For 5 weeks now, after having read a great deal on this site, I decided to implement a hypertrophic program. I based this on the fact that all my lifting in the past 6 months was accomplished with basically a 1111 tempo - always fast and hard, which would tend to develop strength, not size.
I realized that this was probably limiting my TUT, so I decided for the next 2 months at least, to implement a 4141 pace on every exercise. I based this tempo on the idea that the best TUT for muscles is between 40-70 seconds per set, and for a rep range of 5-7, this would put me right in there.
So, following the articles I read on here, I dropped my weights to about 50-60% of my 1RM, and started the program. I work out about 5 days a week.
I began ok, but I noticed after the two weeks that I was very, very tired. I work out about 5 times a week, and I pretty much tripled the tension on my muscles, so I didn’t think much about it. It’s only an adjustment I had to make. But…since then, I’m just getting more and more tired. Worse, my reps were starting to drop…instead of making 5-8 every time with the weights like when I began, it was more like 4-6, and I wasn’t getting the ‘burn’ I wanted. In the time that I have been doing this, my muscles look a little bigger, but softer - less defined. I’ve added 6 pounds in this time, as well.
Last night, my buddy came to the gym with a stopwatch, and I thought it would be neat to time ourselves as we lifted. To my amazement, my “1-Mississippi, 2-Mississippi” counting style was far slower than I thought - a single set was taking 90-110 seconds!
Now, doing the above method always resulted in a massive pump, no matter what the exercise. Sticking to a strict 60 second upper limit, we found that we were able to handle much higher poundages, but not really getting that ‘burn’ or ‘pump’ we were before. Does this matter? Other thoughts occured to me as well…what’s the difference between doing 50 seconds of super fast curling with a heavier weight as opposed to a few (3-5) of half your 1RM in the same time period?
I'm just wondering in which direction I should aim myself - lighter weights with the super-slow counting, or heavier ones with strict 4 second eccentric and contraction motions. I should point out that with 60 seconds or so of lifting and lowering the weight, I was able to lift around 80% of my 1RM. The literature on here states that it has to be 50-60%, so I don't know if this idea would be benefitting me.
Thanks for any ideas.