Time Under Tension – Two Explanations Why TUT isn’t good

 

BioLayne Video Log 33 Time Under Tension Training: Data vs Hype

Video taken from the channel: biolayne


 

Time Under Tension Myths Have Created A Convoluted Mess

Video taken from the channel: Jason Blaha’s Strength and Fitness


 

Muscle Time Under Tension and why Jason Blaha is probably wrong

Video taken from the channel: Ryan Saplan


 

Is Time Under Tension Important For Muscle Growth?

Video taken from the channel: Sean Nalewanyj


 

Is The Time Under Tension Training Theory Supported By The Evidence?

Video taken from the channel: Jason Blaha’s Strength and Fitness


 

What is Time Under Tension & Why Does it Build Muscle?

Video taken from the channel: RedDeltaProject


 

Dr. Mike discusses Time Under Tension

Video taken from the channel: Renaissance Periodization


Is time under tension the true holy grail when it comes ot muscle building, or a waste of time? Find out. Use the time under tension technique (TUT) so you can get more out of your reps and grow your muscles by slowing down your reps to maximize the time your muscles spend under stress.

Regularly wheeled out as the elixir of all strength and size gains, it is often a very important part of programme design. ‘Time Under Tension’ (TUT) denotes the amount of time a muscle is used per meaningful contraction – essentially the length of a set. Is it all it is made out to be? We all know that to improve, a stress needs to increase.

Time under tension (TUT) training may help people with multiple sclerosis build strength and fight muscle wasting and fatigue. Personal trainer David Lyons explains how TUT works and how to get. By putting a muscle under longer bouts of strain, you can cause extensive muscle breakdown allowing you to maximize muscle growth while minimizing the chance of injury. With most TUT protocols you are choosing a TUT training protocol of 45 to 60 seconds. The problem with the TUT concept is that it only focuses on extending the duration of the rep itself, while ignoring other potentially result-producing ways of exposing the muscle to growth-producing stress.

TUT was popular because it forced sloppy lifters to slow down and gain control over what they were doing. Time under tension (TUT) is simply the length of time a muscle is contracting to resist the force of a weight. For example, if someone were performing a set of bicep curls and it took them 30 seconds to complete the set, they have a total TUT of 30 seconds. Time – Is the period during a set where the working muscle is contracting. Time under tension (or TUT for short) is commonly used in strength and conditioning and bodybuilding.

Essentially, it refers to how long a muscle is under strain during a set. A typical set of 10. The more total reps you do, the more time your muscles will spend under tension; quite straightforward.

However, the TUT concept went on to take on a life of its own amid people who were not sport science professionals, and, like often happens with scientific terms and concepts, laymen started to interpret TUT the way that made the most sense. Maximal hypertrophy occurs when a set lasts approximately 45-90 seconds, anything under this doesn’t fully stimulate the muscle and sets lasting longer than this fatigue the muscle too much to have any real hypertrophic benefits. This is why TUT is so important and following a proper rep tempo will see you take massive strides in the gym.

List of related literature:

For instance, if the tempo of a piece is at issue, the group may swing back and forth between playing it faster and more slowly without everyone (or anyone) being wholly convinced by any of the tempi.

“The Cambridge Companion to the String Quartet” by Stowell, Robin Stowell, Jonathan Cross
from The Cambridge Companion to the String Quartet
by Stowell, Robin Stowell, Jonathan Cross
Cambridge University Press, 2003

This dangerous tendency to tamper with the tempo within a piece showed itself far too many times during the evening.

“The Duke Ellington Reader” by Mark Tucker, Duke Ellington
from The Duke Ellington Reader
by Mark Tucker, Duke Ellington
Oxford University Press, 1995

In a detailed new study of rubato called Stolen Time: The History of Tempo Rubato, Richard Hudson interprets Tosi’s remarks to mean that the melody notes alone were stretched and shortened, while the accompaniment maintained a strict rhythmic beat.

“Bel Canto: A History of Vocal Pedagogy” by James Stark
from Bel Canto: A History of Vocal Pedagogy
by James Stark
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division, 2003

One might also add that the exposition, with its 124 bars lasting little more than a minute — played at the con brio tempo, of course —is so short that there is no excuse for eliminating its repetition.

“The Compleat Conductor” by Gunther Schuller
from The Compleat Conductor
by Gunther Schuller
Oxford University Press, USA, 1998

One can recognize this on the basis of the argumentation regarding Scheibe blaming Bach for the absence of a main voice (“Hauptstimme”) in his music.

“Bach: Essays on His Life and Music” by Christoph Wolff
from Bach: Essays on His Life and Music
by Christoph Wolff
Harvard University Press, 1991

Because no autograph manuscripts survive, problems of attribution in his oeuvre are especially difficult, as are problems of genre, especially in distinguishing between motet and oratorio.

“The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music” by Don Michael Randel, Randel Don
from The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music
by Don Michael Randel, Randel Don
Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1996

The musical argument, it is true, grows more complicated with each episode, but the Barcarolle nature of the piece is not fundamentally altered.

“Gabriel Fauré: A Musical Life” by Jean-Michel Nectoux, Roger Nichols
from Gabriel Fauré: A Musical Life
by Jean-Michel Nectoux, Roger Nichols
Cambridge University Press, 2004

Barber’s failing health made him anxious about composing the piece for Gomberg; Herranz tells of endless starts and stops, where he discarded the music because it was too similar to his other works.”

“Samuel Barber: The Composer and His Music” by Barbara B. Heyman
from Samuel Barber: The Composer and His Music
by Barbara B. Heyman
Oxford University Press, 1994

This term, whose origins Robert Falck credits to the theorist Rudolf Louis in his Die deutsche Musik der Gegenwart (1909),” was used by Schoenberg to describe a progressive loss of the power of dissonant chords to disrupt the listener.

“The Atonal Music of Arnold Schoenberg, 1908-1923” by Bryan R. Simms
from The Atonal Music of Arnold Schoenberg, 1908-1923
by Bryan R. Simms
Oxford University Press, 2000

For a number of reasons: operetta needs the same radical investigation of authenticity that baroque music started to have thirty years ago.

“The Cambridge Companion to Operetta” by Anastasia Belina, Derek B. Scott
from The Cambridge Companion to Operetta
by Anastasia Belina, Derek B. Scott
Cambridge University Press, 2019

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

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187 comments

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  • Problem is Ronnie Coleman’s ROM was shit so people’s logic will be:
    “Ok…Ronnie Coleman big. TUT is mandatory. Gotta do like Ronnie. Fuck ROM”

  • Classic example is old school biceps curls in the “21s” format, and can progress by changing tempo or adding weights. Can do that format with many of the movements for many body parts.

  • but what if you like/feel it more then fast rep? i myself have never been a fast dude in the gym, i always does is slow and steady. Never liked fast reps.
    edit: But i dont do it super slow.

  • It seems that one problem with an overly simplistic view of TUT is that the “tension” isn’t the same for all reps in a set. If you’re doing 25 reps to try to maximize TUT, the first 22 might not really put muscles under much tension, while the last 3 or so, assuming you came close to failure, might finally produce sufficient tension to count for something. So if you only did 22 when you could have done 25, you might think you had put in some “time” but you really didn’t have much tension during that time. And if you lift too light, you might peter out before you reach a state of “tension” just because you suffer overall fatigue and give up too soon.

  • I thought you want to use a bigger weight when focusing on eccentrics and possibly even cheat the weight up first to generate more overload during eccentric, instead of smaller weight.

    What if you focused more on activating and tensioning the correct muscles and not compensating with other muscles, doing them slower but a couple of fewer reps, however ending up at your limit? Compared to approximating the weight a bit wrong and stopping the set when you still have power to go because you reached the rep count.

  • perfectly summarized, absolutely beautiful.

    I always thought about having this discussion with other lifters, who spend 3+ hours at the gym doing nowhere near close to failure, but praise TUT. Knowing vaguely that TUT is important in its own context but not being able to express it was very frustrating. this was excellent though

  • 20 reps for one exercise versus another can take very different amounts of time. I’ve actually gotten a much more consistent feel across exercises from timing my sets rather than counting reps

  • Now, it makes perfect sense Lifting weights with a good form and a full range of motion to the near failure actually the most ‘practical’ TUT. �� Thank you..

  • Looks like we got ourselves a thinker, we don’t rake kindly to those who explore the nuances of fitness around these parts. Go on git!

  • Best way to use tut is on isolation exercices to gro a specific muscle.my approach is using an x amount of weight for 30′ than increase the tut until 60′ max after that I increase weight and strat again from 30′.of course reaching failure at 30 60 secondes.

