T Nation

Time Under Tension

[quote]eightohfive wrote:

[quote]waylanderxx wrote:

For me at least, option 2 does a lot more for me than option 1. I guess you could say it focus more on TUT but while the reps are slwower it’s nothing insane like 30+ seconds per rep.[/quote]

not per rep, its 30+ per set i believe. But i get what you’ve said in your other replies, and do the same thing for the most part, work on the “neural” connection, focusing in on which muscles im supposed to be using for a lift, and using them. Suppose i’ll just keep on doin’ what i’m doin since it sounds like i’ve found a decent plan. thanks way

QUESTION#2:
I have followed the same “heavy” lifts for the better part of a year, picking one of the two per week/day in my 5-day split (chest,legs,back,legs,arms)

BB bench, and DB bench for upperbody push
Lat pull/ Pull ups upper body pull
Squat/ Deads lower body

Is there a need to “change” the exercise? I mean, should i be picking a different exercise to base my day off of? for instance, I’d pick DB bench then do a bunch of upper body push/pull accessories for hypertrophy after doing heavy-sets of the DB bench. I know the body becomes “used” to a routine, by i feel like a bench variation is the foundation to an upperbody/chest workout… if that makes sense[/quote]

First off…so you don’t have a heavy movement programmed for horizontal pulling or vertical pushing? Your rhomboids/traps/shoulders aren’t going to magically take care of themselves man.

Secondly, yeah, you’re WAY overthinking things. As is SO often said here, but SO often ignored, at this point, you just need to be working on mastering the basics, that’s what you get the most results from. I have never ONCE worried about how long my muscles were under tension during any given set/workout, and I’ve done pretty well for myself.

Ive read many articles recently on this site and have seen many pro bodybuilders training this way. They do the reps fast and explosive. Whether its curls, military presses or rows. Its been said on this site, that explosive training is best for growth. But how can you really concentrate and “feel” the muscle, if your just exploding the weight as fast as possible. that seems to be opposite of “tut”. Is it good to do both for max gains or simply not do the exercise explosively and just slow the reps down and really concentrate on squeezing the muscle?

I do do (haha) horizontal rows, but im doing latpulls/pullups that day as well, and consider those to be the “foundation” of my back day.
shoulders definitely not my strong point. been throwing in lateral raises (w/ grip, directional variation), gironda swings, reverse-flys, as shoulder work. If i were to throw in some vert-presses, which day should i do that? Chest, back, or arm day?

Lat pulldowns and pullups should NOT be the meat of your back routine, and that’s a fact. You’ll get much more bang for your buck using barbell row variations as your main movements, at least every other back workout. Like I already said, your rhomboids, traps and shoulders won’t grow if you don’t force them to. And those are all very important muscle groups to be only giving secondary focus. You should probably re-think that approach.

Don’t be a lazy-ass and think that just because you never really see your rhomboids from day to day somehow makes them less important…same goes for hamstrings, and lower traps. Very under-trained muscle groups for most people.

[quote]waylanderxx wrote:

[quote]Quick Ben wrote:

[quote]waylanderxx wrote:
I don’t really subscribe to the time under tension principle but every lift I do I’m squeezing the muscle as hard as possible, getting a very good stretch and really squeezing that peak contraction. I don’t use any momentum. My weights drop considerably doing this, my reps are slower but for me it works much better for developing my physique.

For instance, say you throw 300 lbs on the pulldown machine. You use momentum to get it started and you can only pull down to around nose level before the weight comes back up. How much do you really think you are stimulating the huge number of muscle fibers that make up your back?

Conversely, drop the weight to 220 lbs. Begin the movement in a smooth movement with your lats, bring the bar much closer to your chest and squeeze that peak contraction hard then end the movement with a controlled negative.

For me at least, option 2 does a lot more for me than option 1. I guess you could say it focus more on TUT but while the reps are slwower it’s nothing insane like 30+ seconds per rep.[/quote]

Every time I see a big dude write this, I think “yeah you do that NOW…”

The point being you may not ever have made it to doing 220 lbs with good form if you didn’t work up to 300lbs with looser form first.

Of course I am only asking what you think here, not trying to tell you how it is. lol

[/quote]

If I had known how to traing this way effectively I would have. I cared a lot more about strength on all my lifts up until around 6 months ago. Now, I don’t really give a shit as long as I’m stimulating the muscle. There’s still a focus on progression but I’m not adding weight each session like I used to.

There’s no reason to think that progression using good form is less than that of loose form. Just because I handled 300 lbs at one time doesn’t mean anything. It’s not like momentum and body english use progression, you either use them or you don’t. Of course the weights you use will be greater when you cheat, it doesn’t mean you’re stronger though.

The thing I like about TUT is it forces you to not just “lift the weight”, you’re actually having to focus really hard on the target muscles to make reps slower.

It just seems like the natural order that like you said big guys start out using heavy weights, body english momentum etc and then end up later doing something like I do. IMO that’s just part of the learning process and figuring out how to train in the most efficient way possible. So yah, you’re pretty much right on with that. There’s really no way for a beginner or intermediate guy to get much out of this training style but I think at some point the transition has to be made, at least for BBing purposes.

