Something that is gathering momentum in the fitness world is a method of weight training called Super Slow Weight Training.
This is not a new idea. The fitness equipment manufacturer Nautilus touted this method of training over 30 years ago. It was particularly effective on their machines as they developed a cam system that resulted in constant resistance throughout the entire motion of the exercise, which improved the result. However this method of weight training is still very effective using free weights or machines.
The idea is that your ‘repetition’ takes as long as 15 seconds to complete. For example if you were doing a bench press you would push up the weight for 10 seconds and then lower the weight over 4-5seconds. With this method you only need to do one set of 6-8 repetitions although Nautilus suggest you use a weight that you can do 8 reps, then the next time you train you do 9 and so on until you reach 12. Then you increase the weight and go back down to 8 and start all over again.
Super slow weight training has been widely promoted by Ken Hutchins, a University of Florida researcher who maintains this method can make a superior impact on strength and muscle size, metabolic effect and body fat loss while providing a high-quality aerobic workout. To date, little scientific evidence has surfaced to support these claims although the Nautilus Academy, the arm of Nautilus that carries out all its research would claim otherwise.
Having used it myself I can certainly say it works. It can be a little frustrating, as you have to drop your weight, something that seems a backward step to a weight trainer and 15 seconds can seem a long time, but the feeling you will get in your muscles is something very different to a normal routine.
It’s also a method that is ideally suited to the older exerciser as results can still be excellent using lightweights and there is very little risk of injury.
So why not try it. Drop it into your normal workout routine, as a change, or stick to it rigorously for a number of months and just see what happen