T Nation

Do Tempos Really Matter?

Does it really matter if you follow the tempos on the programs? I thought it was always best to lift as fast as possible.

I’m sure it can be argued both ways.

I prescribe to the “lower under control and lift explosively” group.

I let the reps dictate the overall tempo. If I’m lifting heavy for low reps, I’ll most likely complete sets in 20 seconds or less. If I lift moderate weights for moderate to high reps, then I may finish the set in 20-40 seconds, and if I use higher reps, it may take me 40-70 seconds or longer.

But I don’t put a tempo to each rep. It’s the overall time under tension that will achieve my goal.

In Muscle Revolution by Chad Waterbury, Chad puts it as trying to move the weight as fast as you can. If heavy the weight it’s not moving fast but it’s the effort that matters…

I like that explanation on it.