#FitnessFridays Should You Lift Slow or Fast for Muscle Growth?

Are you like 90 percent of people who go into the gym and don’t know where to start?

Or you follow another person’s exercise because it seems like they know what they’re doing.

Everyone has their own routine when it comes to working out, including how many reps you do and how quickly you do them. Your tempo during your workouts plays a role in how fast you progress with your fitness goals. Lifting speeds affect hypertrophy and strength development; things like time under tension, muscle activation, and the metabolic and hormonal responses.


Time Under Tension

Time-under-tension (TUT) refers to how long the muscle is under tension or resisting the weight during each set. For maximizing muscle growth train in a rep rang of 30 to 60 seconds. For example, squatting for 12 reps on the smith machine taking 1 second to lift the bar off the rack and 2 a second hold in a squatting position, your TUT for that set is 36 seconds.


But a more appropriate term would be ‘time under load” which means the actual time spent in a given set irrespective of the weight lifted.  Here are 4 tips to remember when lifting with TUT in mind.


1.Rather than looking at TUT for a set, it’s better to look at the total TUT for a given

muscle group in a workout.


2. You can build muscle with heavy sets lasting several seconds or lighter sets lasting a minute as long as you accumulate sufficient volume.


3. If your main goal is to gain muscle size and burn fat, 60-90 seconds TUT will be ideal.


4. Women may need longer TUT than men to build muscle.


Choose slow and steady

Now if we can remember, in order to maximize your training experience, the amount of intensity you incorporate in your workouts, the better and faster you’ll see results. Doing reps in a super slow manner improves form by reducing momentum and therefor helps trigger the target muscle. Some guys try to work so fast each day, eventually it becomes sloppy on every set. Slowing down will better isolate the muscle you are working and prevent any unwanted injury.


Lifting fast is an anaerobic way of training and allows little time for muscle to feel more of a burn It is best if you lift at a pace that will affect fast twitch, and slow twitch muscles, provoking more value in your training. When I say super slow reps in most cases the weight will have to be fairly light. Let’s first discuss what that statement doesn’t mean. It doesn’t mean picking up a light weight and doing a standard set of 8-12 reps. Make sure your sets are real sets, meaning if you stopped at eight reps, that means you couldn’t do a ninth and you did it at a slow controlled pace.


Faster reps are generally linked to more explosive movements that result in power training, that requires a maximum power output from the athlete in a short amount of time. I figured out that plyometrics combined with squats, deadlifts, Romanian deadlifts, and lunges done fast increases my explosiveness and power compared to doing them slow


I know by experience slow reps increase muscle mass. It doesn’t really matter how fast you go on the concentric part of the rep, but if your goal is to build muscle, you want to bring the speed to a creep on the eccentric or lowering part of your reps.


Most famous Bodybuilders (Arnold Swarzenegger, Mike Mentzer, Dorian Yates) Advocate slow eccentric reps, known as slow negative reps. The negative is the part of the rep where real muscle growth is determined, if done slow new muscle growth can be unlocked.


If you enjoy this article and want support on your fitness training, I want to extend my Facebook group: Fitbyjc Training an education exclusive chat to help give you strategic planning to execute your fitness goals.

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