Tempo Training: How Slowing Down Can Improve Your Training [19]

At OPEX Fitness our clients receive individualized programs that outline a series of exercises that vary in terms of sets, reps, rest periods and tempo. The unique variations depend on the fitness goals of the individual.

Tempo, or the slowing down of a movement, is broadly prescribed in strength training to:

  • Develop motor control and proper movement mechanics
  • Recruit muscle fibers
  • Create efficiency in movements
  • Make a movement more metabolic
  • To increase force development
  • To increase muscle size, strength and markers of performance
  • To create adaptations and recruiting in higher threshold motor units
  • To create hypertrophy

Not appropriate when it comes to dynamic movements, a tempo prescription will read like the following example:

back squat @4010

This means you would take 4 seconds to squat down, pause for 0 seconds at the bottom, take one second to come up and pause for 0 seconds at the top, before repeating the set. Or in other words:

  • 4 seconds eccentric (down)
  • 0 seconds isometric (bottom)
  • 1 second concentric (up)
  • 0 second isometric (top)

While you have to be mindful of when you prescribe tempo (too close to competition will over fatigue an athlete), tempo is a powerful tool in any strength training exercise prescription. If you wish to upgrade your understanding of tempo and your training prescriptions more broadly click HERE to learn more about OPEX Fitness’ Coaching Certificate Program.

Mike Lee
Blog Written By:
Mike Lee
OPEX Head Coach and General Manager

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