Coach Tom reminds us of what tempos are used for and how to read them.
You might have noticed lots of tempo work during your at-home workouts. Whether it is squatting, pushing or pulling there are lots of good reasons to adhere and understand why tempo training is important.
1. Helps Improve Movement Patterns
Because tempo work forces you to slow things down, it allows you to focus on and reiterate perfect mechanics. Slowing a movement down allows you to really feel each part of it, ultimately helping you move better and more consistently. On a similar note, tempo work is a great way to address and fix any positional weaknesses in any given movement.
2. Helps Build Strength
Tempo work means you’ll be spending more time under tension, which is a key component in building strength.
Tempo work adds variety to your training by giving your body a new stimulus—another key to helping you continuously make improvements.
4. Protects and preserves your nervous system
Tempo work allows you to basically get more bang for your buck. Tempo work allows you to work at lower weights with more time under tension. This means you’ll still get the benefits of a heavier load but without frying your nervous system.
In short, because it puts less strain on your nervous system, your recovery will be faster so you’ll be able to train more.
How to read a tempo:
The first number of a tempo prescription is always the eccentric portion of the movement. The second number is the bottom position, the third number is the concentric portion of the movement, and the fourth is the top position.
Therefore @3131 means:
Eccentric: 3 (seconds)
Bottom: 1 (second)
Concentric: 3 (seconds)
Top: 1 (second)
Consider a tempo of @3131 for a squat: This means we want you to take 3 seconds to descend into a squat (eccentric). Then we want you to rest for 1 second at the bottom, followed by 3 seconds to stand up (concentric), and finally 1 second to pause at the top.
Whether you are working out at home or in a gym, understanding and knowing why tempo is important is not only going to improve your workouts for today but your workouts in the future.