Time Under Tension

Most people in the fitness industry have more than likely already heard of or come across the phrase Time Under Tension. What does it actually mean and how can this help improve your performance? Time Under Tension is the time your muscle spends under load of a resistance during a set. This includes the time spent in the Concentric (shortening) phase, Isometric (squeeze) contraction phase and the Eccentric (lengthening) phase. For example, in an arm curl, a ratio of 2:1:3 would mean that you are lifting the weight up (concentric movement) for 2 seconds, squeezing (contracting) the muscle for 1 second and then lowering the weight (eccentric movement) for 3 seconds, the total time the muscle is then under tension for would be 6 seconds. 

The more Time Under Tension translates to the muscle ultimately doing more work, so fewer reps done using this method will have better results than you doing more reps at a faster rate. This is also a safer method than “ego” lifting yet works the muscle with similar intensity. In order to build muscle then, you want to be placing as much demand on the muscle as possible to force it into growth. Time Under Tension is one of many methods that you can implement in all resistance exercises in your next workout to help stimulate new muscle growth. 

Published by Dalton Tessier