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PT Tip - How To Effectively Build Strength At The Gym

PT Tip - How To Effectively Build Strength At The Gym

Building muscle isn't always as simple as just lifting heavy. Our expert Personal Trainer Neil from our Sutton club shares his number one training tip for building strength at the gym:

My No. 1 Rule For Building Strength...

You may have heard the term TUT (Time Under Tension) used at your gym before and my mission is to help you understand just how important that is. TUT refers to the amount of time a muscle is held under tension or strain during an exercise set.

When training, it's common to count your repetitions and your sets. But I doubt you have ever timed your sets!

Timing your sets enables you to focus on your strength by lengthening each phase of movement to make your muscles work harder. In order to develop your power, we must increase your strength before looking to implement the element of speed.

If you complete a set of 10 repetitions in 10 seconds (time yourself on a standard set of 10) the likelihood is that you used force and momentum to complete that set. Over the 10 seconds, the active muscular tension was probably around 6 seconds.

In theory, you could do just 1 repetition at a ratio of 2:1:4 and get better progression on that particular exercise.

That is because TUT is ultimately what will increase your strength. Keeping the muscle and connective tissues active under load is what will optimise your endurance, and growth. Unless you are an athlete or training for something very specific, Time Under Tension is something you should really be paying attention to in your training.

Lose the ego lifts and concentrate on achieving true TUT. Increased strength will also improve control, balance, and stability in all areas trained so it's a win-win!

Try to use the following time ratio during your next session and see how it affects your workout and development.

Time Ratio 1:1:4

1 second on the push (concentric) phase of the moment
1 second hold at the end of the full contraction
4 seconds to return to the start for the next rep (eccentric phase of movement)

Give it a try and see how it goes! Remember, you can always reach out to one of our staff members or Personal Trainers in the gym if you need any help or guidance.

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