Brooke-Wells
Source: Brooke Wells

8 Secrets Every Athlete Should Use to Improve their Squat

Time to increase your potential with the king of strength exercises.

Squat Secret #4: Squat with Tempo

This is one of the most important secrets that I can give you today.

Tempo training allows you to reinforce the concept of “time under tension”. This is crucial for you to build the structures necessary to keep layering strength, speed, power, and explosiveness on top.

Let me give you an example of how to read a tempo prescription. Let’s say you are told to perform:

Back Squats – 3, 3, 3, 3, 3 at 32X1 Tempo:

3 – This is the eccentric or negative portion of the lift. So as you descend into the bottom of your squat, count “1 one thousand, 2 one thousand, 3 one thousand”
2 – This is the isometric portion in the bottom of the squat. So count “1 one thousand, 2 one thousand”
X – This symbol signifies the concentric portion, which is coming out of the bottom of the squat. X means be as explosive as possible.
1 – This is the isometric portion at the top of the life. So when you’re fully standing, count “1 one thousand” before initiating the next repetition.

Typically, you’re not going to be able to go as heavy as your true 1RM if you follow the tempo prescription correctly. But this is one of the fastest ways to develop true strength & control in your lifts.

improve your movement baby squat

Squat technique

© Nick Tumminello

Especially since a ton of what we do during conditioning workouts and even other lifts consists of solely explosive (concentric) contractions with little regard for isometric and eccentric contractions.

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