Incorporating and prescribing tempo in your training is a great way to change things up or to make sure you’re targeting your specific area of need. Whether you’re a young-newbie exerciser or seasoned trained athlete incorporating tempo training can be a very beneficial tool.
For newer athletes and exercisers, we have found that prescribing tempo allows the person to shift their focus from the weight they’re using to the time under tension, engagement and movement quality. For example, we can prescribe a tempo of 3 seconds eccentric (going with gravity), a 2 second isometric (pause in the bottom of the eccentric), 1 second concentric (going against gravity), followed by a 1 second isometric pause at the top of the concentric.
We can incorporate different types of tempos to focus on different components of an exercise or addressing specific areas of need for the given athlete.
Not only is prescribing tempo beneficial to newer athletes but is also extremely beneficial with trained athletes or exercisers as well. Prescribing tempo helps insure for specific metabolic stress and stimulus the training program is aiming for.
For example: two athletes are performing a back squat with 80% of their 1 rep max. One athlete takes 2 seconds to perform the movement start to finish, and the other takes 5 seconds to perform the same movement. Both athletes are using the same relative weight in regard to their 1 rep max, however the time under tension is different, which means the metabolic stress is different between these two athletes. By prescribing tempo to these to athletes we can direct their training and ensure the metabolic stimulus we’re aiming for.
If you’re looking to change up your training or wanting to address some specific areas of need, try incorporating tempo into your movements. Sometimes it’s not about lifting more, sometimes it’s about applying the right stimulus.