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 Post subject: Exercise speed/tempo
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 5:44 pm 
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n00b
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Hello.

If someone performs the bench press, should he always lower the bar down really slow (like counting down to 3) ? And should he always explode on the way up and try to get the bar up as quickly as possible ? I often hear the same old advice to use perfect form on all exercises (Bring the weight slowly up and contract my muscles and then bring it slowly down and stretch my muscles). I can do that while I'm performing isolation exercises with no problem. But I have a problem with compound exercises. So, should I press the bar up as fast as possible or slow and controlled while bench pressing? What about exercises for the back? Should I do pull-ups, bent over rows, cable rows and face pulls in the same manner as I do my bench pressing (Controlling the negative and then exploding) ? Or should I always keep a slow and controlled tempo while doing compound exercises for my back, like I would do isolation exercises? I always hear that I should feel my lats working while doing pull-ups and that's why I need to do them slow and controlled (1, 2, 3 up and 1, 2, 3 down). But then why should I always try to bring the bar up really fast while doing bench press? The pull-up and bench press are both compound exercises, yet the speed at which I should do them is different. Why is that?


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 Post subject: Re: Exercise speed/tempo
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:30 am 
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I think it depends on your goals. I do controlled, but hardly ever slow reps. I do what I consider "normal" - which, if comparing deadlift and lifting a box up from the ground for instance, is literally at the same speed, probably a second. That's what makes the most sense to me. Of course, some lifts it is better to perform speedier if you are looking to develop power (well for some its absolutely necessary that is). I don't fathom any reason to lower the weight down in 3 seconds, but then again, I'm not a bodybuilder. Maybe it has some special purpose for hypertrophy.


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 Post subject: Re: Exercise speed/tempo
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:44 am 
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I see all of your references are for upper body movements. Are you lifting with your legs at all? Just curious


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 Post subject: Re: Exercise speed/tempo
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:15 am 
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Thank you for the answer, Rucifer.

So performing my lifts slow on purpose will give me maximum hypertrophy. Performing them fast (but with good form of course) will give me maximum power. Does this apply to every compound exercise? I train my whole body (legs included). It's just that my major concern about exercise speed is for the back muscles, because that's my weakest point. I can do about 8 fast pull-ups (with decent form) or 3-4 slow pull-ups (with good form, like 1, 2, 3 up, hold at the top, 1, 2, 3 down). Which one's should I do?


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 Post subject: Re: Exercise speed/tempo
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:43 am 
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I'm not sure if slow movement builds the most muscle. If its been proven it does, then so be it. If its just some bodybuilder dogma without any basis, when then I'm gonna stand proud :green: . Is muscle mass your primary goal? I always do pull ups in quickly, because I feel its the most practical movement when doing it. Also I tend to NOT do full range of motion (dropping to a complete straight arm, I do at least 3/4's of the way down though) simply because that is what works best for me. I'd say do what feels the best to do.


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 Post subject: Re: Exercise speed/tempo
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:24 am 
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I always hear that time under tension builds muscle mass. So it seems to me that doing exercises slower (putting more time under tension on them) will get me optimal results for hypertrophy, but I won't gain a lot of strength or power doing that. I'm not sure if this is true tough. My goals are as follows: 1.Health. 2. Strength. 3 Power. 4) Muscle mass and aesthetics. 5) Stamina. 6) Endurance. So I think that I should do all my compound exercises fast and explosive without sacrificing good form. You said that you are not doing bodybuilding, so does that mean that you don't do any isolation exercises (like rear delt flyes or lateral delt raises) ? Could you maybe tell me briefly about your workout programme? Like what exercises, sets, reps, volume, intensity, frequency you do? That would be much appreciated. And if you do isolation type exercises, then do you perform them slowly (1, 2, 3 up, contract the muscle and pause, 1, 2, 3 down, stretch the muscle and repeat) ? And doesn't not doing full range of motion on an exercise give you muscle imbalances over time? Let's say if someone would half squat for a year. Wouldn't he develop muscle imbalances?


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 Post subject: Re: Exercise speed/tempo
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:59 pm 
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Time under tension may have some merit but not as much as explosive concentrics. Look up CAT, Compensatory Acceleration Training.

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Stu Ward
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Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food.~Hippocrates
Strength is the adaptation that leads to all other adaptations that you really care about - Charles Staley
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 Post subject: Re: Exercise speed/tempo
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 4:36 am 
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Thank you very much, stuward !

That was exactly what I was looking for !


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 Post subject: Re: Exercise speed/tempo
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:11 am 
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Hey..this is actually Rucifer...somehow I forgot my password within a freaking day (Even though I swear I'm entering the right one) and it won't let me log in! And I have long sense forgotten the email I used to initially register. LOL. I'm hoping a moderator can help me out here...but if not...guess I lost that account.

