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SuperSlow and Abbreviated Training
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iep

Some posters on this board (e.g., HDGURU) maintain that the Mike Mentzer Athlete's Routine is the way to train. I use this routine but apply superslow principles to it. Does anyone else follow such a training protocol?
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tylerg

rburton wrote:
Some posters on this board (e.g., HDGURU) maintain that the Mike Mentzer Athlete's Routine is the way to train. I use this routine but apply superslow principles to it. Does anyone else follow such a training protocol?


Could you give a description of your workouts? That would be greatly appreciated.

Tyler
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chaire

North Carolina, USA

rburton,
I trained for 1 year doing 5 exercises, 2 times per week, in a super slow style. I got fair results. I now train negative-only on Negative-Attitude equipment. I have gotten much faster results, even at age 50.
Good luck and God Bless.
Charlie
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Drew Baye

Florida, USA

rburton wrote:
Some posters on this board (e.g., HDGURU) maintain that the Mike Mentzer Athlete's Routine is the way to train. I use this routine but apply superslow principles to it. Does anyone else follow such a training protocol?


I got very poor results following such a routine for a long period of time. It is just as possible to undertrain as it is to overtrain.

Too little, too infrequently, can result in a very slow rate of progress.
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drog

I had similar results using super slow about once every 5 days what are you doing now aand hows it working?
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Drew Baye

Florida, USA

I'm currently using a very abbreviated routine (minus the SuperSlow part) and getting good results. No more than 2 or 3 compound movements, and between 2 and 3 exercises for smaller muscle groups (forearms, calves, etc.) once every 4 to 5 days.
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Crotalus

I trained in SS fashion for about six or seven months and got the worst results since I began training ... and I was a believer in SS ; I thought it was the next step up the ladder of intensity and THE way to go. I loved the workouts, the feel of it , the pump, everything.

I did 6 or 7 total sets in the two routines done twice a week. People who didn't see me for months thought I quit training.

In theory it should have worked but it was a disaster for me. Some do well with it and others don't . Except for training an injury , I'd never train SS again.
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stevecollins33

Crotalus wrote:
I trained in SS fashion for about six or seven months and got the worst results since I began training ... and I was a believer in SS ; I thought it was the next step up the ladder of intensity and THE way to go. I loved the workouts, the feel of it , the pump, everything.

I did 6 or 7 total sets in the two routines done twice a week. People who didn't see me for months thought I quit training.

In theory it should have worked but it was a disaster for me. Some do well with it and others don't . Except for training an injury , I'd never train SS again.


I've never used SS but I find it slightly distracting counting while doing negatives, e.g. chins. I've heard that same criticism of SS in general. Is that fair?
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Gazz

Drew Baye wrote:
I'm currently using a very abbreviated routine (minus the SuperSlow part) and getting good results. No more than 2 or 3 compound movements, and between 2 and 3 exercises for smaller muscle groups (forearms, calves, etc.) once every 4 to 5 days.


Hi Drew

You said in your first post that you did an abreviated routine using superslow (10/10 cadence?) protocol with poor results.

Reading the above post, presumably the lack of progress was attributable to superslow protocol, not the infrequent consolidated type training or am I reading this incorrectly.

If this is the case at what point, in your opinion, does the slow rep speed become a hindrance rather than an advantage (purely from a hypertrophy view).

All the best
Gazz
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Marc1000

Drew Baye wrote:
I'm currently using a very abbreviated routine (minus the SuperSlow part) and getting good results. No more than 2 or 3 compound movements, and between 2 and 3 exercises for smaller muscle groups (forearms, calves, etc.) once every 4 to 5 days.


Hi Drew,

This format looks similar to some of Mike Mentzer's more reasonable versions of the consolidated routine.

Do you feel that you have lost any conditioning by lowering the volume to this extent?

