What is rep tempo?
A rep tempo signifies the cadence of a movement from start to finish. For every movement, you will have an exact pace I want you to move at. This extra control I have allows me to utilize the Stretch-Shortening Cycle (SSC) of your muscular contractions to get you stronger faster and ultimately graduate from this program with more haste than if I didn’t have these controls. For the sake of your athletic development, I implore you to take the rep tempo suggestions seriously.
Here is how to read a rep tempo.
For example, for a bench press or squat, you may see the rep tempo will be 30×0. This means from the top of the movement, you should take 3 seconds (1 one thousand, 2 one thousand, etc.) to reach the endpoint of the exercise (bar to the chest in the bench press or full depth for the squat).
- So, the first number signifies the lowering portion of ANY exercise
- The second number signifies if there is any PAUSE in the bottom position. Because this example says 0, it means that it is simply 3 seconds down, 0 pause, and then back up. If the tempo was 31X0, then you would have to pause for 1 second at the bottom of the movement. If it was 32X0, then you would have to pause for 2 seconds, and so on.
- The third number signifies the time in which to raise the load. When it says “X” as the third number, it means to accelerate the load as fast as possible – regardless of how fast the weight is actually moving; intention to accelerate is most important
- The last number, as you may have guessed, signifies any pause at the top of the movement. If it says 30X1 for a weighted chin-up (or pull-up, same thing), then you have to hold your chin over the bar for one second before lowering for 3 seconds to full arm extension.
In essence, it will look like this:
1. Lowering (eccentric)
2. End Range of movement
3. Rising (concentric)
4. Back to the start of a movement
- Pull-Up at 3×10. Since a pull-up does not start with the eccentric motion of a movement it is a little different than most. For pull-ups, you start on the third number in the tempo sequence. So in this example (3×11), it would take you 1 second on the way up, 1-second hold with chin over the bar, 3 seconds controlled on the way down, and 0 seconds at the bottom.
- Push-Up at 41×1. In this example it is 4 seconds on the way down, 1-second pause with chest touching the ground, as fast as you can on the way up, and a 1-second pause at the top.
- Muscle-Up at x18x. This is a more advanced tempo found in level 4 and level 5 for muscle-ups. In this sequence, you would get up as fast as possible, hold for 1 second at the top, lower yourself for 8 seconds (!!), and then no pause at the bottom.
- HSPU – Handstand Push Up.
- MU – Muscle-Up.
- ME – Max Effort – When this comes up in the programming it means “do as many reps as possible with acceptable form”.
- 3×5 – This means 3 sets of 5 reps.
- FGMC – Fundamental Gymnastic Movement of Cross-Training – This includes Pull-ups, Ring Dips, HSPUs, Muscle Ups, and Pistols.
- Tabata – 8 rounds of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds rest