Time under tension and pro bodybuilders (drsquat and todd)

markandspike's picture

Looking at the pro bodybuilders on you tube and non of them have very long sets(tempo is very fast) but dr squat and charles polquin both state that the negative part is very important for the growth of the muscle fibers. Why are most pro training different but show huge muscle mass.

special vitamins...

special vitamins...

superman's picture

LOL

LOL

Also, they video stuff

Also, they video stuff that'll look cool that people will want to watch. I doubt most of what they video represents their actual training. Who wants to watch someone do really slow reps for a 40 second set?

www.wildirongym.com
www.tinyurl.com/WildIron

Often what seems to make

Often what seems to make sense theoretically doesn't prove to hold true in the real world. Compare the physiques of some of the top strongman competitors (the ones who actually have a low enough body fat to tell) to that of the top bodybuilders and tell me what you see. And what about all the heavy weight powerlifters and olympic lifters, if they were lean enough to see. They all have one thing in common. That is they all have huge muscles.

TUT in terms of tempo is total BS; that is in terms of tempo. Oops, we forgot about Dorian Yates who claims he used to do his reps real slow. But the fast training certainly is working for all the other guys. If TUT actually does make a difference, fast reps are still working because the guys are getting plenty of TUT doe to the high volume.

And you have to really think about it. This stuff really is a lot simpler than people make it out to be. Because you can lift the weight slowly all you want, but thats only going to make it so you aren't placing as much tension on the muscles because they aren't lifting the weight as fast as possible. Surely the TUT is longer that way, but what good is more TUT if the total tension is much less than if you were lifting explosively?

With olympic lifts they do a lot of volume throughout the week. They work on their lifts often and thus the total work being done adds up over the week.

Strongman competitors put a much greater demand on themselves because they are competing. With that competitiveness in them they have more encouragement to try harder on their sets than a bodybuilder does. Take heavy tire flips for example. I compare that to using a weight that is close to your max deadlift and some how forcing yourself to deadlift it for 10 reps with it. Thats a lot of work in one set because its a lot of tension for a lot of reps.

Similar with powerlifters. Even the heavy weight guys who lift with gear, they lift incredibly heavy weights for multiple sets within the same workout. Even though a lot of them only work each lift once per week, its still a lot of volume. That combined with with eating plenty forces you to grow.

While science is a great thing to explain things, a lot of it is wrong. You have to go by the right science. And if what is happening in the real world doesn't match up with what is in the books, that means the books are clearly wrong. Thats why I say, don't get too caught up in the science. Weight lifting and building muscle is much simpler than that. All strongman competitors know that. Because of the events training you will never get a routine that looks as cute as what is proposed for a typical bodybuilding routine. But the muscles get bigger much faster off from events than anything else.

markandspike's picture

watching the pro's

Watching the pro bodybuilders on you tube and the average set lasts about 15-20 seconds for between 8-12 reps.

TUT is something that is

TUT is something that is preached by HIT folks...at least in the sports world....i'm not saying it doesn't build muscle...but it sure as heck doesn't build a tone of strength which in turn doesn't build alot of muscle

markandspike's picture

Yes know HIT crowd are into

Yes know HIT crowd are into the TUT theory. What i mean is the pro's look like they train as in A and B workouts as in Fred's ABC system. But in the C workouts the Negative is really done to town on. Is the 15second mark about right for building muscle mass think chris aceto says something about a set should last about 15 seconds in one of his books.

wlewisj's picture

Time under tension is

Time under tension is important for everyone. It determines what response you will receive from the training. Doc has always spoke about this.

15 secs is not for building mass.

Sets lasting less than 20 seconds results in more relative strength. Sets lasting between 20-40 seconds is suited for more hypertrophy. Lastly, sets between 40-70 seconds are for muscle endurance. See Todd's Functional Hypertrophy article for program prescriptions in more detail.

Willis Lewis, Jr.
"The man that dreams success is already successful"

Todd Wilson's picture

First let me state

First let me state emphatically that Time Under Tension is one of if not the greatest neglected variable in modern training.

The fact that bodybuilders taking enough growth hormone to pay your house note a week don't adhere strictly to specific TUT principles doesn't mean they aren't viable.