  • Jason how would you consider someone like Dorian Yates which after a bit of consultation with Mike Metzger he himself developed for his own use a workout routine that involves a ton of negative Rep concentrations because he felt that it made tremendous,
    tremendous strides in gains for himself.
    Would you categorize that as just basically the bro definition of shocking your body into a new routine

    Or could be a legitimate result to certain individuals therefore maybe scientifically
    Justifying that concentrated negative reps can affect certain individuals that are pre disposed genetically to grow that way

  • The way I’ve heard about TUT… usually it’s a minimum amount of time you have to meet to be effective, with the most weight you can handle(with good form and range of motion) for a given exercise… and it is very approximate… The partials come it when you hit failure before reaching the TUT goal, as extended sets. Light excentrics just sound silly, since you’re stronger on the eccentric portion… It’s similar conceptually to the “minimal effective dose” (which refers to volume), with the TUT goal being that minimum. More TUT isn’t better… it’s a window you need enough to trigger growth, but too much sees diminishing returns and eventually becomes counter productive.

  • I’ve never like the phrase “Time under tension”. “Constant tension” is more like it. Keeping constant tension. Throughout the motion. There’s a difference.

  • So true, johnnie o jackson’s training style is mostly about power and strength and he looks like a bodybuilder, in fact he is a bodybuilder:) same with stan efferding

  • Dr. Mike knows everything of the scientific principles of strength training and muscle growth. And he is able the explain them and and his conclusions in an easy understandable way, which is in my opinion also a sign of real knowledge. I agree a 100%, TUT is correlated with rep ranges…

    Is TUT the reason why some muscles are said to need more reps? Cause exercises like the calf raises are pretty short, so you need more reps to reach the TUT which is necessary? (Same idea applies to forearm training) I think so…

  • This video and its flawed logic has more holes in it than swiss cheese.
    Mistake number one, a bench press is not an appropiate exercise to measure time under tension, as the last third of the movement you are in fact supporting the weight, hence no tension.
    To state volume is the sole driver to hypertrophy ignores the does response of exercise and that of basic stress physiology, you cannot have volume without a corresonding level of intensity, and as such it is the intensity which governs all the other princples,such as volume frequency and duration.

    You are also not considering the totality of the workout demands…ANY change in demands will illicit a adaptative response, so was this taken into accont in this study?
    Did it also take into account fatigue rates?
    A time under tension of 300 seconds is way over the anerobic threshold and is entering into the aerobic category, effectively increasing endurance. 45-90 seconds is generally regarding ( having been establisehed in numerous studies) to be optimal for hypertrophy so the group using the 6/6 cadence should have used a resistance for them to fail in this time frame.
    Why specifcally 3 sets, not 2, 1 or 4? What evidence supports this, none that’s what…

  • TUT is enough as long as you’re not an idiot. Cmon man. You must realize the so called “limitations” of TUT training you described are issues that only someone who is mentally impaired would run into.

  • you practically repeated what they said, tut is the amount of time during your rep… nothing more nothing less… if you pick up the weight fast your not really contracting the muscle to grow your not activating that muscle group your just throwing shit around lmfaoo

  • Tut has worked for me. Blasting your way through a set of 10 chin ups vs lowering yourself for 3 seconds no comparison. Again just a personal experience but tut has definitely in proved my muscle gains. Guess it comes down to genetics and how easy it is for you to gain lean muscle.

  • Seems like people like to get caught up with different training theories when at the end of the day, growing muscle is not very complicated.

  • Why is it comlicated to count the time under tension? You just put the phone on the ground, start the stop watch and when you start your set you just remember the time past and when you finish you look at the time again, subtract both and you get your TUT. This works for nearly every secondary excersice.
    Those bulky bodybuilder need to get more intelligent.

  • I have been wondering about the factors that apply when intoducing stress to a muscle. You talked about TUT and how it can be manipulated to reach different results, but is the amount of tension (weight on the bar) a factor that will benefit this stress (if all other factors are “optimal”)?

  • If someone does 5 sets a lift in a 135 set to 170 set full body split of full range of motion no choppiness, no momentum, and no cheating they should activate the muscle fibers for optimal growth without needing time under tension for this aspect. Even the most reputable lifters are choppy, skip parts of the movement, and hide using momentum for all of their lifts cheating them of this muscular growth, and others depend on time under tension to make up for this instead of having solid reps, more consistent sets, and having 5 sets a lift. Also always have 1 minute rest inbetween each set, and never take breaks inbetween muscle groups. If you can’t do that, you’re not doing something right and it’s easy to fix. I also write about utilizing time under tension in temporary intervals as superslow and negatives. The problem with time under tension is it makes routines take twice as long usually at 3 seconds down and 2 seconds up for 5 seconds a repetition, while normally 12 rep maxes are done 0.83 seconds down and 0.83 seconds up for 1.66 seconds a repetition. I recommend temporary phases of time under tension at 5/5, 10/10, and 15/15 in superslow which is 5 seconds down, 5 seconds up, 10 seconds down, 10 seconds up, or 15 seconds down, 15 seconds up. Even just 5 seconds down, 5 seconds up is far more beneficial than 3 seconds down and 2 seconds up but it gets unrealistic to do it every routine. To save time just have temporary periods of time under tension, but for what most people are looking for, 5 sets a lift, 1 minute rest inbetween each set and no rest inbetween muscle groups, and far more consistency and full range of motion in each set are far more important. And fix the problem when it’s easy to fix.

    I also modified Dorian Yates’ Blood and Guts workout to where the first lift of every muscle group has 5 sets a lift, which is a 94 set full body split that takes 25 minutes a day 5 days a week to do. A very short quick routine, and it can be done at 94 sets full body twice a week for the best results that takes 50 minutes a day 5 days a week to do. That is only 1 minute rest inbetween each set, and each set is 20 seconds long.

    I get into lots of time under tension, lots of info are also in the comments. The first 3 links, and concepts of workout and athleticism may hit up on time under tension:

    https://www.facebook.com/danthemanholt/posts/10221942429615845

    https://www.facebook.com/danthemanholt/posts/10221942449776349

    https://www.facebook.com/danthemanholt/posts/10222627664346285

    Stomach Health:

    https://www.facebook.com/danthemanholt/posts/10222562548598432

    Here’s workout, nutrition, and supplements 101:

    https://www.facebook.com/danthemanholt/posts/10220247362240220

    This has 4 levels of split routine workouts:

    https://www.facebook.com/danthemanholt/posts/10220093615356644

    Greatest feats of strength of men and women. Further reading overall of what I get into:

    https://www.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10220929940024238&id=1412783638&refid=17

    https://www.facebook.com/danthemanholt/posts/10219134147250541

    Concepts of workout and athleticism lots in the comments too:

    https://www.facebook.com/danthemanholt/posts/10221253028701253

    https://www.facebook.com/danthemanholt/posts/10216728144901986

    ^Ignore the workouts in here as I have improved them elsewhere. This talks about grassfed foods, a classic strongman and his amazing feats before anabolic steroids, and the best classic strength training books (outside of the workouts I recommend). The info is in the comments mostly. In the comments it has lots of good stuff. It talks about Casey Viator and the many flaws of classic HIT of 1-2 sets a lift.

    Misc.

    In the comments this talks about more obscure supplements I looked into but not sure how to place them or their significance. They’re not for performance, they’re for different healing benefits. Most would just want to do that primary health supplements:

    https://www.facebook.com/danthemanholt/posts/10219620006476718

    Water Ionizer:

    https://www.facebook.com/danthemanholt/posts/10222562930247973

    My background:

    https://www.facebook.com/danthemanholt/posts/10221106529318860

    https://www.facebook.com/danthemanholt/posts/10221649766539451

  • Hello Matt. I love your videos man. You sound like you really know what you are talking about + you seem like you are a really cool guy. How can I contact you please?? Any email?website? Please I got only one question

  • i’m not an expert but i feel like if the weight is the same and the form is good, doing two reps fast is going to do more for you than doing one rep slow

  • Hey Mike, if you used 30% of your max to failure which granted would be alot of reps, wouldn’t the fast twitch fibres be doing the work right at the end of the set? Isn’t that the SIZE principle of motor unit recruitment?

  • Hey Sean what do you think about the 15-20 rep range? I seen alot of bodybuilders use this method in their training. Contracting muscles seems more ensential than heavy weights. Would such training be good while going from a bulk to a cut? Let me know bro thanks.

