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Reading a Prescribed Tempo - What is 4020?


With one the focuses of the next six weeks being strict gymnastics, (with a bias towards improving and preparing people for muscle ups), expect to see a decent amount of tempo work.

When reading a tempo it's important to remember that it's always built around the sequences of a squat.

A squat starts with the decent or the eccentric portion of the lift. It is then followed by a pause in the bottom position. The up phase, also known as the concentric is initiated and it is the rep is then complete after a pause in the finished position.

For example, with a tempo of 31X2 the person squatting would take 3 seconds to descend into the squat, they would then hold the bottom for 1 second. When X follows they would then come out of the bottom position as fast as possible and would then wait 2 seconds before moving to the next rep, or putting the bar back in the rack.

If the movement begins with an up, or a concentric, the tempo is still read the same. It just means that the third digit would be the one describing the first portion of the exercise.

For example, a ring row with a tempo of 4231 would mean that the movement has a 3 second up phase followed by a 1 second pause at the top. It would then be required that a 4 second decent occurs, finally finishing with a 2 second pause at the bottom position, or in this case the starting position of the next rep of a ring row.

The coach will always remind you of this and how to read it, but this is a just a friendly reminder of how to read the tempos we prescribe to you guys.

Coach Tom