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Use Tempo Lifting to Build Size and Endurance

If you’re looking to build size or muscular endurance, tempo training should be on your radar. To put it simply, tempo training is when you complete an exercise (squats, deadlifts, push ups, bench press, rows, lat pulldowns, etc.) at a constant slow to moderate pace. This slower pace keeps the muscles under tension for longer which is a key mechanism in building muscle mass. Not only that, tempo training helps develop slow twitch fibers which can dictate your muscular endurance abilities.

Here’s an example of how you can use tempo training for squats so you can build size and endurance in your legs:

Tempo Training Recommendations
Tempo 2-0-2 (two seconds lowering, no pause at bottom, two second raise, no pause at top)
Sets 3-5
Reps 10-12
Rest 40-60s between sets
Tips Do not hold your breath! Download a metronome app on your phone to help keep your timing.

The goal with tempo lifting is to gradually progress the amount of time your muscles are under tension, and gradually decreasing the amount of rest you give yourself between sets. For example, on week 3 or 4 in the squat example above, try increasing the number of reps to 15-18, or try decreasing the rest time to 20-30 seconds. Keep in mind it doesn’t take much of a tweak in your rest and reps to make a big difference in difficulty.

If you want to get more efficient with your time you can also add multiple exercises in a tempo circuit. Take push ups and squats for example. During the 40-60 seconds of rest you’re giving your legs, you could incorporate a tempo push up set in between. The combinations are endless. Just be sure to allow one muscle group to rest while you’re working on another.

So how much does it take to notice a difference? If you’re training up to 3 times per week, aim to incorporate one tempo lifting session per week. If you’re training 4-6 times per week, aim for 2 tempo lifting sessions per week. However, in order to see the best progress it has to be consistent; incorporate tempo lifting into your weekly training sessions for 4 weeks to see the most gains.

If you have any questions on tempo training don’t hesitate to contact me at #BIMstrength.


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