Strength Basics

Getting stronger, fitter, and healthier by sticking to the basics. It's not rocket science, it's doing the simple stuff the right way. Strength-Basics updates every Monday, plus extra posts during the week.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Some basic definitions: Tempo

More terminology of lifting.


Tempo - the speed (and possibly rhythm) used when contracting and relaxing a muscle in an exercise. More simply, the speed used when lifting and lowering (or pulling up and then lowering) a weight or your body in an exercise. The faster you lift a weight, the more your muscles need to engage to overcome gravity. The slower you lower a weight, the more your muscles must engage to keep resisting gravity. Think of a pullup - the faster you pull yourself up, the harder your muscles work. The slower you lower yourself, the longer they work to keep you from just dropping down. The most common recommendation is to lift a weight as fast as you can while retaining control of the weight and proper form, and then to lower it under control (not just dropping it, but not lowering it as slowly as possible).

Lifting a weight as fast as possible - attempting to accelerate the weight throughout the lift - is called explosive lifting. Examples include Olympic lifting, dynamic powerlifting training, and even throwing anything for distance.

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