Most of us hit the gym couple of days a week to put on some size and stimulate muscle growth. We usually perform 3-4 sets per exercise within a range of 8-12 reps, taking into consideration a certain level of intensity per exercise. Now how about we stop focusing for a second on the number of reps we’re performing, and bring our attention on the overall timing of our set?
That’s how we’ll be making huge gains in size and strength.
What is Time Under Tension (TUT):
Time under tension refers to how long the muscle is put under strain during a specific set. Now a normal set of around 10 reps usually takes from 15-25 seconds, depending on the speed applied. Nevertheless, by putting this exact same muscle under a longer tension for a single set, a wide muscle breakdown will take place leading to bigger growth.
How to apply the TUT:
Try to manage your sets to last around 40 to 45 seconds for optimal muscle growth. In that case your muscle fibers are getting enough stimulus to add on size, leading to the ongoing progress you’ve always wanted.
Tips to take into consideration:
1- Never compromise form: As you’ll be having longer sets, muscle fatigue will take place, so make sure you’re not cheating or performing partial reps.
2- Don’t compromise intensity: The exercise and the weight should be challenging enough to stimulate muscle growth. Try to use at least 60% of your 1-rep max for optimum gains.
3- Try to incorporate drop sets: Drop sets will help you last your set if you’re struggling to finish your set.
4- Spend more time on eccentric movement: an eccentric movement is the motion when the muscle is lengthening under pressure. Slowing down the eccentric portion of the movement will cause more damage to the muscle, therefore more muscle growth.