How To Build Muscles With Time Under Tension

How To Build Muscles With Time Under Tension

The amount of time a muscle is held under stress or strain during an exercise set is referred to as time under tension (TUT). To make your sets longer, you extend each step of the activity during TUT workouts.

This, according to the theory, makes your muscles work harder and improves muscular strength, endurance, and growth.

Time Under Tension and Building Muscle

How To Build Muscles With Time Under Tension

Weightlifting and bodyweight training are two exercises that use the TUT approach. You slow down the motions of each repetition in TUT workouts and spend more time on the tough phase of the exercise. Slowing down the movement allows the muscle to be held under tension for longer, which could lead to better results.

What is TUT?

TUT stands for Time Under Tension, as previously indicated. When someone says in the gym, "Bro, I logged a TUT of 40 seconds on that set," they are just counting how long their muscles were under tension. So, if they did 10 reps in that set, each rep would have 4 seconds of muscle strain. This could indicate that they took 2 seconds to lower the weight and 2 seconds to raise it. It might also mean that they lowered it for three seconds before snapping it back up in one second. As long as each rep lasted four seconds under strain, the total TUT is increased.

One thing to avoid here is assuming that you can just divide your total time for each set by your reps to calculate your TUT. To demonstrate what I mean, let's look at an activity that we've all done at some point. The motion of a bicep curl has two parts: curling it up and then bringing it back down. You curl the weight up to its top position starting from the bottom and moving slowly and deliberately. So, what do you do now? You likely pause for a second before returning the weight to its original position. Because you're essentially resting before bringing the weight back down, that moment, whether it's a millisecond or three seconds, doesn't count against your time under strain.

If you're trying to build a larger TUT for your activity, be aware of how long you're pausing when doing any lift. Only keep track of how long your muscle is being worked. This will almost always happen if you're trying to defy gravity with your movement. You can count those seconds toward your TUT for the workout if you're raising it or lowering it.

Why is TUT important?

How To Build Muscles With Time Under Tension

Do you remember your first set of bench presses? Most guys just wanted to bring that bar down to their chest and back up as quickly as possible. This activity can still help you build muscles in your chest, arms, and shoulders, but it's not the best technique. You're giving your muscles a longer window of tension by taking your time from the top of the exercise to the bottom.

Your muscles will appreciate you as you continue to practice this ability of slower, more deliberate, and intentional motions. When you look in the mirror, they'll pop as they've never popped before, and you'll notice that it improves your capacity to lift heavy for some of the more traditional workouts. What gives? Because you'll engage more of the supporting muscles around the main one at work if you slow down your lift performance. Drop down and do some push-ups right now to see this for yourself. Rather than rushing through as many as possible in a short period, count to two on the way down and two on the way up. Because those secondary muscles are being overworked, this extra time will build tension that will have you shaking far before you do 20 pushups.

How much TUT is optimal?

How To Build Muscles With Time Under Tension

It's time to get down to business. The amount of TUT you put on your muscles can affect what an exercise does for you, just like different rep and set ranges can have varying benefits for your body.

If you want to get stronger, for example, you'll generally stick to a workout routine with lower rep ranges and greater weight. If you want to build your muscles, keep your TUT around 20 seconds every session. So, if you're performing four reps, your time under strain every rep should be around five seconds.

If you want to gain muscle and break through the seams of your clothes, increase your reps, lower your weight, and increase your TUT. You should strive to keep each set of muscle-building exercises between 40 and 60 seconds under tension. For example, if you're doing 10 reps on the bench press, your TUT should be between 4 and 6 seconds for every exercise. Even though the length of time under tension every rep is about the same as in the previous example, the overall amount of time under tension throughout the set will aid in muscle building.

Finally, if you want to build muscle endurance, increase your time under strain to 70-100 seconds per set. Your TUT per rep will most likely remain stable, similar to what was said about muscle growth. However, as your muscle endurance improves, your sets will get larger with lower weights, resulting in greater time under strain for the set overall.

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