Okay I have been experimenting with all kinds of slow tempos 321, 42X, 606, etc. etc. Getting the so-called higher TUT that bodybuilders should for more hypertrophy. (according to TC, Ppliquin, King and others) I think it is BS. The workoust aren’t any harder (They are hard both ways.) BUT I am am never as sore as I was when I’d just hit the basic “201 in control lifting hard as hell Tempo!” I really think the heavier weight is better in control. I think BILL ROBERTS agrees with me on this also I can’t focus-Berardi once said the same thing “counting your tempo takes away from the intensity of just focusing on moving that weight.” I am finding I am MUCH less sore, am using submaximal weights, and my mental energy is going towards counting! What do you guys think? I know the ths strength coaches ay tempo but but the JMB’s, Roberts, Duchaines, Parillos, 70’s trainers, Pros and other bodybuilding experts (hell even Phillips & Mentzers) never really jumped on this TEMPO bandwagon…

You say you’re using sub-maximal weights? Why is that? I mean, if its no harder you could use more weight, right? I’ve always found it a lot harder to get the same amount of reps in at 40 seconds as I would at 30 or 20 seconds (assuming that I’m using a 301 tempo). Also, 201 is still a relatively slow negative compared to a lot of people in the gym, who i would estimate are using something around a .6 eccentric, B (bounce), 1 concentric tempo. When I slowed the tempos down I found I had to use slightly lower weights than I was used to, but I also was able to concentrate more on my form and eventually picked the loading back up. I imagine if I went BACK to my old tempos it may be easier to lift even more now.

Obviously tempo has its place, but it can often detract from the intensity of your lifting. Just look at a tempoless program like EDT - people have made phenomenal gains without paying much attention to tempo. Tempo is great for general application, but I don’t think you need to focus on the exact tempo of every lift. Still, I think a good controlled negative in the 2-4 second range is a guaranteed way to make sure you are thoroughly exhausting the muscle, so you can’t discount tempo completely. Just don’t focus on it to the point where lifting is not enjoyable or that you can’t even remember how many reps you’ve done.

I have to admit tempos just make a workout unfun and I loose count of my reps. I think I notice much better gains in strength and size with decent concentric speed and a controled excentric. This may be slightly different from exercise to exercise. :slight_smile:

Actually I do often specify slow (4 second) negatives but the important thing is consistency rather than an anal precision. If you’re not consistent, and on one day of training (say on one training cycle) you did 8 reps with reps that had genuine 4 second second negatives and in the next training cycle, you do 8 reps with a little more weight but with 2.5 second negatives, well then, this may not be progressive training at all. You may actually have backslid, the latter set requiring less strength.

As for positives I’m not a fan at all
of prescribing particular tempos. Again,
a consistent style on the easier reps is
a good thing, and then after this they will slow down, but no exact count need be prescribed at all. Generally it’s best I think to use the most comfortable, natural positive speed that doesn’t result in heaving or generating so much speed that the top part of the lift requires little force due to momentum being able to do too much of the work in letting the weight coast to the top.

Also, I think there is benefit in using strict negatives only at some times in a training cycle. Having other times where easy negatives are used perhaps makes the difficult negatives more productive when they are use.

I TOTALLY argee frank !!.. if you loose focus, you loose intensity. If you concentrate 100% on the movement, it’s hard to even count reps. Maybe “tempos” have their place, but no one can convince me that they have a 100% intensity while doing them. How can a person concentrate on form and moving the weight if they’re constantly counting to themselves “one thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three,”…shit, when I squat heavy, I remind my spotter to count for me so I don’t worry if I loose count.

First I will say that Frank for the most part I agree counting tempo can be a huge distraction. Bill, I think doing reps in strict form is the way to go like you said. I think the problem with say a 42X is the max weight is to low to really cause the muscle trauma. For instance to do 8 reps with genuine 4 second negatives and a pause I am well below 50% of my 1RM. You have stated and I have found through my own trail and error that no matter how slow the rep is I find that if it is below 50% of my 1RM I really don’t get sore. Or grow for that matter. I think the heavier weights in strict form (not using momentum like you said) produce the most.

i agree with losing focus. but i think slow eccentric contractions are good. I always try to expload on the concentric and push with everything i got.

You say experimenting with tempos. For how long? Have you periodized your tempos from slow to fast over your training programs? Some of these answers worry me. It sounds to me like some of you lose your focus too easily. I don’t worry about soreness anymore. Sometimes I get sore, sometimes I don’t. The question is; did I get any more reps or lift more weight than last time?

