August 8

10 Awesome Time Under Tension Workouts For Bootcamps And PT

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Time under tension (TUT) drills, also known as tempo training, involve controlling the speed and duration of each repetition during resistance training exercises.

Instead of performing exercises quickly and explosively, TUT drills focus on slowing down the movements and maintaining tension in the muscles throughout the entire range of motion.

There are several benefits associated with incorporating time under tension workouts into your workout routine:

1: Increased Muscle Hypertrophy: By extending the time that muscles are under tension during each repetition, TUT drills can create greater muscle damage and stress, leading to increased muscle hypertrophy (muscle growth). The longer duration of the muscle contractions helps stimulate the muscle fibres more effectively, promoting muscle growth and strength gains.

2: Improved Muscle Endurance: Time under tension training helps improve muscle endurance as the muscles are continuously engaged for a longer period. This endurance improvement can be beneficial for various sports and activities that require prolonged muscle usage.

3: Enhanced Mind-Muscle Connection: Slower and more controlled movements in TUT drills allow for a better mind-muscle connection. You become more aware of the muscles you are working on and can concentrate on targeting and activating specific muscles more effectively.

4: Reduced Risk of Injury: Slowing down the movements and focusing on control can help reduce the risk of injury during resistance training. Proper form and technique are emphasised, leading to safer workouts and reduced chances of straining muscles or joints.

5: Diverse Workout Stimulus: Incorporating TUT drills into your workout routine introduces a new stimulus for your muscles. Variation in training is essential to avoid plateaus and keep the body challenged, leading to continued progress and better results.

6: Greater Time Efficiency: TUT drills can be beneficial when you have limited time for a workout. Since you are spending more time under tension with each repetition, you may need to perform fewer repetitions overall to achieve a similar training effect compared to traditional training methods.

7: Increased Metabolic Stress: Time under tension training can lead to increased metabolic stress in the muscles. This metabolic stress has been associated with greater muscle growth and adaptations.

8: Versatility in Training Intensity: TUT drills offer the flexibility to adjust training intensity by varying the tempo of the exercises. You can make exercises more challenging by slowing down the eccentric (muscle-lengthening) phase or make them more manageable by reducing time under tension.

Incorporating time under tension drills into your workout routine can be a valuable addition to your training regimen, promoting muscle growth, strength gains, and overall improvements in fitness and performance.

However, it's essential to balance TUT training with other training methods and avoid overtraining by allowing adequate rest and recovery between sessions. 

10 Time Under Tension Exercises 

Time under tension bootcamps

1: Slow Eccentric Push-Ups: Lower yourself down to the ground slowly, taking 3-4 seconds, and then push back up explosively. This drill effectively targets your chest, shoulders, and triceps.

2: 4-Count Squats: Perform squats with a 4-second descent, pause for 2 seconds at the bottom, then stand up explosively. This TUT drill challenges the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and core.

3: Controlled Pull-Ups: Take 4-5 seconds to pull yourself up to the bar, hold at the top for 2 seconds, and then lower yourself down slowly for another 4-5 seconds. This exercise targets the back, biceps, and shoulders.

4: Slow Dumbbell Bicep Curls: Perform bicep curls with a slow and controlled tempo, taking 3-4 seconds to lift the weight and 3-4 seconds to lower it back down. This drill isolates and intensifies the work on your biceps.

5: Tempo Lunges: Step forward into a lunge and lower your body for 3-4 seconds, then push back up to the starting position explosively. Alternate legs and repeat. This drill targets the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.

6: 4-Count Shoulder Press: While doing shoulder presses with dumbbells or a barbell, take 4 seconds to press the weight overhead and 4 seconds to lower it back down. This exercise engages your shoulders, triceps, and upper chest.

7: Slow Bicycle Crunches: During bicycle crunches, extend your legs and twist your upper body slowly for a 4-second count on each side. This TUT drill effectively targets the abs and obliques.

8: Controlled Tricep Dips: Perform tricep dips with a slow and controlled tempo, taking 3-4 seconds to lower your body down and 3-4 seconds to push back up. This exercise focuses on your triceps and engages your shoulders and chest.

9: 4-Count Dumbbell Rows: While performing dumbbell rows, take 4 seconds to lift the weight toward your torso and 4 seconds to lower it back down. This drill targets the back muscles and biceps.

10: Slow Leg Extensions: Use a leg extension machine and extend your legs slowly for a 4-second count and then lower the weight back down for another 4 seconds. This TUT drill isolates and intensifies the work on your quadriceps.

