Whether you want bigger muscular arms or a peachy pert bum, using the TUT principle can really accelerate your results.
TUT is short for Time Under Tension, although it is commonly used in strength, conditioning and body building this technique should be applied for the average gym goer looking to increase their muscle size and definition.
During weight training, typically the hypertrophy phase (building muscle phase) of your plan, exercises that allow the muscle to be under continuous tension for longer periods of time create a surge of muscle fibre recruitment, leading to more muscle damage producing a greater increase in muscle protein synthesis. This will optimise muscle growth resulting in bigger muscles quicker than blasting out the reps at a rapid rate.
Applying this method to your training is pretty simple. If you imagine you're doing a bicep curl, whilst in a neutral position with the dumbbell down by your side, curling the weight up is known as the concentric phase and when the weight is on its way back down this is known as the eccentric phase. The idea is to increase the time it takes to complete one full rep (slow down the rep).
A general bicep curl rep time is no longer than 0 second on the start position, 1 second on the concentric phase, 0 second pause whilst contracting at the top, 1 second on the eccentric phase. Totalling around 2 seconds per rep. This is barely 1 second of tension on the muscle at any given phase of the rep. This would be known as a tempo of 1-0-1.
With the TUT method on a bicep curl we are looking at 2 second on the concentric phase, 1 second pause and squeeze keeping the tension on, and a 2 second concentric phase. Totalling around 5 seconds per rep. This would be known as a tempo of 2-1-2.
As you will notice this will take a lot longer to do your 8-12 reps in comparison to not taking into account TUT.
This type of training can be explored with different tempos, which is ideal for mixing your training up weekly. One week you could be at 2-1-2 and the next week try 3-1-2 or 2-1-3.
The tempo of TUT can also vary depending on the weight, type of training, and specific exercises. But don’t be afraid to experiment and give it a go on your next session and add it into your plan. No strain no gain.
Stay strong and stay healthy!