Super Slow

The SuperSlow Protocol is an exercise technique that was developed in the early 1980s by Ken Hutchins. The basis of the technique is to perform a single repetition for 15 seconds: 10 seconds up and 5 seconds down. Because each repetition takes so long, a set may consist of only three to five repetitions. By slowing things down so much, momentum is all but eliminated and orthopedic stress is minimized. Of course, curious bystanders may think you've suffered a stroke. No matter; lifting like this requires great effort and powers of concentration.

SuperSlow definitely works, but many people find it tedious to adhere to this slow-mo approach. However, many SuperSlow devotees take a hard line approach to their training, insisting that it is the only way to go. This, of course, is myopic and shouldn't concern you. What is relevant is that by moving faster in the eccentric or negative phase than in the concentric or positive phase, you reduce the amount of recovery for the concentric phase. (Unless we overload with accentuated negatives, the value of moving slowly during the negatives is questionable.) Finally, while the 10-5 speed accomplishes what it says—limiting momentum and orthopedic stress while keeping muscular tension high—the 10-5 speed is not the only option. Movement cadences of 5-10, 10-10, 3-1-3 or other combinations which minimize momentum may be just as effective.

Let's consider the advantages of the SuperSlow system:

> You will get stronger.

> No use of momentum to propel the weight.

>- No orthopedic injuries from using too much weight. >- It's safe.

Now consider the following disadvantages:

>- Since the technique is so slow and the weight is so much lighter, some people may be turned off of using it.

Bar Talk

Super5low is a protocol that, as the name suggests, involves extremely slow movement—10 seconds for the positive phase and 5 seconds for the negative. SuperSlow is a very challenging but safe method of strength training.

Bar Talk

Super5low is a protocol that, as the name suggests, involves extremely slow movement—10 seconds for the positive phase and 5 seconds for the negative. SuperSlow is a very challenging but safe method of strength training.

> You have to pay attention to how long each repetition is by using a clock with a second hand, metronome or timer—your concentration is split between counting and lifting unless you work with a partner.

Having warned you about the boredom factor, we certainly think that SuperSlow is worth trying. It is demanding, but once you get into it, you'll find that the focused concentration required brings a new energy that your workout may be sorely lacking. No, we're not in agreement with the SuperSlow people who claim it's the only way to lift. Nor do we agree that you need to do all your workouts that way. But if you're looking for a new workout wrinkle, it's a fine way to increase the intensity of some of your workouts.

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