Time Under Tension

Is quick and painless really beneficial?

Time under tension (TUT) refers to the amount of time a muscle is held under tension or strain during an exercise set. The idea behind lengthening this time is that it forces your muscles to work harder and optimizes muscular strength, endurance, and growth. (paraphrased from several fitness articles)

I know, nobody enjoys stress and difficult times. Especially in the midst of it. To be transparent, I am very relieved when what I thought was going to be very stressful and difficult turns out to be quick and painless. However, some of the most impactful and life changing lessons I’ve learned, came by long, stressful, and difficult challenges.
Those were the experiences that:

  • Strengthened me. Overcoming adversity in our lives makes us stronger on the other side if it. It gives us confidence in our abilities and the next time we are faced with a similar challenge we already know we can handle it. More so, when faced with a more difficult challenge we are now stronger than before and can handle the new challenge.
  • Improved my endurance. Each time we make it through one of these difficult times our endurance is increased. Not that our goal is a marathon like challenge in life. But knowing that when tough times come, we have the stamina along with strength to endure it.
  • Helped me grow. While we don’t get to choose whether or not we will go through difficulty, because everyone will, we do get to choose how we will approach it. Let’s decide that we will approach it with a learning attitude. Let’s say, “ok, what can I learn from this situation?”
  • Grew my faith. If you are a faith-based person, this last point is for you. Literally every time I’ve come through adversity, I discover that God has been working on my behalf. There is no other explanation for me. There is always an aspect or element of successfully coming through that I had absolutely nothing to do with. And each time I realize that, my faith grows in the knowledge that God cares about me and is with me in every aspect of my life. He is on my side.

Challenges are going to continue in life. It is a simple matter of fact and nature. It is how we grow and develop just like time under tension grows and strengthens our physical muscles. It isn’t fun, but it’s necessary. So, if you truly want to increase in some way and achieve a goal, you will have to go through and endure adversity. The old saying, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”, comes to mind. And being tough in mind is the key. Determine in your mind how you will approach and deal with difficulty with a learning and growing frame of mind and you will benefit greatly.

Be blessed.


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