Exercise Tempo, Reps, & Range of Motion For Women

by Phil Beckett

One of the most significant elements for a woman's fitness program and one that has a big effect on your success or failure is tempo or lifting speed of the weights you are using.

Lifting tempo plays a key part in the prevention of injury as well as strength and muscle increase.

A fast lifting speed or tempo during your fitness program will produce momentum and doesn't encourage blood flow to the muscle you're using.

A slow lifting speed or tempo creates less momentum and will force your muscles to do the work. A slow tempo requires a concentration of muscle power throughout the entire range-of-motion.

When you lift weights (which is a critical part of a womans fitness program) and in every weight training exercise in your fitness program there are two different parts to each repetition of every set performed.

The first part, the concentric contraction, more normally referred to as the "positive" phase of the repetition is the part where the muscle is actually priming itself for the main resistance in the second part of the lift.

As an example the lifting motion of the bicep curl, from the beginning where your arms are hanging straight down to the point where the weight is lifted up is the concentric contraction or "positive" part of the lift.

The second part is the eccentric contraction, more normally referred to as the "negative" phase of the repetition.

This is the part with maximum resistance, because you are returning the weight from the end of the positive phase back to the beginning, which causes your muscles to work at their maximum capacity.

Thereby creating a situation for greater success.

Using the bicep curl as an example again, this is where you let the weight come back slowly and controlled to the beginning position, with your arms extended straight down again.

The eccentric contraction or "negative" phase of the lift is more important to the success of your specific women's fitness program than the "positive" phase.

The eccentric contraction or "negative" phase, lowering the weight to the starting position with resistance on every exercise, is very important because this is when the micro trauma is caused to your muscles, which causes your muscles to build even stronger while resting.

Whatever the actual lifting speed or tempo you're using always remember to return to the starting position slower for each and every weightlifting exercise.

If you notice that the weight is so heavy that you can't return it to the starting position in complete control then reduce the weight so you can do the eccentric contraction properly.

Woman's Fitness Program & Range of Motion:

In order for you to succeed with your fitness plan you must perform each and every exercise through a full range of motion.

Full range exercise movements are beneficial for helping to strengthen and develop all of the muscles being incorporated to perform the actual lift.

Lifting throughout a full range of motion is also valuable for stretching the muscles that are opposite to the ones actually doing the work.

As an example, when performing a biceps curl the opposite muscle is the triceps.

In addition, working all your muscles in the full range of motion improves both muscle strength and joint flexibility.

Resistance Training In Relation To Repetition Quantity:

In order to succeed with your fitness plan you need to understand the relationship between resistance exercise and the number of repetitions you perform per exercise.

When you use resistance training ( weight lifting ) as part of your over-all women's fitness program, you will often exercise to the point of muscle fatigue.

Most women can complete about 8 repetitions with 85 percent of the maximum weight you can lift one time, using proper lifting technique.

The best way to determine how much weight you should use on each lift is to start by taking your best cautious estimate. After you have warmed up by using a light weight for 12 or 20 reps, choose a weight for your next set that will challenge you for your goal number of repetitions.

It's simple to do and you will have all of your weights set for your exercises after your first exercise session.

It is important that the weight you're using for all exercises will challenge you.

Always keep an exercise journal and record all the weights you use on each exercise of your fitness program, so that when you do the same exercise at another workout you know what weight to use on each exercise set right from the start.

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About the Author

Phil Beckett is the author of The New Women's Guide To Successful Weight Loss & Fitness. He's helped thousands of women with their weight loss & fitness goals over the past 14 years. Visit http://www.womens-health-fitness.com to contact Phil

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