I learned this method from strength coach Mladen Jovanovic. To do it, just add an isometric hold to the beginning and end of the set:
- Hold the first rep isometrically for a few seconds.
- Do your reps.
- Hold the last rep isometrically for a few seconds.
The reps are “sandwiched” between the holds. This forces you to perform the exercise with intent and technical proficiency. It also gives you more time in specific joint positions to help build strength and size.
Perform each hold for 3-5 seconds. For reps, anything from 5 to 12 works great.
This tempo method works great with big compound exercises like presses, pulls, and unilateral lower-body work. Just add it to some of the main exercises you’re already performing.
Coach Jovanovic recommends using this method when you’re stressed, returning from a period of no training, or when you’re looking for a new challenge.