  • I always bench and curl heavy but I do about 10 reps and about 4 sets, should I start doing less weight and focus on doing a larger amount of reps? my goal is to gain strength but also get ripped and bulk up some more

  • The worst application i’ve ever seen for TUT is people doing really slow concentrics. You’re like consciously trying to be as un-explosive as possible. Great way to NOT activate fast-twitch muscle fibres.

  • At the beginning of a set the first reps are easy. These do not count as time under tension. Only those count which are hard to move, maybe the last five or six before failure.

  • So you could time one rep for every given exercise. Although with a specific weight. Since I guess your reps might get slower as soon as the weight gets up. Let’s say, You determine one squat takes you 3 sec. You want your tut to be 30 sec. Do ten squats. Boom, you good to go. Right?

  • Been 7 years since I’ve been watching videos like these on YouTube. They all have people saying things that make sense, backed up by research and all have people in the comments who are true believers in what’s being said in the video. The only problem is that they are stating contradictory things. For example, just before watching this video I watched another where someone who has a PhD and the physical appearance to back up his claim, was demonstrating how time under tension is THE best way to build muscle. This video here says TUT is not what matters. Other videos will tell you only increasing the load for 10 reps is what matters. Other videos will say volume is the only thing that matters, others will say going to failure is what matters, and so on. It could drive a sane person crazy, honestly. Based on 15 years of lifting I can personally say the best for muscle mass and strength gain is to lift heavier and heavier over time. I tried failure and high volume for about two years each. I haven’t tried TUT yet. Going to try it for the first time tomorrow. I’ll give it a few weeks to a month and see how it goes. Then I’ll know for sure, which video on YouTube is telling the truth lol.

  • I have done both types of training and have gained more mass doing slow controlled negatives. I don’t neglect powerlifting, though. I like to switch things up every once in a while. Also, when you do slow controlled reps you can focus on the muscle doing the work and it is safer for injuries which will keep you in the gym longer.

  • You talk a great deal about Mind-Muscle connection, and I have been practicing the things you suggest in your video. Have you done or thought about doing a video talking about visualization? I feel like you would have an engaging way of discussing that topic

  • It makes sense to me that target muscle contraction follows a curve throughout applicable ROM. Does limiting TUT work to the portion of ROM that maximizes target contraction help maximize results? That is, maintaining continual maximal contraction throughout each rep? For example with skull crushers, adjusting the movement so that the elbow travels backward to keep continual tension throughout the ROM? Or in the case of flys, stopping the ROM before touching dumbbells and cutting into tension? I guess my question is: is there a difference between maximally continuous tension and TUT?

  • Hey Layne, I really appreciate your objective approach to training. I was hoping to get some clarification regarding tracking volume in your training. To what extent do you track volume? Do you only track the volume of your main lifts or do you also include your assistance movements? For example on leg day, I would do squats and leg extensions. When recording my volume for my workout, would I include the volume from the leg extensions? Thanks for the help.

  • Let’s debunk this bodybuilding theory…. Time under tension. Time(how long is your set? ). Under (what exercises are you using?). Tension ( what weight are you using?)……debunked

  • Thanks again Dr Mike always a pleasure watching your videos great content explained clearly very helpful and informative makes consistent lifting a pleasure!!!!������������

  • the whole point of time under tension is keeping the most tension on your muscles and the least tension on your tendons so you do less damage to your tendons that recover much slower than your muscles.

  • I wonder why people dislike videos. It has to be just to be a dick most of the time. I mean there is nothing to dislike about this video unless something is really wrong with you, yet there are dislikes

  • just read your triad program its awesome. Just a question is it necessary to add resistance to all 3 exercise or can i just change the leverage and increase tension as mentioned by drew baye that you can change the leverage of exercise to incrase its effectiveness, also will the 3 exercise develop core

  • get a stopwatch and put 3 mins on it. pick a weight around 5-6 reps. start the set and the clock when you fail stop the clock. rest as long as you want. when you start again start the watch. keep going to failure until the 3 mins is up. that’s real tut and the gains will be amazing.

  • from what i can comprehend with slow/fast movement/momentum. you activate different types of muscle fibers. Fast power movements activate “Type 1 or fast twitch fiber” that isn’t oxygen depended to grow. where as more control movements at a higher volume lighter weight will activate slow twitch muscle fibers, that are oxygen dependent. am i thinking correctly? I’ve added occlusion workouts to activate your Type 1 with low weight. (kind of a oxymoron if you think about it) but am i just thinking wrong over all…do i have the right idea? i constantly read and want to learn, and test my body. @biolayne 

  • I’ve been struggling so hard to build my arms, for some reason they are just not growing like others. I tried incredible many methods and watched tons of videos on how to do proper pull ups and things, but I just don’t see them growing. I feel soar the next day and thibgs but the growth… it’s just not there.. I was told to take 2-3 min rest after each set if i want to gain muscle mass, and others said 30-60 sec. What do I do????

  • Dear Matt,
    Do you think the way you split TUT does matter or is it just the total sum ot TUT that matters. In other words do you think it makes a difference where I interrupt TUT as long as the amount of work does not change? Here an schematic example, let’s say say reps define TUT:
    In 20 minutes I do 5 sets of 10 reps. Or in 20 minutes I do 10 sets of 5 reps with the same resistance. What difference does it make in your opinion? Also I assume that with more and smaller sets you will probably be able to use more resistance and therefore can increase the total work done in the same amount of time but I am not 100% sure of it.
    (But I once had a program that I used when I was really lazy and did not feel like training. Not sure if this example adds to my question because TUT was not a main focus but anyway on those days I did 20 sets of 5 burpees with high jump and push up included and 20 sets of 2 or 3 pull ups alternating with the Burpees. The whole thing takes 15-20 minutes and every rep has perfect form because it is zero exhausting but still I did 100 Jumps/Burpees, 100 Push ups and 40-60 pull ups in such a session. But it felt totally effortless due to the mini sets).

    What do you think?
    Thank you:-)

  • So while I’m doing goblet squats I crush the the dumbbell or kettlebell with my hands. This causes tension in my chest. Is this effective in developing my chest?

  • Its not about time under tension, its about increasing your volume over time via progressive overload. Stop making things so complicated

  • Some common sense reasoning tells me that a slow rep is equivalent to multiple normal speed reps. If you perform a rep in the time you normally perform three, you just completed three reps in parallel. This is assuming you have the same “slowness” overall. Think about it: you are spending three times the normal time in every point of the lift. It’s like walking up three stairs and down three stairs instead of going up/down/up/down/up/down. So I wouldn’t say it doesn’t work, it’s just less quantifiable/easy to use and measure progress in. Going for more reps is easier and more practical.
    But, if you only slow up at certain points of the lift, you are doing “one rep and a little more”, and you put that little more in your weak pointthink paused deadlifts and stuff like that.

  • People try to complicate things.  Do 8-10 controlled, relatively full ROM reps to near failure.  When it starts to get too easy, add weight.  BOOM! This is how you make progress. Super easy, super boring.

  • Hello Matt, I’m new here on your channel, just subscribed tbh. As I have seen your content I find it amazing and very informative. Now I write to you (hope you answer) because I like to do bodyweight training but I have this problem, I play football as a goalkeeper and I got an injury on my left wrist and sometimes it hurts when I try to do some kind of push ups like the diamond push up. It’s been bothering for like 3 months even when I stopped training cuz’ of the injury but I’m afraid of keep this problem for much longer. What can I do to take care of this injury? It would be nice If you do a video talking about different injuries that happen on calisthenics or how to avoid them (besides no one else have done a video talking about this on youtube). Thanks!

  • You shouldn’t really talk about TUT because you don’t understand how it works…

    Within TUT calculated macro cycles reps still matter. Your volume just isn’t determined by sets but it’s determined by how much TUT…

    And you don’t time sets… You calculate TUT..

    A1) overhead press. 4 sets 6-8 reps with tempo:4010. This means. 8 reps of 5 seconds for 4 sets. So 160 TUT for your A1 exercise… This way you calculate for example 1200 TUT in your workout…

    But reps and intensity still matter…

  • Dr. Mike I have a question. I’ve seen a training method come up every now and then from a swiss bodybuilding coach by the name of Patrick Tuor. His training approach, SST, utilizes much of what was discussed here especially when loading and proximity of failure are taken into account. Here’s an example and I’d be curious of your feedback

    warm up to a weight you’d fail at 10RM

    do a 3 set rest pause set, so 3 sets to failure with 20 seconds rest between each
    after set 3, rest 20 seconds and remove 20% of the load, from there you’ll do reps with a 5 count negative and a 1 count concentric to failure, rest 20 more seconds and yet again remove 20% of load and do the opposite, 5 count concentric with 1 count eccentric to failure, and finally 20 seconds rest with a final 20% reduction in load and do a loaded isometric until you reach failure for time.