[/quote]

Damn good post, Way.

[quote]Iron Dwarf wrote:

[quote]waylanderxx wrote:

[quote]Quick Ben wrote:

[quote]waylanderxx wrote:
I don’t really subscribe to the time under tension principle but every lift I do I’m squeezing the muscle as hard as possible, getting a very good stretch and really squeezing that peak contraction. I don’t use any momentum. My weights drop considerably doing this, my reps are slower but for me it works much better for developing my physique.

For instance, say you throw 300 lbs on the pulldown machine. You use momentum to get it started and you can only pull down to around nose level before the weight comes back up. How much do you really think you are stimulating the huge number of muscle fibers that make up your back?

Conversely, drop the weight to 220 lbs. Begin the movement in a smooth movement with your lats, bring the bar much closer to your chest and squeeze that peak contraction hard then end the movement with a controlled negative.

For me at least, option 2 does a lot more for me than option 1. I guess you could say it focus more on TUT but while the reps are slwower it’s nothing insane like 30+ seconds per rep.[/quote]

Every time I see a big dude write this, I think “yeah you do that NOW…”

The point being you may not ever have made it to doing 220 lbs with good form if you didn’t work up to 300lbs with looser form first.

Of course I am only asking what you think here, not trying to tell you how it is. lol

[/quote]

If I had known how to traing this way effectively I would have. I cared a lot more about strength on all my lifts up until around 6 months ago. Now, I don’t really give a shit as long as I’m stimulating the muscle. There’s still a focus on progression but I’m not adding weight each session like I used to.

There’s no reason to think that progression using good form is less than that of loose form. Just because I handled 300 lbs at one time doesn’t mean anything. It’s not like momentum and body english use progression, you either use them or you don’t. Of course the weights you use will be greater when you cheat, it doesn’t mean you’re stronger though.

The thing I like about TUT is it forces you to not just “lift the weight”, you’re actually having to focus really hard on the target muscles to make reps slower.

It just seems like the natural order that like you said big guys start out using heavy weights, body english momentum etc and then end up later doing something like I do. IMO that’s just part of the learning process and figuring out how to train in the most efficient way possible. So yah, you’re pretty much right on with that. There’s really no way for a beginner or intermediate guy to get much out of this training style but I think at some point the transition has to be made, at least for BBing purposes.

[/quote]

Damn good post, Way.
[/quote]

x2.

hungry… could i get a suggestion for an “entire” back workout? currently mine would look something like this, although i consider it an “upper body day” more than just strictly back.

Latpull downs 12,12,9,6,6 OR 4x12 wide-grip pullup
rear delt fly 3-4x12
incline dumbbell press 3-4x12
wide grip row 12,9,9,6
Hammer machine, some sort of pull/row variation 3-4x12
face pull 3-4x12
shoulder press 12,10,9

I don’t implement it into my training, but I keep it in mind.

Also i’ve heard that it’s TUT per set and not overall. Of course it would still be overall if it was per set. You get some kind of valid point out of that i’m sure… o.0

[quote]eightohfive wrote:
hungry… could i get a suggestion for an “entire” back workout? currently mine would look something like this, although i consider it an “upper body day” more than just strictly back.

Latpull downs 12,12,9,6,6 OR 4x12 wide-grip pullup
rear delt fly 3-4x12
incline dumbbell press 3-4x12
wide grip row 12,9,9,6
Hammer machine, some sort of pull/row variation 3-4x12
face pull 3-4x12
shoulder press 12,10,9[/quote]

It ain’t so much exactly what order you do exercises in and shit that matters. What matters is selecting some basic movements that allow you to add weight over time as you get stronger at them, then…get stronger at them! For example, you could just set some basic goals such as doing strict barbell rows with 315+, multiple reps with 90+ lbs on chinups/pullups, hitting a 2.5-3x bodyweight deadlift (for reps, eventually)…and do whatever it takes to reach those strength goals. I feel safe saying that by the time you achieve those, you’ll understand how to train your back a lot better, through trial and error.

Some basic guidelines though, that I typically abide by:
A) 4ish back exercises per session
B) 3 width exercises and 1 thickness exercise one session, vice versa the next, etc
C) Pick 1-2 staples for width, and likewise for thickness. Stuff like pendlay rows, barbell rows, db rows, rack chins, wide grip pullups, neutral grip pulldowns…
D) Bust your ass
E) Try and avoid rounding/injuring your lower back. Be smart. Learn to breath with your belly, until it’s natural.

i can DL ~350 for 6 reps… so i’ve almost got that one, but not the others… thanks for the advice man, will keep it in mind this week when i hit the gym.

[quote]eightohfive wrote:
i can DL ~350 for 6 reps… so i’ve almost got that one, but not the others… thanks for the advice man, will keep it in mind this week when i hit the gym.[/quote]

That’s why I also mentioned stuff like strict rows with 315 for reps…when you can do that, you’ll probably weigh 200-220ish, and at that point, a 3x bodyweight deadlift is MUCH more impressive than for a lighter person.

very good insights, reading, and thought processes in the responses from way and hungry. these things help this bodybuilding thread. sorry i have nothing to add beyond that.