First let's look at some basic TUT principles...

As rules of thumb:

20 seconds or less builds strength with little in regards of hypertrophy

20-40 seconds builds a combination of strength & hypertrophy.

40-60 builds strength endurance and hypertrophy.

More than 60 seconds pretty much builds strength endurance with little in regards to hypertrophy.

Now, you will notice than those work in general regardless of the actual number of reps.

Now let's take our pro bodybuilder friend who's nutritional advisor lives in Tijuana... He's likely 25-35, been training pretty consistently since a teen, and probably had some success (i.e., genetics) right off the bat lifting.

Most bodybuilders have a plethora of type IIA fibers which are your intermediate fast twitch fibers.

However, after training consistently for a decade or more we become more neurologically efficient. What that means is, that while 20 rep squats worked great when someone was 17 and did it with 135, doing it again at age 27 with 250 may not yield significant results despite him wobbling out of the gym. The reason? After 10 years of serious training he has pretty good intramuscular and intermuscular coordination. Therefore while someone that's been training hard for 2 years may grow best with 8-12 reps with 30-50 seconds of TUT, he likely grow better with 4-6 reps and only 10-30 seconds of TUT.

Now I could go on for a week and a half examining exceptions to the rule, but again, they're rules of thumb. They weren't on the lost stone of commandments Moses dropped coming down off the mountain.

I will say this, regardless of what anyone thinks.... I'm always an advocate of not going along with the masses. IMO most people are idiots. Whether it's lifting, politics, nutrition, etc. the more people believe in something, the more likely I am to not reject or accept but to question what's being widely held.

Most people have never manipulated TUT for even 6 workouts, much less over a periodized cycle of 12-18 weeks.

If you've never taken time to lower your weights for 5 seconds on every rep of every set for X number of reps for 6 straight workouts, you're missing an incredibly effective training tool.

If you've always just lifted the weight and never lifted is as fast as possible, you're missing out on an important training variable.

If you've never tried a cycle of lifting a weight slowly for 5 or ten seconds or even longer, you're missing out on an important training variable.

If you've never eccentric training in which you time each rep for 6-8-10-12 seconds, you're missing an important training variable.

ATTENTION INTERNET EXPERT MENTAL MASTURBATORS!!!!!! I did not say HIT was an optimal training method. I did not say superslow training was the best way to train, I did not say say that if you did not account for TUT in your training that you couldn't not be strong. I said that if you are not paying attention to TUT and manipulating it then you are missing on an incredible training variable.

I think the leg press is crap most of the time, but for hypertrophy and body compositional changes it can be a useful tool.

Olympic lifts are great at improving speed and power in athletes. They suck for quadricep size and strength. Hence weightlifters squat multiple times a week.

Working the rotator cuffs is boring. Therefore nobody worries about it until they hurt their shoulder.

Manipulating tempo like everything else is a mere tool, yet people want to make it into an end all be all tool or a useless tool. As usual it's neither. But it is a tool like weighted pull ups that most people don't use enough that when used correctly can set you or your clients gains apart from others.

If you've never manipulated tempo and TUT principles before you should, it's one of the easiest ways to apply new, muscle strength and growth stimulation.

If you can perform at least 10 pull ups try this for 6 workouts each and then check out your total pull ups and 3 rep weighted pull up max.

Workouts 1-6
4-5 sets of 6-8 reps on a 50X0 tempo
Lower yourself for 5 seconds and pull yourself up explosively. Rest 3-4 minutes between sets. 90-120 seconds if you use compound sets.

Same set/rep scheme with DB Rows that day.

Workouts 7-12
6 sets of 2-4 reps on a 5050 tempo
Lower yourself for 5 seconds, raise yourself for 5 seconds.

Workouts 13-18
10 sets of 5 reps with a 3020 tempo but on the last rep of each set perform an 8 second eccentric. Obviously you should use added weight.

You'll gains much needed upper back strength and your shirts will fit differently after 18 workouts. You'll notice that while the tempos are very different as are the set/rep schemes, the TUT is only slightly different.

What people miss out on the concept of using TUT is it's practical application and manipulation.

