Listen, I first want to clarify that I do not use tempo training a great deal with my training or with my clients programs. I do like to use it to help teach form with certain individuals (if someone can’t stop lowering the weight too quickly telling him to count to 3-4 while lowering will always slow him down).
I also think it has a place in rehab settings where you would sometimes want to limit the ballistic shock that usually comes with faster tempos, thus calling for slower tempos to purposefully be prescribed. In addition, you also are usually trying to control as many variables as possible with acute rehab making tempo prescriptions helpful in this situation as well.
I would like to point out, however, that several world class strength coaches have used tempo training with amazing success. I would dare say that Charles Poliquin and Ian King have trained more world champion athletes than the entire current crop of T-Mag writers combined (I mean no disrespect to them but that is the truth). Both of these men extensively use tempo training in their programs. Obviously it is far from a “performance robbing” method.
Listen, my point is simply this…tempo training offers a potential tool in your training arsenal. You may never use it but to dismiss it completely based on the argument presented by Chad is foolish. You will adapt to the tempo very quickly and that adaptation (overcoming a potential distraction to maximally display strength/ power) could have some value in athletics.
Let’s look at one of Chad’s own examples…of course making people count backwards from 100 by 7 is going to mess them up at first. But if you practice counting backwards by 7, make it second nature, you will eventually adapt to it and return to your “non-counting” strength levels.
Same with tempo. You may initially lose some strength/ power (and I kind of doubt even that) but you will adapt to it very quickly and the tempo becomes second nature with less actual counting and more use of an internal timer.
I like Chad as a writer and leader in the field of strength coaching. This is nothing personal against him, I think he’s right on the money 99.9% of the time. But this time I think he may need to temper his conclusion a bit. Tempo training does have it’s place and enjoys an amazing track record when used by someone who really understands it (Poliquin and King).