Health and Beauty

Rhythm control for optimal muscle hypertrophy

Have you ever wondered why some bodybuilders insist on controlling the speed at which they perform their movements? Their secret lies in… pace. In fact, bodybuilding tempo can have a huge impact on the quality of your workouts and the results obtained. In this article, I'll reveal everything you need to know about tempo in bodybuilding: from defining it to incorporating it into your training programs.


  • Bodybuilding rhythm is divided into three phases: eccentric, isometric and concentric. It is expressed in seconds and has a direct impact on time under tension (TST), which is critical to training effectiveness;
  • The total time under tension (TSTT) varies depending on the training goal. For example, for hypertrophy, a TSTT of 40 to 70 seconds per set is recommended, while for strength 20 to 40 seconds;
  • Rhythm control has many benefits, including improved technique, reduced risk of injury, and increased joint strength and stability.

What is rhythm in bodybuilding?

Definition and explanation of the concept

Rhythm, or time under tension (Transatlantic slave trade), is the speed at which you perform a strength exercise. It is generally divided into three phases: eccentric, isometric and concentric. The tempo is expressed in seconds and can be read as a series of three or four numbers, for example, 3-1-2-0.

Time under voltage (TST)

Time under tension (TST) is a basic concept in bodybuilding that refers to the total time a muscle is used during an exercise. TST has a direct impact on training effectiveness, as it affects muscle fatigue, muscle growth and neuromuscular adaptation.

To calculate TST, simply multiply the number of repetitions performed by the duration of each phase of the movement (eccentric, isometric and concentric). For example, for an exercise performed at a 3-1-2 pace for 10 repetitions, the TST would be 60 seconds (3+1+2 = 6 seconds per repetition, multiplied by 10 repetitions).

How to read rhythm?

Rhythm is usually represented by a series of numbers, such as 3-1-2-0. Each number corresponds to a phase of the exercise:

  1. The first number (3) indicates the time in seconds for the eccentric phase (muscle tension).
  2. The second number (1) represents the time in seconds for the isometric phase (static muscle tension).
  3. The third number (2) represents the time in seconds for the concentric phase (muscle contraction).
  4. The last number (0) indicates the rest time between each repetition. If there is no number, it means there is no rest.

Different paces and goals

Total time under stress (TSTT)

Total time under voltage (TSTT) is the total number of times for each phase of the exercise. For example, for a 3-1-2-0 rhythm, the TSTT duration would be 6 seconds (3 + 1 + 2). TSTT is a key indicator for exercise goal setting.

Hypertrophy, Strength and Endurance: Which TSTT for what goal?

Each bodybuilding goal requires a specific TSTT:

  • Enlarged cell size : A TSTT of 40 to 70 seconds per set is generally recommended to promote muscle growth.
  • power : A TSTT of 20 to 40 seconds per set is recommended to develop maximum strength.
  • to bear : It is recommended to perform the TSTT for more than 70 seconds per set to improve muscular endurance.
power1-5 reps< 20 seconds3-5 minutes5 and above
Force speed1-10 reps< 20 seconds2-4 minutes5 and above
Functional hyperplasia6-8 reps20-40 seconds1-3 minutes3-5
Conventional inflation9-12 reps40-70 seconds30-90 seconds3-5
to bear13 actors and more50-120 seconds10-90 seconds3-5

The importance of rhythm in bodybuilding

Effect on muscle growth

Rhythm has a huge impact on muscle growth because it directly affects time under tension. Slow tempo increases TST, which can promote muscle hypertrophy by causing increased muscle fiber fatigue and stimulating muscle protein synthesis.

Additionally, a slower tempo allows for better movement control and isolation of target muscles, which may also contribute to muscle growth. However, it is important to note that the temperature is not known to cause hypertrophy, and it is used in combination with the entry variables, tell the charge, the volume and Frequency.

Interests and pace of implementation

Controlling the pace of implementation has many advantages, such as:

  • Improving the technique and quality of movements;
  • Reduced risk of infection.
  • Increase strength and stability of joints.
  • Develop a better mind-muscle connection.

Rhythm and metabolic stress

Metabolic stress is an important factor in the process of muscle hypertrophy. It refers to the accumulation of metabolites in muscles during exercise, such as hydrogen ions, lactate and ammonia. Slowing down the rhythm and increasing the time under tension can increase metabolic stress by restricting blood flow to the muscles and promoting the accumulation of metabolites.

