It is one of the most common questions not just in DVRT Ultimate Sandbag workout programs, but fitness in general!
Should I do my repetitions fast or slow?
In this day and age of using strength training as a great means of fat burning, we tend to see most of the workouts being done today with primarily very quick movements.
Do they have a benefit?
Should you do them exclusively to get the best workouts? Nope!
The role of what is called time under tension (TUT) goes through cycles. For a period of time people will say the temp of a repetition has little value, others will go into elaborate detail about programming TUT. Who is right?
Pausing at the bottom of any DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training exercise can greatly increase the challenge and results!
The truth I believe like most things is somewhere in the middle. TUT does matter, but to what extent do you need to program it into your DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training programs?
Most people forget that beginners can’t move as slow and controlled as more advanced trainees, we almost instantly assume that slow repetitions are only for beginners, not true!
Knowing that TUT matters, what we should really be asking ourselves is what type of counts and during what part of the exercise we should use them.
Every exercise inherently has four parts, the start position, a lowering phase, a time between lowering and raising the weight, and a raising the weight phase.
The lowering phase is typically known as the eccentric phase (this refers to the lengthening of a muscle) and is a great opportunity to build both control, muscle, and strength. A lot of research has shown this phase of a lift to be a great opportunity to work with both slow and faster tempos. Probably for most, slower tempos are better because of the eccentric phase done with more TUT has great benefits like I mention above. Fast eccentric tempos are better for very high level individuals for very specific reasons.
The raising phase is known as the concentric phase. Obviously we could use fast or slow tempos, is there a better option? In general, faster types of concentric movements are better. Research has shown that accelerating, or attempting to accelerate a weight even though it is heavy, recruits more fast-twitch muscle fibers. These muscle fibers make a bigger difference in our strength and aesthetics overall. Does that mean we NEVER use slower tempos during concentric phases? Nope! They are especially helpful for those that lack control and technical proficiency when lifting a weight.
The two points I think are often negated are the two points of pause. DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training Master Instructor, Troy Anderson, talks about hitting the end points. Both aspects teach us a great deal about alignment, posture, and strength. So many people are worried about nailing reps out that they totally miss these two great opportunities.
How can you use these concepts in a real world setting? Try this in your next DVRT Ultimate Sandbag workout program. If you press a Ultimate Sandbag overhead, try to accelerate the weight overhead, pause on the lockout for 2-3 seconds, then lower the weight for 3-4 seconds.
If using a squat, lower into the squat for 3-4 seconds, pause 2-3 seconds in the bottom, and try to accelerate upwards.
See how changing the TUT can make your DVRT Ultimate Sandbag workout programs feel like new, help you break plateaus, and make your training more fun!
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