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February 03, 2022
Are you ready for Iain Valliere's hamstrings and back workout? Him and his friends tried some different tempos and TUT (time under tension) training to change up the workout. Changing tempo and TUT training are both great ways of diversifying your workout, making it more challenging and effective.
Iain Valliere is a Canadian IFBB professional in the open division. He's also the coach and brother-in-law of Chris Bumstead, a Classic Physique Olympia Champion. In addition, he is a trainer, social media personality, and nutrition consultant when he isn't training.
Valliere's first competition as an amateur was the 2010 OPA Ottawa Championships, where he placed 1st in the Junior Men's class and 3rd in the Men's heavyweight class. In 2014, he finally earned his pro card and then competed in his first Pro show in 2015, the Toronto Pro Supershow, where he placed 5th. In 2018, he competed in his first and only Olympia, taking 14th and then qualified for the 2020 Mr. Olympia by winning the New York Pro, his most notable and controversial win.
Here's a break down of the workout the guys completed. As you'll see the major focus is on extended time under tension on the eccentric phases of the lifts.
The first exercise of the workout is seated hamstring curls. Then, to switch up the workout, they follow coach Julien Geoffrion's program, so the primary focus is the pause at the bottom of the lift and forcing a slow negative as the weight goes back up. They aimed for 17-20 reps for the first set with a five-second negative, a one-second pause at the bottom, and an explosive concentric. In the second and third sets, they aimed for 30 reps. They only took incremental breaks (15 seconds) during the sets once they hit failure. One set took almost 3 minutes to complete, we'd imagine the pump was crazy.
The second exercise of the workout is the adductor machine. They only did two sets here with a three-second stretch in each rep's hole (the stretch). The goal is to hit 20 reps each set.
Immediately after finishing up with the adductor exercise, they moved on to an inverse hyper machine. Iain said to perform two sets with 10-12 reps and three-second negatives. You don't see these types of machines often, so if your gym doesn't have one, a reverse hyper or a GHD machine will work just as well. This looks to be an absolute killer hamstring exercise; make sure to focus on the negative and the stretch throughout the muscles.
Next up are stiff-legged deadlifts with a barbell. Just like the previous exercise, they seem to perform two sets with 10-12 reps and three-second negatives.
The final exercise of the day was seated cable rows. Focus on driving those elbows out, squeezing throughout the back at the top of the lift, and with a slow negative. Weight doesn't have to be heavy; instead, focus on the stretch and squeeze while performing this exercise.
Iain wrapped up the video by saying this was a pretty long workout with higher rep volume than he usually would do, and the time under tension was a great change of pace.
To incorporate the TUT technique into your exercise program, simply slow down your movements. Performing movements at a slower tempo will stimulate your muscles to promote muscle growth. You may have to use a lighter weight to get the most out of it since the increased time under tension will be more challenging to sustain.
A good rule of thumb to start off with is to slow down the eccentric phase of each repetition. Extend each eccentric portion by 3 to 7 seconds, or you can make the eccentric phase double the length of the concentric phase. Find what works best for you.
TUT workouts are designed to create tension in your muscles for a more extended time, which leads to muscle growth. The harder you make your muscles work, the bigger, stronger muscles will be, plus it can enhance muscular control, improve bone mineral density, and lower body fat percentage.
Note: With all of the exercises focused on movement, the weight you use should be enough to be a challenge but still easy to control. Each rep should be executed with a three-second negative. Keep rests between sets 45-90 seconds.
If you haven't done many exercises with a slow eccentric phase of 5 seconds then this workout is sure to test you. You can see the intensity that Iain Valliere brings to his workouts, try to match that.
if you end up trying this workout out let us know those hammies felt the following day!
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