Some Old School New Body trainees are no doubt making a huge mistake that can slow down results considerably. We see it in gyms all the time, and almost every person working out is making it. What’s the mistake? Fast repetition tempo.
We stress the proper repetition cadence throughout the Old School New Body e-book, but most don’t take it to heart. You MUST if you want the best results possible. Lifting in one to two seconds and lower the weight in at least three seconds will take momentum out of the equation.
Momentum takes tension off the target muscle–and that is NOT what you want for optimal stimulation. You want to feel the muscle working–AND you want to keep the muscle firing for at least 40 seconds. That’s the length of time it takes to trigger all of the muscle-stimulating and fat-burning benefits.
Did we say fat burning? Absolutely. While the myofibrils, the actin and myosin strands in the muscle fibers , allow you to lift the weight, the sarcoplasm supplies the energy. It contains the fuel for muscular contraction. There you find glycogen (stored sugar from carbs) and the mitochondria, the cell powerhouses where fat is burned. Tension times of around 40 seconds provide the best stress on the sarcoplasm. That means you create more of a glycogen deficit, so more of the carbs you eat after your workout go to muscle, not fat—and you fortify your fat-burning abilities via mitochondria building. But there’s more.
Longer tension times also enhance fatigue-product pooling in the muscle. That produces a “burn,” which has been shown to enhance growth hormone output. Why is that so important? Because GH is both a potent fat burner and anti-aging hormone. How awesome is that?
Plus, lowering the weight slowly, three seconds per repetition, also produces small microtears in those force-generating myofibrillar strands inside the muscle fibers. That’s not bad–it’s a good thing because it helps the muscle regenerate and become stronger. PLUS, as your body repairs those microtears for days after your workout, your metabolism is revved. In other words, you are burning more calories and fat, even at rest during the rebuilding process. (More body-transforming awesomeness!)
So slow down your reps–one second to lift, three seconds to lower. It will make every F4X sequence much more effective and boost your results exponentially.
Steve & Becky Holman
Old School New Body
Note: In the photo Becky is using PowerBlock selectorized dumbbells, perfect for your home gym (we have a 50-pound set and an adjustable bench in our home gym). We mentioned these in the OSNB e-book, but if you missed the link and would like to check them out, go HERE. (We make no money from this; we just believe PowerBlocks are a home-gym must have, especially if you have limited space. Amazing, sturdy piece of equipment you’ll have for a lifetime.)