Duel: Marc Megna's 6-Week Partner-Based Fitness Plan Week 2, Day 8
Tempo lifts don't have to be complicated to be effective. The way to greater time under tension and muscle growth is as simple as one, two, three!
At some point in a difficult, heavy set, we all reach a point where we want it to be over with. What do you do when that happens? You speed up and push harder. That's OK—it's normal. But for this week, you and your partner are going to push down all the voices telling you to "get this thing over with" and focus on slowing your reps and sets down.
What will happen? Like magic, light weights are going to seem indescribably heavy!
MuscleTech Duel Trainer Week 2
Watch the video - 14:52
Week 2 is all about tempo and time under tension. The tempo part of things is going to be straightforward enough, and you won't have to remember a bunch of different numbers for different lifts. Your partner will count out both the eccentric (lowering) and concentric (raising) portions of every lift for three seconds with a "one-one thousand, two-one thousand, three-one thousand" pace. They're also going to help you avoid locking out at both the upper part of the movement or the bottom, to keep tension on the muscle the entire set.
Basically, you're slowing everything down, and this will dramatically increase the amount of time under tension your muscles experience. This will push them into hypertrophy, or growth. You're going to need to use relatively light weights all week, to the tune of around 30 percent of your one-rep max. Even this will test you significantly, particularly because your sets of 10 will each be significantly longer in duration than a normal set of 10.
At some point in your 6 sets of 10, you will reach failure. Expect it. So should your partner help? Absolutely! But ideally, they should only help you with the last few reps of the later sets. If you're getting crushed in the middle reps of your first few sets, you need to put your ego aside and lighten those weights.
Watch the video, and then come back and watch it again as needed during the week for further guidance. The warm-ups, you'll notice, are the same as last week. You won't see Keith Sivera and me performing the warm-ups, but it is important that you follow the dynamic warm-ups I've included to the letter. You can find links to the instruction video in each day's exercise table.