The speed of execution, the rest time, the intensity, all of this matters just as much as your technique when trying to gain muscle. As for the pace, it all depends on which phase of movement you’re in.
When you're carrying out a movement, there are three phases: concentric, isometric and eccentric. The speed in which you should carry out each movement depends on the phase. Read on to find out why.
The concentric phase
This is the phase of movement where the muscle you’re working on contracts, generally referred to as the ‘upwards’ or ‘climbing’ phase. For example, when you’re working out at the curling station, you’re contracting your biceps to raise the bar.
The speed can vary depending on what exercise you’re doing. Some prefer slow movements (around 3-6 seconds) to make the muscles really suffer, whereas others work in short, one second bursts.
The isometric phase
Isometric exercises are known to help you gain strength and muscle mass. It’s generally done without moving and with a heavy weight. This is the phase in-between the other two as it is the point during the movement where the muscles don’t actually move, but are still being worked.
As there’s no movement, try to do this in the middle of the climb or the descent, and hold the position for as long as possible (15 seconds would be enough).
The eccentric phase
This is the opposite of the concentric phase, and is generally known as ‘the descent’ (think about when you sometimes hear ‘Watch how you lower it!’). It’s easy to just lift a weight, but controlling the weight during the eccentric phase allows your muscles to strengthen.
Check out the video above for a full guide to how fast you should really be working out!