Unless we’re purposely working out, our arms don’t get many tough challenges. So if you want great looking arms you need to know exactly which exercises get the best results.
This is where the concept of ‘time under tension’ (TUT) comes into play. Commonly used in strength and conditioning and bodybuilding, it refers to how long a muscle is under strain. The more time spent under resistance, the faster they will build up.
This means that you need to really concentrate and perform the reps slowly on the hardest parts. This will give you more time under tension.
For example, for bicep curls take your time on the upward curl, and again on the lowering (eccentric) portion.
For push ups, take it slowly as you push your body back up to plank. Pause only briefly at the top of each movement to minimise the time the muscle is at rest.
Because your muscle fibres are under a greater challenge for a longer time, this stimulates extensive breakdown, leading to new muscle growth.
Time your sets, whether it’s 12 dumbbell lifts or five push ups, for about 60 seconds each for maximum growth. If you spend 60 seconds lifting weights that is 60 seconds of TUT. This ensures your muscles receive enough stimulation for a change in size. Maintain a steady tempo during each set and focus on keeping good form.
Getting this TUT in means just one 20-35 minute arm workout per week will give you visible results, fast.
Don’t forget about working your triceps too. They are generally underdeveloped so if you put them under time under tension each week you will notice a difference quickly. You can train them using just dumbbells or use your bodyweight with tricep dips.
I remember hearing a gym instructor telling someone about this and thinking it sounded interesting but never really understanding it. I get it now - thanks.
I have never heard of this so I did it today with my morning workout on my arms, and I will await the results! Going slower did feel tougher so I am hopeful.