How To Build Muscle And Burn Fat While Lifting

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So you’ve probably heard me say it in class, heck I said it this morning. 


“This will increase the time under tension.”


But what the heck does it mean?


Time under tension refers to the time a muscle is held under tension or strain during an exercise. 


Ok, cool, but why does it matter and why should you care?


Let’s start with the latter, why should you care about time under tension?


Most people come into Tradewinds looking for two things, to look good and feel strong. 


In order to look good you need to decrease your body fat percentage so that  6-pack shows through. In order to do that you need to lose fat. 


In order to feel strong you need to move weight. Lifting weights increases the load your body is moving, forcing more muscle recruitment, aka getting stronger. It’s why when you first start you can only lift a 10lb dumbbell and then 3 months in you’re already up to the 25 pounder. 


Want to know a little secret?


Longer time under tension accomplishes both of those goals!


Ok, but how?


The idea is that the increased strain helps your muscles work harder, which optimizes muscular strength, endurance, and growth. 


Bigger, stronger muscles improve motor control, bone density (for those of you that want to live long able lives), and lower body fat percentage.


Wait! Lower body fat percentage, didn’t we just say that was how you can accomplish the goal of looking good? Yup!


Also, pretty sure I mentioned how increased time under tension helps promote muscular strength, which I am pretty sure will help you feel stronger. 


So it looks like increased time under tension hits both of our goals pretty well. 


Now how do we achieve increased time under tension?


Simple, we utilize tempo movements and barbell complexes. 


Tempo movements are when we slow down a portion of a movement. Think about a squat, normally it’s just drop to the bottom and explode up. Well we can increase time under tension if we slow down the descent to take 3 seconds. 


Barbell complexes are when we grab onto a barbell and do a series of lifts that equal upwards of 10 repetitions or so. Normally performing 10 reps of a single barbell lift would be too taxing, but by combining multiple movements, we decrease the fatigue while increasing the time under tension. 


Been looking for a workout that will help you look good and feel strong? Find something that utilizes time under tension training. 


Oh, by the way Tradewinds specializes in that type of training. 


So ready to see what it’s all about?


Click the link below to claim your FREE Intro Class!

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Coach Andy is an Owner and Head Coach at Tradewinds. He grew up in traditional martial arts and uses that rigor and discipline in his high intensity strength training. The more technical the movement, the better, with his specialty being the olympic lifts, especially the snatch.