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Throughout the years I’ve been asked many questions. In one-on-one training, live streaming training, emails etc. one question that has been popping up more frequently is, “how fast should I be doing each repetition?” The answer isn’t quite as simple as one would think.  Let me explain…

There are many rep ranges and tempos that can be followed during a particular routine. However, ultimately you want to put some form of tension on the muscle from end – to – end stimulating growth (rather that be endurance, strength or hypertrophy).

Here is a great example. Let’s say that you do a dumbbell curl with 15 pounds for 10 reps. When performing the curls (in perfect form of course) you follow no tempo count, just simply get through the reps. Now, let’s say you do another set but follow a one second curl up, one second contraction at the top of the movement and a two second eccentric movement on the way down. However, this time your biceps start to burn at 6 or 7 repetitions. Which one is better for you? *ding ding* The tempo movement is much more effective for you by simply creating more time under tension (TUT) on that particular muscle.

By just “getting through” a certain rep range as fast as you can does not magically make the exercise an accomplishment. In fact, you basically just wasted time rushing through the repetitions.

Here is what I want you to do this week, rather than worrying about the amount of weight you are pushing, pulling or squatting, follow a tempo count.


Week 1: Tempo is 4 – 2 – 1(4 second eccentric, 2 second concentric and 1 second isometric)

Week 2: Tempo is 3 – 2 – 1 (3 second eccentric, 2 second concentric and 1 second isometric)

Week 3: Tempo is 2 – 1 – 1 (2 second eccentric, 1 second concentric and 1 second isometric)


Week 1: rep range, 8-12

Week 2: rep range, 14-18

Week 3: rep range, 20-25+


By staggering your rep ranges and tempo counts each week, you will be sure to hit different fiber types while keeping an adequate amount of time under tension. By moving slower, you will have more control of the movement creating results much faster.

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