Metabolic stress causes a hormonal response and local inflammation, which stimulates muscle growth by activating anabolic signaling pathways and increasing muscle protein synthesis. Thus, using a slower pace may promote hypertrophy by increasing metabolic stress.

Rhythm and power

Rhythm also affects the development of muscular strength. A faster cadence, especially during the concentric phase, can enhance force production by helping to generate higher muscle tension. This is because fast movement recruits more fast-twitch muscle fibers, which are responsible for producing maximum force.

However, a slower tempo can also be beneficial for developing strength, because it works the muscles in a more controlled manner and isolates the target muscles better. Additionally, a slower tempo can improve movement quality and execution technique, which may lead to better performance and reduced risk of injury.

It is important to find a balance between faster and slower paces in a training program to maximize strength development and muscle hypertrophy.

The use of rhythm in physical preparation and sports training

Rhythm is also essential in physical preparation and sports training, because it allows exercises to be adapted to the specific needs of each athlete. For example, a sprinter may benefit from training at a faster pace to build speed and strength, while a marathon runner may need to train at a slower pace to improve muscular endurance.

Incorporating rhythm into your bodybuilding program

To incorporate tempo into your bodybuilding program, start by defining your goals (hypertrophy, strength, endurance) and choosing the appropriate TSTT. Then apply the appropriate tempo for each exercise in your program.

Adapt to goals and progress

It's important to adapt your rhythm to your goals and progress. For example, if you want to develop more strength, you can reduce the TSTT by increasing your execution speed and/or reducing the rest time between reps. Likewise, if you want to improve your endurance, you can increase your TSTT by slowing down your execution speed and/or increasing the number of repetitions.

Measure rhythm and control speed of execution

To measure and control your cadence, you can use a stopwatch or a fitness app. Make sure to respect the number of seconds for each phase of the exercise and maintain a regular rhythm throughout the series.

Is it possible to combine different tempos in the same training program?

Yes, it is absolutely possible to combine different tempos in the same training program. In fact, it can be useful for diversifying stimuli and avoiding stagnation. For example, you can use a slower tempo for core exercises (such as squats) and a faster tempo for isolation exercises (such as curls). The main thing is to choose a pace that adapts to your goals and level.

What is the difference between rhythm and rhythm in bodybuilding?

Cadence refers to the speed at which you perform the different phases of a strength exercise (eccentric, isometric and concentric), while cadence is the overall pace of the exercise, including repetitions and rest times. Cadence is usually expressed in seconds (for example, 3-1-2), while cadence may be expressed in repetitions per minute (RPM) or as a percentage of maximum speed.

Example of exercises with a tempo depending on your goal

muscleThe goal: powerThe goal: inflation
WaistcoatsBench Press: 4×3 (3-0-1)Inclined press: 3×10 (2-0-2)
DorsalsPull-ups: 4×3 (3-0-1)Barbell row: 3×10 (2-0-2)
shouldersMilitary press: 4×3 (3-0-1)Side elevations: 3×10 (2-0-2)
bicepsTape curl: 4 x 3 (3-0-1)Dumbbell curl: 3×10 (2-0-2)
TricepsDips: 4 x 3 (3-0-1)Pulley Extension: 3×10 (2-0-2)
Thigh musclesSquat: 4×3 (3-0-1)Front Lunges: 3×10 (2-0-2)
HamstringsDeadlift: 4×3 (3-0-1)Leg Curl: 3×10 (2-0-2)
CalvesStanding Leg Raises: 4×3 (3-0-1)Seated leg raise: 3×10 (2-0-2)
The exercises are organized by the number of sets and repetitions (sets x reps), as well as the tempo (eccentric – isometric – concentric) for each exercise. For example, for chest exercises, the bench press with a cadence of 3-0-1 (3 seconds in the eccentric phase, no isometric pause, and 1 second in the concentric phase) is recommended to aim for strength, while the oblique press with a cadence of 2-0-2 is recommended. for inflation target.

The last word

In conclusion, bodybuilding rhythm is an essential component to improving your training and achieving your goals. It is important to choose a rhythm that suits your needs and apply it consistently into your training program. Feel free to experiment with different paces to find what works for you and gives you the best results.

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(Tags for translation) What is rhythm in bodybuilding?
Rhythm control for optimal muscle hypertrophy

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