T Nation

NaturalMan and TUT

Natural Man, I took a look at what you said in the “Mentzer” thread and I found it interesting. I first started considering speed of repetitions and such after I read thru the Poliquin priciples. I applied it, for example, to the bench press and the squat. When I tried getting thru a few 4 second negative on the bench press, my shoulders were just roasting off with weights that I could easily handle with good form in my normal, “natural” rep speed. I didn’t feel it in my chest, though, which is where I wanted to feel it. I tried the slow negatives on the squats, and my squatting weights fell dramatically because my lower back was fatiguing in no time from sustained effort on extended negatives and concentric reps in my sets.
I have used TUT and extended length sets for my arms, and I found that to be a different experience. I lightened the weights on my sets and went through the single joint movements fairly well, not to mention got a good pump, and got sore, so I was satisfied… kind of. But I think, like natural man said, the muscle tension produced by pressing 225 for a good solid 8, is what I prefer instead of 185 for a slower, more deliberate 8 to failure.


I am into getting my hands on some heavier loads and so I forego TUT considerations in my workouts in favor of going with a weight that is substantial. I would rather have my physique be a product of acquiring strength through heavy loads. My form is like Natural Man described to be deliberate enough and controlled with no bouncing or swinging, but not any exaggerated attempt to work the rep for any longer than I need to. I favor charging up the ladder using a more instinctive performance of reps with good biomechanical form but a speed aggressive enough to take a heavy feeling load in my hands or whatever and press it for a tough 5RM set, if not less. I do full squats, and if I were to apply an extended TUT then, on my typically 1RM final set, I’d break my neck. I can’t quite get into the whole rep speed variable; I still prefer to manipulate the weightload and get more reps, progress up that way. Maybe I’ll tinker with this more when I have lifted for much longer, but I like the more instinctive, good form repetition done in a natural speed at the current time.

“pressing 225 for a good solid 8, is what I prefer instead of 185 for a slower, more deliberate 8 to failure.”
Me too, but I want to extend that point.
Let’s say someone does 6 reps with a slow enough tempo to reach 40 sec. mark.
I think that it’s a bad way to reach that TUT.
Instead, speed it back up (perfect form)and knock out 12 reps instead. Basically, if you believe higher TUTS in a set are better, I would suggest more reps instead of slowing a weight down. That way you are at least recruiting the maximal amount of fibers for the load. I just believe that counting tempos has no science behind it (I have found none). Plus it is a distraction when you should be focused completely on your form and lifting the weight. I just think that a lifter’s tempo should be natural, based on what it takes to keep his form good. later

TUT has its place,I believe the origins are just in trying to get trainees to perform their reps in good form and takeing momentum out of the rep(there is no way to jude how much work was done when momentum is involved)but with that said I think that as long as you perform your reps perfect(resonably slow, slow down before you reach the streched position to protect your joints,ect…)there is no need to be anal about TUT. also ANYONE who tells you to do superslow sguats, deadlifts, overheadpresses ( and any exercise that put that much pressure on the spine) is CRAZY. you WILL blowout a disc soner or later, you should almost be holding your breath during the exersion part of those exercises(ALMOST), the spine needs the pressure to support itself and no a belt wii NOT take the place of the support provided by the body itself (you should realy avoid a belt at almost all times) so that might not have been just muscle sorness you felt in your back. if you don’t believe me ask a chiropractor what happen to your back if you put 3or400 # on your back, and squat down putting pressure on your lowerback and start breathing takeing the support off your back. he’ll ask you when your squatting again so he can make sure he can see you

The big problem with an exagerated TUT, is it inherently brings down the weigth lifted. The lower the weight (esp at a slow tempo) lifted, less and less Faster twitch muscle fibers are recruited. Especially, if you want to get stronger, exagerated TUT should not be used often–if at all.