February 2021 | by Zach Taylor

One of THE MOST common poor practices I see in the average gym goer is rep tempos that are too fast. If you’re your own motivator (not working with an instructor) chances are you are trying to get through the exercise as quickly as possible - there’s a michelada waiting at brunch. And exercise isn’t very comfortable. You’ve also been subjected to insane bootcamp style workouts in person, or on videos/tv that encourage you to move as much and as fast as possible (y’all know how I feel about that shit). 

If your tempo is always 1/0/1 (one second concentric - or raising your arms for a bicep curl - zero seconds hold at the top, and one second lowering your arm) then a few things are happening:

  1. Your body has certainly adapted to this tempo and therefore has no reason to grow and change.

  2. You are not using as much time-under-tension and so are not affecting the muscle fibers or your central nervous system as much. 

  3. You’re probably using too much weight (you have to go faster so momentum can help you move the too-heavy weight). 

  4. You’re not focusing as much on your form. 

  5. You’re recruiting the wrong muscles to kick in to help (often also a result of using too much weight). 

  6. You’ve got much more potential for injury. 

  7. You care more about day drinking than your physical fitness (teehee). 

Lowering your weight and slowing down your movements might make the exercise feel harder, but you guessed it - harder almost always equals more-effective! (My clients are so tired of hearing this). 

Check your ego, lower your weight a little, slow down your tempo and really focus on proper form and the muscle squeeze, and see your body change for the better! 

I’m speaking to the average person here so this is not to say that fast tempo doesn’t have its place. If you’re always doing slow movements then some controlled, faster tempo exercises might just be the change your body is craving. But please use the appropriate weight.

If you want fast, you can sprint to bottomless mimosas and croissant french toast after your focused workout. 

Enjoy brunch and HAPPY SLO-MO TRAINING!