Would you like to gain lean muscle as fast as possible? Start paying attention to time under tension! Research tells us that optimum time under tension for hypertrophy – i.e. muscle growth – is about 40-70 seconds. This is arguably the number one factor for pure muscle mass gain if that’s what you’re after.
I can attest first hand: it’s effective. It’s also pretty painful. My first personal experience with it was when I tried Charles Poliquin’s German Volume Training. You pick one exercise per body part, do ten sets of it, ten reps per set, with a 4-0-2 tempo – four seconds down, no pause, two seconds up. Each set ends up taking about 60 seconds. Rest periods are 60 seconds between sets.
This particular routine was incredibly hard. The lactic acid build-up is really indescribable until you try it for yourself. However, for sheer mass building, this was one of the best protocols I’ve ever used, hands down.
An improved version of this program that is somewhat similar is this routine over on Testosterone Muscle. You start the first week by working for 30 seconds under tension and resting for 90 seconds. For the next five weeks, you increase the working time under tension by five seconds per week until you reach 45 seconds. You pick traditional bodybuilding exercises and work half of your body one day and half the next. Simple but brutal. Dave Tate, a champion power lifter, owner of EliteFTS.com, and one of the biggest names in the strength and conditioning industry, claims to have gained 10 pounds in six weeks with this routine. Impressive!
So consider time under tension if you’re trying to gain mass. Keep it in mind when mapping out a routine for yourself – even try one of the above routines and let me know how it goes!