Tempo work. Love it? Hate it? Love to hate it? Not sure what it is?
Ok, let’s start there.
In regards to lifting, tempo is the rate you're moving with weight (this includes body weight).
Read differently: you’re moving slower.
Several REALLY good reasons:
1. Time under tension builds lots of strength. With tempo lifts you’re going lighter than at regular tempo but do not underestimate the challenge of dropping to your 50-60% for a (22.214.171.124)!
2. Tendon conditioning. Tendons support muscles. You want big muscles? You want strength? Get in your tempo lifts to make sure you’re all around ready to make those gains.
3. Stabilize those stabilizers: Lifting will just plain feel better when you’ve recruited those small stabilizing muscles to support the larger muscles in the lift.
4. Body awareness: it’s amazing how out of touch we are with how and where our bodies move. Slow down, pay attention, win the workout. This is an important one, especially for those new to lifting and strength training. Learning how their body moves and trusting their body is part the curriculum.
Programmed, it can look like this (126.96.36.199), or (188.8.131.52) or (0.3.1.0) or (0.0.3.0) or (184.108.40.206) - you get the idea. How I explain this in my intro class with a back squat, using the first example would be “3 seconds down three second pause at the bottom of your squat and three seconds up. Take a breath, reset and move on to the next rep.”
As a coach it gives you ample time to see how your members are moving, their comfort level with moving period, it also reveals imbalances and flaws in basic technique.
Reminders for coaches: members will need frequent reminders of what the tempo is suppose to be. Show by example, and/or set up an metronome to hold everyone accountable.
Because tempo work is worth it.
The challenge is in the counting. When the going gets tough, people start moving faster and that tempo program you set up all goes to hell. The challenge is in slowing down, DROPPING the weight and focusing (!) on the movement.
The results will speak for themselves.