  • Why does this sound so much more complicated than it really is I mean if Meatheads could do it I’m sure neuroscientist could do it right

  • But everyone else seems to think TuT only targets the slow twitch fibers which aren’t the best for muscle growth. Can you shed some light on this? Maybe you can do a video debunking this theory.

  • Hello! Do you recommend “safe” reps like 3×10 or exhaust the muscle with with killer reps like 13 first set, 8 second, 5 third and barely moving? You see, 3×10 can be still more, but it is not challenging. Thank you!

  • You only need to watch big guys training to know all this slow rep stuff isn’t required. Various people have tried to push it over the years and it dies a death except with dogmatic believers just like HIT. All the research eventually points to pretty much what we already know: moderate rep ranges, moderate number of multiple sets, a tempo that doesn’t injure you and enough volume to fill your hour however you choose to split your exercises up. Once that is in place, what matters is progression over time.

  • Matt, you’re oasis in the desert. Thanks. I understand why Paul Wade said “the greatest living expert in bodyweight bodybuilding alive today.” P.S. What is size of your biceps? It looks huge.

  • I used to spend hours finding info about certain movements,and learning the theory behind everything in fitness until I found Matt’s channel.Now this is the only place I come to seek for help

  • Here’s what confuses me about the Phillips study. They kept volume consistent but not the intensity of the training. It’s not apples to apples. It might have helped to do some heavier comparisons as well. Why not do one group slow at 35% to failure. And another group fast 35% to failure. Then another 60% slow to failure and fast to failure. And maybe 75% slow and fast to failure. Here you could also see the effect weight has on this equation if any. Layne, what was the goal… strength (1RM increase)… hypertrophy or what?

  • Volume and percentage are more important to creating an anabolic muscular adaptation than TUT. You could hold a one pound dumbbell forever and never get any real growth. More total volume with a higher percentage of max will grow more muscle than lighter, higher reps, but less total volume. In other words, do more heavy volume to grow. This is proven over and over.

  • So in a regular bodyweight squat would adding tension mean going down (i.e half squat vs full squat) further until your butt touches your calves and staying down there longer (holding and contracting) time would be under tension?

  • hey thank u for the video, u really helping us,mu qst is: are dips necessary to build lower pecs? because i dont have dips bar so i just use push ups..

  • Progressive overload bro. I can only squeeze so much with my bodyweight and not see much growth past a certain point. If i put a 25lb weight vest on and do push ups, it’s new stimulus, it’s a new progression my body hasn’t felt and guess what? You build muscle.
    I only squeeze shit like my core and glutes if i’m doing exercises like weighted chin ups, barbell heavy squats, rows, and especially overhead press. Funny enough they’re multi jointed compound movements and i’m getting all the tension radiating in my body without needing to squeeze. My 2 cents.

  • Well is there any use for time under tension? Is it a good way to produce muscle endurance for example? Referring to exercises like farmers walk and such not 20rep half curls.

  • You once said there were studies done telling there was no difference between high and low reps for strength..
    Because of that I tried an experiment to see if it was correct. I switched my 5-10 rep deadlift to higher rep 10-15. Once I progressed to 15 with the high rep method I wanted to see if my strength went up. I therefore tried my heavier old weight and noticed no difference in strength what so ever before I switched the weight. And that was the end result though I’ve been using progressing overload with the lighter weight. So the question becomes, does the lighter weight build strength in a different set of muscle fibers or is it just inferior to low reps for strength training?

  • When I look around the gym I rarely see anyone utilizing intensity of ANY kind. If you need to count seconds to get your intensity up then by all means do it.

  • I have done workouts like Doug McGuff and Jay Vincent.

    I find the time under tension focusing on the eccentric(go slower) does give a pump in less time. But the most interesting aspect of the slower tempo is injury prevention.

    All these youtube stars are constantly doing videos about their injuries. The slow rep people don’t build as much muscle, that they gain or maintain and there is no drama.

  • Also, there are many problems with the rep counting approach he outlined. The main problem arguably being that it leads to number chasing. If you don’t know why that’s bad, listen to Jeff cavalier’s spiel on it. It also encourages speeding through the eccentric, which, and I think Mike would agree, is not optimal for hypertrophy.

  • Hey Jason! you must do the analysis whether Jeff Bezos is on something or how did he get so buffed as the pic in vest showed recently. he certainly wasn’t buffed like that in his 30’s, so can you analyze if he is on some trt or just some cycle? he is the richest man right now, so someone good must advise him on lifestyle, diet, etc….would be great if u can have a look at it and investigate. you can see him in this video on 0:23 seconds mark. https://youtu.be/T_P1D_H1et8?t=23

  • A theory, by scientific definition, IS supported by evidence. Enough evidence, in fact, that theories cannot be challenged without very strong counter evidence that usually doesn’t exist. The Theory of Evolution, for example. Ergo, time under tension is not a theory, it’s still a hypothesis.

  • I’ve never seen or heard of any athlete trying to move slower. In fighting, lifting or field sports they’re always trying to move as fast and explosive as possible. Only bodybuilders use that…

  • My strength plummets when I train high volume. I was fine until I hit my mid 30s. It didn’t effect me much until now, recently within the last year. If I train with too much volume my strength crashes fast.

  • Timing sets is very easy and does not take focus away from rep tempo, intensity or progressive overload.
    Instead of counting reps, concentric and eccentric phases etc. you can just focus on engaging the target muscles.
    Increase TUT with a certain weight to say 3×45-60 sec. Add weight and build back up to 3×45-60 sec. Slow and controlled ecc., explosive concentric. It’ll be more consistent than relying on your own rep counting (total reps, ecc. phase, perhaps an iso hold at the bottom) during intense effort. We all know how those bouncy, ego reps can creep in.

  • Speed generates more tension at certain points in the exercise. Tension is not static throughout a movement. Acceleration magnifies the differences in the  torque curve or whatever it’s supposed to be called. lol

  • I never go for time under tension
    It makes my recovery hell because my tendons and muscles are so swollen after it
    And i never made better gains from it
    Total work load>tut

  • As a fellow researcher, the first thing I learned from my Professor was to be comfortable saying “I don’t know” and to acknowledge “you don’t know what you don’t know” (because there’s just so much information out there). From school system to research to being self-aware, I didn’t know we agreed on so much.
    Hopefully I’ll see you at the Arnold!

  • Like your channel but here you are confused and confusing. To begin with TUT (time undef tension) is mainly a general principle like overloading. In my reading of TUT I have never seen it discussed as a rigid time based training protocol with a stopwatch (although sure it’s out there). Your not understanding and then making this distinction just adds confusion. And yes there is no specific research about the protocal but use your brain → there is no research anyone can make conscious deductions either. So we must plug along.

  • What about if you’re doing balance/strength training simultaneously? Take snowboarders for instance. Would doing super slow reps (say pistol squats for example) help develop the type of strength/balance required for difficult maneuvers? Also, you mentioned that slower reps can work out the cns more. What are the benefits/drawbacks to this? And, thank you so much for the vid. I train primarily via bodyweight resistance, and many believe super slow will help significantly for strength gains. I’m just curious if your stabilizer muscles get a better workout going slow. I have no interest bulking up, or getting more explosive anyway.

  • I’m new to body weight training and have been doing a routine for the last month. Looking round i’m concerned about volume. I make it through the workouts and it hits me hard but thinking I may be doing too much. I’ve structured it around a core workout of 8 exercises of which I do 3 rounds then body part specific workout (chest, abs,arms etc) depending on the day. Currently training 4 days per week Example of chest day below.

    Core workout 3 rounds
    Pull Ups
    Chins
    Dips
    Jump Squats
    Press Ups
    Burpees
    Jump Rope

    Chest workout 3 rounds
    Wide Press Ups
    Decline Press Up
    Diamond Press Up
    Dips
    Incline Press Up
    Press Up Hold

    Too much volume per session?

  • http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/how-to-squat-tutorial.html
    Layne Norton is a beast. This really helped on my squat form! @biolayne 

  • 100% agree with everything. However, given the current situation I think TUT by counting the tempo is a great way i.e on a pushup 5250 shows that rep took 7 seconds, if you get 10 this week (failing at 10) and you get 11 next by applying the same principles. You have progressed!

  • Jason, if training very heavy with little volume is going to train your CNS extremely effectively, but won’t necessarily produce large amounts of hypertrophy, would you say training like this would be well suited to cutting? You would keep your 1RM strength and presumably as much of your muscle mass as you would training any other way.

