The Best Tempo for Strength?

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by Madmick, Dec 23, 2005.

  1. Madmick

    Madmick Cerebrage Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    I had Carnal in mind when I wondered this, but I'd like to hear everyone in the forum.

    Standard notation for tempo is X-Y-Z, where X= Eccentric Contraction, Y= Isometric Pause at the end of the ROM, and Z= Concentric Contraction. So if you see a tempo of 2-1-1 for bench press, you would take 2 seconds to lower the weight, 1 second to pause the weight an inch above your chest, and 1 second to press it back up.

    I was wondering which tempos have produced the best strength gains for you. I ask this because I've dabbled with all kinds of tempos, and never really figured out anything from that half-assed dabbling. I worry that sometimes I perform the lifts too dynamically, and this is why I won't make progress from one week to the next. You have to maintain tension. But for how long? Standard tempos, it seems, and depending on the ROM, are 2-0-1 or 1-0-1.

    Have you experimented? Which produced the best results for you?

    And you, in particular, Carnal, when you're pushing them out, what tempo do you use? Also, specifically, do you pause at the bottom of your squat even for a second when you're training for max strength, or do you try to use the stretch-shortening reflex to shoot right out of the hole? How often do you mix it up?
     
  2. graedy

    graedy Brown Belt

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    I find it best when the reps are clearly seperated (e.g. for bench you dont go up and down in one fluent motion, you clearly lock out, go down and then you think:"now i push it up with as much effort as possible." which results in a short break at bottom positon) with a controlled eccentric and a fast but still controlled concentric. For isolationexercises i find it better to pace yourself a little bit more on the concentric. So maybe 2 - 1/2 - 1 is my tempo. But in fact i just think: "Concentrate on max effort and optimal form on every rep. Not just crank them out as if you want to finish the set as fast as possible."
    Of course for DE its different.
     
  3. Grady

    Grady Blue Belt

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    I usually use 2-1-2, sometimes 2-1-3, seems to work well for me. But I tend to go for more strength/endurance.
     
  4. rEmY

    rEmY Needs to eat more

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    ive found that i naturally use 20X, which is a controlled lower, no pause, explode up as hard as fucking possible.
     
  5. Tempo is a fucking joke. If you are worried about Tempo you need to fucking take off your skirt and lift. Besides, paying attention to tempo actually MAKES you WEAKER. Dont ask me to explain neural pathways and all that bullshit. Just fucking lift.
     
  6. Grady

    Grady Blue Belt

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    Can you explain neural pathways?
     
  7. graedy

    graedy Brown Belt

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    Actually im with Foulsmeller. Just get your groove, use good form and focus your mind on getting the weight up and not counting.
     
  8. yomon

    yomon Green Belt

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    my sentament as well.
     
  9. rEmY

    rEmY Needs to eat more

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    the only part of tempo i really subscribe to is trying to be fast. example: when i bench, i make a point to push the bar as fast as possible. that doesnt mean im sitting there counting or anything.
     
  10. Urban

    Urban Savage Mystic

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    C0X is the correct tempo. Controled eccentric, no pause (unless you need it for your competition, like bench press in powerlifting), and explode up. it doesn't matter how long it takes you to push the weight up, so long as you push it as hard as you fucking can (curse word inserted to sound macho). That's it. every other tempo is horse shit. IMO, if you have the energy to count a cadence, you're not using enough weight.
     
  11. CarnalSalvation

    CarnalSalvation Trying to make a Milankey

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    What Urban said.

    Lower it fast, only pause it if necessary (if you're planning on competingin the bench press), and push to lockout as fast as you can. No truly maximal weight will move very fast most likely.

    Really though, concern yourself with other things, cadance is for the 125lb, 700lb raw benching 12 year olds on Bodybuilding.com.
     
  12. rEmY

    rEmY Needs to eat more

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    ive also found that even training with no pause on the bench, that when i do a 1RM with a pause, its not a problem.
     
  13. CarnalSalvation

    CarnalSalvation Trying to make a Milankey

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    Me too Remy, but I've known people who've gotten burned bad from not preparing for the pause. I have wicked off the chest strength, so it's never a problem.
     
  14. rickdog

    rickdog Purple Belt

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    I am one of the guys who would get burned. It's touch and go here. Any pause and I'm done.

    Speaking of that, what would you do to increase your off the chest strength. Just keep doing Pause Bench Presses? Seems logical to me.
     
  15. CarnalSalvation

    CarnalSalvation Trying to make a Milankey

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    A lot of mine seems to come from my upper back/lats. If I set up right, it helps "spring" it. Heavy DB presses are good, and so are paused reps like you mentioned.

    One of my coaches methods while leading up to a meet is to have people do triples with the first rep paused and the second two touch and go.
     
  16. Wrecking Ball

    Wrecking Ball Orange Belt

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    I'm with you on that one Carnal, I'm learning more and more that a big back makes a big bench...
     
  17. CarnalSalvation

    CarnalSalvation Trying to make a Milankey

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    When I first heard PLer's say that a strong back helped I thought "how the fuck can that possibly be so?".

    I'm still confused by it, but I'll be damned if it doesn't work like a charm.
     
  18. rickdog

    rickdog Purple Belt

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    Come to think of it, now that i've been consistent on Bent rows and going heavier on them I have noticed a direct corelation to my bench weight going up.
     
  19. graedy

    graedy Brown Belt

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    When i really concentrated on using the lats for benching, they sometimes got sore from it. You can definatelly use your lats a lot.
     
  20. Mark Limbaga

    Mark Limbaga Amateur Fighter

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    I find tempo relative but I pause for a second at the bottom of the rep and lift as fast as possible
     

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