Remember to adjust the weights according to your fitness level, and always maintain proper form throughout each exercise. Incorporating these TUT drills into your routine will help you maximise muscle engagement, enhance strength gains, and achieve your fitness goals more effectively.

10 Time Under Tension Workouts 

time under tension

here are ten different "Time Under Tension" workouts that range from 15 to 30 minutes. Time Under Tension (TUT) focuses on slowing the movement and increasing muscle engagement during each repetition.

Remember to use appropriate weights and consult a fitness professional if you're unsure about proper form or intensity.

Workout 1: Slow and Steady Circuit (15 minutes)

  • Choose three exercises (e.g., squats, push-ups, rows).
  • Perform each repetition for a count of 4 seconds for both the concentric and eccentric phases.
  • Do 10-12 reps of each exercise, rest 30 seconds between exercises.
  • Complete 3 rounds.

Workout 2: TUT Full Body (20 minutes)

  • Bodyweight squats: 4 seconds down, 4 seconds up. 10 reps.
  • Move to push-ups: 4 seconds down, 4 seconds up. 8-10 reps.
  • Follow with lunges: 4 seconds down, 4 seconds up. 10 reps per leg.
  • Finish with planks: hold for 30 seconds, focusing on engaging the core and maintaining tension.
  • Repeat the circuit 3 times.

Workout 3: TUT Dumbbell Routine (25 minutes)

  • Goblet squats: 4 seconds down, 4 seconds up. 10 reps.
  • Dumbbell bench press: 3 seconds down, 1-second pause, 3 seconds up. 8-10 reps.
  • Bent-over rows: 3 seconds up, 1-second pause, 3 seconds down. 10 reps.
  • Bicep curls: 3 seconds up, 1-second pause, 3 seconds down. 12 reps.
  • Tricep dips: 3 seconds down, 1-second pause, 3 seconds up. 10 reps.
  • Repeat the circuit 3 times.

Workout 4: Leg Day TUT (30 minutes)

  • Barbell squats: 4 seconds down, 4 seconds up. 8-10 reps.
  • Romanian deadlifts: 4 seconds down, 4 seconds up. 8 reps.
  • Bulgarian split squats: 3 seconds down, 1-second pause, 3 seconds up. 10 reps per leg.
  • Glute bridges: 3 seconds up, 1-second pause, 3 seconds down. 12 reps.
  • Calf raises: 4 seconds up, 4 seconds down. 15 reps.
  • Repeat the circuit 3 times.

Workout 5: Upper Body Burn (20 minutes)

  • Push-ups: 4 seconds down, 4 seconds up. 8-10 reps.
  • Dumbbell rows: 4 seconds up, 4 seconds down. 10 reps.
  • Shoulder press: 3 seconds up, 1-second pause, 3 seconds down. 10 reps.
  • Dips: 3 seconds down, 1-second pause, 3 seconds up. 10 reps.
  • Repeat the circuit 4 times.

Workout 6: TUT Cardio Blast (20 minutes)

  • Jumping jacks: 2 seconds per jump, staying low for more tension. 50 reps.
  • High knees: 2 seconds per knee raise, engaging core. 40 reps.
  • Mountain climbers: 2 seconds per leg, controlled movement. 30 reps per leg.
  • Burpees: 3 seconds down, 1-second pause in plank, 3 seconds up. 10 reps.
  • Repeat the circuit 3 times.

Workout 7: TUT Pyramid Challenge (25 minutes)

  • Choose an exercise (e.g., squats).
  • Start with 5 reps; perform each rep for 4 seconds down, 4 seconds up.
  • Increase reps by 5 in each round (5, 10, 15, 20), maintaining TUT.
  • Rest 30 seconds between rounds.

Workout 8: TUT Tabata Twist (15 minutes)

  • Alternate between two exercises (e.g., push-ups and bodyweight squats).
  • Perform the first exercise for 20 seconds, focusing on TUT.
  • Rest for 10 seconds.
  • Perform the second exercise for 20 seconds.
  • Rest for 10 seconds.
  • Complete 8 rounds (4 rounds of each exercise).

Workout 9: TUT Core Challenge (25 minutes)

  • Plank: hold for 40 seconds with a focus on engaging core muscles.
  • Bicycle crunches: 2 seconds per twist, controlled movement. 30 reps per side.
  • Russian twists: 3 seconds per twist, using a weight or medicine ball. 20 reps per side.
  • Leg raises: 3 seconds up, 1-second pause, 3 seconds down. 15 reps.
  • Repeat the circuit 4 times.

