Time under Tension and Its Effect on Hypertrophy

To add more muscle and become stronger, we need to change up our workouts. This can be done in multiple ways, including increasing the weight, reps or sets or changing the exercise selection. But there is another option: change the speed when you do the exercise.

Researches from McMaster University looked at individuals doing fast reps (6 seconds up and 6 seconds down) or fast reps (1 second up and 1 second down) on the leg extension at 30% 1RM. They showed that when doing a slower rep and putting the muscle under tension for longer (that is, increasing the time under tension), there was an increase in protein synthesis. And an increase in protein synthesis means more muscle.

So if you’re looking to change up your workout, slow down on the tempo of the exercise, particularly during the eccentric phase, when the muscle gets longer. Doing this will increase the intensity of the workout, and the body will respond by increasing its muscle mass. And more muscle is a good thing.

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