Keeping continuous tension on the target muscle during every rep of every set is the best way to stimulate muscle mass growth, says Ben Pakulski
Ben Pakulski is a IFBB Pro bodybuilder and creator of the new Mi40 Xtreme training system and the Mi40 Nation website. He is based in Tampa, Florida.
Time under tension is probably the number one factor behind muscle growth. It’s a training variable that a lot of guys get confused about, but it’s really very simple. It’s just a matter of keeping tension on the muscle you’re working through the duration of each rep and set.
Let’s take the bench press as an example. You see people bench and they drop the bar to their chests, push back up, then lockout and stop at the top of every rep.
But the body has a remarkable ability to recover, so every time you lock out and pause at the top, you are taking tension off your pecs.
The more continuous tension you can keep on the muscle or muscle groups you’re working, the more muscle fibres you will engage, so the greater the muscle mass growth you’re going to stimulate.
Because when you’re training for hypertrophy, sets of continuous time under tension, combined with a relative heavy load, proper form, and short rest periods between sets, is really going to help you grow.