I am 16 and have been training now for 2 years and have been stuck at 185 lbs after putting on 60 lbs my fist 1 1/2 years. My main goal right now is to put on as much muscle mass as possible. I was wondering if anybody has any tips on the speed of my exercises? Should i lift explosively or under a slow controlled speed? What should my tempo be?
It’s a little complex. I’d recommend doing decently quick reps (2/2)(good form, no bouncing) until you near the end of the set. Then do a 4 second negative on your last rep. You’ll need a spotter. The beginning of a set drains the muscle, and then the 4 second negative stretches the contracted muscle to induce growth. As well, since you’ve got a solid base (2 years), you should work on increasing the weight you lift. Take your 4 rep max and get it to the 8-12 rep range. That will give you the growth stimulus.
If your main goal is hypertrophy, utilize slower tempos (concentric and eccentric) for the majority of your training cycles. The most important factor though in making continuous gains in mass and strenth is to periodize your tempos. If you have been using faster tempos for a long period of time, try slowing them down, and vice versa. Also, pay strict attention to pausing the weight between the eccentric portion of the repetition and the concentric. Take a look at the tempos in any of Ian King’s 12 week programs to see how the speed of movement changes from phase to phase. With regards to what tempo is best, like I said, use them all.