  • Hey man, you haven’t posted any reference to the study you mentioned in your video.  Do you have sources or references to said study?

  • So to sum up the video, volume (sets+reps+weight) is the most important component for muscle hypertrophy. Increasing TUT is effective in and of itself, but inhibits your volume. Normalizing for sets, reps, and weight, TUT wins. However, with normal TUT you can lift heavier weights contributing towards volume.

  • So do you think it’s better for people to implement momentum in their curls? Should they be swinging the weights up since it is all about volume?

  • sean, ive been  getting good consistency. increasing weight slowly, seems i hit  a wall and lost strength in all exercises by about 20%. its stressing me out, now to get back to the heavier weights i was lifting. what could be the explanation for this loss in strength???

  • Great video Sean. Glad you’re not on the TUT bandwagon like most coaches. There’s no need to intentionally go slow on any rep and if the weight is already challenging, you’ll naturally bring down the weight in a controlled fashion on the eccentric. Counting seconds between reps will surely keep a person weak as a kitten.

  • Great video, good point about the real researchers and people with real world experience not having time to make youtube videos cos they’re writing books or just doing their job. I’ll be checking out that Dave Tate seminar.

  • Thank you for the video. Any good suggested reads. Ive taken plenty of classes but just curious on any studies to look at? Im just trying to gather as much info as i can than try and apply the science.

  • Every time u allways see this one person sez time under tention one sez pergresive overload one sez isometrics i say pergresive time under tention overload isometrics have more tension over time for longer abounts of time u wont no if it works inless u try

  • Count reps, but pace each rep to a metronome to measure TUT. 10s-reps with high intensity is one of the things Tim Ferriss did to induce a bunch of hypertrophy in 4-Hour Body.

  • This makes sense. I have always noticed positive adaptation from progressive overload in weight or reps. I can get stronger I can usually get better muscle fiber recruitment. When I have went to much lower weights going ultra slow time under tension it hasn’t really worked for me in any type of development.

  • This is very good information. However, I’ve notice much of the concepts and principles regarding development of the human body is spoken of in a one dimensional way. In this video, time under tension is referenced in regards to weight training (power lifting or body building). There is no mentioned of this concept as it relates to other forms of human movement. The human body is capable of more movement than lifting weights. Indeed, there are other movements (example: athletic movements) which the human body is capable of performing which have an effect on the body and its muscles. For example, Muay Thai kickboxers in Thailand have very well developed and muscular legs. It is likely that most of this development and muscular comes from the act of kicking, which a major action of Thai Boxing. The time under tension concept/principle works as much in kicking as it does in weight training. It may not work exactly the same but it does work in both.

  • Absolutely love it! Thanks for explaining what I knew to be true from experience!
    Concentrating on TUT is BS!
    If u add reps u by default add TUT. If u can lift the same weight for 10 reps faster than before guess what? U’ve gotten stronger! Then what do u do? u add more weight or do more reps!
    This argument has driven me mad for years! Thanks for explaining it so well…

  • Just performs high reps with the heaviest weights you can handle.. This is the best of both worlds, however they are brutal and many, many people tend to keep away from these workouts because they are exhausting, but this is what separates the men from the boys.

  • There are a lot of factors. Some tear up the muscle and some spend energy. Super high reps and slow reps are factors that spend energy. Lower reps and faster reps are factors that tear the muscle up. Increasing the intensity of your workout spends more energy in the workout. But increasing the volume of your workout tears the muscle up more. It’s basically a continuum with myofibrillar hypertrophy on the one side and the pump on the other. The pump can create the illusion of muscle gain due to swelling the muscle as well as stiffening up dormant muscle fibers. But as far as true hypertrophy goes, the pump causes no more hypertrophy than herbal teas make you lose weight… These energy factors are also important as they help fuel the muscle so you have more energy to attempt heavier lifts. This is why you should train at multiple rep ranges. Like Arnold said (in his encyclopedia of bodybuilding), do 15 reps your first set, 10 the second, 8 the third, and 6 for the last 2 sets. Varying the rep ranges, resting only for 1 minute and doing supersets includes the energy component into your workout which indirectly allows you to build muscle.

  • At the end of the day EVERYONE is different, something’s might work for some but others maybe not, that’s why its good to know what your body can do.

  • This video pretty much sums up my issues with Ian McCarthy’s views on training. He cherrypicks data without context frequently and misinterprets research more often than not. Sadly, I think this video will fall upon deaf ears. He would likely nod along, not realizing that he is a part of the problem. 

  • A slow rep requires more energy than a fast rep… Increased time under tension results in an increase in muscle fatigue, given that the reps and the weight stay the same

  • Jason what do you think about this. You mentioned that slower eccentrics led to similar hypertrophy levels as a 1 second negative, a point I agree with. What about someone who is dealing with a slight injury but the slower eccentric work because of the lighter weights used to accommodate that slower tempo doesn’t bother them. Is it possible that these slower eccentrics could be used for guys who can’t go heavier for whatever reason but still want to gain some size? Im not sure if I’m wording this so if not I can try again lol.

  • hmm. Curious about what you think when it comes to TUT on end reps… Like say you are doing a set at a normal tempo but your last rep is a real grinder and you struggle (with good form always good form) through the motion…

  • Time Under Tension is simply one of the training variables which you manipulate to achieve your goals. You seem to suggest that it almost doesn’t matter. For ex. when I do calf rises or forearm curls I always do isometric pause to… increase time under tension. Am I doing it wrong?

  • there are lots of videos from very well known bodybuilders like kai or ben pakulski talkig about TUT and wheight is secundary, it only creats resistens but the primarly goal for hiperthropy is TUT and contract the muscle. So u say they are wrong?

  • I realize you’re trying to generalize basically what is good for the average person, but everyone is different man.. Hypertrophy behaves very strangely in some people but this did help a lot. Ty.

  • TUT works well chronologically if performed at max force production isometrically for fiber development and bone strength development. Not so much at all isotonically. As stated in the video.

  • Bro, 95% of research studies on fitness and nutrition are bullshit. Negative portion of the rep should ALWAYS take longer than the positive. It should last 2 to 5 seconds depending on the exercise.

    Check any pro bodybuilder training videos and you will see how they train. Pay close attention to the negative part of their rep.

    For fucks sake.

  • time under tension works very well. however, one needs to understand that the tempo should not change it should be 1-0-2/3. sometimes that TUT will take you to over 12 repetitions and anything up to 20 repetitions. The positives are when you want to stop your set and see that you still got 10 seconds to go and dying in pain, the neural and metabolic stress is massive and it forces growth. In saying that, yes once you find that golly locks set range you do not need TUT as you will mostly end up in it anyway. I would suggest people to try it. But do not sacrifice load, keep the load reasonably high (ca 70-80RM)  

  • Sorry, I just find counting really boring. Maybe I would do things by reps if I had someone to count my reps for me. The stopwatch automatically measures my set. Very easy.

  • biolayne just a short question, so in general lifts with moderate tempo through concentric and excentric will be better at stimulating muscle than doing lifts with short pauses, ex 2 second pause at the bottom of a squat because the little momentum used with normal tempo will use more tension = weight? 

  • I feel so happy to see that subcribers number rising… there was a time when there was a plateau of it… but 13k to 25k was very fast. 😉 keep up matt

  • Garbage. Work until you freakin’ drop every time you hit the gym. Boil the muscle you’re working. If you don’t know what that means stop going to the gym because you’re just playing.

  • Time under tension works in most clients due to specifically type iia muscle fibes and type 1 muscle fibres beign recruited. We know that type 2a muscle fibres are very responsive to hypertrophy and since most of us are predominantly type 2 a time under tension should work more. having said that if you notice that for eg german powerlifters used offseason to put on muscle by using German Volume training..again causing volume and itme under tension for one specific movement pattern. this creates a lot of neural and metabolic stress and causes hypertrophy. 1-5 RM targets type 2b and most of us except sprinters have lower % of these. and yes some research suggest there is a transfer of type ii a to 2 b and vice versa but not 100%. For sprinters and those possessing 90% of type 2b 1-5 rm may work but most need that tension to last longer at lower load (eg 12 reps or 30/35 sec lasting set) However in saying that there are many variables in training for hypertrophy and all avenues should be exhausted

  • I used to try and educate people on this exact same topic.. But after a while I got sick of the same people spewing shit that their ‘fake natty’ idol using some bro science hypertrophy method that works better… Incorporating maximal strength, explosive strength and looking after mobility have been the fundamentals of any good program, let the bro scientists remain clueless and unfulfilled in trying to emulate their idols

  • Be self-aware if you´re speaking outside your area of expertise. Stop trying to sell stuff, let´s just get the information out there, science doesn´t need to be sold, it is what is. Don´t need to oversell it. You don´t need to come up with the magic training plan. And that´s what a lot of people are doing, they are trying to come up with something so different that people buy into it. You know what people buy into? RESULTS! You don´t need to do anything fancy, if it gets results, people tend to dig that.
    I truly admire your mindset layne, you´re an inspiration:) I think a lot o people think too black and white

  • haha jason blaha aka ice cream fitness aka biggest joke on youtube… you look like a piece of poo maybe you should take some of your own advice

  • This is way too technical unless your in the top few in the world of a given sport as a pro why would this even matter just train different ways and find what works for you?

