Hi there,

It's Efrén Rodriguez Guerrero, your coach for your high performance life. Today I would like to teach you how how timing your repetitions can dramatically increase your results.

Consider this High Performance Compendium series further education for fitness. Here, we help define the terms that all high performers should know.

TERM: Time under tension

DEFINITION: Time under tension, or TUT, refers to how long muscle fibers work against resistance during a given exercise.

Research has shown that muscle strength and endurance don’t only happen based on how much weight a you lift, but also the total amount of time you're working with your selected resistance.

By lengthening the amount of time your muscles maintain the tension during any exercise, you completely fatigue the muscle. You increase the structural damage to the worked muscle fibers and therefore, your body’s response to repair and strengthen them.

For example, if you’re doing resistance-band rows and you're just ripping the band towards your body and then letting it immediately snap back to its resting length, you can get in a lot of reps, meaning you move a lot of total resistance. But your TUT for that exercise is still low. However, by slowly rowing the band to your torso, pausing for a few seconds, and then inching the band back to start, you can increase your time under tension—and results—even if it means you can perform fewer reps.

Similarly, knocking out 10 reps in 90 seconds will score you far more muscle-building results than performing 10 in 30 seconds. Adding in some partial-range-of-motion pulses or X-reps can also increase how long you can keep your muscles working before they completely give out.

In good health,

Efren G. Rodriguez

Fortza Fit

High Performance Personal Training

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