Todd Wilson's picture

Something I also neglected

Something I also neglected to mention with regards to bodybuilding..... often drop sets, extended sets, giant sets, etc. are all used to extend TUT.... time those sets and you'll be surprised how the results often match TUT principles.

Also, if you were a bodybuilder doing a video shoot for your fans, wouldn't you use a little heavier weight than normal and not necessarily worry about form quite as much??????

Moses coming down off the

Moses coming down off the mountain...what a metaphor.

Classic!

jwbruce's picture

TUT is a great tool that can

TUT is a great tool that can be easily and effectively used by everyone. One way to look at it. If I lift 100 lbs for 10 reps with a 2-0-1 tempo (lowering in 2s and lifting up normally), and switch to a 4-0-1 tempo, maybe at first I can get 8 reps, but if at the end of the cycle I am lifting 100 lbs for 10 reps at a 4-0-1 tempo, no doubt i got stronger.

another way to look at it:

10 x 100 lbs @ 1-0-1 -> 10s total negative plus 10 reps (total 20s)
8 x 100 lbs @ 2-0-1 -> 16s total negative plus 8 reps (total 24s)
6 x 100 lbs @ 4-0-1 -> 24s total negative plus 6 reps (total 30s)

I think the negative portion of the lift gets forgotten too often. Its not that you are "lowering" the weight as much as you are working against gravity to prevent it crashing to the ground. So by increasing the time it takes to "lower" the weight, you have increased the amount of work you do ... an effective tool i think.

Now I'm not advocating a raw squatter do their competition lifts with a 5s negative or anything, but TUT is a very useful paramater you can manipulate in your training.

Jamie

DrSquat's picture

Todd, you outdid yourself!

Todd, you outdid yourself! This was classic, and you moderators (you guys who have NOT been moderating????) put this in the archives!

markandspike's picture

Hi Todd With the three

Hi Todd

With the three different workouts you discussed all the TUT were all roughly the same (totaling 200-250 seconds for all sets). But what advantage does each one have and what type of muscle fibers are more stressed in each workout.

Thanks
Mark

Todd Wilson's picture

Variation in the speed of

Variation in the speed of contraction and variation in the number of repetitions, but in that TUT zone it's optimal for most people for gains in strength and hypertrophy.

With similar TUT, the same exercise, you will realize how manipulating the tempo makes a huge difference in results.

Now, you can manipulate actual TUT greater than I did as well if one wanted to improve strength or size preferentially.
For example:

Workouts 1-6:

8 sets of 2 reps at a tempo of 50X0
Obviously these are heavy heavy sets. You'll be increasing neural drive & Intermuscular coordination primarily here.

Workouts 7-12:

5 sets of 5 reps at a 4042 tempo; That's lower yourself for 4 seconds, raise yourself for 4 seconds, pause at the top position for 2 seconds.

Workouts 13:
Sets of 8, 6, 4, 4, 6, 8 reps
Workout 14:
Sets of 7, 5, 3, 3, 5, 7 reps
Workout 15:
Sets of 6, 4, 2, 2, 4, 6 reps
Workouts 16:
Sets of 8, 6, 4, 4, 6, 8 reps
Workout 17:
Sets of 7, 5, 3, 3, 5, 7 reps
Workout 18:
Sets of 6, 4, 2, 2, 4, 6 reps

All on a 40X0 tempo; 4 Seconds lower CAT on the concentric portion...

For each workout, on the second set of each number of reps increase the weight 2.5-5 lbs.

Second time through the workouts start with the weight you finished with the first time through.

EX: 8reps at bodyweight + 50 lbs, 6 reps at BW + 52.5 lbs, 4 reps at BW + 55 lbs., 4 reps at BW + 57.5 lbs., 6 reps at BW + 55 lbs., 8 reps at BW + 52.5 lbs.; the next time you get to the workout of 8, 6, 4, 4, 6, 8 reps you start the first set of 8 reps with 52.5 lbs, by the end of the workout you will have increased your 8RM by 5lbs, in 4 workouts.

markandspike's picture

Thanks Todd Could you give

Thanks Todd
Could you give me an example of sets,reps and tempo if purely size was the goal.

thanks
mark

k hold on a second I see a

k hold on a second I see a problem.

We know that the faster you lift concentrically, the MORE TENSION you generate. The amount of tension is equally needed for growth, not just the duration.

