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Incorporating Tempo Into Your Existing Training

High Weight

Perhaps your program is quite basic and follows traditional strength principles of overload and deload. This is a good start, but incorporating tempo training into your program will help you to find more strength in less time, with less occurrence of injury.

When training at the high weight you must consider that the tempo speed is very important in your overall growth and ability to track progress.

For example: let’s say you can bench 225 @1010 (a pretty easy rep speed). In order to grow stronger, you can either increase the weight to 235 @1010 or you can leave the weight and increase the tempo. In this case, your sets would look like this 225 @3110.

In this second example, you are lowing the bar for 3 seconds, pausing for 1 second, contracting for 1 second and not pausing at the top. This is your bread and butter bench tempo and it will help you to skyrocket your pushing movements.

Increasing Repetitions

Many people follow this method when they are not into pure strength training. To a certain extent, if you started off benching 150 for 5 reps and can now do 150 for 8 reps, that’s a pretty clear increase in strength.

Incorporating rep tempo into the mix can help you to track further the point at which you become weak and train that weakness out of your program. Tempo training with higher reps can also be a good way to implement stress onto the muscle in hopes of stimulating hypertrophy.

If you’re program mostly consists of increased reps to create greater strength then you should look to tempo training as a way to induce greater stress without entering injury. For example, if you currently complete 20 pushups @1010 you can maintain a high rep count, increase the tempo to @2121 and grow much stronger through the same number of repetitions.

You should now have a pretty good grasp on the benefits of tempo training as it relates to your personal strength.

With that in mind there are still many downsides to tempo training – here are some of the most applicable do’s and don’ts of strength training.

Do’s and Don’ts of Tempo Training

When it comes to tempo training there are a few pretty basic rules that you should do your best to abide.


  • Use tempo training to deload the muscle with less weight and higher tempo
  • Use tempo training to overload the muscle with greater resistance in isolated movements
  • Progressively increase your resistance and tempo using longer tempo times
  • Record your tempo variance at all times


  • Drastically increase your tempo just to overload the muscle
  • Start an exercise with a concentric tempo scheme
  • Use pause reps on every workout
  • Use tempo in HIIT training

To a certain extent, your training needs to be fun and inclusive of all workout schemes. With that said the main purpose of incorporating tempo into your workout program is to create more structure and more ability to adapt and progress.


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