  • thanks for the information:) question: is it beneficial to leave the arms in an angle to keep the stress on the muscle between reps or should you just stretch your arms full out?

  • For the commoner. Train like an animal, fast reps and high weight and chase the pump and burn for max gains. Sounds simple this way. Golden Era style

  • @biolayne 
    Great video, and most of arguments given sounds very logical to me, but isn’t the use of a 35% of 1RM leg extension as example a bit flawed? I mean those reps you showed were just insane 60-45-40. Aren’t you behaving the same way as those “just do a 1000 reps with an empty bar” kind of people? 

    I know that that wasn’t the point you were trying to make, but let’s say I can do 12 reps of 3 seconds up 3 seconds down with 315 pounds on a Bench Press to failure (I’m not very good with the whole % of 1RM concept so i’ll just use pounds for my example.). This doesn’t mean I can do anything close to 36 reps with 315 pounds on a 1 sec up 1 sec downward movement, I’ve tried this and it’s more like 18 reps. Now both things have their pros and cons, since the fast reps will give you a higher total volume, since you can do more reps and do more sets in the same timeframe, but likewise the slower reps has it’s own pros as well.

    Now i’m not a scientist and english isn’t my first language, so my apologies if my comment sometimes is a bit hard to understand, but I believe that you agree with me that there has to be a certain amount of intensity to even put a noticeable amount of a stress on the muscle. Now once again, I know what you were trying to say with that example, but using 35% of 1RM as an example does give a distorted image of the point you’re trying to make right?

  • There’s actually something to all this though (except the “natural Layne Norton” part):

    http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/why_bodybuilders_are_more_jacked_than_powerlifters

  • I’ve used TUT to help people recruit muscle fibers in areas that can be tricky to do so primarily the lats.  I’ll have the person lower the weight, move it slowly, and focus on squeezing whatever muscle it is they intend to work.  Through this, the individual is able to have more conscious awareness of that muscle, so they can increase the work load over time while maintaining the form necessary to work whatever muscle(s) they intend to work.

    But I would never tell someone that 4 second negatives build more muscle.  That makes no fucking sense.

  • I have a cousin who was, for lack of a better turn, a crossover athlete. He competed, both in bodybuilding and powerlifting. The was many years ago, back in the eighties. He has won trophies in both sports, and for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what he would do differently for each kind of competition.  We were training partners at the time, so we worked out together and ate together. I finally asked him what he did, and he told me that his main focus was being healthy. He trained and ate to be as healthy as he could possibly be, but he really didn’t make a distinction between bodybuilding and powerlifting. I think a lot of bodybuilders like to have an aura of mystery about them, so they make up all these esoteric training methods that really don’t do that much. My cousin, by the way, used a lot of the same methods that the Juggernaut uses. He was also mostly, though not completely vegetarian. I say this because More people need to watch his videos. His methods work. I’ve seen it and personally experienced it. I’ve tried some of the bodybuilding methods of some of the online trainers and I got almost nowhere. Jason’s videos reminded me of how I used to train, so I went back to that and started getting results again.

  • Great vids., but given the current pandemic why not do vids advising people on nutrition, caloric I take and training at home with resistance bands, since most people only have bands some with nothing. You may also want to address muscle loss due to detraining, percentage of muscle an average joe may lose, length of time determining, food intake etc

  • Hey, Jason, would you also say that not locking out a movement is not beneficial as well because I don’t feel as though it works. I prefer full range of motion or pause reps. Also, if you go really slowly on the concentric part of a movement on a heavy weight would you say there are no hypertrophy benefits. If I attempt a weight that I need a small spot for I feel a pump in my chest after one rep.

  • I am one of those questionaskers! I am internetfamous now.

    Thanks for clearing it up, Jason. It’s not like I was going to go full swole-brah and do occluded isolation TUT training….but it did clear up a few things:)

  • It’s all about explosive high intensity… forget TUT.. it’s just a waste of time and looks so stupid really…. just lift please. Lol! 

  • In theory isn’t the best way to stimulate muscle growth to follow a jim wender 5 31 progression that is followed by high reps to induce metabolic fatigue

  • Powerlifting group were hitting muscles on a 3x a week frequency.. They were also in the gym 5 times longer per week, subjects reported being mentally and physically fatigued. 

    based on this study low reps suck for hypertrophy

  • a question to Jason: i noticed that when i do bench press ( 3 sets flat, 2 sets decline, where at that point um done!) that if i just increase one of the earlier  sets by 5 kg,i feel like my muscles died n it really diminishes my strength on the remaining sets. i know i am getting the same metabolic fatigue but i just wanna know the explanation of it 

  • Thanks for the video. Quick question, I do farmers walk around my neighborhood for about 8 minutes with 50lbs in each hand (I weigh 130lbs). Should I opt out for heavier weight and shorter distance?
    Thanks

  • I would really like to see a discussion on where the principles of Abbreviated Training (AT) go awry. I have seen groups advocating AT that say the manipulation of volume as the driver of hypertrophy is only for enhanced lifters. That natural lifters can’t handle “high” volumes and that you shouldn’t train more days a week than you rest (3 days lifting 4 days recovering, sometimes even lower frequencies).

  • Time under tension might be bullshit if we are talking about muscle gains. But it sure does help to keep strict form and not use a weight you can’t do propper reps with eliminating swinging and pausing and jerking the weight just to get that extra rep out.

    TUT might not matter but i do belive most people now knowing this will go and jerk the bar around doin 1 second reps with big ass weights they should never touch, fucking up their joints and back.

    Also, i do belive that as long as you progress, it doesnt matter if you do 5 reps or 10 and 2 second reps or 8 second ones.

  • Just started using TUT. The results gave me better results than the bullshit fast reps we did in highschool football lifts. I use TUT to COMPLETE muscle failure not worrying about what fucking rep im on rather I focus on the burn throughout the muscles im working.

  • TUT and iso holds is a brilliant way to train with injuries. I’ve found, for me, lowering the weight, increasing rep volume and playing with TUT and iso holds. There’s a time and a place for everything.. in my option of course. It’s helped me maintain and build muscle while injured.

  • I think the use of anabolics will skew results so much that its impossible to arrive at any real conclusion regards a solid scientific conclusion that will fit everyone.
    Individual genetics, lifestyle and what we do outside the gym regards diet,sleep and even exercise form etc also affects the outcome of any given training methodology.
    It can all get very convoluted.
    I would say just do the minimum amount of work,in the safest form to coax growth/strength gain
    using progressive resistance,simple as that.

  • Liked before watching. Seriously I’ve watched a dozen or so of your vids, and there weren’t a single one I didn’t like.
    And just when I was wondering about time under tension too.
    Great work, Matt!

  • I’ve been bouncing around fitness channels (I know, you’re not technically a fitness channel) for over a year now learning all sorts of stuff from the big name channels, but I have to say that I have learned many priceless bits of information from your channel that I never saw mentioned elsewhere and it’s bringing a lot of awareness to my workouts. I also enjoy your energy so I watch the videos just for fun too. Keep up the excellent work!!!

  • What about constant time under tension, such as not locking out, and/or doing partials. Is there scientific support for it, in terms of hypertrophy, other than just saving on joints?

  • Layne, I love your videos dude. I learn more from them, then probably any combination of videos anywhere else. I just want to point out that you kind of come across as a cocky bastard sometimes. Although, I have a few friends who have PHD’s and I can sense that same thing in them, also. It’s all good though. If I was as smart as you I’d probably be the same way.

  • Funny stuff:
    1:00 “I’m not trying to sell you on something!”
    1:03 “Like my hat? Visit the store to buy it!”
    Haha. I know the “on” part cancels the meaning, but still funny:D.