So, wouldn't a better way be to lift explosively all the time and to increase the duration to simply do more reps (through drop sets possibly) rather than a slow concentric of 5 seconds?

I can see how a slow concentric might allow the CNS to recover. Is this why you're doing it? Because its better than nothing and allows recovery since explosive training ALL the time would eventually tax you out?

I also wanted to reply to

I also wanted to reply to Charles wayyy up there at the top.

>> While science is a great thing to explain things, a lot of it is wrong.

◘ Science doesn't work in terms of right or wrong. It provides us with continually better models. Science one said the earth was flat. Then it was disk shaped. Then it was round. Then it was elliptical. Now they're saying its lop-sided elliptical. At no point is this "wrong"... but our model is continually getting better. Our current model isn't perfect either but that doesn't mean its wrong. At no point will we ever have it 100% absolutely right with no possibility of discovering something more about it.

>> And if what is happening in the real world doesn't match up with what is in the books, that means the books are clearly wrong.

◘ No it doesn't. The books explain the principles behind how something works. They cannot account for absolutely every possible thing that ever could or would happen. What's happening in the real world may be happening because of some other independent mechanism not covered in the literature, while the principles covered in the literature are still very much accurate and no less valid.

Todd Wilson's picture

Thanks Todd Could you give

Thanks Todd
Could you give me an example of sets,reps and tempo if purely size was the goal.

thanksc
mark

Take the First example I gave and in the last 6 workouts perform 10 sets of 8 but without the 8 second eccentric at the end of each set using a 4020 tempo.

Reason being, if hypertrophy is the primary goal, you still need some strength work, more strength means using higher weight in the hypertrophy TUT zone.

More reps in the final 6 workouts causes more TUT and more sets at that TUT and intensity.

Todd Wilson's picture

k hold on a second I see a

k hold on a second I see a problem.

We know that the faster you lift concentrically, the MORE TENSION you generate. The amount of tension is equally needed for growth, not just the duration.

### Not necessarily. Curling a 10 lb weight fast will produce tension, but not as much as that same guy curling a 60 lb. weight even though it take 2 seconds to complete the rep. Tension is a product of intensity and intent. As Doc has explained a million times, don't worry about the speed of movement, but try to move it as fast as possible. A lot of strength guru's out there right now are trying to gauge speed of weight and terminate when they "see" a weight slow down and other such BS. That's idiotic. You'll never get any work done. As Doc has correctly pointed out, Maximum Tension is achieved with heavy weights while using compensatory acceleration. For hypertrophy purposes this is great if you can maintain X number of reps at a given intensity. However, depending on fiber type, muscle group, the exercise, and training age, this isn't necessarily possible. Therefore other method of increasing muscular tension must be employed. Slower repetitions (when using lighter weights) is an excellent way to create more tension within the muscle and allow greater TUT, thus producing more of a hypertrophic training response.

So, wouldn't a better way be to lift explosively all the time and to increase the duration to simply do more reps (through drop sets possibly) rather than a slow concentric of 5 seconds?

### No. There's little point in lifting "explosively" for more than 20 seconds as we were not designed to be explosive past about 20 seconds for evidence I point you to any text book explaining the krebs cycle and glycolysis. Now, that doesn't mean that on a set with a TUT over 20 that it's useless to use CAT, quite the contrary. But just because you think you are lifting "explosively" doesn't mean you are building "explosiveness" or power. That's reserved for 1-5 reps or about 20 seconds or less of TUT, see Weightlifters.

I can see how a slow concentric might allow the CNS to recover. Is this why you're doing it?

### NO. Over training the CNS is a product of intensity and volume not time under tension or tempo.

Because its better than nothing and allows recovery since explosive training ALL the time would eventually tax you out?

### Volleyball, basketball, & track athletes train "explosively" everyday. It's not a magnitude of speed or this ethereal "explosion", but intensity. If you train too intense, intensity being relative to your maximum force output, for too long you run the risk of over training the CNS. Over training the CNS is relatively easier to do compared with over training the metabolic system.

Fasten your seatbelts.

>> Curling a 10 lb weight fast will produce tension, but not as much as that same guy curling a 60 lb. weight even though it take 2 seconds to complete the rep.