Big deal you can do fast tempo reps, 201, for low intensity reps. and for how many reps per set? The higher the intensity the slower the reps. laters pk

Intenisty means nothing if you are dropping the weight ridiculously low which WILL NOT CAUSE TRAUMA. The fact is TEMPO is from strength coaches not bodybuilders. TRUTH IS VARIETY IS KEY BUT TEMPO TRAINING IS A WASTE

I have to agree with Bill Roberts here. I think that if you’re not counting - and by counting I don’t mean being anally obsessive, but having a pretty good idea of how fast you’re performing each stage of the rep - you’re potentially cheating yourself.

Even on a program like EDT, if your tempo counts aren’t consistent, how do you know that you’re really progressing? (I asked that question on a couple EDT threads when Staley first came up with the program here, and never got an answer…) If you lift a weight slowly the first workout, then slightly more rapidly the second, then slightly more rapidly again the third, of course you should get more reps. Even without any training effect.

So for everyone who’s saying that they can’t concentrate if they count, why not either (a) get your partner to count or (b) spend a couple of months doing “tempo training” until you get used to it? Once that happens you won’t be distracted any more, and tempo variations are definitely a weapon to have in your BB arsenal.

Also, Sergio had a very good point above. Who cares if you get sore? There’s no proof that soreness leads to better gains. I’m doing Meltdown training right now, am not getting sore at all, but am getting very productive workouts as measured by both tape and calipers. What matters is whether you’re making consistent progress. Focus on that for half a year or so and then see where you are.

I can’t believe that some of you guys don’t see the benefit of using and periodizing tempos. Sergio hit it right on the head. What if some hottie in neon spandex walks by you when you’re doing curls, is your intensity lost because you can’t focus? I believe the opposite to be true, when using a strict tempo, I have to be more involved in the set and find that neural drive increases. Tempo manipulation is a great periodizing tool, for example: workout 1 could use a 60X0 tempo for a given rep/set bracket, and workout two could be 40X0, workout 3= 20X*0, then repeat. Weights can be significantly increased each workout, and you WILL get stronger, and this will encourage hypertrophy assuming other factors being equal. The only people I don’t prescribe tempos for is absolute beginngers, because they struggle learning the movements enough, but after a few months they can benefit as well from tempo manipulation.

lets also talk about time under stress. In classic Body building and as mentioned on this site, for hypertrophy the set should be from 40-70 seconds long. if you are doing 201 tempo then you got to be doing atleast 13.3-23.3 reps to hit that range. With a 3121 tempo you’d need 5.7-10 reps. It’s all about being able to control the weight and progressing to more weight or volume. Now when you are talking about guys who are on anabolics a lot of the time then growth will come even without perfect training. laters pk

Char-dawg I had the same thoughts on EDT and then it occured to me that if one looks at total weight lifted, progression could be monitored. I don’t know if this is accurate or not but it’s a thought.

Counting eccentric tempo(to 4, no less) shouldn’t be that much of a distraction to the point of losing concentration. It’s “about” 4 seconds, not counting 1-2-3-4 NOW LIFT! It’s just a little slower down than your 2-0-1–once you get it in your head how simple it is, then it’ll be like second nature(4 count) and your workouts will be twice as intense. You’re thinking about numbers way too much.

Sure, you can look at total weight lifted during the workout. And if you always lift at the same speed, then fine, it’s a good indicator. But if you lift slowly/with better form/with less time between sets during the earlier workouts (of a mesocycle) than you do during the later ones, then the subsequently greater weight lifted could either be a function of (a) your getting stronger/more fit or (b) one of the factors above deteriorating.

Now, with EDT the total time is set at 20 minutes, so I agree that the time between sets won’t stretch like it might be on some other program. But if you’re lifting faster per rep, or if your form isn’t as good during subsequent workouts (or both, most likely), then you’re not really doing more work, even though you might be lifting more weight on paper.

Yes no?

If one is just banging out reps just for the count, with crappy form, then I guess it really doesn’t matter which program one follows. If one keeps good form even on a faster the rep, it would still be useful would it not? If one were to do an explosive positive with a slow neg versus a slower positive and quicker neg so that total TUT in either case was the same. Which lift would be more work? Or would they be the same amount because rep totals are the same? Using EDT I try to keep my rep and rest times the same while using good form. I don’t check my previous count before I start my next workout. I just go for it then compare numbers at the end. I think if I were to look at the count and think to myself, ok I got 60 reps total on this lift last time and I have to beat that, then I might be inclined to cheat just to get my numbers. I don’t know if this is the correct way to do it, but its the best way I can think of.

about EDT. the point is to be using correct form and to count the amount of reps you can do in a 20 minute time frame. Now when you reach a level of fitness where you do a given percentage of more reps then you move up in weight. Work = Force times distance. The force is the weight, the distance is your range of motion. when you can do more total work then you are improving. its as simple as that. EDT was meant to be a high volume hypertrophy workout. laters pk

I think everyone missed the real point- Frank is obsessed with making singular last names plural…Drew