At 71, I am getting stronger. I am still accumulating muscle. I also don’t get the associated aches and pains I used to. My body is responding to the stresses I am applying to it. I am able to lift heavier weight. So what’s the problem? The possible injury to my ligaments and joints. I want no of that.
The solution? Time under tension.
We all like to sling heavier weights around in search of increased power and muscle size. I plead guilty. But as I’m aging and want to stay in this game well into my eighties and nineties, I have to have a strategy that will allow me to continue seeing the progress I’m enjoying.
Again: time under tension.
By slowing down the repetition of any exercise, you will be forced to lower the weight and thereby reduce risk of injury.
Let’s say one repetition takes six seconds. By stretching it out to ten seconds, a set of ten repetitions will take you one minute. That’s gonna burn.
Most folks disregard the importance of the negative, or concentric portion of the exercise and blow right through it.
So on a bicep curl you might hoist it slowly then let it drop back into the starting position. You might use some bad form to accomplish your feat of strength but you are lining yourself up for injury as you increase the weight.
Try it. A set of ten reps might take you 40 seconds, but if you stretch that out to a minute using time under tension, you will feel the difference. Your joints will love you for it.
And, besides, this is where the muscle be at. 🙂