◘ Ok but thats not quite where I was going with it. I mean there's a difference between lifting the 60 pound weight deliberately slowly over 5 seconds, vs lifting it as-fast-as-you-can over who-cares-how-long because you're producing more tension that way.

>> However, depending on fiber type, muscle group, the exercise, and training age, this isn't necessarily possible. Therefore other method of increasing muscular tension must be employed. Slower repetitions (when using lighter weights) is an excellent way to create more tension within the muscle and allow greater TUT

◘ Ok conceptual model time.

There's 250 pounds on the bar. 2 people are going to squat for 15 reps. Hypertrophy is what we're discussing here.

Person 1: Squats the 250 for 15 reps going explosive on every single rep. Now he cant explode by the time he's at number 12 or so, but HE'S DAMN WELL TRYING because regardless of the fact that he's started to slow down, he's still trying to activate all muscle fibers every rep. He's not slowing down because he's not hitting all the fibers... he's slowing down due to fatigue.

Person 2: Lowers the weight to 200, and starts lifting slower, taking about a 3 to 4 second concentric on every rep. Far below explosive lifts, and lands 15 reps.

Now from the way I see it...

Person 1 hit all the fibers every rep, produced the most tension, and will see the most growth. He may not have lifted as LONG as person 2, but thats ok since he can just do 1 more set and presto - now he's total time lifting is higher. Also, higher tension = more protein degradation.

So I just dont see the advantage person 2 would have here.

>> Slower repetitions (when using lighter weights) is an excellent way to create more tension within the muscle

◘ But slower reps create LESS tension!!!

>> But just because you think you are lifting "explosively" doesn't mean you are building "explosiveness" or power. That's reserved for 1-5 reps or about 20 seconds or less of TUT, see Weightlifters.

◘ Yea I know but we're not talking about building explosiveness. We're talking about hypertrophy.

>> NO. Over training the CNS is a product of intensity and volume not time under tension or tempo.

◘ But if you're lifting all out, as hard and as fast as you can (explosive tempo) .... as opposed to lifting slowly... then as you said, you've got a higher intensity and you could be overtraining.

Slower reps then (slower tempo) would move you away from intensity and allow the CNS to recover.

So I think I was right!

Todd Wilson's picture

>> Curling a 10 lb weight

>> Curling a 10 lb weight fast will produce tension, but not as much as that same guy curling a 60 lb. weight even though it take 2 seconds to complete the rep.

◘ Ok but thats not quite where I was going with it.

### I'm well aware of that, but you aren't grasping that very important point.

I mean there's a difference between lifting the 60 pound weight deliberately slowly over 5 seconds, vs lifting it as-fast-as-you-can over who-cares-how-long because you're producing more tension that way.

>> However, depending on fiber type, muscle group, the exercise, and training age, this isn't necessarily possible. Therefore other method of increasing muscular tension must be employed. Slower repetitions (when using lighter weights) is an excellent way to create more tension within the muscle and allow greater TUT

◘ Ok conceptual model time.

There's 250 pounds on the bar. 2 people are going to squat for 15 reps. Hypertrophy is what we're discussing here.

Person 1: Squats the 250 for 15 reps going explosive on every single rep. Now he cant explode by the time he's at number 12 or so, but HE'S DAMN WELL TRYING because regardless of the fact that he's started to slow down, he's still trying to activate all muscle fibers every rep. He's not slowing down because he's not hitting all the fibers... he's slowing down due to fatigue.

Person 2: Lowers the weight to 200, and starts lifting slower, taking about a 3 to 4 second concentric on every rep. Far below explosive lifts, and lands 15 reps.

Now from the way I see it...

Person 1 hit all the fibers every rep, produced the most tension, and will see the most growth. He may not have lifted as LONG as person 2, but thats ok since he can just do 1 more set and presto - now he's total time lifting is higher. Also, higher tension = more protein degradation.

So I just dont see the advantage person 2 would have here.

