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The Importance of TUT During Hypertrophy Training 

TIP: Something so neglected but so powerful in optimizing muscle growth:
Time Under Tension (TUT) 

Hypertrophy occurs when the muscle is under tension between 40 to 70 seconds in the determined exercise. How does it work? 

To manipulate the amount of time that the muscle can be under tension, we use a prescribed TEMPO. 

TEMPO is divided into 4 phases and it looks like this: ES. 4-0-1-0 

In the example above,4 stands for the eccentric phase of the movement, 0 is the pause at the bottom, 1 the contraction phase, and 0 the pause at the top. 


Let's take for instance the bench press exercise. If I perform 12 reps with a 1-0-1-0 TEMPO the total time under tension results in 24 seconds. 

Instead we could use a 4-0-1-0 that will give me a total time under tension of 60 sec! Case 1 shows the average trainee execution "misunderstanding." Why? Because the amount of load lift is more important than the proper execution. I love heavy lifting, but I dedicate an entire block to it in my program. 

I am all about lifting heavy, in a powerful fashion and feel strong. But when it comes to hypertrophy you need to think differently. Leave the ego in the locker room. 


Here is an example of a chest and back split with focus on the TEMPO using approximately 70-75% 1RM : 

A1.Flat Bench Press 4x10 4-0-1-0 90sec rest 

B1.BB bent over rows overhand grip 4x10 3-0-1-1 90 sec rest 

C1.Incline DB chest press 3 x12 3-1-1-0 

C2.Seated lat pulldown Narrow Grip 3x12 4-0-1-1 75 sec rest 

D1.Seated pecs fly machine 3 x12 3-0-1-2 

D2.Single arm Db rows 3x12 4-0-1-0 60sec rest 


TAKE HOME MESSAGE: If you are looking for hypertrophy gains, try manipulating the tempo , before you start complicating your program by changing the exercise or looking for the complex routine. 


– Andrea Iwanejko

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