Time under tension, or TUT, is one of the most popular methods for building muscle and strength. The concept is simple: The more that you slow down the tempo of your exercise, the harder your muscles are working and, as a result, they recover stronger. The Spartan Coaching crew uses 2:1:1 or 4:1:1, which means that if you’re doing a squat, you’d lower down into the squat (the eccentric) for 2 or 4 seconds, pause for 1 second at the bottom (isometric), and return to the top in 1 second (the concentric). However, there are countless other ways to experiment with TUT. Try these three for something new.
Time Under Tension Techniques
1. The 3-Stop
No matter what the exercise is, when you’re in the concentric or eccentric phases of the movement, try to stop and pause three times. Drop into a squat slowly, get to a quarter of the way down and pause, then halfway down and pause, then get to the bottom and pause again. Perform the same thing on the way up.
2. The Double 6s
Instead of following the standard 1:1:2 or 1:1:4 (or the 3-stop), try performing both the concentric and eccentric portion of the movement for six seconds each. So if you’re dropping into a squat, that’s six seconds down, then six seconds up.
3. The Half & Half
Here’s where you really take TUT techniques and flip them on their head. Traditionally, the focus or slower tempo of TUT is on the eccentric portion of the movement. For this technique, you’re going to do one repetition where the eccentric is slow and the concentric is normal tempo, but then your next repetition is the reverse: The concentric is slow and the eccentric is faster.For more unique strategies to training for strength, power, and endurance, download the Spartan FIT app.