Understanding Time Under Tension Training

When scrolling the internet for new training ideas you may have come across four numbers accompanying a particular exercise. Eg (4:2:1:0) But what do these numbers mean and how important are they?

As a personal trainer at Studio Athletica Bondi Junction I’m always pushing my clients to challenge themselves more and more and experimenting with time under tension is a great way to do it.

Time under tension or TUT training refers to how long the muscle is under tension during each repetition. Slowing your reps down and placing the muscle under load for longer increases the difficulty and improves form by reducing momentum allowing you to better isolate the target muscles to develop a better and more effective mind muscle connection.

Imagine doing 10 repetitions at your standard pace, generally you lower your weight down and explode up during the contraction wait a second and lower the weight back down resulting in about 3 seconds per rep, 30 seconds per set with 10 of those seconds spend in an easy portion of the rep. These are valuable seconds that could be better spent working and growing your muscles!

Now check out the examples below, each of these reps will take 7 seconds, by the time you have completed your 10 reps you would have spent a whopping 70 seconds under tension with zero seconds resting. Your muscles will be challenged far more incorporating this technique into your training.

Now let’s take a look at the basics and break it down:

*Barbell Squat, 4 Sets, 10 Reps (4:2:1:0)

*Bicep Curl, 4 Sets, 10 Reps (4:0:1:2)

“Barbell Squat” and “Bicep Curl” is the exercise you are performing.

“Sets” is how many times you perform the designated amount of reps.

“Reps” are the amount of times you perform the movement.

The Numbers “(4:1:1:0)”