Using a metronome for exercise workouts

Are you following an exercise workout which requires the use of slow/timed repetitions? Do you struggle with maintaining an even tempo as you contract and relax your muscles or forget how many repetitions you have done? A metronome can help you with this timing, leaving your mind free to concentrate on doing your exercises properly.

When I am doing interval strength training (for example doing arm exercises with weights), although I may start with an even 5 seconds lift/muscle contraction, 5 seconds relax, by the end of my set I have lost this timing completely as I just try to get it finished! I also constantly lose track of how many repeats I have done. To help with this I use the Metronome Beats app on my phone.

I start by setting then metronome to click at a rate of 12 beats per minute which will mean it times one beat every 5 seconds. I then set the metronome to 5 subdivisions per beat. This means that the metronome will click every second but with an emphasis on the beat every 5 seconds. Lastly I set the metronome to 2 beats per bar. With this setting each bar represents a complete repetition – 5 seconds contraction and 5 seconds relax.

tick, tock, tock, tock, tock (contraction)

tick, tock, tock, tock, tock (relax)

I also use the timer function on the metronome to stop after the correct number of repetitions (bars). This way if I lose count I can’t cheat and say I’ve finished when in reality I still have 2 repeats to go!

Using a metronome has helped me to improve my form when doing resistance training workouts. As I no longer get distracted with the timing I can concentrate on making sure I do each exercise properly.