Thanks,

Marc
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Paul Marsland

Hi Gazz if I may Drew has covered this before in a nut shell Drew has stated that moving too slowly is creates problems to due to a lack of work performed within the same TUL. He stated that a rep cadence of 3/3 or thereabouts will eliminate momentum without any of the drawbacks of moving too slowly.

Personally i like to use slow reps, but I feel it is a too infrequent stimulus which causes the problems with consolidation routines.


Hope this helps.

Paul.
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Crotalus

I've never used SS but I find it slightly distracting counting while doing negatives, e.g. chins. I've heard that same criticism of SS in general. Is that fair?


I didn't like the counting either, but trained alone and had no choice. Thing was, I was really into it ; thought it was the greatest way to train. I got to the point for better concentration to put cotton in my ears so I could 'tune in' better to feeling each rep, etc.

The workouts were incredible but the results were horrible . Imagine seeing a friend you haven't seen in months saying ;

"Holy shit ... I never thought I'd see that day you quit working out ! What finally brought you to your senses?"

Comments like that one is what brought me to my senses about SS ... I immediately went back to full range reps as 50% sets and got everything I lost from SS back in no time.

Now I train mostly with JREPS but still use full range and my beloved 50% sets through the winter.
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spud

These words are from Drew's site:

"Ken Hutchins, the developer of the SuperSlow protocol currently recommends a TTF of 100 to 180 seconds and routines consisting of as few as 3 or 4 exercises performed 1 or 2 times per week."

As well as the reps being needlessly slow, the very long set durations mean that you use very light weights, and 3 or 4 exercises per session is not much at all, even if they are all compound movements, it's not difficult to tolerate more.

When is say more (volume and frquency), I'm thinking in terms of the guidelines Dr Darden lays out in The New HIT i.e. somewhere between 7 and 12 sets and no more than 3 non consecutive days per week.

Gazz wrote:
at what point, in your opinion, does the slow rep speed become a hindrance rather than an advantage (purely from a hypertrophy view).


From a hypertrophy point of view I don't know, but from the point of view of a decent level of safety, and improved muscular loading, performing most exercises slower than 5/5 is pointless unless you're a raw beginner, in rehab, or you're elderly.

You have to remember that actually counting rep speed yourself, will just distract you from focusing on other elements of form such as body position, breathing and contracting the target musculature.

Good form isn't difficult, but the last thing you need is counting ruining your concentration.

Remember, that regardless of what speed you start the set at, if you train to failure, your last 2 or 3 positives should be really slow anyway. The negatives should still be performed at roughly the same speed they were at the start of the set.
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Paul Marsland

I know Fred Hahn has gotten good result for himself and his clients using a slow rep protocol, but Fred is against long TUL's and light weights, he favours much heavier weights, greater volume and more frequent workouts, whilst still working within the confines of whole body workouts,

its not so much the slow reps which are at fault but the other principles such as volume and frequency which I believe accounts for a lack of results, ALL the variables have to be accounted for and regulated according to the individual.
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jeffpinter

California, USA

Crotalus wrote:

In theory it should have worked but it was a disaster for me. Some do well with it and others don't . Except for training an injury , I'd never train SS again.

Hi Crotalus,

I too was a firm believer in the SS protocol, trained in this fashion for several years, and like many others, regressed.

The concept of moving very slowly is really very elegant, and that is why it appealed to me. But it suffers from an inherent flaw, and when I eventually understood the flaw, I also realized why I was regressing.

The flaw is based on the fact that power generation, inroad rate, and intensity are a function of rep speed, and all these parameters are reduced as the rep speed is reduced. This can be easily proven by comaring two sets at 1/1 and 10/10 rep speeds with the same weight. The 1/1 set will result in failure much quicker. The reason you fail quicker is because you're simply working much harder...more intensely. I think this reduced intensity of the SS protocol is the reason many regress.

However, SS is still a very good way for many people to train, and will probably continue to inhabit a small niche in the HIT world.