### But you're missing the point that person 2 would have spent much more time under tension, therefore your example is flawed. Take those two people.... A Person does 3 3RM reps as fast as safely possible... TUT will be about 8 seconds let's say. With that TUT and intensity there will be little in the way of hypertrophy, but there will be strength gains via neural responses. Take that same weight and perform one rep at a 4040 tempo and you magically have the same training effect. Amount of tension will be higher with the faster concentric movements, but with that intensity the statistical significance of this magical higher tension you are presupposing is nil. Therefore TUT principles are accurate.

>> Slower repetitions (when using lighter weights) is an excellent way to create more tension within the muscle

◘ But slower reps create LESS tension!!!

### Based on that argument then, dead lifts suck because they don't produce the tension of power cleans. Squats suck because they don't produce the tension of depth jumps. Slower reps allow more time under tension. You can't get results by simply attempting to produce the most tension all the time.

>> But just because you think you are lifting "explosively" doesn't mean you are building "explosiveness" or power. That's reserved for 1-5 reps or about 20 seconds or less of TUT, see Weightlifters.

◘ Yea I know but we're not talking about building explosiveness. We're talking about hypertrophy.

>> NO. Over training the CNS is a product of intensity and volume not time under tension or tempo.

◘ But if you're lifting all out, as hard and as fast as you can (explosive tempo) .... as opposed to lifting slowly... then as you said, you've got a higher intensity and you could be over training.

### Not necessarily. Heavier weights demand a slower tempo, even when using CAT. Furthermore it's pointless to use slower tempos with lighter weights, such as in your example above.... slower tempos aren't as beneficial at lower weights, i.e., with weights you can use 10-12-15+ reps. Why? Tension.

Slower reps then (slower tempo) would move you away from intensity and allow the CNS to recover.

So I think I was right!

### No.... I showed an example that proves that incorrect. The same intensity produces largely the same training effect, though there are differences in said training effect.

markandspike's picture

Hi Todd and Fred How would

Hi Todd and Fred

How would you perform the reps(tempo wise) for fred's ABC system if the goal was for purly size gains)

A Workouts one exercise 10sets of 10 reps (? tempo)
B Workouts three exercise 3 x 5 reps (? tempo)
3 x 12 reps (? tempo)
3 x 20-25 teps (? tempo)
C Workout same as B workouts in giant set fashion ( ? tempo)

Sorry to keep bugging you on this matter but i find it very interesting.
Thanks
Mark

>> Take that same weight and

>> Take that same weight and perform one rep at a 4040 tempo and you magically have the same training effect. Amount of tension will be higher with the faster concentric movements, but with that intensity the statistical significance of this magical higher tension you are presupposing is nil.

◘ Ok, person 1 Lifts as fast as possible and gets 5 seconds of TUT.

Person 2 lifts slower, and gets 12 seconds of TUT.

... but why couldn't person 1 simply do 2 sets and get 10 seconds of TUT? That way he's getting more tension AND the same (or almost the same) amount of TUT.

>> Based on that argument then, dead lifts suck because they don't produce the tension of power cleans. Squats suck because they don't produce the tension of depth jumps.

◘ Come on man you know thats not what I mean. I mean slower reps as in you purposely taking a long time to lift. Deads are slower than cleans but you're still able to lift with an ALL-OUT-EFFORT. What I'm obviously referring to is when you're lifting slow because you're NOT using an all out effort.

>> Heavier weights demand a slower tempo, even when using CAT.

◘ I'm not talking about actual-movement-speed. I'm talking about when you COULD lift using an all out effort, but instead lift using only enough effort to keep the bar moving.

Todd Wilson's picture

... but why couldn't person

... but why couldn't person 1 simply do 2 sets and get 10 seconds of TUT? That way he's getting more tension AND the same (or almost the same) amount of TUT.

### Because then you're comparing apples to oranges.

>> Based on that argument then, dead lifts suck because they don't produce the tension of power cleans. Squats suck because they don't produce the tension of depth jumps.

◘ Come on man you know thats not what I mean.

### That's not what you mean, but what I'm trying to get you to realize is that is the logical conclusion to your assertion based on the language in the argument you are making. Short answer... NO LIFTING A WEIGHT REGARDLESS OF ACTUAL SPEED AS FAST OF YOU CAN 100% OF THE TIME ISN'T BEST.

I mean slower reps as in you purposely taking a long time to lift. Deads are slower than cleans but you're still able to lift with an ALL-OUT-EFFORT.

