It’s very important to control all movements and follow the prescribed lifting tempo for each exercise in the program. The lifting tempo used in this program is written in a sequence of four numbers (i.e. 4-0-2-1). The first number represents the eccentric phase, the second number represents the stretched phase, the third number represents the concentric phase, and the fourth number represents the peak contracted phase. The number assigned to each phase of the tempo represents the number of seconds you should take to complete each phase.
A recent study conducted at McMaster University showed that slower tempo training elicited greater responses in protein synthesis when compared to faster tempo training.1 Another study showed that longer time under tension per set resulted in greater EPOC and energy expenditure.2
Example of 4-0-2-1 Tempo:
4 = 4-second eccentric contraction (negative part of the movement)
0 = no pause at the “stretch” portion of the movement
2 = take 2 seconds for the concentric contraction (the actual pushing/pulling of the weight)
1 = take 1-second pause at the peak contraction of the movement
- Burd N.A., & Andrews R.J., et al. (2012). Muscle time under tension during resistance exercise stimulates differential muscle protein sub-fractional synthetic responses in men. J Physiol. Jan 15;590(Pt 2):351-62.
- Scott, C.B. (2012). The effect of time-under-tension and weight lifting cadence on aerobic, anaerobic, and recovery energy expenditures: 3 submaximal sets. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. Apr;37(2):252-6.