SLOW DOWN, and reap the benefits.
IMPROVED QUALITY OF MOVEMENT
Quality of movement should be your first priority. Intensity comes only after one can consistently demonstrate the proper mechanics of a movement. Proper tempo prescriptions can help athletes develop awareness and body control by giving them an opportunity to “feel” which muscle groups are activating to keep them in proper positions.
REDUCED RISK OF INJURY
Slowing down the tempo of lifts can ease the stress placed on joints and shift that additional stress to the muscles powering the lift. Muscles are far better than joints at adapting to increased loads. Connective tissue typically takes longer to strengthen and adapt to the increasing loads, so by slowing down the tempo you can give your connective tissue some rest while still strengthening the surrounding musculature.
IMPROVED STRENGTH GAINS
First, different tempo prescriptions permit for greater training variety and stimulus.
Second, they allow us to shore up weak links by overloading certain areas of movements.
Third, slowing down movements with tempo prescriptions can allow for greater amount of time under tension with less overall stress on an athlete’s central nervous system.
Fourth, isometric pauses at the top and/or bottom of lifts force you to recruit more muscle fiber, and more muscle fiber recruitment (particularly more fast-twitch fibers) equals greater strength gains.
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