Why Time Under Tension Is the Latest Fitness Trend


Have you been working your butt off within the gymnasium however not attaining the outcomes you’re hoping for? It might come right down to your technique. What if, as a substitute of worrying concerning the variety of reps, you targeted on the variety of seconds your muscle mass had been working?

This shift within the focus is what some professional trainers are calling the subsequent frontier in health.

The idea is known as “time below pressure,” or TUT for brief. Sebastien Lagree, creator of the Lagree Methodology (the megaformer exercises which can be mega-challenging) is a big proponent of this idea. “TUT is the period of time a muscle is working throughout an train set,” he explains. As a substitute of counting reps—one thing Lagree says is “truly ineffective” due to so many variables in private velocity and efficiency everyday, rep to rep—“you time the muscle contraction, and that turns into the brand new measure of achieve.”

Rob Darnbrough, co-founder of Sensible Match Methodology, wholeheartedly agrees. “Time below pressure is when the muscle is being absolutely challenged all through your entire vary of movement,” he says.

This works each through the concentric part—when the muscle shortens—and eccentric part—when the muscle lengthens. (Consider a biceps curl: Once you convey the load up and in, that’s a concentric contraction; while you decrease the load again down, that’s the eccentric contraction.) The goal is for each of these phases to have adequate pressure to fatigue the muscle.

“In case you are locking up your joints or taking breaks through the designated time you’ve allotted for the train, you aren’t utilizing the time below pressure technique,” says Heather Perren, senior grasp coach at Lagree and co-founder of Lagreeing at Residence. “Time below pressure is strictly what the identify implies: You’re protecting the muscle mass below pressure for your entire period. No breaks!”

The advantages of time below pressure

Effectivity is absolutely the secret right here. In principle, the idea cuts down on “wasted time” throughout exercises. (One would possibly argue that the psychological well being and restoration advantages of down time throughout a exercise aren’t essentially wasted, however for the sake of minimizing enter for max output, we’ll take it.)

“Power coaching comes down to a few issues,” says Darnbrough. “Mechanical load, muscle harm, and metabolic stress.” Making use of the suitable period of time below pressure will improve the outcomes you get from every of these elements.

“The physique doesn’t care what number of units or reps you probably did,” Darnbrough continues. “It solely issues how a lot time the muscle is really below pressure.”

The specialists at Lagree Methodology level out that TUT forces your muscle mass to work more durable, and subsequently optimizes muscular energy, endurance, and progress. “It’s a good way to present your physique a difficult, high-intensity exercise,” says Perren. “As a result of TUT is completed protecting time, not reps, you may sluggish the tempo down, which additionally makes your exercise safer.”

Lagree himself additionally provides that TUT is a “extra correct measure of enchancment over simply counting repetitions.” You may’t merely velocity up your approach by the problem or abuse momentum—while you’re in a position to spend extra time contracting a muscle, you actually know it is getting stronger.

The best way to apply time below pressure to your exercises

TUT can be utilized in any sort of energy exercise, together with Pilates, megaformer exercises, and basic weight lifting and energy coaching.

“In Pilates, that is why we emphasize sluggish actions,” says Adriana Vargas, grasp Pilates coach and founding father of Stay+Love Pilates in La Jolla, California. “Not solely does it can help you focus in your kind and your breath, but additionally muscle connection and pressure. The tempo of the movement—or management—with that particular resistance is essential, as it can can help you focus and construct these lengthy lean muscle fibers that we develop with Pilates apply.”

Lagree says this idea has been part of his technique for almost 20 years. His lessons use a minimal of 1 minute for workouts involving core and higher physique, and a minimal of two minutes for the decrease physique workouts. “We by no means rely repetition in school, we solely hold observe of time,” he says. “You may simply incorporate TUT in different types of train through the use of a stopwatch as a substitute of counting reps to failure. Every time you carry out a transfer, attempt to improve the set so it takes somewhat longer than the earlier time.”

If you happen to’re utilizing hand weights, dumbbells, or a standard gymnasium machine, Darnbrough says TUT will be achieved by “slowing down the motion,” and basically holding it the place you’re feeling the burn for somewhat longer.

In search of a normal guidepost? A really perfect time below pressure is between 90 seconds and two and a half minutes for many workouts, says Darnbrough. “This can improve muscle harm and hypertrophy, energy and metabolic conditioning.”

Able to get stronger? Strive testing out time below pressure with the Arnold Press: