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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Superslow, Slow burn, or... Transformetrics/Dynamic Tension??

Exercise is a contentious issue in the Paleo lifestyle!

The consensus currently seems to be lift big!  Lift heavy!  Olympic lifts- Power lifts- otherwise, lift SLOW for maximum hypertrophy!!

Well, speaking as an official old man, having turned 60 two days ago, I am here to tell you something...


I am all for eating Paleo!  DO IT!!  Cut the sugar, cut the grains (same thing!), eat veggies and some fruit, eat lots of good fats to replace all of those harmful grains/sugars you are eliminating- (I don't want you to ever be hungry- do not starve yourself- this is harmful, not good in any way!)  Consume lots of coconut milk,  pastured (grass-fed) butter, and full fat cream- enjoy!  Sardines, salmon, cod liver oil- YES!

But, once you have the eating down, which is about 85% of the battle, and are getting enough quality sleep, which along with quality "tribal time", meaning connectivity between family, friends, church family, work friends, and all the rest of your immediate tribe- well, now you have about 95% of the battle won!!

But what about that small, but crucial in our modern sedentary age 5% of exercise stimulus??

Well, I would say that for 95% of us,  forget about weight lifting.

WHAT??  Yes, I know muscular stimulation is really, really important!  Especially as we age...

I just think that there is a better, safer, saner, more natural way to achieve it.

I used to be a superslow adherent- it works very well.  Now, Slow Burn is the latest manifestation of Ken Hutchin's original protocol, and many swear by it.  I like superslow/slow burn for their brevity- the 10 seconds up on the rep, 5 seconds down is very demanding, and stimulates growth very well.

But I have learned that, where slow is good- stopped entirely (isometric stop) at the end of a "visualized resistance" rep is even better!

At any rate, here is a brief video of what I'm talking about- you just flex and move throughout a range of motion- that's it!  This might seem really simple, and just "too easy", but trust me, it's not!  It is as "hard" as lifting weights, but with no joint damage.

And, by adding an isometric hold at the end of the rep, you are achieving the "timed static contraction" so desired in superslow circles, but without the necessary use of a complicated weight machine!

Admittedly, I am not concerned with muscle hypertrophy (size) beyond what is natural.

I want functional, all around natural health and fitness.  Aesthetics are also important, and go along with natural development...  

I hate to be a rabble-rouser, but Olympic lifting, and powerlifting, and bodybuilding are all...


Like baseball, football, hockey, distance running, wrestling, bridge,  tidily-winks... all sports!

To be fit and healthy are secondary, or less, in regards to sport.  Sports are a form of recreation, and the demands of sports are specific to winning at... that sport!

Health and fitness are not a sport- they are a goal independent of sports and athletic events.  So, lifting weights as a sport has nothing to do with health, per se.  

For HEALTH: we just want to stimulate the muscles and tendons (and bones!) to improve their composition!  

Visualized resistance, aka "" will do this for you, perfectly!  You don't even have to worry about overtraining- the nature of this exercise is that it is self- limiting- you can do it daily, and you will not overtrain, since your own body is in charge of the "overload"- you just adjust the load downwards when you need to, and flex more when you need to- you are in charge.

So, if you are mainly interested in HEALTH and FITNESS:

Forget the weights!  Do visualized resistance exercises daily, add in bodyweight exercises (pushups, sit-ups , pull-ups , planks, and "self resisted" exercises).  Sprint barefoot, walk barefoot, in the sunshine, with minimal clothing (for maximal Vitamin D!!).   You CAN do "superslow/slow burn" whenever you want - I do, sometimes!  But when you think about it, 

slow, Visualized Resistance movements ARE Superslow already- IN SPADES!!

So, why not just do those exercises first (maybe 15 minutes worth), and then do bodyweight exercises, and maybe some self-resisted exercise (isometrics) and then... just stop?  Add in some stretches, and you've covered everything your body needs.  

Anything beyond that is... sports specific.  If you're into sports, that's fine!

If you are into HEALTH and FITNESS, it is irrelevant.


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