What is Tempo?

  • Definition: Tempo refers to the speed at which you perform each phase of an exercise.
  • Format: It is typically written as a series of four numbers (e.g., 3-1-2-0), each representing a different phase of the movement.

How to Apply Tempo:

  1. Eccentric Phase (Lowering): The first number indicates the time spent lowering the weight or your body in a controlled manner.
  2. Bottom Position (Pause): The second number represents the pause at the bottom position (if applicable).
  3. Concentric Phase (Lifting): The third number denotes the time taken to lift the weight or move your body back to the starting position.
  4. Top Position (Pause): The fourth number indicates any pause at the top position (if applicable).

Example – Assisted Banded Pull-Ups with Tempo:

  • Execution: Attach a resistance band to the pull-up bar and secure it around one knee or foot.
  • Grip: Grip the bar with hands shoulder-width apart.
  • Starting Position: Hang from the bar with arms fully extended.
  • Tempo (Example: 3-1-2-0):
    • Pull-Up: Lower yourself for 3 seconds, pause for 1 second at the bottom, pull up for 2 seconds, and pause momentarily at the top before lowering again.

Benefits of Tempo:

  • Muscle Engagement: Slower tempos increase time under tension, enhancing muscle growth and strength.
  • Control: Helps maintain proper form and technique throughout the exercise.
  • Variety: Allows for different training adaptations and challenges.


  • Experiment: Try different tempos to find what works best for your goals and fitness level.
  • Progression: Adjust tempo as you advance to continue challenging yourself effectively.