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Thread: Fast reps

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    Fast reps

    There's a woman at my gym who is pretty jacked and has low bf. Her workouts seem to be in the 8-15 rep range and she goes from exercise to exercise busting out reps pretty fast. I've read a lot about time under tension and hypertrophy exercise use slower reps but it seems to be working for her. Could her doing more exercises fast get her the same time under tension as someone doing fewer exercises slower? Can you get the same results? Obviously her heart rate probably stays up and helps with getting lean.
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    It isn't time under tension that matters - if you are deliberately slowing the tempo. If the tempo is slow because the weight is heavy for you then yes, a slower cadence will tend to indicate a stronger stimulus.

    I think it was "Dr squat" Hatfield that said - it's not time under tension, it's time under maximal tension that matters.

    So, in the case of this person you describe, she was probably using submaximal weights but still pushing hard - and therefore getting a fast tempo.

    Interesting video here, about RPE and tempo:


    BTW, heart rate has little to do with being lean - net calorie balance does that. The difference in calories burned by various different lifting protocols is most likely fairly trivial.
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    You're looking at a snapshot. You don't know her programming or her diet.
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    Originally Posted by TolerantLactose View Post
    You're looking at a snapshot. You don't know her programming or her diet.
    Ya, just wondering about the workout pace. Her work capacity seems to be pretty high.
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    It isn't time under tension that matters - if you are deliberately slowing the tempo. If the tempo is slow because the weight is heavy for you then yes, a slower cadence will tend to indicate a stronger stimulus.

    I think it was "Dr squat" Hatfield that said - it's not time under tension, it's time under maximal tension that matters.

    So, in the case of this person you describe, she was probably using submaximal weights but still pushing hard - and therefore getting a fast tempo.

    Interesting video here, about RPE and tempo:


    BTW, heart rate has little to do with being lean - net calorie balance does that. The difference in calories burned by various different lifting protocols is most likely fairly trivial.
    Good video!
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    Interesting video here, about RPE and tempo:
    Pretty good video all around for illustrating the main concept. A couple clarifying points (after reading pretty much all of the velocity-based training studies, also of note most studies look at the bench press or the squat):

    1. You cannot actually extrapolate a group-based velocity-load profile to an individual. Sometimes it will work but sometimes it can be quite off.
    2. You absolutely cannot extrapolate a velocity-load profile from one lift to another.
    3. He doesn't emphasize this enough but if using rep speed as a metric you really need to try to do the concentric as fast as possible on all reps if you want this to be as accurate as possible.
    4. Stefi Cohen's deadlift set is an outlier as she is not using the stretch reflex at all on the first rep (which is typical for deadlifts) but she is using it for the subsequent reps (which makes them easier).
    5. Most of the literature shows that once bar speed decreases ~20% you are at ~half of the total number of possible reps (not 30% as stated in the video).


    To address the OP's question, this style of training where you stop at ~20% velocity loss and do all of the concentric phases as fast as possible shows you can get hypertrophy but not as much as if you go to 30-40% velocity loss. Overall there are not that many studies and there are even fewer in trained individuals so time will tell how this changes when more research is done. Bottom line though, the literature overall suggests if you do the concentric portion of all reps as fast as possible without purposefully doing the concentric phase slowly then you can get just as good of hypertrophy gains as if you slow down the reps.
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    Originally Posted by Heisman2 View Post
    Pretty good video all around for illustrating the main concept. A couple clarifying points (after reading pretty much all of the velocity-based training studies, also of note most studies look at the bench press or the squat):

    1. You cannot actually extrapolate a group-based velocity-load profile to an individual. Sometimes it will work but sometimes it can be quite off.
    2. You absolutely cannot extrapolate a velocity-load profile from one lift to another.
    3. He doesn't emphasize this enough but if using rep speed as a metric you really need to try to do the concentric as fast as possible on all reps if you want this to be as accurate as possible.
    4. Stefi Cohen's deadlift set is an outlier as she is not using the stretch reflex at all on the first rep (which is typical for deadlifts) but she is using it for the subsequent reps (which makes them easier).
    5. Most of the literature shows that once bar speed decreases ~20% you are at ~half of the total number of possible reps (not 30% as stated in the video).


    To address the OP's question, this style of training where you stop at ~20% velocity loss and do all of the concentric phases as fast as possible shows you can get hypertrophy but not as much as if you go to 30-40% velocity loss. Overall there are not that many studies and there are even fewer in trained individuals so time will tell how this changes when more research is done. Bottom line though, the literature overall suggests if you do the concentric portion of all reps as fast as possible without purposefully doing the concentric phase slowly then you can get just as good of hypertrophy gains as if you slow down the reps.
    Good points, I can see you've give the velocity based ideas some consideration. I really only wanted to make the general point that adequately stimulating sets will naturally involve the bar slowing down and this is where the time under tension comes from - insofar as it is a going to be used as a proxy for stimulus.
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    Good points, I can see you've give the velocity based ideas some consideration. I really only wanted to make the general point that adequately stimulating sets will naturally involve the bar slowing down and this is where the time under tension comes from - insofar as it is a going to be used as a proxy for stimulus.
    Yep, I agree.
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    The faster you move the weight, more muscle fibers you´ll use. So, yes, It makes sense.
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