Tempo: It Is All About The Tempo

Fitness over 40:

For any weight loss programme making the right exercise choice is very important. As we get older using the exercises with the most bang for your buck reaps the rewards, but knowing how to perform those exercises is as, if not more important.

As we know you cannot site train fat, sit ups DO NOT make the Abs pop out. No matter how many sit ups you do you have no control over where the fat will leave the body, normally the stubborn areas lose the fat last. Multi joint, multi muscle exercises like Squats, Lunges, Dead lifts and Press-Up use the most energy which in turn will burn the most fat. If you add the correct controlled tempo to those exercises then boom you have now just turned up the temperature on your fitness over 40's fat furnace.

So Tempo, what is tempo. The tempo is the speed in which you do the exercise. If you imagine any exercise has a pressing/pulling (doing) phase but it also has a lowering phase. When you perform any exercise it is as important to control the lowering phase as it is the doing phase. Why? Well if you only concentrate on the doing phase and let gravity do the lowering phase you are only performing half the exercise, only using the muscles in one direction which could cause injury.

Not to bore you with the physiology of a working muscle but in order to receive optimal results from the exercise you do it is best to concentrate on 4 phases of the exercise, The Eccentric (lowering), The Concentric (doing) and the time spent pausing at the top and the bottom of the movement. When we talk about tempo we are talking about these 4 phases. Eccentric, Pause, Concentric, Pause.

In all our fitness programmes for weight loss or our mens and women's fitness videos we give 1 number representing each one of these 4 phases and we write it like this:

For example 4-0-1-0.

The first digit (4) is the seconds involved in the Eccentric phase, meaning in a press up it would take you 4 secs to go from the top position of front support to lower your chest to the floor which is the bottom position.

The next digit (0) is the pause at the end of the Eccentric phase, which in the press up is with bent arms chest on the floor, holding your full weight. So in this example there is no pause.

The third digit is the Concentric phase (1), pressing back up to straight arms.

The fourth digit (0) is the pause at the top of the press up before you descend into the next repetition. So in this example no pause.

Another Example 3-1-1-1

Lets use a Squat for this example:  The first digit (3) means it will take you 3 seconds to lower (Eccentric Phase) from standing to your lowest depth with good form in the squatting position.

The second digit (1) means there is a 1 second pause in the bottom position of the squat before:

The third digit (1) represents the 1 second it will take you to press (concentric phase) those legs to stand up. Don't lock out those knees.

The fourth digit (1) is you have guessed it the 1 second pause on soft knees so you are still using your muscles before you start lowering in the next repetition.

Utilising Tempo when performing your exercises will increase the results of your weight loss programme and help you build more strength in your muscles. The ladies doing the 'fitness program for women', don't worry you are not going to build muscle like Arnie. But you will be able to get out of your chair without using your arms, while holding the kids over your shoulder. We need strength in everyday actions to help us perform tasks and prevent injury, Tempo is king.

Give the workouts a go applying the Tempo for each exercise and see how you feel. Let us know how you get on.

Living Healthy

Ben

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