Workout 10: TUT EMOM (Every Minute on the Minute) (30 minutes)

  • Minute 1: Push-ups, 4 seconds down, 4 seconds up. 8-10 reps.
  • Minute 2: Goblet squats, 4 seconds down, 4 seconds up. 8-10 reps.
  • Minute 3: Bent-over rows, 3 seconds up, 1-second pause, 3 seconds down. 8 reps.
  • Minute 4: Plank, hold with a focus on the engaging core. 40 seconds.
  • Repeat for 5 rounds.

These workouts should provide both a challenge and a lot of engagement for your muscles. Remember, proper form and safety are crucial, so listen to your body and adjust the intensity as needed. Have a blast with these fun TUT challenges!

The Future Of Time Under Tension - TUT Workouts

Here are some potential trends and developments in Time Under Tension (TUT) workouts that are emerging when writing this.

  1. Technology Integration: With the advancement of wearable technology and fitness-tracking apps, TUT workouts may become more data-driven. Users could receive real-time feedback on their tempo, form, and muscle engagement, allowing for more personalised and optimised TUT training programs.
  2. Online Coaching and Training Platforms: Online fitness platforms and virtual coaching services have been growing in popularity. In the future, TUT workouts might be widely available through digital platforms, making it easier for people to access guided training and workout plans tailored to their goals and abilities.
  3. Variability and Periodisation: To prevent plateaus and optimise results, future TUT workouts may incorporate more variability in tempo, rest periods, and exercise selection. Periodisation strategies might be implemented to ensure progressive overload and prevent overtraining.
  4. Integration with Other Training Methods: TUT workouts are likely to be combined with other training methods, such as high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and functional training, to create comprehensive and well-rounded fitness programs.
  5. Research and Scientific Understanding: As the fitness industry continues to invest in research and understanding exercise physiology, we can expect more evidence-based recommendations for TUT workouts. This could lead to a better understanding of optimal tempo, sets, and repetitions for specific fitness goals.
  6. Popularity in Specific Training Communities: TUT workouts have already gained popularity in bodybuilding and strength training communities. In the future, they may also become more mainstream and widespread as people recognise the benefits they offer in terms of muscle development and overall fitness.
  7. Incorporation into Sports-Specific Training: Athletes and coaches might incorporate TUT workouts into sports-specific training to improve muscle endurance, explosive power, and injury prevention.
  8. Focus on Recovery and Regeneration: As TUT workouts can be intense, there might be an increased emphasis on post-workout recovery techniques, such as proper nutrition, stretching, and targeted recovery exercises.

It's important to note that trends and the future of fitness are subject to change based on ongoing research, technological advancements, and societal preferences. Fitness professionals, researchers, and fitness enthusiasts will continue to shape the future of TUT workouts and fitness training in general.

In conclusion: 

Time Under Tension (TUT) workouts offer a valuable and effective approach to resistance training that emphasises controlled, slow movements to maximise muscle engagement and foster muscle growth.

By extending the time that muscles are under tension during each repetition, TUT workouts create greater muscle damage and metabolic stress, leading to increased muscle hypertrophy and strength gains.

The benefits of TUT workouts extend beyond muscle development, as they also improve muscle endurance, enhance the mind-muscle connection, and reduce the risk of injury by emphasising proper form and technique.

Additionally, TUT drills can be easily customised to various fitness levels and training goals, making them accessible to individuals with different backgrounds and experiences.

The future of TUT workouts holds promising possibilities, including the integration of technology for data-driven training, the popularity of online coaching platforms, and a greater understanding of exercise physiology through research.

Furthermore, TUT workouts may find their place in sports-specific training, helping athletes enhance their performance and prevent injuries.

As with any fitness regimen, proper planning and balance are essential when incorporating TUT workouts into a routine.

By combining TUT with other training methods and allowing sufficient rest and recovery, individuals can achieve their fitness objectives effectively and sustainably.

In summary, TUT workouts present an exciting and versatile option for individuals seeking to optimise their resistance training efforts, promoting muscle growth, strength gains, and overall improvements in fitness and athletic performance.

As the fitness industry evolves, TUT workouts are poised to continue playing a significant role in helping fitness trainers to create more effective bootcamp workouts


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