Situation with Time Under Tension

Whenever I do a few sets of 12 reps on any given weightlifting exercise with each rep being having a 2 sec. concentric phase and a 2 sec. eccentric phase (with no lockout and no pause at the botttom either), the most that I can lift is only about 42% of my 1 rep maximum on any given exercise. I know that that percentage of my 1RM is not the minimum percentage for optimal muscular hypertrophy and that the minimum percentage of one 1RM for muscular hypertrophy is 70%.

So, as of two weeks ago I decided to change my tempo to 1 sec. concentric, 1 sec. eccentric (with no lockout and no pause at the bottom) so that I could work with heavier weight while still doing a few sets of 12-14 reps for each exercise. However, I have realized that doing it that way would make the total TUT be about 24 sec. for each set. I’ve read that in order to maximize muscular hypertrophy, the TUT for each set is supposed to be 45-60 sec. for each set.

If I am not able to increase the TUT for weight that is significantly heavier than about 42% of my 1RM then what should I do in order to maximize my muscular hypertrophy gains?

You’re overthinking stuff again.

Ways that have been ‘proven’ to increase hypertrophy:

  • Keeping TUT between 45-60 seconds per set
  • Working at around 85% intensity
  • Rep range of 6-12 reps

But understand that those studies only manipulate one variable at a time. Which means you may not ever be able to do all of those at the same time. You’re confusing yourself by hyperfocusing on details. Diet + continual progressive loading is far more important than whether your eccentrics are 1 or 2 seconds.

However, that being said, one (of many) things you can try is explosive concentrics, and slow controlled eccentrics. If you slow down the eccentrics enough, you should be able to hit 12 reps in that 45-60s range.

Timing how long your eccentric and concentric parts of your lifts are is stupid. Just lift the weight in a controlled manor but make sure you’re exploding on the way up and not letting it drop on the way down. Vary your reps ranges for each body part. For example, chest: main exercise: 4-6 reps, secondary press exercise: 6-10 reps, pump exercise: 10-15 reps.