Today’s article is about a training method called: Time Under Tension, or TUT. I will explain what tension is, when it should be used and some of its main benefits. Read on for Time Under Tension: 5 Reasons Why You Should Try It!
1. Time Under Tension Training Produces Increased Tension
When lifting weights during a set your muscles are under tension to make the movement happen. So during a bicep curl for illustration, your biceps are under tension when curling the bar up and also on the way down.
You have two phases of tension during every exercise. These are concentric (curling the bar up as in a bicep curl) and eccentric (the downward phase of the bicep curl where gravity is helping to pull the bar down to the ground).
2. Using the TUT method
Time under tension should be included in your isolation exercises in aiming to fatigue a muscle. However to really get the most of out this method you must take your sets to failure with a moderate weight and they must be quality reps where you’re paying attention. If I once again take the bicep curl you should set a tempo of 1-2 seconds to curl the bar up (concentric) and then on the downward phase, slowly let it come back to the start position, taking a 3-second tempo.
3. Increased Muscle Growth (Hypertrophy)
During this method your muscles will be under tension for longer which will activate your ‘stabiliser’ muscles. Now you will recruit more of your muscle fibres and as a result, build lean muscle mass. This also helps build a better mind- muscle connection due to you squeezing the muscle for longer, which allows you to work the muscle more and get more let’s just say, ‘bang for your buck’. (The secret? Mind is the builder of muscles.)
4. Decreased Chance of Injury
If you’re using a fast concentric tempo (way up) and a slower or more controlled tempo during the eccentric (way down) phase you are going to be less likely to overload the joints and get injured since not using a weight that is too heavy so you can maintain perfect technique. Just make sure you aren’t controlling any phase for more than 3 seconds.
When using time under tension your protein synthesis (which is what your body does post-workout to rebuild muscle) levels are extremely high 30-40 hours after your workout. This results in your body taking the food you ate or the stored fat in your body and using it to repair the muscle. So you’ll be burning more calories and start to burn more fat. This method should be used after your compound lifts where you’ve already gone heavy and can now use moderate weight with a controlled tempo.