### If you are lifting the correct weight for the correct number of reps with a 5050 tempo, it is an ALL OUT EFFORT! I've seen testicles drop off and roll out the bottom of guys sweats across the gym floor all the way to the treadmills before!

What I'm obviously referring to is when you're lifting slow because you're NOT using an all out effort.

### I don't lift weight without using all out effort, slow, fast, sideways or otherwise.

Todd Wilson's picture

Tell you what, try any upper

Tell you what, try any upper back program you can find for 12 weeks. Post your gains, size, strength, reps at body weight, a specified given weight, etc.

Then perform any of the programs I outlined above for pull ups.

I'll bet a dollar to a donut that you'll either accept what I'm telling you or be more confused than ever as the results will speak for themselves.

markandspike's picture

I do accept what you are

I do accept what you are saying Todd. Thats why i'm asking how i can i put your ideas into the ABC system of workouts.

Thanks
Mark

Todd Wilson's picture

Well, you can manipulate the

Well, you can manipulate the tempo of training on A or B days easily enough, but take into account the rep ranges and percentages Doc recommends and that will give you the guidelines as to how much TUT per set you would want to aim for.....

I wouldn't recommend worrying with tempo on C days as it just doesn't work well with higher reps and lower percentages of maximum. You have to have a minimum threshold of resistance.

The key to manipulating tempo though is variation. I mean 80% of my reps through the year will be performed using CAT (at least the concentric portion). However, slowing the weight down and increasing TUT works great at breaking strength and hypertrophy plateaus.

One of the easiest things to do is simply take 4 seconds to lower weight on all reps. You'll have to decrease weight on all movements by a bit, but simply paying attention to the eccentric portion of the lift if you never have will give you a quick jolt in strength and hypertrophy.

>> NO LIFTING A WEIGHT

>> NO LIFTING A WEIGHT REGARDLESS OF ACTUAL SPEED AS FAST OF YOU CAN 100% OF THE TIME ISN'T BEST.

... why...... not?

>> If you are lifting the correct weight for the correct number of reps with a 5050 tempo, it is an ALL OUT EFFORT!

◘ How can you lift something concentrically for 5 reps ... and be using an all out effort? Even my 1 rep max on dead lifts doesn't take 5 seconds to lift in an all out effort.

Does anyone else here speak Toddese?

Todd Wilson's picture

>> NO LIFTING A WEIGHT

>> NO LIFTING A WEIGHT REGARDLESS OF ACTUAL SPEED AS FAST OF YOU CAN 100% OF THE TIME ISN'T BEST.

... why...... not?

### Because variation creates greater stress and therefore adaptation.

>> If you are lifting the correct weight for the correct number of reps with a 5050 tempo, it is an ALL OUT EFFORT!

◘ How can you lift something concentrically for 5 reps ... and be using an all out effort?

### Because it is heavy and difficult.

Even my 1 rep max on dead lifts doesn't take 5 seconds to lift in an all out effort.

Does anyone else here speak Toddese?

### You're the only one repeating questions. You are assuming an Omnipotent superiority of the tension created when attempting to lift something as fast as possible. What you are not taking into consideration as I have attempted to point out is that that tension, while high, is brief. Using slower tempos, at times, allows for greater total time under tension.

### My Challenge stands!

>> You are assuming an

>> You are assuming an Omnipotent superiority of the tension created when attempting to lift something as fast as possible.

◘ Because thats what damn near all the research says.

>> What you are not taking into consideration as I have attempted to point out is that that tension, while high, is brief. Using slower tempos, at times, allows for greater total time under tension.

◘ And you still haven't explained precisely why simply doing more sets wouldn't make up for the lack of total time. You glossed over that saying "apples and oranges" but that doesn't explain anything.

"Apples and oranges" means you're comparing 2 things that really cant be compared because they're different.

But these aren't different. We're talking about the quality and quantity of TUT, and how you can keep the quality AND STILL GET the quantity.

Now can you explain why I simply couldn't do more sets of explosive reps to get the same TUT?

>> Because variation creates greater stress and therefore adaptation.

