Time Under Tension (TUT)

This article may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure about affiliate links here.

Want to gain muscle a little faster?

Have you hit a plateau with your workouts… Where it doesn’t seem like you making any gains whatsoever?

Then you might want to try this simple technique next time you’re at the gym.

You Might Also Like…


Time Under Tension- What Does That Mean?

Time under tension (or TUT for short) is commonly used in strength and conditioning and bodybuilding.

Essentially, it refers to how long a muscle is under strain during a set.

A typical set of 10 reps for an average lifter will take anywhere from 15-25 seconds depending on lifting speed.

By putting a muscle under longer bouts of strain, you can cause extensive muscle breakdown leading to quicker muscle gain and better results.

Time Under Tension- A Quick Example

Let’s say you are doing bicep curls… 3 sets of 8 reps each.

What you want to do is lift in 1 seconds… And then lower the curl with a 4 second count.

So roughly 5 seconds per rep… Or 40 seconds total over an 8 rep set.

Basically, if you lift a weight and it takes you 40 seconds to complete that set, you have a total time under tension of 40 seconds.

Time Under Tension Means Greater Metabolic Response

The first major benefit you’ll get from monitoring your time under tension is a boost in metabolic response.

The more time under tension you have for any individual muscle you’re working (like the biceps in our example), then the greater the growth hormone release will be.

Additionally, if you have a large time under tension, you’ll also really jumpstart the metabolism since you are making the body do so much work.

You will also create a high degree of micro tears in the muscle tissues; which will cause the body to expend more calories repairing itself once the workout is finished.

Since both of these reactions work together, you’ll not only be enhancing your muscle definition…

But you’ll be burning body fat as well.

Tips For Using Time Under Tension In Your Workouts

Here are some other tips to start implementing TUT in your wokouts…

– Try to maintain a steady tempo.

A typical tempo in seconds for each rep during a set would be 1/4/0 (lifting, lowering, pause).

-Increase the time on the lowering portion of the movement.

Slowing down the lowering portion of the lift causes more muscle damage and hence encourages more growth. Try at least a 3 or 4 second lowering time.

-Use correct form.

As with any exercise, form is more important than reps.

Doing fewer reps with the correct form is preferable to more reps without correct form.

Also, as your reps get longer using TUT, muscle fatigue will rear it’s ugly head which causes most people to compromise the correct form.

So use fewer reps with the right form or…

-Use lower weight for those last reps

If doing those last few reps are really beating you up, simply drop down in weight for those last reps/set.

That way form is not compromised as you “cheat” to finish those last reps.

Time Under Tension- Try It Yourself

Next time you’re at the gym, why not focus on time under tension for at least one set during your workout routine…

If you start incorporating TUT into your workouts slowly over time…

You WILL see results.

Other Cool Stuff…




Similar Posts: