Tempos and why you should be doing them


There are many reasons you should be exploring the world of lifting tempos but first how to understand them.

Tempos are often seen written as four number for example 3-2-1-0, each number is expressed as a part of the lift in seconds

1.    The first number (3) represents the eccentric (lowering phase of the lift).

2.    The second number (2) is the pause.

3.    The third number (1) reflects the concentric (upward phase of the lift).

4.    The final number (0) therefore stand for any pause at the end of the repetition before the next.

This is all well and good until you come across an exercise where the start of the lift initiates with a concentric (upward phase) such as a pull up or ring row however, if you remember the first number is the eccentric and the third number is always the concentric then you’re set.

But why should you be doing them?

  •  Improved proprioception (awareness to sense your body in its given environment).

  •  Increased stability leading to greater control in lifts.

  •  Increased tendon strength due to stimulated collagen production (Wilson & Best, 2005).

  • And of course, the important one, HYPERTROPHY

Hypertrophy, or growth leads to an increase in muscle size. This occurs due to the increased time under tension of the muscle and because of the increased amount of force that can be produced by the muscle during the eccentric potion of the lift.

(Schoenfeld, 2010)States many studies have found tempo training to yield the greatest hypertrophic response.

So next time you’re doing your ring rows, pull ups, squats or bench press why not give it a go! Do it properly and reap the rewards that tempo training has to offer you.



Wilson, J. J., & Best, T. M. (2005). Common overuse tendon problems: a review and recommendations for treatment. Am Fam Physician72(5), 811-818.

Schoenfeld, B. J. (2010). The mechanisms of muscle hypertrophy and their application to resistance training. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research24(10), 2857-2872.

On-line Coaching vs Coaching

The new “buzz word” in fitness at the moment is online fitness programming, and everyone one wants to sell us one if it’s for marathon training or Crossfit.

How many times have you looked through Instagram or Facebook and seen someone selling their services or an online programme that will get you to the Games? Some people will go looking for the "Smolov” Squat programme, or the “Russian” Squat programme thinking it will improve their squat, and yes it will if the movement patterns are correct and all the muscles are firing in the correct order. Some even go to their favourite athlete’s page and follow what they did, just cause it looks tough and it will “raise them above everyone else”.

Matt Fraser

Choosing the correct program to follow is tough, many people look into what Matt Fraser is doing. Matt is at the top of his game, so everyone thinks “if I do that, I’ll be at the games too!”.

We as humans want to jump too far ahead of ourselves take the quick route in the hope we’ll get the results quickly. What we need to do instead of doing what Matt Fraser is doing now, is to do what he did five years ago, the endless hours of technique, practice, endurance work and recovery.

Following an online programme is hard work, hours on your own doing things you don’t want to do. How many of you would honestly do a 60-minute row if it was programmed?

Having a programme which is too advanced is not going to help you, it’ll probably harm you! If you don’t have muscle ups why follow an advanced programme that has them in. Acknowledging your own ability level is tough. Make a list of your weaknesses, then plan appropriately. It will improve your psychological strengths too.


Having someone watching over you every class and coaching the session you are doing, will benefit you more than just blindly following a plan. Some days you’ll need cajoling and some days you’ll need someone to push you or critique your positioning.

Coaching isn’t about cheerleading and pushing you to your limits, it is saying to you “drop the weight, your body isn’t ready for that” or “lets just scale that back a little bit and fix the positioning first”. It’s not because we don’t want you to improve! it’s to say take it easy and improve the technique then push the weight, your general health and prevention of injury is far more important than weight chasing for followers.


Tom Landry

“A coach is someone who tells you what you don’t want to hear, who has you see what you don’t want to see, so you can be who you have always known you could be”.

Author - Paul Shelley
Coach - Central Staffs Crossfit

Member of the Month

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If you are new to Central Staffs CrossFit, we would like to explain our member of the month award. The award is to recognise those who have gone above and beyond to be the best version of themselves. This month we have decided to award Sara Morley our Member of the Month

Sara joined Central Staffs since February 2017. Like most Sara initially started on the conditioning classes, a great way to build stamina and increase performance. Sara then progressed to our foundations course to move her fitness into a new domain. Sara successfully completed the course and moved on to the Crossfit classes. Sara is always keen to learn and is very open to instructions from the coaches. She always comes in with a smile on her face even on the 6:30 classes. Sara has increased her membership and now attends the gymnastics classes. By attending gymnastics, Sara is learning greater body control and is actively working on her perceived weaknesses.

Understanding that it takes work and there are no quick fixes is a real sign of dedication to your own development.

Sara well done and keep up the excellent work.

24 Hour Charity Workout

Today’s the day..

On Friday 28th December, which is only a few hours away. We will be holding an open day and a 24 hour charity event. The event starts at 9am with a quick run down of the day, and the first WOD starting at 9:15am. At 10am we will be having a 50+ workout, then anyone can join in throughout the day up till 3pm when we will be having a kids workout.

There WILL be cakes, there WILL be tea and coffee, there WILL be a raffle and more.
To take part, sign the waiver below, be prepared to donate then choose your hour to workout and turn up. To see why we are doing this, watch the video below

Rich Bell, one of our members, has taken up a challenge to complete a 24hr workout to raise money for Penny’s Army and Blood Bikes. The event will take start on the 28th December at 9am where a WOD will be started at the top of every hour. We are opening our doors to anyone who wishes to take part.

We have appealed to as many Crossfitters as we can, in the hope we reach our fundraising target of £10,000.

WOD CLock34army.jpg

If you want to take part, please hit the button below and add your name to the list. Once we get the finer details sorted we will send out an email giving you a breakdown of the day.

This is an amazing feat of endurance for Rich, so the more people help us out and do a workout here and there to keep him company, the easier it will be for him.


Name *
Address *
Agree to waiver* *
By ticking this box you are agreeing to be personally responsible for your own health and safety during the event. By agreeing you waive any rights to claim against Central Staffs Crossfit or any other participants in named event. If at any time you change your mind, you can opt out of this agreement and you will not be permitted to take part.

Black Friday Deals

So, we wanted to offer our potential new customers and those wantng to upgrade to our CrossFit programming something for black friday and a kick start to the new year. We have put together a couple of offers that will hopefully help you take the plunge into something new.

We have deided to give everyone who signs up for our January 2019 Introductory Crossfit Membership 2 free conditioning sessions a week till the end of the year. Perfect for getting your fitness levels ready for January. So in addition to a free foundations you’ll get get access to two conditioing classes a week worth over £30. Thats 5 weeks of Conditioing, 1 month of foundations and 3 months Membership for £165!! 5 months training for £165.

We are also offering new customers a chance to grab one of our 3 month conditioning packs for £60. Thats £2.33 per session. However, we only have five on offer so get in quick.

Click the Image above to get the best fitness deal of 2018!

Nice to Be Noticed...

Best Gyms in Stafford

We work hard to give our members and visitors a great training experience, and its always good to see this recognised in an independent review.

Central Staffs Crossfit has again be listed as one of the top three gyms in the area. Being measured on a 50 point check, and being the only strength and conditioning facility to make the list we are proud to be noticed.