SUPER SLOW TRAINING
is a very safe and highly effective weight lifting protocol.
It was originally designed for a study on osteoporosis conducted by Ken Hutchins. Slowing down the tempo of the exercise allowed the participants, women over 80, to achieve results with both increased strength as well as improved bone density without injury.
Wayne L. Westcott, PhD, fitness research director at the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, Mass., heard of the program and staged two studies in 1993 and 1999. In each, about 75 people trained with the SuperSlow program -- for 8 and 10 weeks, respectively. Those doing Super Slow in both groups experienced a greater than 50% gain in strength.
In each study two groups of participants did 13 exercises on machines. The control group performing one set of 10 repetitions lasting seven seconds per rep, while another group did half as many reps, but doubled the time for each rep. That’s 14 seconds for each repetition. Hutchins recommends an even slower pace, 10 seconds each way for a total of 20 seconds. At Threshold we find that our clients find their own slow rhythm depending on their appetite anywhere from 15-25 seconds for each rep. This intensity makes the exercise very effective. It is controlled and focused.
The key to slow movement training is that the muscles are continuously engaged fully and deeply throughout a full range of motion without using momentum. You might imagine the slow continuous movements of Thai chi where the body is in a continuous flow and add to that the resistance provided by the machines. At Threshold we use machines specially designed for rehabilitative exercise protocols by MedX Equipment and SuperSlow Systems.
Mindfully moving slowly through a full range of motion and working past the point where muscles begin to shake to the point of momentary muscular fatigue recruits more muscle fiber. For this reason the workout session time is shorter. Most proponents of Slow Training recommend just 30 minutes of exercise only one or two times a week. At Threshold: fitness beyond the physical we find 45 minutes allows us the luxury of time to include more. Before and after weight lifting stretching and relaxation techniques can amplify the benefit of the work.
Exercise is an essential part of life.
The Mayo Clinic outlines 7 benefits of regular physical activity.
- 1. Exercise controls weight
- 2. Combats health conditions such as heart disease and arthritis
- 3. Improves Mood
- 4. Boosts energy
- 5. Promotes better sleep
- 6. Puts spark in your sex life.
- 7. Help you unwind and relax