I get asked quite often: "Do you work out all the time?" When I am training for maintenance, I train 3 days/week. Currently, I try to train on this schedule: Monday, Tuesday-off Wednesday-Thursday, Friday and then a short session Saturday, off Sunday. I eliminated formal cardio sessions but have increased the intensity level of weight-training by minimizing rest between sets. This definitely keeps my heart rate up. I also use the slow approach to lifting and while I don't want to bore you with a lengthy description of why I train slow, basically, for the the time I put in, I get results that surpass the olden days when I used to spend 7 days a week in the gym, getting no where near the progress and change I experience in less time. Way less time.
I found out about slow training through necessity and after researching the comprehensive study conducted by Nautilus and the West Point Military Academy titled "Project Total Conditioning: A Case Study" in which the claim is made in the summary that "...In less than 6 weeks, high-intensity training of a relatively short duration increased the average overall strength of each subject by more than 58%." And then this also: "...Contrary to widespread opinion, not only will a properly conducted program of strength training produce increases in muscular strength but will also significantly improve an individual's level of cardiovascular conditioning. The data suggests that some of these cardiovascular benefits apparently CANNOT BE ACHIEVED BY ANY OTHER TYPE OF TRAINING." (Caps all mine) Okay, that's a pretty determined hypothesis based on computing the results from over 60 different types of testing equipment gathered during the course of 6 weeks of experimentation. And so bold! But it certainly intrigued me and I had to go question this rationale and went and met two of the key members of the study. I became a certified SuperSlow trainer through one and the other featured me in his book 'A Flat Stomach, A.S.A.P'. It's been a passionate love affair for me ever since, now 20 years.
Click on the pictures below to be directed to a video demonstration of what slow training looks like. I use the acronym CDAT for Contolled Dynamic Aerobic Training. The key elements: About 15-20 second rep speed, started very slow, and each rep thereafter started by barely moving, without having unloaded at the end of the rep, while paying attention to a very specific form and speed, maintaining this to complete momentary muscular failure, in less than 10 reps. It's not complicated but it is extremely challenging. Most people require a trainer to get them started properly, no matter how fit, strong or experienced in the gym because the training is just that intense-when done properly. Note the key words: When done properly.
The results I experienced when I first started utilizing the principles of slow training were amazing and completely in contrast to everything I thought I knew! You can see my Before and After photos posted in the Blog section under 'FiftyFierce Begins'. I think it's pretty clear why I was such a push-over for the training. In all fairness however, I must say that in addition to it being super effective for fat-loss, cardiovascular conditioning and amazing strength gains, it is extremely safe and so can be performed by almost anyone, at any age and in any condition.
I am happy to answer any questions related to the training in general, or my routine in specific, or if you'd like help getting started with slow training, please CONTACT me.
CDAT Demo Videos
Keep leg straight and aim for a flat back during move. Pause at the end and focus on squeezing the glute; lower slowly and repeat.
Arms will be parallel to floor at end of move, with either slightly bent elbows or straight. Keep shoulders level throughout move. Pause at end of move, lower with control and don't pause at the end - come right back up slowly with control. Here I perform drop sets.
Describes how to tweak this move for maximum effectiveness. Pay close attention to this as you perform the move - push hips down hard throughout move - no cheating to complete move! Hold weights at the tops while pressing hips down even harder, contracting the muscles tightly! Lower slowly to starting point but do not let weights rest and then begin move again SLOWLY!!!
Using the wide grip, overhand position; keep elbows out to sides while performing move with a slight hold at the top, then lower into a deep stretch before coming back up. Notice there is no use of momentum, no swinging and the stretch is deep, increasing the range of motion, requiring recruitment of muscles throughout entire move.
Keep elbows parallel to floor while performing; do not use body to jerk weight towards you. Pause briefly at end of move then return and do not let weight rest before starting next rep.