  • Great video. Something that I think is important to consider is that with slow eccentrics, fast concentrics, and heavy weight, you may be able to accomplish more time under the bar overall for a given set than if you performed fast reps, both up and down, with the same weight. Based on my experience, the limiting factor in performance is almost always the concentric portion of the exercise, so if you do a couple less reps overall with the first approach but accomplish more TUT at the same perceived intensity, you could be stimulating greater damage/muscle activation overall while using a very heavy weight that allows for favorable adaptations.

  • time over tension at 60% of max for 50 plus people builds strength after you get in shape of course.you won’t build big muscles but you’ll feel amazing like me at 53

  • This was great I’m going to have to listen to it again. I’ve been binge watching/listening to all your videos and am learning a lot. Thanks for sharing +biolayne!

  • Hi, Layne. I have noticed that when I go heavy i am not able to feel the burn as much as when I would do let’s say a 4 sec negative and 1 second positive and utilize the time under tension principle. Not to mention I don’t feel as sore with a heavy workout. Don’t musces communicate in terms of tension and torque? And isnt the growth hormone release directly proportional to the lactic acid that’s produced?

  • Yeah there will always be those who sell misleading information to others, under the pretense of hope for naive viewers / readers who easily buy into it. Unfortunately, in life, people always take the path of least resistance and especially those who are uneducated and/or simply lack the motive to proactively sought to research more about what they have been told. Anyway, great video, thanks Layne.

  • A lot of ideas in this video can be easily misinterpreted, but well-informed points nonetheless. I think the best solution is to incorporate all of these different styles of training into your workouts to get the best of all worlds. The problem with the video is that it will cause more confusion to the average lifter than it should.

    The main message should be that all of these different “styles” of training should be used on different exercises to maximize the performance of it specifically. For example; a slower controlled movement and contraction might be better for a bicep curl because it’s harder to target that muscle, whereas if you did the reps quickly you would most likely be swinging the weight causing different muscle groups to take over instead of that bicep. Same goes for big lifts, where you are usually using a very heavy weight you need to make sure you form is as clean as possible so you don’t injure yourself.

  • TUT is essential, but it’s often neglected by bodybuilders like ronnie and jay cutler, just look at their videos and you’ll see, or maybe they do it fast for the camera

  • I’ll tell you what a fast eccentric will achieve, injury that’s what, as the idea is to keep force levels low whilst keeping muscular tension high…
    AGAIN let me point out it is possible in fact encouraged to use the heaviest resistance possible while using a slow cadence, it is the IMPACT forces not the resistance levels that cause injury, so you can in fact lift a heavy weight slowly for an appropiate time under load..there have been numerous studies to support this…

  • Fast eccentrics ONLY will be better than a slow one when the bottom of the eccentric isn’t the weight hitting the ground or the joint absorbing the downward momentum. So no, not all fast eccentrics are better say for example the eccentric on a deadlift when the end of the deadlift hits the ground.

  • I have a question. Thinking about TUT on a bench press (for instance). Trainers always say that you need to avoid locking out at the top of the lift because as soon as you lock out your elbows you’re taking the tension off the chest and arms. If you avoid locking out and don’t ‘pause’ at the top of the lift, you’re increasing the TUT and therefore doing more work. But isn’t this a fallacy? If we consider TUT to be accumulative, would not the accumulative time be the same regardless of whether we lock out, or not? If the tempo is 2020, with a lock-out the eccentric and concentric phases still have 2s each.

    I’m studying health and fitness at the moment and I’m finding myself questioning some of the information we’re given.

  • Arnold in his book “Education of a Body Builder” and Stallone in his book “Sly Moves” both say to do reps slowly….getting full stretch and contraction…on the negative as well….to get the full benefits of the exercise…..Bruce Lee was also a proponent of this as well as isometrics…..its always been thought that calisthenics like pushups being done slowly on a 4 count down and 4 count up are far more beneficial than cranking out high volume reps fast and aerobically…

  • Have you considered putting up a PowerPoint slide or list of topics you are discussing as a split screen with your face? It may make concepts easier to grasp for viewers since you can glance at the overall topic if you get lost.

  • This is about as simple as it can be explained. Layne, you and I used to debate stuff on extreme-athlete forum about 10 years ago. Now most everything you say is what I’ve always thought just made sense. I just didn’t have science to back it up.

  • So layne

    Not sure if Ive understood this but
    Are you saying
    Performing 50 fast reps is better than performing 10 slow reps (given the same weight and assuming both equated to equal time under tension) because with the faster reps you incorporate some momentum?

    Because if that’s not what u meant I can’t tell how u concluded faster reps are better?

    Great vlog keep em coming!!

  • Damn, how have i only been told about these videos now. Dude you have such a good way of explaining things. already learnt so much from this one video, can’t wait till i have more time to watch the rest

  • bomb.. Glad I found this. Can’t wait til the next study comes out so my head can spin 180′ again. hah! “be self aware when speaking out of your area of expertise” This is the most helpful advice any adviser or trainer or fitness-head needs to understand. Communication style makes the difference with this sort of stuff I’ve found! And can save some embarrassment.

  • I think some of the comments have made this point or least come pretty close.  I’d like to put it slightly differently.  Perhaps you can only move a weight for a certain amount of time before you reach failure, rather than a certain amount of reps.  Louie Simmons, in his book The Westside Barbell Book of Methods, said that he reached failure or close to it when performing deadlifts with 315lbs for 35 reps at a fast pace.  At a slower pace, he reached the same level of fatigue in 26 reps (this was not in the same different workout).  Both lasted 60 seconds. 
     
    Think of the Dr. Phillips study that Layne displayed on the white board where one group performed the reps at a tempo of 6 seconds up and 6 down and the other group performed reps at a tempo of 1 second up and 1 down.  The slow group had 300 seconds TUT and the fast had 50.  If you calculated volume by replacing reps and sets with TUT [Volume = (weight x TUT)], then the slow group would have had more volume.  Maybe that was a big contributor to their superior results.  I still agree that failure contributed to it too though.  Having TUT replace sets and reps seems more accurate to me since that measures how much total stress you’ve put on your body. 
     
    The stress probably wouldn’t be exactly the same because lifting at different tempos would involve using different cellular components and/or different amounts (things like ratio of contribution of the three energy systems, involvement of the stretch shortening cycle, cross bridges recruited, etc).  I’m not necessarily saying that the equation should be rewritten; if the tempo differences were only 1-2 seconds apart it probably wouldn’t matter.  But if you were to compare a large difference and attempt to see if one were superior to the other then maybe it would. 

  • Thank You Layne for putting out good videos with good information where you actually make good points! Time under tension as you said is but one of the tools in the arsenal good health to you and to all

  • how does moving the same weight faster recruit more muscle fibers? the ‘all or none’ law means all are recruited during the concentric phase

  • say two people workout with 3 sets of 8
    but one guy does the 8 reps, with slow negatives, 
    while the other guy does it with fast reps.

    when comparing TUT with equivalent reps/sets.
    Then isn’t the first guy going to induce more hypertrophy then the second?
    Similar to how you said it’d be more working load at the beginning of the video

  • Great video Layne, great video. Two things:

    1)That chair you sit on looks so ridiculously comfortable. I’m jelly.

    2)Doesn’t the use of faster concentric reduce the TUT and thus effectively reducing hypertrophic gains? Or do the benefits from the increased tension due to higher velocity just simply outweigh the extra TUT you would get from slower reps?

  • Hello Mr. Layne. Big time fan here, I have seen your body building tutorial videos on bodybuilding.com and I’ve gotta say, they have helped me greatly in my last contest. I am trying my hand in powerlifitng and it would be an honor if I had you review my videos of my lifts..this is a very new channel and I only have 2 videos up, I will be sure to get more content as I continue my training for my May 23rd meet.

    Cheers,
    Corey Crasher Chase

  • Time under tension means leave the momentum out… and the resting within the rep… bodybuilding is not weight lifting!
    You talking in circles is a lot of Hocus Pocus!

  • Time under tension (TUT) is one of best applications that I had used in my training regime. Personally, TUT has gotten me to go beyond muscle failure during a set. Example: my goal was to do a set of dumbbell press to make my set last for 40 seconds… at 30 seconds I couldnt do a full rep so I forced myself to do partial reps for the last 10 seconds just to keep the tension going and man it was fcking intense with an AMAZING pump. Also TUT allows your mind to not count reps and focus purely on the stretch and squeeze alone. Dont knock on it until you try it in person.

