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You can’t always lift heavier.
If you can great… I do tell my clients to lift as heavy as they safely can.
However, it often isn’t the prudent thing to do. You may have concerns about your joints that require you to lift lighter weights.
You may not feel safe lifting heavy weights at home alone without a spotter. Or you may simply prefer lighter weights.
There might however, come a time when you want more results and you’re unsure of how to do it without getting hurt. I’ve got the answer here today…
The first taught technique for weight training is lifting in 1-2 seconds and lowering in 3-4 seconds. The reality is lifters tend to do a 1–2 second lift and a 1-2 second lower. We’re all in a hurry!
Whether you maintain the slower option or know you rush it, changing your tempo is one way to change your results. Think of a four-part sequence with each number assigned as follows:
- Lift = the first number
- Hold = second number
- Lower = third number
- Hold = fourth number
Using this formula we’ve made a little change by adding a pause or hold at the top and bottom of the lift. But that little change can make a big difference. Why? By holding the weight longer, your muscle is under tension longer. It’s one way to make the same weight feel heavier without increasing risk of injury by actually increasing the amount of weight you’re using.
Try doing a chest press with your usual lift and lower in 1-2 seconds each method.
Then try 2-2-4-2. That is, lift in two counts, hold at the top two counts, lower in four counts, and hold at the bottom for two. This should feel much different.
Another one to play with is 3-2-6-2. See what happens when you make your muscles keep guessing!