Improving Aesthetics Through Rep Speed and Tempo Work

Ever seen a gym newbie squat a barbell at kamikaze speed, hit the bottom hard, & then rely solely on the bounce to claw their way back to the top? Think that produces as much aesthetic gain as if we proceeded with intention and control while focusing on squeezing our legs, butt & really bracing under that bar?

If aesthetics is the goal, we want to squeeze, control, and isolate the muscles we’re using as much as possible. This is why love using tempo work at @paragonperformancetraining to create strength from varying positions of movement. Having a controlled pause during movements and skills forces us to learn what muscles should be activated & firing to create momentum – this will inevitably also lead to stronger lifts without a pause (hello aesthetics AND performance)

Confused on how to read tempo?
There are four digits to understand:
32X1 Backsquat = 
3 second decent down
2 second pause at bottom
Explode up as fast as possible
1 second pause at top

21X1 Ring Dip:
2 second decent down
1 second pause at bottom
Explode up
1 second pause at top

For the bulk of Paragon work, we encourage a 31X1 or 21X1 tempo as much as possible. Especially for hypertrophy work, this stuff is golden. ALWAYS control the descent of body and bar – The negative or LOWERING portion of the movement is actually where a large percentage of muscle damage occurs. Muscle damage is a good thing as it stimulates hypertrophy and muscle gain (as long as we rest and recover properly).

New to Paragon Training Methods? We offer remote workout programs delivered right to your phone that you can follow from anywhere to feel good and look great in 30-60 minutes.