Slow strength training is not a new concept. It's been around - and researched - for more than three decades. It's been gaining popularity, in part, thanks to many ex-boot campers and Cross-Fitters looking for an alternative that is gentler on the body.
The benefits of super slow toning are pretty remarkable. A 10 week study compared a group lifting weights at a regular speed to a group lifting super slow. The slo-mo lifters had improvements in strength 50% greater than the traditional lifters had. Astounding results!
What makes this training work so well? By slowing the process, you increase the amount of time there is tension on the muscle and you don't use any momentum to help you lift and lower, which makes the exercise more effective. As I always tell my clients and classes, "Slower is Harder!"
Try it! Next time you strength train, try the 5-5-5 system. Contract the muscle for a count of 5 and release for a count of 5. Use a weight with which you can only do 5 reps.
Twice weekly heavy strength training is just about right. Include recovery days in between your strength training days. Research shows it takes your body three days to recover between strength sessions. The recovery day is when your muscles repair and build so you are stronger and more defined. Adding in more heavy strength sessions will only break you down, not tone you up.
Slow down for bigger strength gains,
Stay Active, Keep Moving and
Enjoy Your Food