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What Is time under tension? why is it important?

Updated: Sep 29

Time for another Thursday Education Post! This week we are learning about Time Under Tension.

Time Under Tension (TUT) when working out refers to the duration of time that a muscle or muscle group is actively contracting or under load during a specific exercise. Increasing TUT can be a way to promote muscle growth. You may notice your coach telling you to hold or squeeze for a few seconds during a certain exercise. This is to increase your TUT.

TUT is important for various reasons. Here are some below:

  1. Growth: One of the primary reasons people focus on TUT is to stimulate muscle growth. When muscles are under tension for an extended period, it can lead to greater muscle fiber recruitment and micro-tears in muscle tissue. These micro-tears are repaired during the recovery process, resulting in larger and stronger muscles over time.

  2. Muscle Endurance: Increasing TUT can improve muscle endurance. Longer periods of muscle contraction and tension help muscles adapt to sustained workloads, making them more resistant to fatigue. This is particularly important for activities requiring endurance, such as long-distance running or cycling.

  3. Muscle Activation: Emphasizing TUT can help ensure that the targeted muscles are actively engaged throughout the exercise. This can be especially valuable for individuals trying to develop specific muscle groups or address muscle imbalances.

  4. Plateau Breaking: Incorporating TUT into your training regimen can provide variation, helping to break through plateaus. When you change the way you stress your muscles by adjusting TUT, it can stimulate new growth and adaptation. Which in turn leads to an increased personal record or PR.

  5. Injury Prevention: Performing controlled, slow repetitions with proper form can reduce the risk of injury. TUT encourages a more deliberate and controlled approach to resistance training, which can help individuals avoid using momentum or performing exercises with poor technique. Proper form ensures that the intended muscles are actively engaged throughout the exercise, maximizing TUT for those muscles.

  6. Mind-Muscle Connection: Longer TUT often requires greater focus and concentration on the muscles being worked. This can help individuals develop a better mind-muscle connection, enhancing their ability to isolate and engage specific muscle groups.

It's important to note that the importance of TUT can vary depending on individual fitness goals. Some individuals, such as power lifters or those focused on maximum strength gains, may prioritize other training variables like intensity and low-repetition sets over TUT. However, for those looking to build muscle size, improve endurance, or prevent injuries, TUT can be a valuable tool when integrated into a well-rounded training program.

Just remember slow and controlled movements are important for various reasons and building TUT is one. As always, please feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

Stay healthy and blessed! Don’t forget to get that workout in today ;)

- Coach Cody!

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