Rep Speed and Tempo Work

Ever seen a gym newbie squat a barbell at kamikaze speed, hit the bottom hard, and then rely solely on the bounce to claw their way back to the top? This isn’t the most idea for building strength, muscle, or better aesthetics. Imagine that same squat but if we moved with intention, control, proper bracing, and really recruiting the proper muscles and a bit of a tempo. Likely a much better outcome (and also less likelihood for injury).

We love using tempo work, pauses, and specific speed instructions within our Paragon programs. We want to create strength from varying positions of movements. Having controlled tempos and regularly programming pauses during movements and skills help us recognize what muscles should be activated and firing to create momentum. As a wonderful bi-product, performing movements as such also typically leads to stronger lifts without pauses or extended time under tension (hello increases strength and better aesthetics)

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 programming, 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).