around 1 second per rep). Longer TUT creates a greater demand on your muscles and can lead to more muscle damage, which can help you grow those gains.

That being said, training until failure can also be an effective way to stimulate muscle growth. A study in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that training until failure led to similar muscle growth and strength gains compared to stopping short of failure. Training until failure might be better for experienced resistance trainers who need more muscle fatigue to grow their gains.

But wait, there’s more! Along with your training approach, your nutrition and recovery play a big part in muscle growth. Eating a high-protein diet and getting enough overall calories can support your muscle growth, as can getting plenty of rest and recovery time between workouts.

So, which approach should you choose? It depends on what works best for you and your goals. Some people might prefer longer TUT, while others might like training until failure. It might even be a good idea to switch up your training approach from time to time to keep challenging your muscles and avoid plateaus. Whatever you choose, consistency and dedication are key to achieving your muscle growth goals.

In conclusion, both time under tension and training until failure can be effective methods for muscle growth. TUT might have some unique benefits, but training until failure can be just as effective. With some trial and error, you’ll find what works best for you. And remember to support your gains with proper nutrition and recovery!

Stop waiting around, let’s start building these habits and getting fit. Reach out today to get a personalized program designed to achieve your goals.

-Coach Tyler
 Lead Then Conquer

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