Time For Change

It’s TIME for Results.

I am sure we have all had this happen to us, you are mentioning to someone you have been going to the gym and some weekend warrior, pipes in with “what do you bench?”, “How much can you squat” and I can guarantee they or someone they know can lift more right? So what!

When it comes down to itBench-shot the amount of weight on the bar means F@#K all. Your body does not respond to weight, your muscles don’t go shit i’m benching 100kg’s here I better grow, they respond to tension. The outcome depends on the duration of time we keep the muscle under load for.

Obviously the heavier the load we can place through the muscle for a certain period of time also plays a huge part in the response from the body, but when it comes to gaining lean muscle we need to leave our ego at the door, drop the weights back and lift for the correct period of time.

One of the biggest mistakes I see in programming for body transformations or training for lean muscle growth is the use of time under tension (or lack there of). Time under tension or TUT is exactly what it sounds like, the time it takes to complete a set, or the duration in which the muscle is under constant load. This 1 tiny detail dictates how your body will respond.

Check out this table.

Training Table

Now this is a very simple table, we could break this down even further quite easily but we’ll just keep it basic to minimise confusion. What we are aiming for when we are building muscle is the best muscle building protocol which is hypertrophy. Essentially what we want to do is add load through the muscle for 40 – 70 seconds. Simple right?

Where we are going wrong is we are too worried about the weights we’re lifting, so we keep stacking the weights up and pump out however many reps our program tells us (generally 8-10) with no regard to how long the set lasts. This will more than likely fall straight into the strength / power protocol as it will be a nice quick set, of generally 2 second reps resulting in approximately a 20 second set.

gain-muscle-strengthWhat this means is your strength will will improve quickly and you will be able to pump up the weights on the bar, but you will fall short of your end result in building the amount of muscle you want.

So at the end of the day if you are looking at gaining muscle over strength slow down your sets, control your movements, load tension through the muscle and watch yourself grow. And the next time some muppet asks you what you bench, tell them you press a barbell!!

Get into it guys!


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