W.Chicken you think of “pumping iron”, giant dumbbells and rip probably come to mind. But that weight lifting formula of load and repetition ignores a powerful element of the strength training tool belt: the tempo.

In particular, slow things down.

Thea Hughes, a Brooklyn-based strength training instructor and founder of Max Effort Training, said, “There are some ideas like this old school, I need to lift more or move faster to make things work.” “It’s not sexy to think about tempo instead. But if we think about why and how our bodies are moving, I think people can quickly optimize their results by controlling their movements. “

What Hughes means by tempo in strength training is the speed at which you are representing. So instead of getting down quickly in a squat, the idea is that when you count for three to five seconds you will probably lower yourself in that squat. Doing so increases the time your muscles “stay in tension”, Hughes says, which means they’re working harder for longer.

“Whether you’re holding a 50-pound plate, or whatever body weight, your body is in a state of excitement, but it’s hard to do it slowly,” Hughes says.

A study on tempo Journal of Physiology It has been observed that lifting the legs results in a gradual increase in muscle mass compared to the same activity. A meta-analysis of research on muscle growth techniques has been published International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health It was not possible to determine if a slow motion was actually more effective than performing fast reps, but in the end it was suggested that maintaining control over the resistance portion of an exercise was the best way to optimize the move.

Hughes agrees that control is an essential element of muscle building, and thinks that slowing down your steps ensures that you maintain that control.

“It requires that you apply the mechanics of the right movement and that you are employing things in the right way,” Hughes said. “It brings mind-body awareness to our workouts instead of just going through the motions.”

This does not mean that there is no place for speed in your conditioner workout. Hughes suggest combining explosive energy moments with slow resistance, such as a squat jump or push up where you jump or push fast and then slowly lower yourself.

“Slowing down and controlling your movement is not mutually exclusive to fast-paced movement,” Hughes said. “By controlling our tempo, we will actually be able to jump at that higher intensity, move faster or better because we will have so much better control and comprehension over our range of motion.”

So if you want to mix up your workout or play with ways to get results, be sure to consider your pace.

“Everything has speed, whether you pay attention to it or not,” Hughes said.

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