Tension isn't always a bad thing.
Tension gets a bit of a bad wrap.
It's your clenched jaw that leads to thousands of dollars in dental work. It's the family dinner after a big blow-out with your mother. It's the stand-off between siblings over who gets the last fruit roll-up. (Jesus Christ, I would fight to the death for that).
Sure. Tension has its off days. But what about the good kind of tension?
The edge of your seat, scary movie kind of tension. The stare into my eyes, I want you to kiss me kind of tension. Spanx kind of tension. And of course, last but not least, muscle tension.
When it comes to building strength, time under tension (or TUT as the "professionals" like to call it) plays a big factor. A longer TUT, with the right resistance, will lead to greater muscle fiber fatigue, as well as greater lactic acid production.
And all of these contribute to stimulating muscle growth.
The duration of a set is just as important as the weight used. And research shows that the optimal lactic zone when training, is between 40-70 seconds.
Which is exactly why we incorporate timed sets in many of our workouts (rather than only ever relying on a given number of reps).
One method we'll be playing around with this week, is the 40-30-5 Method. 40 seconds of work, 30 seconds rest, 5 sets.
We'll also be playing around with timing of reps. Slow eccentric work, and some isometric holds.
Let's love up the tension, guys! King TUT style.