A workout is designed along a few variables:
- Getting strong,
- Increasing the size of your muscles,
- Burning fat,
- Making you MORE powerful.
To that end the goal of your workout routine should be for
you to reach your maximum potential, in the most efficient
manner with regards your lifestyle and training age.
Whilst also keeping in mind how you are going to get strong?
There have been many trials that have taken place with regards
volume and intensity (percentage of weight used, how many sets,
time under tension and rest periods) to see what can be utilised
from the most experienced lifter to the complete novice in how
they are going to get strong.
For this blog we are going to look at the time under tension of a
lift and in particular the eccentric lowering phase.
A study by Usui et al(2015) took a group of healthy males and
allocated them either slow or normal bar speeds on the back squat,
the load was relatively low sitting at around 50% of 1 RM.
They kept the load under tension for 6 secs 3 down and 3 up,
with no pause at the bottom.
The researchers found that after an 8 week intervention of this
TUT method the low speed of the squat movement displayed an
increase in muscle size by an average of 70% and an increase in
strength by 10%.
However, even though there was an increase in size and strength,
there was no increase in power.
WHAT DOES THIS TELL US…??
This tells us that if you are looking to gain strength it may be a good
idea to slow the reps down and not bounce out of every rep.
On the other hand if you are looking to increase power, you need to
speed the reps up.
Here is an idea of what to look for if you want to cover all bases:
Within your programme you could look to periodise your workouts
into more effective blocks like the diagram below.
This dictates that for a Speed/Strength (Power) phase should come
later on in your programme after you have gained size and strength apparent
with your goal or sport.