Supercharge Your Workouts With This One Change… Tempo Training!

If you sometimes feel like you are going through the motions during your workouts (you probably are!), and you feel like you could lift a bit more weight, but don’t want to make the jump straight up to the next weight… The answer is Tempo Training.

This concept is designed to optimise your workouts by focusing not just on the quantity but also the quality of your movements.

Whether you're a seasoned exerciser, or just starting your fitness journey incorporating tempo training into your workouts can unlock a whole new level of strength, fitness, and muscle development.

What is Tempo Training?

Here is a video of Coach Alfie explaining the concept of tempo training with some examples for the visual learners among us:

Tempo training involves manipulating the speed at which you perform each phase of an exercise.

Instead of mindlessly going through the motions, tempo training encourages you to pay attention to the cadence of your movements, emphasising different aspects such as the eccentric (lowering) phase, the isometric (holding) phase, and the concentric (lifting) phase.

By controlling the tempo, you engage your muscles more effectively, leading to enhanced muscle recruitment, improved form, and better results.

Key Components of Tempo Training:

1. Eccentric Phase:

The lowering phase of an exercise.

Slowing down this phase increases time under tension, promoting muscle growth.

Builds strength and stability during the lengthening of the muscle.

2. Isometric Phase:

The holding or static phase of an exercise.

Pausing briefly at specific points enhances muscle endurance and control.

Improves joint stability and promotes better muscle engagement.

3. Concentric Phase:

The lifting or shortening phase of an exercise.

Emphasising controlled and deliberate movements enhances muscle contraction.

Boosts power and explosive strength when performed with intention.

Benefits of Tempo Training:

1. Muscle Hypertrophy (Growth):

Increased time under tension stimulates muscle growth and development.

2. Improved Strength:

Focusing on each phase enhances muscle engagement, leading to greater strength gains.

3. Enhanced Mind-Muscle Connection:

By slowing down and paying attention to your movements, you develop a stronger connection between your mind and muscles.

4. Injury Prevention:

Controlled movements reduce the risk of injury by promoting proper form and joint stability.

5. Versatility:

Tempo training can be applied to various exercises, making it adaptable to different fitness levels and goals.

How to Incorporate Tempo Training into Your Routine:

1. Choose Your Exercises:

Identify key exercises in your routine where tempo manipulation can be beneficial.

Lower Body: Squats, Deadlifts, Hip Raises, Lunges.

Upper Body: TRX Rows, Press Ups (Chest Press), Bicep Curls, Shoulder Press

Core: (Slow down and/or add a pause into) Core Cycling, Russian Twists, Dead bugs.

2. Determine Tempo:

Experiment with different tempos and find what works best for your goals.

Start with 3 -1- 1. This means take three seconds on the eccentric (lowering) phase, a one second pause top or bottom of the movement when the resistance of the weight is highest, and a one second concentric (lifting) phase.

3. Gradual Progression:

Start with a moderate tempo and gradually increase the difficulty as your strength and endurance improve.

Tempo training can completely change the intensity of a workout, offering a more mindful approach to exercise. By incorporating this concept into your workouts, you'll not only experience better results but also gain a deeper understanding of your body's capabilities.