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.
Use “one thousands,” as in: 1-one thousand, 2-one thousand, 3-one thousand, 4-one thousand.
Weighted Pull-Up, 20X2
Eccentric (lowering) = 2 seconds
Bottom = 0 seconds
Concentric (ascending) = EXPLODE
Top (chin over bar) = 2 seconds
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.
For more information, consult the following article: