Is Slow Rep Training more effective?
In this post, I will share everything you should know related to the speed of your rep, or should I say the ‘tempo’ of your rep!
Tempo of a Rep
The tempo of a rep is the speed at which you perform that rep.
Most people use momentum to complete a rep and usually do it fast. Most people are too distracted when gyming. They are either thinking about what their boss said to them, or they are worried about the argument with their spouse the previous night.
Hey, I get it we are all stressed and worried about something. But this is not the time.
You need to focus, you need to build the mind-muscle connection.
Most importantly you need to choose the right weight for the given rep range.
I will teach you how to select the right weight for a given exercise as well as how to progress with weights [Article coming up soon, Stay Tuned], for now, know this: If the weight you are lifting is too light, then well, you won’t be able to focus completely, if the weight is too heavy, you will try and use momentum, bring other muscles into play which is cheating, or perhaps, end up taking too much help from your training partner.
Throughout the rep, you need to feel the connection, more like a sweet spot. Idea is to establish a controlled speed for every rep. You need to make it count and for that focusing on the muscle being worked (and not the weight) is the key.
Its imperative, that you learn the correct technique for every exercise. My weight training technique course is very good and detailed. It’s not rocket science, learn it, before you injure yourself.
Ideally, the concentric phase should be 1 – 2 seconds, whereas the eccentric phase should be around 2 – 3 seconds, although my suggestion is to not focus on timings too much and simply go with controlled reps.
A controlled rep is lifting weights without using momentum, which also establishes superior communication between your brain and muscles. This can only happen when you concentrate on the muscles being worked and not too much on how much weight you are lifting.
Ideally, one should enter into a meditative state and shut everything out. It becomes difficult to do so if you are working out in a crowded gym.
Not only you should select your gym wisely, but also try and make an effort to select timings when fewer people are present in the gym.
Obviously, if your schedule does not allow you to do so, then just try and do your best…:)
One pro tip: Always focus on the muscle being worked. Imagine yourself in the weights room. Now recall what goes on in your mind when you are in the middle of a heavy squat.
Are you thinking about an argument you had with your partner?
or are you thinking about how heavy the weight is?
or are you thinking about the sh*t music playing in the gym?
This is wrong thinking.
The only thing that you should do is: Put your mind into your muscle being worked.
It’s like entering into a meditative state. The moment you lift the bar, everything around you blurs.
You are one with the set. You are the ‘SET’
Nothing else matters.
If great music puts you in the zone, great listen to it. I know some people listen to jazz or some instrumental stuff, whereas a friend of my mine like heavy metal.
See what works for you, but your focus should be purely on your muscle being worked. Your thighs, hamstrings, your core area and rest of the musculature supporting the movement.
You need to think about one rep at a time. Don’t worry whether you will make it to 10 reps or not. Just grind one rep after the another with perfect technique.
Push yourself each time. But with weight, overall, I believe in being conservative.
If your focus is doing 10 reps at ANY cost, that kind of thinking can result in injury. Don’t do that. Pull yourself back.
But that does not mean not giving your 100%. Instead, it’s about pushing yourself slightly over your comfort zone, it’s about trying and being better than what you did in your previous session.
Although there is no absolute way to track how hard you are working, if you are progressing in every session with weights, or by increasing the number of reps, then my friend, you are doing a great job.
-Be conservative with your training. Don’t try and go for failure all the time. Leave some gas in the tank for next set or for the next session.
-I have divided FBX workouts into FBX-Cut & FBX-Gain for a reason. Stay tuned for articles on each of these topics as progression with weights should be the prime focus when clean bulking, but not while cutting.
-Don’t take help from your training partner to lift your weights. Your training partner is there to motivate you, psyche you up and to avoid any emergency like being there when you bench pressing or squatting (without a power cage)
-Prioritize free weights over machines and compound movements over isolated ones.