Time Under Tension(TUT) training: explanation and diagram

There are many reasons to keep an eye on the clock when you’re working out. Timing your workouts and rest periods ensures that there is not too much time between your sets, it ensures that you have your training ready in time to go to work and it even ensures that you get back on track when you’ve been staring at that cute girl in yoga pants at the squat rack for too long.

But there is one aspect of timing in your workouts that you may have completely missed. One that ensures that you train your muscles in a way that ensures optimal growth. A method that lets you keep track of the length of the phases of each rep and ultimately, to ensure the greatest amount of muscle gain on each set. This method is simply called TUT (Time Under Tension).

TUT can be used in two ways. The first way is to set an alarm clock (say 40 seconds) and keep going with that exercise without stopping. A more effective way, and that is how this program will focus, is to set a prescribed pace for each repetition. Why is this more effective? Because it allows you to specifically slow down the eccentric part (lowering) with each rep. And there is a lot of research available to prove that slow eccentric phases are a very effective way to build muscle mass. You can buy legal steroids uk by ordering from a specialist online pharmacy.

TUT deadlift

In our program cards, the tempo is indicated as a four-digit number. Each number corresponds to a specific phase of the movement and represents the number of seconds you spend on that phase. The first number represents lowering (for example, lowering when squatting, lowering yourself when pulling up, or lowering the barbell to your chest when bench press). The second number refers to each pause at the bottom of the movement, and the third number is the lifting phase where you overcome gravity to lift the barbell off your body. The last digit is any pause that can occur at the top of the movement.

So a 4-1-1-0 pace in squats means you’re going down in four seconds, pausing for a second at the bottom, using a second to get up and then not stopping at the top. Using this tempo forces you to make each repetition for six seconds (4+1+1+0=6). If you hold this tempo for eight reps, the entire set will last 48 seconds. That falls right in the middle of the ideal range of time under tension to build muscle mass (40 to 60 seconds).

And while it may take you a workout or two to get used to using pace, the benefits are well worth it. Below you can see how you can shorten your learning curve.

Most TUT programs, like this program, focus on lowering slowly and lifting quickly. So even if you lose count, all you need to remember is to lower slowly and lift quickly. When you get tired, you will want to smuggle by increasing the rep rate and moving faster. Do not. Find a training partner who sets the pace for you. Three or four seconds is a long time.

Be careful with your weight selection. Normally you might be able to do 10 repetitions of the bench press with 100 kilos, but the longer you spend lowering it all the more difficult. Take off 20 percent of the weight you normally use. While this may not be great for your ego, keeping the TUT under control will eventually give you the bulk you want. The first weeks you will probably have a lot of muscle soreness if you train in this way. Prepare well for that.


Directions: Do each workout once a week and rest on two non-consecutive days. Note that the reps on the cards are for week 1 only. In weeks 2 to 4, use the following guidelines:

  • Week 2 – all reps go to 10-12
  • Week 3 – all reps go to 6-8
  • Week 4 – all reps go to 12-15

You should also adjust your weights from week to week. If the number of repetitions decreases, the weight should be higher than the week before. And if the number of reps goes up, the weight will probably have to go down.