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Intensity Amplifier: Four Rep Tempos in One

If you're looking for a creative way to amp up your workout intensity, these four rep temps will take it to the next level.

Rep Tempo Three: Controlled High Speed Reps 1/0/1/0

Benefits of High Speed Reps:
High speed reps are great for metabolic conditioning-type or fat burning focused workouts. Whether you’re using timed sets or if you’re trying to hit a certain rep-count in a specific amount of time, you’ll want to use high-speed reps. The biggest caution with this tempo style is ensuring your technique doesn't go out the window. Use perfect form, but just speed it up! If your technique goes to shit, slow down the tempo a little to regain better form. Simple compound and isolation-type exercises work well with this tempo style; whereas, more complex lifts such as O-lifts are quite dangerous performed for time. If your technique is dialed in, go for it, but if you’re new to O-lifting, save these lifts for other workouts where the pace isn’t an issue.

Rep Tempo Four: Paused Reps 2/4/2/0

Benefits of Paused Reps:
Paused reps are great for increasing strength out of the hole. They are also great for increasing TUT (time under tension), which is great for hypertrophy (muscle growth). This tempo style removes the stretch-reflex that occurs after the eccentric phase of an exercise, resulting in a greater challenge during the concentric phase. Picture the bench press. Load the bar with a sub-maximal load. Un-rack the bar and take 2 seconds for the down phase. Pause for 4 seconds at the bottom (no resting the bar on your chest). Take 2 seconds to press the bar up and repeat. Stay tight in your bench-set-up and keep all your muscles activated—this is not a time to rest—this is an active pause. This also works great for squat variations as well.


About the Trainer:

Jon-Erik Kawamoto, MSc Kin(c), CSCS, CEP is a Strength and Conditioning Specialist and Fitness Writer currently based in St. John's, NL, Canada. He has contributed to several major health and fitness magazines and is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Human Kinetics at Memorial University. You can find more of Jon-Erik's work at



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