What does repetition tempo mean?


Repetition tempo is the speed or count of a lift; time under load tension. A lift consists of 3 movements: Concentric Contractions—muscle actively shortening, Eccentric Contractions—muscle actively lengthening and Isometric Contraction—muscle actively held at a fixed length. Depending on your goal, each of these movements is assigned a count.

Tempo variable may look like this: 4/2/2. Its meaning: 4 seconds to lengthen the muscle, 2 second hold of the load and then a 2 second shorting of the muscle. Let’s take a bicep curl for instance. Holding your arm at your side, you curl up or shorten the muscle by bring a dumbbell up to your shoulder in 2 seconds, then hold the dumbbell still for 2 seconds and then lower your dumbbell or lengthen the muscle in 4 seconds. This is repetition tempo.

Repetition tempo refers to the speed at which each repetition is performed.  Tempo is an extremely important, yet often overlooked, variable within a resistance training program.  Manipulating the tempo of exercise directly affects the amount of time that the muscles are kept under tension.  The total time that the muscles are under tension during exercise determine what response they will have to the training program.  For instance, slow to moderate tempos will help improve stability and endurance, while fast tempos will help to improve muscle power.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.