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  1. #1
    John Du Cane is offline Administrator
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    Thumbs up Super Slow Reps for Superhuman Strength, By Benji Williford, PCC

    By Benji Williford, PCC









    A lot of my personal training clients start out thinking that training faster means training better.

    But working out like The Flash won’t make you superhuman if you are bobbing your head for apples with your elbows flared out over your shoulders instead of actually doing push-ups.

    Poor form at a super-fast pace is not only allowing momentum to carry you through part of the range of motion, but it’s also potentially causing unnecessary strain on tendons and ligaments, as the muscles that should be doing the work aren’t activated properly.

    My first rule for my clients is to focus on proper form. I created the phrase “AF3” which stands for Absolute Form Fit Function.

    The intention is to master the form, which improves fitness and ultimately, overall function.

    One antidote toward improper form is...read complete blog post

  2. #2
    Tom Jones is offline Member
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    Anyone want to talk about this piece? Especially how useful it is in the context of strength training. Author seems to write about how good it is for correcting form, but slowing down a movement so much seems to make it quite a bit easier. You know that whole F=ma deal.

    Any thoughts?

  3. #3
    Chris Hansen is offline Senior Member
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    I certainly think there's place for slow movements. Because of some issues I have, I kind of have to slow down a lot of my movements to focus on correct positioning and that the right muscles are working. Otherwise my form goes downhill, the wrong muscles come into play, and I end up hurting myself. Sometimes holding static positions, like some of the yoga poses, allows you to focus on correct alignment and to strengthen the muscles and muscle-memory while in that correct position.

  4. #4
    gimx is offline Member
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    I'm agree, slow tempo is fine to learn or correct the movement but... It's proven that too slow is useless. It's better to have a 2-1-2-1 tempo.

  5. #5
    Eoin Kenny is offline Senior Member
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    It's an interesting concept, but only useful for muscle memory IMO.

    It's closer to an isometric than it is a typical concentric exercise. In order to recruit the fast twitch fibers (strength fibers) you must move fast on the concentric. It doesn't mean you have to actually move fast, because if the load is heavy enough you wont really be able to. However, you will be trying to move as fast as you can will have the necessary effect.

    I just think that super slow movements are to spice up a boring routine or possible cement good technique (pistol squats come to mind), but in no way should it be a staple.

  6. #6
    Al_Kavadlo is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Jones View Post
    slowing down a movement so much seems to make it quite a bit easier. Any thoughts?
    Are you saying that you can do more push-ups if you do them super slow than if you do them quickly?

    Quote Originally Posted by gimx View Post
    It's proven that too slow is useless.
    Is that so?
    Our only limitations are those which we impose on ourselves.

    http://www.AlKavadlo.com

  7. #7
    ad5ly is offline Senior Member
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    I would be interested to know how to place Super Slow Reps in a program like CC for example. Or if Super Slow Reps could be a program on its own. How do you make it fit into what you are currently doing. Super Slow Reps seem to be useful in mind and muscle working together and heightened awareness in improving form and breathing patterns and identifying weaknesses. I wonder if the old Injun trick of holding a mouthful of water and nose breathing would enhance Super Slow Rep training...Dennis

  8. #8
    Eoin Kenny is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ad5ly View Post
    I would be interested to know how to place Super Slow Reps in a program like CC for example. Or if Super Slow Reps could be a program on its own. How do you make it fit into what you are currently doing.
    I like doing super slow reps for pistol squats. But I do explode as fast as I can on the way up... I suppose you use it if you need to cement good muscle memory/technique. Also, like I said I think it'd be a nice way to spice up a routine and test yourself for the fun of it.

    I've been doing 3x5 for pistols this month and by the time the third set rolls around I find the exercise becomes a lot more easy. This was weird at first, but I have come to the conclusion that warming up the technique is important, so I guess super slow reps can have a place there in a routine if you like? Maybe just the first rep?

    I'd love to get to the stage when a slow positive pistol was easy, I bet your legs would burn. So I guess super slow reps could work, I'm not sure it's the best way to always work though. How would you program it? i guess periodise it for a week or so?

    Hmmm.... I'm confused actually... come to think of it, how could a slow muscle up not be good for strength?

  9. #9
    ad5ly is offline Senior Member
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    Well Eoin, it could just be a simple matter of it not actually being in a program at all. Perhaps you just do it every other week or so when you feel up to it. Just a periodic test of how well you do it in slow-mo. One rep is a little hard, but the ladder scheme that was in the article is probably a workout all on its own. Yes, perhaps periodize it into CC for a week or two, just for variety. Of course you could also go the other way and do Super Fast Reps (but under full control). Just test out all your gears in other words. BTW I had to go back to TRX assisted pistols. Left leg is still too weak to be doing unassisted pistols regularly. Don't want to push it too far. And my form has begun to get ugly...Dennis

  10. #10
    Tom Jones is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al_Kavadlo View Post
    Are you saying that you can do more push-ups if you do them super slow than if you do them quickly?
    I'm saying fast push ups require more strength (force) per unit of time. Slowing down the pushup simply decreases the force required per unit of time... but because you exert that smaller force for longer, it ends up being difficult as well.

    Think about it. If you did fast pushup, as fast as possible, eventually you'd start to get tired (you produce less force). THAT'S why people start to slow down and "grind" reps. Going faster requires more force at any given moment.

    A better comparison is : is it easier to do 100 pushup (each taking 1 second), or 1 pushup that takes 100 seconds to complete?

    The former is certainly much more difficult. Like, by a lot.

    The advantage of slowing down is that by making the force needed smaller, you can apply it for longer. Which is why slow reps are good for increased time under tension.

    My question, then, is if you're interested in improving strength/force production, what place do these super slow reps have?

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