In the process of learning, it is important to see concepts put into some form of practical application. This helps give context to the new information. For the sake of this article, I want to apply this concept of significant tension to something near and dear to all of our hearts: building muscle. If your goal is building muscle, you need to be able to create significant tension within the muscle(s) you are training, at a high enough volume, to hit the threshold to stimulate adaptation. There are a handful of factors that will come into play, here:
- Execution: This is going to determine which muscle is receiving stress from an external load.
- Load: Execution works alongside load. You need a significant enough load to create significant tension in the muscle tissue.
- Volume: There is a threshold amount of tension and load that needs to be achieved on that given muscle tissue to trigger adaptation. The better your execution and your ability to apply load where you need will require a less total volume to achieve threshold needed.
- Tempo/Intent: When looking to get the most tension out of the relative load, the tempo and intent will need to be proportionate to the resistance profile and load being used to maximize the benefit of each rep.
As you can see, your ability to execute movements properly will heavily play into your ability to move loads with the tissue you are trying to work. The combination of execution and load will help achieve the needed amount of volume on each muscle needed to create an adaptation. Your ability to manage tension with tempo and intent will allow you the maximize the benefits of each rep. So, if your ultimate goal is to build muscle, the better you are at creating significant tension in the intended muscle, the better the opportunity you will have to stimulate the adaptation for muscle growth.
When paired with proper nutrition, recovery, and periodization, you have a recipe for success! If you would like to read about the 8 most common mistakes we see people make when trying to build muscle, CLICK HERE!