T Nation

TUT Question


Hey CT, how are you keeping?

I have a question that I hope you can answer...

I know there are many ways to induce hypertrophy like fatigue, weight lifted, speed of contraction, volume etc. but I would like to know your thoughts on TUT.

I understand that TUT is the amount of time the muscle is contracting against a resistance and anything above 40 seconds or so induces a hypertrophic response! What I want to know is when doing the perfect rep, rep speed is all important' and as a result that set will usually terminate before that 40 second window opens. Is it possible on the last set (using the flat bench as an example) to hold that weight in the contracted position (arms slightly bent) for the alloted time to gain something 'more' out of the set?

I know this might negate the benefits sought from ramping but I just used that as an example.

What I am getting at is, does TUT have to be a 'moving set of repetitions' or can the TUT response be obtained from a static contraction at the end of the set?

Big thanks in advance


Notice that during most of the IBB program the last set is typically dropped in weight and takes advantage of the TUT principle. I also wouldn't use 40s as a stone cold number either. It's surely going to vary from muscle to muscle and person to person due to lever lengths, etc.

Remember the program as a whole not on an individual exercise basis or an individual set basis. I'd gather that these last sets taken to failure in the 8-12 rep range are just as important if not moreso than the earlier three rep sets.

You also have to take in account the overall TUT of a given workout. These 3 rep ramping sets, those Wednesday mini circuits, all employ relatively little rest and add to the overall TUT of the workout and overall work density of the workout. Take in the essence of a program, not the concrete numbers.

Activate, Isolate, Fatigue, Grow!



Thanks for the response. I should have been a little clearer because I wasn't talking specifically about the IBB program, I just used that as an example. Maybe I should have just said ramping to a 'max set' of three, but I see where the TUT comes into effect on the last set of IBB!

Like a multi tiered attack using TUT, rep speed, max weight and accumulated fatigue.

Now this is what I am getting at!

Is TUT strictly time under the bar for a 'given set' or is it accumulated TUT over a number of sets?

I would imagine that prolonging TUT on the last set, would increase it's effects hence the 'idea' of holding a weight in a static contraction at the end of a short set to get something more. Whether this works or not I haven't got a clue?

The idea is driven by the fact that when a muscle contracts using 60% or more of it's strength, the blood stops following freely! At this point the pumping action that results from contracting tissue then moves blood through the muscles. A static contraction therefore will prevent blood from flowing in or out of the tissue causing a momentary hypoxic environment in the targeted muscle. This in turn will lead to increased vasodilation in response to a lack of oxygen after the tension has subsided. So combining a final ramped max set of three reps (3-4 seconds or mechanical stress) plus a static hold (30< seconds of TUT fatigue) might be beneficial or am I talking through me hole?

I suppose you could compare it to other techniques that aim to increase the intensity of the last set like including one drop set or an intense DCrapp stretch...