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Gyms.co.nz Fit Tips

Increase Your Time Under Tension!

Are you short of time when it comes to completing your workout? Are you perhaps struggling to achieve the weight loss or toning goals that you so desire?

Is it time to increase your time under tension?

What is he talking about now you say?  What I am suggesting is that it may be time to streamline your workout programme to increase the time that your bodies muscles are under tension.  OK, so how can I do this?

Compound / Combine Exercises
Not only will compounding your exercises streamline your workout, but it will help maintain your heart rate at an increased intensity, will burn increased calories, while still giving you a great toning workout.  So how do I compound my traditional exercises? 

Basically you are looking at combining two exercises, working different parts of your body, into one using free weights.  For example, your dumbbell squats could be combined with shoulder shrugs, or lunges could be combined with dumbbell curls to work two different parts of the body.  The total time (and repetitions) that you are exercising for in one set would be doubled (e.g. 30 seconds of squats plus 30 seconds of curls totals 1 minute that your body is under tension).  However, the rest between each set of exercises should remain the same e.g. 30 seconds.  This way you are increasing the work to rest ratio from 1:1 to 2:1, therefore increasing the total time under tension.  Try this to spice up some of your workouts at the gym or even in the 'comfort' of your own home!

Modify Your Tempo
Another way to increase your time under tension is to modify the tempo of your resistance training workout.  Normally you might lift a weight taking 2 seconds to complete the concentric (lifting) phase and about 1 seconds to finish the lowering phase.  A great way to  liven up your workouts is to modify the tempo, for example increasing the concentric phase to 4 seconds and the eccentric phase to 2.  This increases the time that your muscles spend under load so long as you endeavour to complete the same number of repetitions per set.  Again the rest period should remain constant between each set.

Try these two tips for increasing total training time under tension.  How's that for a tongue twister...  Happy training!