Anywho, I'll post my workout, but its probably not really in keeping with a lot of people visiting gyms and whatnot. Keep in mind, I took a LONG break from exercise and got lazy in general, and have really only gotten back into it within the last 6 months. Right now, I do 4 different workouts over the span of 2 weeks, and keep in mind I do NOT have access to traditional weight set-

First workout-

Weighted bench dips
Weighted tricep dips
Isometric wall pushes

Second -

Stone deadlifts + holds (I use big rocks at the park)
Pull ups
Isometric bench pulls

Third -

KB Swings
KB Push Presses
Power push ups

Fourth -

Farmer walks
Pole climbing
Step ups

I've had to make modifications since my brother stole my dad's workout bench and weight :P. I have Kettlebell's at home (the wife likes them) and Swings and push presses with a decent amount of weight are pretty rocking. I am under no illusions I will develop muscle mass as much as someone doing the traditional route (Squats, bench, deadlifts, etc) - but for me - I find my current routine much more enjoyable, especially since almost everything is done outdoors!


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 Post subject: Re: Exercise speed/tempo
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:05 am 
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Matt, send Ironman a PM and he can reset your password. I'm new to this moderator stuff but I know he knows how to do it.

Stu

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Stu Ward
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Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food.~Hippocrates
Strength is the adaptation that leads to all other adaptations that you really care about - Charles Staley
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Thanks TimD


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 Post subject: Re: Exercise speed/tempo
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 7:44 am 
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Powerlifting Ninja
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Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 10:36 am
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Tarma wrote:
I always hear that time under tension builds muscle mass. So it seems to me that doing exercises slower (putting more time under tension on them) will get me optimal results for hypertrophy, but I won't gain a lot of strength or power doing that. I'm not sure if this is true tough.


Time Under Tension

There is validity that muscle need to be placed under a specific amount of Time Under Tension.

Doing so, creates...

Metabolic Stress

This is produced with when Venous Blood Flow from the muscle to back to the heart is restricted.

Arterial Blood Flow from the heart to the muscles continues.

What you end up with is blood trapped in the muscles which lead to...

What you end up with is...

The Pump

The pump creates a hormonal anabolic cascade which triggers an increase in muscle mass.

Muscle Contractions

Muscle contractions restrict Venous Blood Flow.

The traditional 8-12 repetitions per set falls into the right amount of Time Under Tension.

However, higher repetitions work, as well.

Short Rest Periods

Short rest periods between sets, 30-60 seconds, don't allow Venous Blood Flow back to the heart.

Also, with short rest periods, you continue to flood the muscle with blood.

Think of it like blowing up a balloon.

Slow Movements

While Super Slow movement restricts Venous Blood Flow, more blood flow is elicited with a moderate/faster tempo.

A faster movement increases heart rate, increasing circulation.

Thus, more blood is pumped to the muscles.

Quote:
My goals are as follows: 1.Health. 2. Strength. 3 Power. 4) Muscle mass and aesthetics. 5) Stamina. 6) Endurance.


Training for each of these requires a different method.

1) Strength: 85% of 1RM (Repetition Max) for 1-5 reps, 3 minute or longer rest periods between sets.

2) Power: 48-62% of 1RM for 1-5 repetitions, 3 minute or longer rest periods between sets.

3) Hypertrophy/Mass: 65-80% of 1RM, for 8 repetitions plus, 30-60 rest periods between sets.

4) Endurance: 30-50% of 1RM for 20 reps plus, 30 second rest periods.

Each requires a different training protocol.

Quote:
So I think that I should do all my compound exercises fast and explosive without sacrificing good form.


Stu/CAT

Stu touched on this.

The intent should be to pull or drive the weight up with as much force as possible.

Doing so engages the Fast Twitch Muscle Fiber.

Kenny Croxdale

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 Post subject: Re: Exercise speed/tempo
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 7:56 am 
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Hey, Kenny Croxdale.

Thank you so much for posting all of the info! Now I have all of this explained to me in one well structured message.


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 Post subject: Re: Exercise speed/tempo
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 7:58 am 
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Hey, mattsouth. I hope you got your previous account back.

Well, your workouts are very orthodox ! I think, since you are not doing bodybuilding (muscle mass is a secondary goal) and focusing on strength and power this type of workout is very effective for you. And of course you should be doing your exercises very explosive, except the isometric ones. Plus, you don't need to go to a gym and can workout outside, which I think is great. The only thing I would add to your workout routine if I was you is (maybe you are doing it already, in which case that's my bad) a few exercises to target my rear and lateral delts (to avoid pronated and imbalanced shoulders), rotator cuff (avoid injury) and calves with abs. Hope you stay on track with your workouts and make some gains.

P.S I looked up the thing with not fully extending on the pull-ups and it turns out that its better to do them like that (it takes some stress of off your arms, thus you use your lats more).


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