Slow Motion Training

 

Imagine walking into the gym you frequent and looking around at what everyone else is doing for a moment. A pair of fresh eyes may see several individuals that are very strong lifting impressively heavy weight. Alter your perspective a bit and imagine everyone is lifting five or ten pound weights and still struggling just as hard. Seems a bit silly doesn’t it?

In reality, the majority of us are lifting much heavier weight than we should be, putting strain on our joints and ligaments and increasing risk of injury. While there are some that can bench press 400 lbs with perfect form, most people putting up an amount like that would not. So for those that have been getting injured countless times or feel like they’ve hurt something after EVERY leg day, stop considering that a normal outcome of exercise and look at two things:

  1. You’re form,
  2. The weight.

Our egos are powerful influences and they make us want to feel tough and strong. When we are in gym settings we prove this by adding weight to reps and performing terribly. The risk for an ego boost is not worth it.

But what if you could still get stronger without compromising form or increase risk of injury? With slow motion training you can develop muscle mass, increase strength, and avoid injury simultaneously, all you have to do is set your ego aside.

This idea is driven by the theory that tempo is more important than the weight a person is lifting. Try grabbing five pound weights and perform a bicep curl within a twenty second count- ten seconds to full contraction and ten seconds back to full extension. Temporary muscle failure should be reached within one to two minutes, if it takes closer to three minutes then and only then should the weight be increased. This tempo can be altered in several ways to work the muscle differently as long as the motion is slow and controlled. When performing a squat a  4-5 second count to contraction can be performed followed by a one second hold and return to standing position within another 4-5 seconds.

 

With such a slow tempo the joints are protected from injury because they are moving in a controlled motion and not being overexerted. Not only that, but the muscle remains contracted longer which maintains muscular tension longer than the average fast-paced tempo.

 

Being able to reach hypertrophy is the key to muscle growth, slow motion training is a safe and effective way to reach hypertrophy on consistent occurrences leading to increased muscle growth in a shorter amount of time. These types of workouts performed 20-30 minutes twice a week are said to grant results equal to, if not better, than the long winded standard resistance training routines performed 5-6 days a week. Recovery time in between routines may be partly to thank, however the intensity is certainly a factor.

 

The disbelief that less time and slower repetitions could accelerate muscle development strikes most as an unlikely outcome. Though results speak for themselves in the many athletes taking advantage of such a revolution.

Mike

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