Build More Muscle: Slow down your tempo

Many people think if you want to build more muscle, then you simply have to lift more weight. That's not necessarily true.

Sure, lifting more weight means you're getting stronger, therefore building more muscle, but it doesn't always work like that.

In my experience of being in gyms, I've seen a lot of guys who 'just lift heavy', with paying little attention to form and tempo. This will only get you so far, and if you want to progress further, you will have to become smarter with the weights. Tempo is literally 'speed of the lifts'. By controlling the speed when lifting weights, you will be able to place more stress on the targeted muscles - which is what you want. When you just try and lift as much weight as quick as possible, you end up activating 'unwanted muscles' which takes the strain away from the muscles you want to work on. For example - neglecting form and tempo with a bench press can place more strain on your shoulders than your pecs (something I see guys complaining about on forums). Whereas, if you concentrate on your form and tempo, you can really focus on the pectoral muscles.

Now, what tempo should you have?

There's no 'magic tempo', but a common one I see is a 3-4 second eccentric tempo. So if you were performing a bench press, the lowering of the bar should take you 3-4 seconds. This will place far more stress on your pecs, therefore working them harder, which will build them stronger.

The great thing with tempo is that you can always mix it up - 2 seconds/5 seconds/even 10 seconds! You want to keep mixing things up in the gym, and you don't always have to change exercises - try changing the tempo instead.

Hope this post has helped!

Lee Gregory Fitness

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