Body building success built on time under tension

FIT Staff
Dec 19, 2013

Aesthetics, many times, is the main goal of an exercise program.

Body building is a hobby and competitive sport in which getting your muscles as large and defined as possible is the main goal.

This can be very demanding because you have to work out long and hard while maintaining a strict diet.

Successful body building programs focus on volume of exercises to specific body parts.

There could be six workouts a week consisting of a different area of the body a day for an hour.

This could be structured like this: biceps and back, chest and triceps, legs, arms, and cardio.

To get the volume of work needed, body builders typically use 3-4 sets of 10 repetitions for each exercise.

These exercises tend to work the same muscle group on a day with the various exercises targeting more specific areas of that muscle group.

This could include incline, flat and decline bench all on a chest day in order to work more angles of the muscle group.

The goal is to get a “muscle pump” or “burn” that is the result of lactic acid build up in the muscle.

The increase in lactic acid signals growth hormone to be released which will drive muscle growth.

This type of training can build amazing physiques, but is not ideal for building maximum strength or athleticism.

The reason for this is attributed to the rep and set scheme.

The idea is to increase the time under tension opposed to maximal speed or force. The more time under tension, i.e. more reps or slower reps, will produce size changes above other attributes.

Many sports programs are still influenced by body building programs because it is thought that with size comes speed and maximal strength.

The truth is programs that emphasize speed and strength might not always produce exceptional size.

Ironically more body builders are incorporating more power lifting techniques to increase muscle density.

These methods will be addressed in the next article.