This is tip 1 of 5 that I am offering up to help individuals exercise and crush their goals well into their retirement years.
An awesome technique and tip popularized by the late great Charles Poliquin who regularly incorporated tempo into his workout plans. Tempo is the number of seconds you perform an exercise within each rep. Charles used this to train Olympic and professional level athletes. However, this can be used for all populations. I like incorporating tempo in both training and rehab because it ensures good form while stimulating the muscles and tendons with less weight (think time under tension). This helps reduce the likelihood of injury When designing a program I will place the tempo next to the prescribed sets and reps. It usually looks something like this Squat 4-1-2-1 as an example First number (eccentric contraction): In this case 4 seconds. Lower into your squat position for a count of 4 seconds. This number is usually 3 or 4 to promote slow and controlled movements Second number (pause in the lengthened position): In this case 1 second. Sit into the bottom of the squat for 1 second. 1-2 seconds is nice here as it forces a good position at the bottom of the squat. if using this during bench press that means you will pause at your chest and not bounce off. The third number (concentric contraction): in this case 2 seconds. If going for rehab and hypertrophy I will have this number as 1-2 seconds to help achieve the pump and promote controlling the weight. With an athlete, I might put X. This means explode. Last number (pause at the start position): I usually keep this to 1 second. To increase the difficulty you can even put 0 which means no pause! This was tip 1 of 5 for how to stay injury free and working out for the rest of your years. Try tempo if you want to really work hard while using great technique and minimize the stress on your joints