Health, Exercise, and Sports Sciences ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 7-15-2021


It is commonly reported that resistance training (RT) with slower-repetition tempos leads to greater metabolic stress because they increase the time under tension (TUT) during sets of exercise. However, little information is available on the effect of different repetition tempos on blood lactate concentration, muscle oxygenation, and heart rate (HR) when TUT and proximity to concentric muscular failure are matched during lower-body RT. In a repeated-measures, cross- over design, 11 recreationally-trained females (n = 5) and males (n = 6) performed five sets of belt squat under the following conditions: Slow-repetition tempo (SLOW; 10 reps with 4:2 second tempo) and traditional-repetition tempo (TRAD; 20 reps with 2:1 second tempo). Time under tension (60 seconds) was matched between conditions and external load was adjusted so that lifters were close to concentric muscular failure at the end of each set. External load, total volume load (TVL), impulse (IMP), blood lactate, ratings of perceived exertion (RPE), HR, and muscle oxygenation were measured during both RT protocols. Data indicated that total volume

load (p < .001), blood lactate (p = 0.017), RPE (p = 0.015), and HR (p < .001) were significantly greater during TRAD while external load (p = 0.030) and IMP (p = 0.002) were significantly greater during SLOW. Whether it was expressed as minimal values or change scores, muscle oxygenation was not different between protocols. When TUT is matched, cardiovascular stress, metabolic stress, and perceived exertion are greater during TRAD. These differences may be explained by higher TVL as TRAD required 2X greater repetition volume and mechanical work. Future research should determine if these styles of RT lead to divergent physiological adaptations and performance outcomes.


tempo, time under tension, metabolic stress, cardiovascular stress, training volume

Document Type




Degree Name

Physical Education, Sports and Exercise Science

Level of Degree


Department Name

Health, Exercise, and Sports Sciences

First Committee Member (Chair)

Dr. Fabiano Amorim

Second Committee Member

Dr. Len Kravitz

Third Committee Member

Dr. Christine Mermier

Fourth Committee Member

Dr. Flavio de Castro Magalhaes