How To Increase The Time Under Tension To Maximise Your Gains
Time under tension (or TuT) plays a vital role in muscle development. As the name suggests, TuT is the amount of time your muscle is put under tension while performing resistance exercises.
Your muscle tissues break while you lift weights and increasing the time under tension can add to the effect as the challenge for the muscles under focus increases. An increase in TuT can set the ground for your muscles to recover stronger, bigger and better.
Increase The Time Under Tension With These Steps
Change the Rep Tempo
One of the most effective ways to increase the time under tension and annihilate your muscles is to change the rep tempo. For example, if you take one second to lower the dumbbell, one second to curl, and no rest at top and bottom while performing a dumbbell bicep curl, you are spending almost 3-4 seconds while completing a repetition.
You can modify the rep tempo by taking three seconds to lower, two to lift, and one second of rest each at the top and the bottom of the repetition. By the end of the exercise, your muscles will be under tension for 7-8 seconds as compared to the 3-4 seconds mentioned above. Your muscles will be asking you for mercy by the end of the set.
Increase The Number of Repetitions
There is more than one way to skin the cat when it comes to changing the time under tension while resistance training. Increasing the number of repetitions in every exercise you perform is another popular way of making the muscles do more work.
Increasing the TuT will help you in establishing a better mind-muscle connection. Don’t be surprised if you get the best pump of your life as you increase the TuT. Your muscles will be filled with blood and lactic acid as you add to the load on your muscles with the techniques mentioned in the article.
Hold the Rep at Top and Bottom
Holding the reps at the top and bottom of the movement can be a great way of increasing the time under tension and amplifying the muscle pumps. As you pause at the top and bottom, you should squeeze the living hell out of your muscles.
Make sure you don’t convert the pause into rest by overstaying your welcome. You should pause at the top and bottom for not more than two seconds. The purpose of the hold is to increase the TuT and not to give your muscles relief.
Use Advanced Training Techniques
Almost all the advanced training techniques increase the time under tension. The increased TuT is also a reason you get the muscle-ripping pumps while performing one of the advanced training techniques.
Some of the techniques you can try to increase the time under tension are rest-pause sets, intraset stretching, drop sets, forced reps, and negatives. You’ll need a spotter on exercises with forced reps and negatives and it’s important you practice safe measure while performing these sets as a small mistake can lead to an injury.
Follow a full range of motion while performing all the exercises and focus on contracting your muscles with every rep to make the most of your workouts. Don’t rush through the exercises as the pump gets intense. Work with the pain and hit your exercises to complete muscle failure.
Header image courtesy of Envato Elements
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