T Nation

For Chad, Re: Muscle Fibres


Hi, Question for Chad or anyone else,

The cool tip at the moment is Chad's tempo prescription of fast concentric and controlled eccentric.

I'd appreciate your thoughts on muscle fibre recruitment when the tempo is, say, 5 seconds up and 5 seconds down. Or even 10 seconds up and 10 seconds down.

What fibres would be recruited in such tempos?
Would such tempos task both slow and fast fibres during the same rep? During the start of the set when you're fresh, will the muscle fibre recruitment be different than towards the end of the set as you fatigue?

I'm just trying to get a handle on the benefits, or otherwise, of such low tempo speeds.

Any advice or comment would be much appreciated..


Your question depends on loading. One or two reps with a 5/0/5 tempo (to failure) will recruit different MUs than 10-12 reps with such a tempo.

But generally, such slow tempos primarily recruit the Fast Oxidative Glycolytic (FOG) MUs that innervate type IIA muscle fibers. If the load is light enough, the entire type IIA pool probably won't get recruited since they have the ability to drop out, then recover before the set is over. Therefore, higher loads and faster tempos are advised to get the greatest level of MU recruitment. I will be speaking about this topic at Staley's Bootcamp in October.


Hello Chad,

Just done the first four weeks of your excellent TBT programme and am thinking of switching to The Art Of Waterbury in the AM.So I gotta fire a couple of quick questions at you :slightly_smiling:

1.)You mention do the exercises @ 80% of your 1RM, Is this crucial? or is the main thing that your doing a load that you can do all the sets and all the reps without going to failure? i.e 1 or two reps short on the last set for failure?

2.)The way you lay out T.A.O.W it tells you to repeat day 1 on day 7, Does this mean there is no rest day if you do the cardio days as well?

3.)Just to check but when you recomend external rotations are these the exercise also know as lying external rotations?

4.)Just out of intrest, could I repeate the first 4 weeks on TBT that you set as an example for weeks 5,6,7,8 on TBT?

Thanks for the great programmes!