Lifting Tempo Guide


What is tempo?

Tempo is the speed at which you perform different areas of an exercise. 

Does it matter?

It can change the stimulus your body gets from the lift. There is a learning curve to it, and it can be difficult at first. I always tell my clients to first gain confidence in getting into the gym and performing the exercises. Then when you are ready, begin incorporating the tempo more. I do include TEMPO TIPS in the programming that make following certain key parts extremely easy. 

Example 3010 

Each number represents a time and different area of the lift 

• 3 seconds - Eccentric (lengthening of the muscle) 

• 0 second - after the eccentric or lengthening of the muscle 

• 1 second - the concentric (shortening or lifting portion) 

• 0 second - end of the concentric or shortening of the muscle. 

Bicep curl Example - 3011 

• 3 seconds - eccentric (downward motion) 

• 0 second - no pause at the bottom 

• 1 second - concentric (upward motion) 

• 1 second - at the top 

Squat Example - 4110 

• 4 second - eccentric (downward motion)

• 1 second- pause at the bottom 

• 1 second - contraction (upward motion) 

• 0 second - at the top 

Triceps and Back are the only muscle groups that are opposite to this, meaning, the eccentric is the movement up.... 

Wide grip Back pulldown Example - 3110 

• 3 second - eccentric (movement up, its lengthening) 

• 1 second - pause at top 

• 1 second - contraction (movement down, muscle contracting) 

• 0 second - pause at bottom