Jeff

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Ciccio

Paul Marsland wrote:
I know Fred Hahn has gotten good result for himself and his clients using a slow rep protocol, but Fred is against long TUL's and light weights, he favours much heavier weights, greater volume and more frequent workouts, whilst still working within the confines of whole body workouts,

its not so much the slow reps which are at fault but the other principles such as volume and frequency which I believe accounts for a lack of results, ALL the variables have to be accounted for and regulated according to the individual.


Paul's absolutely right here.
Heavy weights, moved slow and smoothly (not neccessarely 10/10, it depends more on the ROM of the exercise) with squeezing the target muscles at the begining of each rep, for 3-5 reps is a hell of a stimulus for strength and hypertrophy.

Franco


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Drew Baye

Florida, USA

What is an appropriate volume and frequency will vary between individuals. There is no one sure-fire prescription to fit all. It takes some experimentation. That being said, there is an inverse relationship between intensity and volume/frequency. For a given individual, harder training requires a lower volume and frequency of work.
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fantombe

I don't have an issue with the counting being distracting, so get on well with various slow speeds. I use anything from about 3/3 to 10/10, or various other variations (like 60 second negatives, that kind of thing).

I tend to use shorter TUT than prescribed by the SS Guild though in most cases. That seems to work better.

I workout 2-3 times per week though, so probably not as abbreviated as originally suggested.
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JOE W

Crotalus,

I remember you posting your disapointment with this method some time back. I do believe you but how could the results be so poor while the workouts felt so right ?

I do believe you and I have heard this same story quite often (even from family members). What went wrong ? Is there any way like shorter sets, more sets, heavier weights, to make super-slow workouts effective for muscular size gains ?
Thanks,
Joe
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BIO-FORCE

California, USA

jeffpinter wrote:
Crotalus wrote:

In theory it should have worked but it was a disaster for me. Some do well with it and others don't . Except for training an injury , I'd never train SS again.
Hi Crotalus,

I too was a firm believer in the SS protocol, trained in this fashion for several years, and like many others, regressed.

The concept of moving very slowly is really very elegant, and that is why it appealed to me. But it suffers from an inherent flaw, and when I eventually understood the flaw, I also realized why I was regressing.

The flaw is based on the fact that power generation, inroad rate, and intensity are a function of rep speed, and all these parameters are reduced as the rep speed is reduced. This can be easily proven by comaring two sets at 1/1 and 10/10 rep speeds with the same weight. The 1/1 set will result in failure much quicker. The reason you fail quicker is because you're simply working much harder...more intensely. I think this reduced intensity of the SS protocol is the reason many regress.

However, SS is still a very good way for many people to train, and will probably continue to inhabit a small niche in the HIT world.

Jeff



Hi Jeff,

All true, and I might add that if I had to place a single element of SS as the fault of the regression most suffer, it would be the fact that a "slow" concentric reps "limits" the load.

This limited load then creates an even greater "underload" to the eccentric action, which no amount of slowing can replace.

SS simply creates a systematic "underloading" while feeling like it is quite intense.

Good for pump and "feely" sets, but not good for strength and hypertrophy from high levels of muscle tension/force stimulus.

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Paul Marsland

The inherint problems with pure superslow are as follows as I see it, and I'm sure many will agree:

An over cautious attitude regarding injury to exercise, leading to far too lighter weights being used and too long TUL's. Add to this too infrequent workouts, lack of volume and little in the way of variety causing the body to adapt to a constant set of demands.

The result is poor gains in terms of hypertrophy and even as some have stated a regression in terms of appearance, what throws a further curve ball to those that follow it but can't think outside the box, is that they measure progress solely in terms of progressive overload, in so much they are continually getting stronger ( via neurological skill efficiency) so feel that they are progressing and the method is working, and they must be missing something or doing something others are not.

