Burn fat and build muscle with this tempo-focused home weights workout

This tempo-focused workout uses a combination of weights and bodyweight moves to help build a lean body

Weights workout at home
(Image credit: Getty Images)

This tempo-focused home workout from top personal trainer Emma Goodman-Horne is perfect to follow along with, helping you to lose weight and build muscle at the same time. 

All you need is a set of the best adjustable dumbbells or the best kettlebell to follow Goodman-Horne's dynamic workout. Originally filmed for our Instagram account, Goodman Horne is recovering from a case of COVID-19 as the video was shot—so this is a low-impact workout perfect for people getting into fitness for the first time. 

During the session, she emphasises tempo, or how long it takes for you to perform the eccentric, or lengthening, of the muscle, and the concentric, the contraction phase of the move. 

"Tempo is all about timing," says Horne. You might lower yourself into a squat for three seconds, hold for one second, and explosively pop up for one second. You can check out the routine below:

Watch Goodman-Horne's workout here:

Why focus on tempo?

This low-impact workout can help you get used to tempo training, which will transform your resistance training forever. Research found that movement tempo in strength training impacts training volume, both in terms of repetitions and total time under tension. 

By learning to lower a weight slowly, under control, you're engaging your muscle on the way down as well as up. The end result is more time under tension for the muscle, working you harder. And, by extension, growing that muscle faster.

More research, this time from scientists at Sao Paulo, Brazil, found slower repetitions were harder, but they actually built muscle up to three times faster than people who curled their weights quickly. Just like the old principle of the tortoise and the hare, slow and steady wins the race. 

Whether you're doing barbell squats (and you can check out our how to do a barbell squat guide, if you've never done it) or bodyweight squats, the end result is the same; learning about and paying attention to your tempo will result in you hitting your goals and working out more efficiently. 

Matt Evans
Matt Evans

Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and News Editor at Fit&Well, covering all things exercise and nutrition on the Fit&Well website. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.