## Tempo Training: Understanding the Notation

Tempo prescriptions come in a series of four numbers representing the times in which it should take to complete four stages of the lift.

Let’s take the a tempo prescription of 30X1, for the back squat, as an example.

THE FIRST NUMBER = 3

The first number refers to the lowering (eccentric) phase of the lift.

In our example, the athlete should take 3 seconds to descend to the bottom position of the lift.

THE SECOND NUMBER = 0

The second number refers to the amount of time spent in the bottom position of the lift – the point in which the lift transitions from lowering to ascending.

In our example, the athlete should spend no time in this position, and transition as quickly as possible to the ascending portion of the lift.

THE THIRD NUMBER = X

The third number refers to ascending (concentric) phase of the lift – the amount of time it takes to get to the top of the lift.

In our example, an X signifies that the athlete should EXPLODE the weight up as quickly as possible.

THE FOURTH NUMBER = 1

The fourth number refers to how long the athlete should pause at the top of the lift.

In our example, the athlete should take 1 second at the top of the lift before beginning the descending portion of the next repetition.

COUNTING

Use “one thousands,” as in: 1-one thousand, 2-one thousand, 3-one thousand, 4-one thousand.

OTHER EXAMPLES:

Weighted Pull-Up, 20X2

Eccentric (lowering) = 2 seconds

Bottom = 0 seconds

Concentric (ascending) = EXPLODE

Top (chin over bar) = 2 seconds

Push-Up, 2111

Eccentric (descending) = 2 seconds

Bottom = 1 second

Concentric (ascending) = 1 second

Top (hold in plank) = 1 second

In my next post, I’ll be explaining why it’s a good idea to “punish” yourself with this type of training.

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