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Thread: TUT vs VOLUME?

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    Registered User Ctiger06's Avatar
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    TUT vs VOLUME?

    Hi,

    I have been reading about TUT (Time under tension) as a different metric than volume to track workout progress. My understanding is that volume = weight*reps. This makes a lot of sense -- basically an inverse relationship between the weights and reps you can do, and you want to progressively overload either by increase weight or reps or both. The thing I don't get about TUT is that it seems like you just calculate TUT=reps*time. But what about the actual weight? You can't tell me that doing 6 seconds per rep times 10 reps = 60 seconds of work equivalent whether I'm squatting 50 lbs or 100 lbs?? I was thinking about creating a formula (if one doesnt exist?) where I progressively overload with TUT*weight. So if one day I do that 60 seconds of work with 100lbs, I have some metric of "600", and if the week I do it with 110, my metric is now "660". Now I've incorporated all three parameters - the time per rep, the reps, and the weight - into my tracking. I'm surprised I've never seen this done, though -- maybe the idea existed but no one ever invented the metric?

    Thanks,
    Christie
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    Registered User John Prophet's Avatar
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    trust me, if I say you are overthinking things.....you are overthinking things (since i am the master overthinker)

    The TUT stuff always seems to eventually lead to artificial "superslow" reps

    99% of the time u r best to just get in solid workouts where u gradually increase your strength over time and generally the volume gradually increases


    its funny this comes up now because I have been working on my hi bar squats and comtemplating Tom Platz' squatting style. Dude dropped down quick and popped right up out of the hole. Very dynamic. Dude built some of the greatest thighs ever and his squats were the polar opposite of any type of TUT concerns

    of course, like any of these questions you will have your TUT disciples who will defend it to the death and say that Arnold would have been even greater with TUT etc. cest la vie

    some of this just gets into mental masturbation. Their is no hack to get around basic hard work done for years at a time
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    Registered User Ctiger06's Avatar
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    Ctiger06 is offline
    Thanks again! Yeah I guess I'm overthinking things but at the same time I'm also trying to develop a framework for putting together my own fitness app, so I'm trying to figure out what parameters are useful and which aren't so important so I can dial them up/down.
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    REMAIN INDOORS SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    TUT correlates with volume and therefore with results too.. but only up to a point where you start doing silly things like John mentions.

    (and correlation =/= causation)

    Now if you used time under MAXIMAL tension, you wouldn't have this problem - i.e. the rep is only slow because you are pressing as hard as you can and it's moving slowly because it's heavy or because you are fatigued. Or conversely, you have high TUT because of a high number of total reps - even though each rep might be quite fast.
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    Originally Posted by Ctiger06 View Post
    Thanks again! Yeah I guess I'm overthinking things but at the same time I'm also trying to develop a framework for putting together my own fitness app, so I'm trying to figure out what parameters are useful and which aren't so important so I can dial them up/down.
    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    TUT correlates with volume and therefore with results too.. but only up to a point where you start doing silly things like John mentions.

    (and correlation =/= causation)

    Now if you used time under MAXIMAL tension, you wouldn't have this problem - i.e. the rep is only slow because you are pressing as hard as you can and it's moving slowly because it's heavy or because you are fatigued. Or conversely, you have high TUT because of a high number of total reps - even though each rep might be quite fast.

    since u (Ctiger) like to be super complicated....also look into "effective reps" lol. loosely this means the last few reps of a set where the speed has decreased due to fatigue as Suffolk mentioned. Recently people have debated the merits of only counting the "effective reps".

    Personally id give "effective reps" more consideration that purely TUT since TUT can lead to the wacky slow reps just to make the calculator happy

    Also be aware that volume measurements themselves can be awkward or misleading. Like I knew a guy who used to do chest machines and he'd say "I can bench 200x5" and then I put him on regular barbell flat bench and he is getting killed by 135. So its hard to compare different exercises because some are just apples and oranges. This guy might do machine bench and say he did a volume of 4000 and then he did BB flat bench and the volume was "only" 2000.....yet the BB bench workout was way harder and way more intense.

    Leg press versus squats comes to mind

    now if he compared a 4000 machine bench workout to a 5000 machine bench workout then thats a fair comparison
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    ^

    I think it was in one the recent MASS podcasts, Greg Nuckols discussed effective reps vs. plain old hard sets. IIRC he said there is some merit in the idea - but it's hard to implement and there are still subjectivity problems. He is sticking with hard sets as a measure of volume. I think he's probably right on the money as long as you don't do a lot of low RPE sets which would mess with it.

    Keep it simple OP, don't get distracted from the things that matter - hard work, consistency, good diet
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    Registered User dazitmayn's Avatar
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    TUT is not a very useful metric

    looking at the number of hard sets, trends in estimated 1RMs, progressing in weight and reps, doing numbers you havent done before, etc.
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