If you’re someone who is just starting a resistance training protocol or you’ve been working out for quite some time and are simply looking to step up the results that you’re getting, you might want to consider super slow training as a means of improvement.
Many people have the habit of rushing through their workout session, which is not only going to lead to less than optimal results, but it can also cause injury to set in as well.
Let’s look at why super slow training can be so beneficial and how to incorporate it into your workout program plan.
What Is Super Slow Training?…
Super slow training, as the name suggests, is basically slowing down the movement pattern significantly so it takes you longer to lift each weight through its full range of motion.
While previously, a rep might have only taken you a total of 3 seconds, with super slow training, you can be looking at a total time per rep of up to 60 seconds!
30 second concentric – 30 eccentric. You can play with this variable. I’ll give you an example at the end of this article.
This form of training is going to be much more taxing on both the muscle tissues as well as the central nervous system, so it’s imperative that you properly plan for it and incorporate it into your workout routine or you could be on a fast track to overtraining.
The Benefits Of Super Slow Training…
Now that you have a basic idea of what super slow training is, what are the benefits to be had from such an approach?
First, it’s going to work more muscle fibers. As the primary fibers in the muscle cell start to become fatigued, deeper muscle fibers – fibers that may not be hit during a traditional speed of rep of that movement, will get called into play.
The result is a much more intense rep that is going to be far better at gaining strength & eventually building muscle.
Since the rate in which you build muscle depends on the total time under tension that muscle is under, by slowing down your reps, you are going to increase the total time under tension, thus boosting results.
By using this form of training, you can keep the overall volume of the workout quite low, yet still see miraculous improvements in both strength and size.
According to one study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology,
a big benefit to super slow training is the fact that you will stimulate the CNS to a larger degree as well.
Along with that, you won’t generate quite as much lactic acid in the body compared to standard tempo patterns, so may be able to exercise longer with that burning sensation of fatigue developing.
Remember, your muscle fibers are not the only thing that you are training when you perform intense workout sessions.
Your central nervous system has to continually be outputting a great deal of effort and energy to get every muscle contraction to take place, so the more intense the sessions are, the harder your CNS is going to be working.
This in turn means greater training stimulus and in the future, you should be able to handle higher loads of exercise overall.
Additionally, this CNS stimulation is going to go a long way towards helping you increase your power capacity as power is a direct result of not only force but speed & speed is determined by your CNS more than anything else.
Working Out Or Making Friends…
Super slow training is also going to help make sure that you are fully concentrating while in the gym & never letting momentum carry you through the movement pattern.
Far too many people get into the habit of just throwing the weight up there, using the momentum of movement to assist with lifting the weight.
Do that and you’re taking much of the stress entirely off the muscle fiber!
By slowing the rep down however, you eliminate the chances that momentum even comes into play, ensuring that it’s the muscle fibers that are doing all the hard work.
Because of the fact this form of training is so intense, it also means that you will likely have to reduce your weight load slightly in order to complete your desired rep range.
As such, this means less stress on your joints and tendons. As you get stronger and stronger and begin lifting more & more weight, you are going to find that if you aren’t taking care, your joints are chronically aching.
By slowing down the rep, you can reduce this excess stress on the joints, keeping them healthy and happy.
Finally, this form of training is also going to be incredibly taxing on your metabolic system, so it’ll help you boost your metabolism higher for hours after your workout is completed.
If you want fat loss results, this can really come to your benefit.
How To Use Super Slow Training…
So how do you go about incorporating this type of training into your workout protocol?
First note that because it’s so intense, it’s not a strategy to be using constantly.
If you do that, you’ll quickly burnout and suffer with issues from overtraining. Instead, incorporate it in every 2nd to 4th workout. Alternatively, doing it on two to three of your lifts, whether they are compound or isolation in nature.
You can also spend 1 week of training this way then switch your training style to make sure you don’t overload a specific area. Only follow this technique for around 3-6 workouts total before taking a break from it for at least a 2 week time period.
This will give your body the recovery it needs so that it doesn’t get overworked and start to become overtrained as mentioned. This will also give your body space to grow & get stronger.
A good way to incorporate this type of training in to your schedule is to complete your set as planned & then perform a final eccentric repetition at a super slow pace.
Example: Chin Ups – perform your set. You will be at failure or close to it for the concentric portion of your rep (pulling yourself up). So now raise yourself to the top of the movement (or jump) & perform an 30 second eccentric drop – take 30 seconds to lower yourself to the bottom of the movement.
You can do 3-4 eccentric reps this way or until you reach your desired fatique point or failure!
So there you have some ideas about super slow training. If you want to boost your strength and see faster results, it’s one approach that you should be considering.
Done properly, it can bring about excellent results in both strength and size.
To Your Best Health
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