◘ Is that the only reason? We know that varying reps, sets, speed, exercises, angle of pull, etc etc creates the "holistic approach" in which we can get all the various organelles of the cell to adapt together creating maximum hypertrophy, I'll give you that. But is there any other reason besides this?

Todd Wilson's picture

>> You are assuming an

>> You are assuming an Omnipotent superiority of the tension created when attempting to lift something as fast as possible.

◘ Because thats what damn near all the research says.

### No, research does not say that. You are misinterpreting and/or misunderstanding the research. Research merely indicates the tension created is higher. But AGAIN, that begs the arguement, why deadlift instead of power cleaning? The power clean produces more tension. Why perform 6 reps of the deadlift when performing max singles produces more tension. That is your argument, but you are unable to see it because of your misunderstanding of the nature of tension.

>> What you are not taking into consideration as I have attempted to point out is that that tension, while high, is brief. Using slower tempos, at times, allows for greater total time under tension.

◘ And you still haven't explained precisely why simply doing more sets wouldn't make up for the lack of total time. You glossed over that saying "apples and oranges" but that doesn't explain anything.

### At times you can, at other times due to needs analysis, time to train, etc. more sets may not be viable. Law of diminishing returns, there are a virtually unlimited number of variables that can determine what is and isn't useful, but letting some ethereal strive for a certain tension on a rep won't always cut it more sets or not.

"Apples and oranges" means you're comparing 2 things that really cant be compared because they're different.

But these aren't different. We're talking about the quality and quantity of TUT, and how you can keep the quality AND STILL GET the quantity.

Now can you explain why I simply couldn't do more sets of explosive reps to get the same TUT?

### The adaptation isn't the same. If you were to take my challenge you would quickly see that.

>> Because variation creates greater stress and therefore adaptation.

◘ Is that the only reason? We know that varying reps, sets, speed, exercises, angle of pull, etc etc creates the "holistic approach" in which we can get all the various organelles of the cell to adapt together creating maximum hypertrophy, I'll give you that. But is there any other reason besides this?

### Well, isn't adaptation for hypertrophy and strength what we're after?

### In a nut shell, yes, variation is all it is, but there's a lot entailed in said variation. Greater motor unit recruitment, increased intramuscular tension, for example when one pauses in the bottom of a movement like the bench press.

try it

Todd

Thanks for some very informative comments.

Kid

Pull-ups / chinups are a GREAT exercise to try variations. Different grips / different tempos. They are especially good for trying a slow negative ... so if you're only going to try one exercise, and one tempo alteration, try the chinning with slow negatives. They made a difference to me, especially in the mid-back area. However, you'll never be convinced if you don't try it; what have you got to lose?

Nick

DrSquat's picture

I'm really lovin' this

I'm really lovin' this exchange!

Nick, you said chinning with slow negatives made a difference in the mid-back area. Pray-tell, what might that difference have been?

I am beginning to get the feeling that all of y'all are comparing apples and oranges. Strength training vs. size training. Also, do we dare forget that in all the world of SPORT, SPEED is king???????

I love the concept of variation, as it invariably produces continued gains (that is to say, avoidance of habituation or "plateauing") in whatever you're working toward, assuming (of course) that the variations you're incorporating are appropriate for your stated training goals!

Chins

Quote Dr Squat:

"Nick, you said chinning with slow negatives made a difference in the mid-back area. Pray-tell, what might that difference have been?"

I do the chins with a slow negative (3-4sec), pull (hard) to the sternum and hold for a second. Very hard, I can only do sets of six with no added weight - normally I can chin sets of 6 with 80lb added.

I was doing it mostly as a postural thing, being weak in the mid-back area (rhomboids esp.). It has improved:

(1) Posture - less rounded shoulders
(2) Carried across to all other forms of chins
(3) BIG improvement on Rom. Deadlifts (40-50kg)
(4) Bench Press - improved scapular retraction
(5) Front lever is easy-peasy, as are 'wipers' (for the abs)

I think it's improved my deadlift, but as that was more affected by my lower back issues, it's hard to say.

Is it the slow negative or the fuller contraction at the top that's caused the benefits? Hard to say - probably a bit of both. BUT ... I'm glad I tried them.

Nick

DrSquat's picture

BUMP

Didn't want to lose this thread...gotta get it into the archives...