  • Also you haven’t done a video covering rest periods. Is there any benefit to using 90 second rest intervals which often recommended by bodybuilders as opposed to say resting 5 minutes? From the research I have seen there seem to be a slight increase in strength and size gains from longer rest intervals (2min vs 4min), mainly since longer rest periods allow for more volume, as one will be able to do more reps on the following sets. However is there any real benefits to using shorter rest intervals for strength and hypertrophy, other than increasing the demand on the cardiovascular system. I could see it being useful for someone who can’t use heavy weight due to an injury, but then again shorter rest intervals will often lead to a decrease how good ones technique can be, since the muscles will tighten up and you will be out of breath. It would be interesting if you would cover this topic, not necessarily in the next video but sometime in the future! Besides that, I also want to say thanks for all the great science based content you put out!

    Source I’m referring to: http://www.pgedf.ufpr.br/downloads/Artigos%20PS%20Mest%202015/DE/TP-Willardson%20and%20Burkett_The%20effect%20of%20different%20rest%20intervals%20between%20sets%20on%20volume%20components%20and%20strength%20gains_JSCR2008.pdf 

  • You looked like you spent over an hour’s time under tension when you had your discussion with old Greg douchette on omars channel ��

  • First time I disagree with you Dorian Yates always just go slow on the negatives he works out very slow and hes 6 time Mr Olympia. I’ve been working out 20 years best growth on muscle growth going slow negatives and time under tension. Everybody’s different so science is not always correct

  • One benefit you completely missed with TUT is better form in a lift and stricter concentration in a range of motion thereby hypertrophy

  • I really like the overall information given BUT i do think at some point you should just distill it down to the key points. I understand you’re educated as are a lot of us but is it really necessary to make people feel like they are at school watching your videos. It would be great if you could get your point across in a more concise way, this would allow you message to spread further.

  • Hey Layne would you be willing to do some videos on some of the following topics: protein overfeeding (Dr.Jose Antonio’s study) 4.4g per kg, and the possible implication of this on prep dieting, reverse dieting. Also could there be a possible theory that perhaps the biggest factors of energy balance are actually carbs and fat as far as fuel and after hitting the optimal protein range we may be able to increase our protein levels (with appropriate sources/animal/whey etc.) while keeping fats and carbs in the desired range and see little if any negative affects on body comp? 
    Also Dr. Jacob Wilson and the work on metabolic flexibility, and how although overall macros are key, and we know that proper adjustments and recovery (reverse) dieting are all major factors for body composition, perhaps, our ability to utilize carbs and fats, may also allow us to have some benefits overall. 
    Also I know timing is something that hasn’t been a huge factor but curious to hear your opinions on some of the studies of the same macro content, with manipulation to the time of intake, not 1meal vs 4 meals, but rather having a lower carb higher fat breakfast, helping a persons insulin sensitivity for the rest of the day and over time having benefits, as this is something Dr. Wilson and also the Laurent Bannock seem to lean towards.

    So to be clear I do believe via the current data that energy balance, macro composition (adequate fiber, protein, and proper balance of fat and carb), consistency, gradual appropriate adjustments will be the major keys to optimal body comp. metabolism, fat loss, etc. But I am curious what you think of some of these topics: metabolic flexibility, protein overfeeding, and if perhaps there are other possible benefits from adapting some of these other nutritional principles that seem to have some interesting studies coming out.

  • the most important thing is genetics,or it was. Nowadays they all are doing the same and try to achieve it without good genetics, same colour, same posing, same style and they’re all freaks. Then we have endless discussion in the internet how to become even freakier. Instead it should be a joy of art and exercise like it was. Just completing and measuring things and we have nothing in the end. Muscle separation,colour and skin health should be a most important thing, thus even small muscles looks good.

  • The reason why fitness industry makes so much fucking money is because people like to over complicate simple fucking things.

    Choose a wight that will force you to go BALLS TO THE WALL around the 8th rep without breaking form.
    Do 4 sets of 10 reps of said weight.

    It’s that fucking simple.
    You’re welcome. Don’t skip legs and do your damn cardio!

  • to see how fast eccentric loading causes more muscle damage than slow, consider: which is harder? jumping off a high box or slowly stepping down?, or, running downhill or walking down hill? -which is harder?

  • @biolayne awesome video man I love your stuff. You are one of the few people I ever turn to for advice. Without iffym for bulking I would easily be 30lbs lighter.
    But I have a question. A LOT in this video seems to contradict the loaded guns article that you wrote for bb.com a few years back. Has your research and understanding just improved so now you have realized a more superior way of training if so that’s impressive that you can admit to being wrong in the past as opposed to most people who are too stubborn to change. I think it would be really cool if you made another loaded guns workout with this new information in there about time under tension about intracting the muscle about using momentum because those are three things that you seem to talk about in your loaded guns workout a lot

  • This is somewhat less relevant to what a lot of people are doing now in quarantine, which is different forms of Callisthenics and bodyweight training. You can grow in strength and size by performing isometric holds for longer and longer duration of time with little to no eccentric or concentric phases. The front lever for example, it’s a compound exercise that progresses primarily through TUT. And the longer time you spend under tension, the more muscle growth there is. From what I can tell it’s not optimal training for raw size—the fact that there are no massive Callisthenics athletes partially attest to that. But you can use it to grow dense and strong muscles.

  • Hi Layne, thank you for making these videos as always.  I can’t begin to express how much you’ve taught me about working out and how much your advice and videos have helped.  I strained my chest (didn’t tear it, just a strain) and it hasn’t impacted  my strength at all but the pain has been persistent while lifting so I’ve taken a break from working out chest for the past few weeks.  I know you tore your pec a while ago and of course worked your way slowly back into benching, but my question is, with a strained pec should I avoid heavy deadlifts or deadlifts in general?  I know I can squat without issue but I’m curious if you think deadlifting would aggravate my pec.  Response or no response (I can only imagine how busy you must be), thank you so much for all you do, it means a lot.

  • Layne, I have a question. As we go through our lifting routines, what is exactly becoming stronger or perceived to be becoming stronger.

    Are the muscle fibers actually becoming stronger thus making the weight appear to be lighter? Are the fibers actually multiplying? An example here would be 1 person pulling a car would be difficult but 100 would be no problem.

    Or, is all of that kind of correct but the real truth is that your nervous system is responding better?

    Any help with this would be awesome. Thanks man! Great videos by the way! All great information. Thank you for taking the time to do them.

    Very respectfully,

    Nick Newman

  • So basically, Time Under Tension isn’t a useful programming tool or method, it’s just a surface-level description of what can be observed.

  • I must be one of the few that understood your views on volume back from your first powercast. Throwing in more volume jumped up my squat from 365-550 in a 14wk training cycle with 2 of those wks being starter ones because I had a 7 month lay off from weights. For most though its rocket science for some reason.

  • Doesn’t Mechanical tension just describe the growth process so much better though by encompassing the components of TUT that work without the misleading info or confusion of TUT? Is there really any benefit at all to accepting TUT as helpful for growth more so than the negative limitations it can cause someone to follow?

  • Awesome video. I’ve incorporated a style to where I have a target number of reps, usually 30, at a given weight. I go to failure each set and if I get 30reps within 3 sets I add weight the next time. And get the new weight in however many sets necessary to encourage a continuous increase in volume.

  • Very informative and interesting video sir. My take away was: don’t be so gung ho on just one particular method like it’s the best and only thing since sliced bread just because u read it somewhere in some article, try both and not be so quick to knock one particular thing so that u can get the best of both worlds, and most importantly-just get results man. Simple!! You are the man sir ����.

  • 15:00 bang on the money, so many “experts” quote study’s without properly interpreting the data and looking at all the factors, always refreshing watching your videos, had enough with a lot of today’s “fitness experts” who are basically broscientists who have built an impressive physique over time.

  • Another good video Layne, could you perhaps talk more about blood flow restriction training and explain what it is and how it works in one of your next videos please? Thanks.

  • @biolayne at 11:20 you say your hypothetical scenario of a 1s up 1s down test group going to rep failure on all three sets would yield very similar hypertrophy results as the group doing 6s up 6s down going to failure with the 12/7/6 rep sets. Although TUT for both groups would be approx 300s for this scenario, wouldn’t the 1s up 1s down test group have achieved significantly higher volume while matching TUT? Hypothetically, wouldn’t the 1s group see greater results than the 6s group, and not simply match their results?

  • Great video Layne! As a chemical engineering student I greatly appreciate your point about presenting an opinion based on data you don’t fully understand, and that it’s okay not to know. Always appreciate your point of view and your scientific approach to weightlifting and fitness!

    Regards from Norway =)

  • Question: If volume is king, can you put periodization in to perspective? 
    Why would i not just do 12,10,8,6,3 as heavily as I can multiple times per week, forever?