"Doing more exercise with less intensity,"
Arthur Jones believes, "has all but
destroyed the actual great value
of weight training. Something
must be done . . . and quickly."
The New Bodybuilding for
Old-School Results supplies
MUCH of that "something."
This is one of 93 photos of Andy McCutcheon that are used in The New High-Intensity Training to illustrate the recommended exercises.
To find out more about McCutcheon and his training, click here.
When seeing this old issue arise again, that of training fast to be fast that this company has the audacity to use as their slogan, my mind began to wander to the alternate-dimension where The Super Fast Exercise Guild arose.
Aside from this fallacious notion, I will concede there is value to training somewhat fast during some weight-training exercises, due to the metaphor that I often cite that a plunger cannot work at a very slow plunge, that a plunger does require a faster pace, but not so sloppy that proper contact isn't kept.
With the above metaphor in mind, one thing I learned from SuperSlow Repetitions (not the SuperSlow Protocol), as well as static-contraction exercises, are that they are "dry pumps", which is probably also to say they affect the neurological-system more directly than the vascular-system; but, this is not to say that the cardiovascular-system isn't taxed, just that the back-and-forth congestion of a joint and/or musculature achieves greater blood-flow (so, literally the vascular-system) better with movement.
Last, without retreading ground that I already wrote about in the past weeks, SuperSlow Repetitions do have a place for people with fragile bones and/or joints, and for any trainee desiring to obtain a higher level of dexterity & coordination, which that's where the neurological-system(s) becomes a factor.
My preferred use of very slow reps... right at the end of a set. The set could have full rom reps, stutters, zones, etc., but once the muscles are unable to tolerate any more 'wild and wonderful' things, they still have the ability to squeeze out 1-2 really slow reps. My clients generally are surprised at this ability... feeling as through they reached failure with zones and stutters, etc., and then I have them do the SS stuff at the end. After the first rep (first time doing so), they have a look of surprise on their faces... then they usually say "I'm going for another."
You know, Brian, you bring up an interesting point, because when I was doing SuperSlow Repetitions, while I could do perfectly paced 10/10 repetitions, I often would lapse from the cadence because I was caught in the feeling that would much slower. For example, Jim Flanagan (at his private gym and during my attendance of the convention for The SuperSlow Exercise Guild) looked at me perplexed at the end of my set on his MedX Biceps to ask: [You know those were more like 17-second positives?]
It wasn't that I was trying to do 17-second positives, except it was like I was enraptured. It was the most intense set for biceps with the exception of the static-contractions where I would elbow-flex into mid-range with a higher than usual weight to render my arms immobile for more than a minute until my biceps truly failed after beginning to tremble. I actually experience the sensation of electricity on the bridge of my nose on several occasions that I was able to confirm with a training-partner that my nose was indeed buzzing to their touch upon my nose.
I'm not sure about being enraptured... my point being is that doing really slow reps is easier... a person is UNABLE to do any more zone or stutter work (for example), yet are ABLE to complete 1-2 full ROM SS reps at the end of the set. It acts as a nice finisher.
When seeing this old issue arise again, that of training fast to be fast that this company has the audacity to use as their slogan...
This device looks like a rehash of a machine sold in the 1970's called a "ReelRunner". I don't remember who made them but they were sold by Universal Gym. Very popular based on the "train fast to be fast" notion. Widely accepted, broadly practiced and totally ignorant. For some time in the mid-1970's you could scarcely go into a college weight room without seeing several of these things with a line of athletes waiting to get on them. ReelRunners were largely discarded until by 1981 or 2 you wouldn't have seen a single one no matter how hard you tried. Not that anyone tried.
It's the,"New-to-you is still 'New'" school of fitness marketing.
One protocol I really like but have yet to spend some real time perfecting is the...don't laugh, speed up protocol. Brian you may remember telling me about this Jones idea. This being, start a set slow and after some fatigue builds you increase cadence thus increasing load. The idea being if you choose the right exercises and pace appropriately the cadence doesn't really speed up that much. This sort of like Fred Hahn's SlowBurn idea. The difference being I don't use SuperSlow reps to build up the initial fatigue. I think like Benny suggests in another thread, the slow reps tax the nervous system without out proper amounts of fresh blood flow.
This is why I like the oldest Nautilus machines with the aggressive cam from when it was thought the most contracted position was the strongest. Exercises that get tougher towards full contraction are great. It sets a natural limit when trying to increase rep cadence. Then you tend to finish with reps which stall around the mid position where you are actually the strongest.
So picture, the set starts say 4/4 then as fatigue sets in you try to increase cadence. It may increase to 2/2 but not for long if you maintain proper form/technique. So the first reps in an exercise where the fully contracted position is toughest, tend to feel great as you are forced to bunch up and cramp up the target muscle at the end point of the squeeze/positive phase. Then you get release and relief and bring in lots of fresh blood. As you warm into the set you increase strength of contractions and it increases the actual load. This way you can have a extra heavy set without tough to handle from the first rep weights.
Key of course is to still always start each rep with a careful squeeze about an inch or so into the positive then after you are set and not going to hurt the connective tissue you drive through with added effort. It may be purely mental but I like this approach as it doesn't seem to inhibit intensity as much as many other styles do.
When I hear about "fast" reps I think of the ridiculous vids that Wayne posted a few years ago of himself putting his whole weight into bicep curls and other exercises with the worst form possible.
I could be totally wrong here, but I find that if the weight is heavy enough, my hardest effort causes the weight to move relatively slowly, because it's darn heavy. If it moves too fast, it's too light is my guideline.