What is different about the slow-motion, high-intensity weight training method?
Typical weight training is generally considered to be 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions, and is done 2 or 3 times a a week for about an hour each session, usually in a public health club or gym. It consists of a lot of momentum, which reduces the effectiveness of the exercise, and a lot of force, which leads to injuries. In our weight training, the weight load is slowly lifted and lowered without pausing between repetitions. The momentum is much reduced, the work done by the muscles is maximized and results are achieved with less time spent exercising and a lot less risk of injury. The 25-minute, once-a-week workouts are done in a private and quiet temperature-controlled studio.
Why is weight training important?
More and more studies are showing that weight training is the most effective and efficient exercise in supporting overall health and fitness, especially as we reach middle age. This type of exercise builds and maintains muscle density, which, along with a healthy diet, is really the key to overall health and fitness, including increasing strength, bone density, cardiovascular function and glucose tolerance. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Lean muscle mass naturally decreases with age. If you don't do anything to replace the muscle loss, it'll be replaced with fat. But weight training can help you reverse the trend — at any age.”
Is the workout safe for older people?
In fact this slow-motion, high-intensity weight training was originally developed as a research project working with elderly patients with osteoporosis. The workouts proved to be so effective at increasing bone density, lean muscle mass and muscle strength it was determined that anybody would benefit from the workout. I currently work with several clients who are between 75 and 85 years of age.
What if I've never done weight training before?
You will be individually and closely coached and monitored by a trainer who has over 3 years of experience with this workout. His job is to insure that you are performing the exercises as safely and effectively as possible. You are performing movements that are simple and natural, so the majority of your intensity and focus can be placed on performing hard, rewarding work.
How can exercising for 25 minutes once a week be beneficial?
To increase strength and build lean muscle, you need to fatigue your muscles, which activates them to start rebuilding automatically. Our slow-motion, high-intensity method of doing one non-stop set on each of the 5 weight machines is thorough enough to fatigue your muscles in a very short amount of time. Completing the workout provides a full-body strength workout, and moving from machine to machine without rest provides an aerobic workout. The workout is so intense that it only needs to be done once a week to build and maintain lean muscle.
How long before I see results?
This depends on your commitment to the quality of your workouts, your adherence to a healthy, whole foods diet and your genetic makeup. In general your body is making changes as soon as you start working out, though it can take about 2 to 4 weeks of regular, consistent workouts to actually gain strength and stamina and as long as 6 to 8 weeks to start seeing changes in your body. If you are new to weight training, you could experience a 25 to 100 percent increase in strength within three to six months of training consistently. The more effort you put in, the greater the results you can achieve in a shorter period of time.
Is it necessary to train to momentary muscle fatigue (MMF)?
MMF is reached when you can't move the weight anymore. It is not necessary to train to MMF to increase strength; you just have to consistently work your muscles harder than you did previously. However, since results from exercise are proportional to intensity of effort, you should train to MMF. The only time you really know how intensely you are working is when you reach MMF, at which point your intensity is maximum.
Is it better to train past MMF?
Yes, but only very briefly. The only way to be certain you have achieved MMF is to continue attempting to move positively for a few seconds. Occasionally, when you think you have achieved MMF, if you attempt to gradually contract harder, you will find you are able to continue moving the weight. You may only move a few more inches, or you may end up completing another repetition. There is no way to be sure you have achieved MMF unless you keep trying for at least a few seconds.
Does it ever get any easier?
Not if you're doing it properly. In other forms of exercise the intensity is relatively constant, so as your conditioning improves the exercise seems easier. In this workout we will always increase the intensity of the exercise to challenge your improved level of conditioning.
How does This Exercise Increase Bone Density?
Just like muscles, bones can become stronger. If the exercise you perform increases your muscle strength, it will also increase your bone strength, or bone density. New bone grows after experiencing a sufficient amount of stress, and slow-motion, high-intensity weight training definitely provides a sufficient amount of stress to increase bone density.
Will I be sore the next day?
Muscle soreness is not an indicator of a successful workout. If you haven't been doing any exercise for some time, you may experience some soreness for a day or two after the first couple of workouts; however, the better shape you are in, and the more advanced you get, the less muscle soreness you’ll experience, because you can recover faster from your workouts. What is important is that you distinguish after-exercise muscle soreness, which is normal, from pain, which is a potential harm signal, and must be heeded. You need to stop, rest the area in pain and seek treatment if necessary.
Jeff Grossman's Story
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Lean muscle mass naturally decreases with age. If you don't do anything to replace the muscle loss, it'll be replaced with fat. But weight training can help you reverse the trend—at any age.”
More and more studies are showing that weight training is the most effective and efficient exercise in supporting overall health and fitness, especially as we reach middle age. This type of exercise builds and maintains muscle density, which, along with a healthy diet, is really the key to overall health and fitness, including increasing strength, bone density, cardiovascular function, glucose tolerance and balance.
In November of 2015, my wife and I read "Body by Science", a book written by Doug McGuff, an M.D. and personal trainer. This book introduced us to slow-motion high-intensity weight training. This is the exercise program I had been waiting for all my life. Once a week for about 25 minutes! Slow, safe, efficient and effective. Science-based. I have been somewhat stocky all my life; now I am lean. I am in better shape now than I was in my early 20s. I began the workouts at age 70, and I have increased my overall body strength by more than 250%. My wife is 66; she is not an athlete, but she is toned and fit.
About 3 months after I started doing the workouts, I decided that I wanted to become a trainer. I spent about 9 fairly intense months becoming a certified personal trainer specializing in slow-motion weight training. I now conduct one-on-one workouts in my own small, private studio, The Workout Garage, which is located in the Alphabet Streets of Pacific Palisades.
If you try this workout, you'll know why it is so effective. It safely and efficiently works your entire body to muscle fatigue. It takes about 25 minutes and needs to be done only once a week.
Body by Science: by Doug McGuff, M.D., and John Little
Power of 10: by Adam Zickerman and Bill Schley