I too struggled with this very concept for years and its not just the problem with SS, but I feel the HIT philosophy in general. As my good friend Andrew Short has pointed out, there are other factors than load and that can and should be utilized for the stimulation of hypertrophy.

Slow reps are highly effective (see David Landu's clients for proof of this) IF used properly and when all the other factors are taken into consideration. As Drew has stated adopt the method to suit YOU, not the other way round.


JOE W wrote:
Crotalus,

I remember you posting your disapointment with this method some time back. I do believe you but how could the results be so poor while the workouts felt so right ?

I do believe you and I have heard this same story quite often (even from family members). What went wrong ? Is there any way like shorter sets, more sets, heavier weights, to make super-slow workouts effective for muscular size gains ?
Thanks,
Joe


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Crotalus

Joe W ;

Well one thing that wasn't to blame with my poor results from SS and that was believing in it. As I said before, I REALLY believed this was IT ... the only way to train.

I guess there were many factors I'm not smart enough to understand but if I were to 'blame' something, I'd say it was the reduction of poundage that could have been used and not enough 'attack' in the way the exercises were done. I think aggressively attacking your workouts accounts for something and that's hard to do when you're lifting weights like you're afraid you'll wake somebody up . Maybe I'm way off with this but that's my take on it. I'm not talking about screaming and throwing weights around but also not handling weights like you would your girlfriend's tits.

I think a HIT workout should be approached like they used to send Mike Tyson after an opponent in his early days ..." with bad intent ". With SS you';re attitude is too cautious and passive ... too worried about turn around , counting , recording everything exactly and all the other bullshit that takes your mind off of kicking you own ass.

You're right about the great workouts ; they were intense and the muscles pumped like crazy ... but I lost size as a result. Twice a week training , 6-7 sets totals , TUL 30 sec - 70 , depending on the exercise. just didn't work with SS.

You ask what can you do to make SS training productive ? You're asking the wrong guy because I wouldn't spend five minutes thinking about how to make SS work for me again.

Along came JREPS / Zone training which gave me even better workouts and pumps and results for the effort. JREPS coupled with full range reps done at different times of the year gives me all the variation I need to stay motivated and get results.



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waynegr

Switzerland

Hi all,

Its not that I am saying you cant grow by using S/S, as of course some people can on it, as your overloading the muscles.

But as some here state they have had regression, gone backwards in size and strength, from doing what they were doing before, which was 2/4, so if a slower reps speed makes you regress, would not going at a faster tempo make you do quite the opposite and progress ???

Just like we all are that are doing the faster reps ???

What rely gets me is I just cant see how you dont get it.

Just imagine sitting in a totally braced machine standing up, and all you can move and do is the bench press action, with a weight, lets say its 10KG, which 10KG weight would go the furthest, the one moved it at 4/4 or the one moved it at 1/1, its the one at 1/1, because your body is working harder and pushing out more force/power/strength.

Wayne
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waynegr

Switzerland

Crotalus wrote:
I'm not talking about screaming and throwing weights around but also not handling weights like you would your girlfriend's tits.

I think a HIT workout should be approached like they used to send Mike Tyson after an opponent in his early days ..." with bad intent ".




Love it.

One more thing about the S/S it at first is sounds good, you thing to yourself, hey only 4 to 8 reps done at a very slow speed, wow that sounds nice and easy, it?s the same with that UR, people will think, or the more lazy or anyone, fantastic, one rep, thats all I have got to do is go to the gym and do one rep, thats it for me.

But it just is not going to work.

Wayne
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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

waynegr wrote:
Love it.

One more thing about the S/S it at first is sounds good, you thing to yourself, hey only 4 to 8 reps done at a very slow speed, wow that sounds nice and easy, it?s the same with that UR, people will think, or the more lazy or anyone, fantastic, one rep, thats all I have got to do is go to the gym and do one rep, thats it for me.

But it just is not going to work.
Wayne


I thought the lazy people would be attracted to the method with 5 minutes rest betweeen sets.
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