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"Doing more exercise with less intensity,"
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What Defines 'Superslow'
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H.I.T. Believer

with all the discussion about superslow training that has gone on for years, im curious of what the various opinions are of what defines superslow ?

Is it a strict 10-10 cadence ? Would 10-5 be considered superslow ? What about 6-6 or 4-4..

Where does superslow training stop and conventional training speeds begin. If faster cadence is better, then wouldnt it serve to reason that advocates of fast balistic exercise would be correct that faster is better as far as cadence goes ? Would a 1-1 or 1-2 cadence be ideal or is there a point where faster is not better and if so where is that threshold ?
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dipsrule

Pennsylvania, USA

This wont go well
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highheavy

Tennessee, USA

Long duration and in my case sarcopenia. 10/10 isn't necessarily the problem but I believe if using this tempo, repetitions should be limited to a range of 2-5. It's prudent to stay within the anaerobic threshold.

Many super slow sets last upwards of 4 minutes - even longer at times.
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dipsrule

Pennsylvania, USA

There is more to it than just rep speed.

If you want to learn more you could look online for a copy of the manual.The first edition would be a good place to start.
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Mr. Strong

H.I.T. Believer wrote:
with all the discussion about superslow training that has gone on for years, im curious of what the various opinions are of what defines superslow ?

Is it a strict 10-10 cadence ? Would 10-5 be considered superslow ? What about 6-6 or 4-4..

Where does superslow training stop and conventional training speeds begin. If faster cadence is better, then wouldnt it serve to reason that advocates of fast balistic exercise would be correct that faster is better as far as cadence goes ? Would a 1-1 or 1-2 cadence be ideal or is there a point where faster is not better and if so where is that threshold ?




Following a set cadence should not be the focus of the set.
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BennyAnthonyOfKC

Missouri, USA

SuperSlow can be divided into two, that of SuperSlow Repetitions that were utilized in a few of the books authored by Dr.Darden and The SuperSlow Exercise Protocol (meaning the workouts and the manner they ahould've been conducted) that Ken Hutchins prescribed & officiated from The SuperSlow Technical Manual and The SuperSlow Exercise Standard newsletter, and I do mean officiated because members of The SuperSlow Exercise Guild began experimenting that Hutchins would frequently disapprove, not always, but frequently.
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entsminger

Virginia, USA

===Scott==
Having watched superslow evolve into REN-EX it seems that the definition of superlow changes somewhat as time goes on and who's implementing it. I guess Hutchins or who ever invented the term/method Superlow for their training could say specifically what he considers is superlow at this particular time and what isn't.
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HeavyHitter32

I always thought 10/10 was considered to be "ideal" according to the SS gurus, but there are variations out there such as 10/5, 8/8, etc.
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WesH

highheavy wrote:
Long duration and in my case sarcopenia. 10/10 isn't necessarily the problem but I believe if using this tempo, repetitions should be limited to a range of 2-5. It's prudent to stay within the anaerobic threshold.

Many super slow sets last upwards of 4 minutes - even longer at times.


Superslow failed to arrest sarcopenia or contributed to it?
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Brian Johnston

Ontario, CAN

I did a SS critique back in the mid 1990s... my main point of contention is that because there are different stroke lengths (compare a wrist curl to a chest press to a machine pullover), then in order to maintain a similar or constant speed/velocity among all exercises that the cadence or timing of each rep would alter.

For instance, if moving at relatively the same speed for a wrist curl vs. a chest press vs. a machine pullover, you might have a cadence of 3/3, 6/6 and 10/10 respectively. I don't know if those cadences work out to those numbers, but I'm simply illustrating.

After all, if you did a barbell curl at 10/10, you would have to move slower than you would in a machine pullover of 10/10 in order to ACCOMMODATE the same cadence. And so, SS is not about working at a particular speed or velocity of movement, but altering that velocity or speed in order to ACCOMMODATE a fixed rep cadence time. As Shatner would say, "Weird or What?"
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H.I.T. Believer

lol...i knew it was dangerous, but thought i would try anyway.


dipsrule wrote:
This wont go well


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H.I.T. Believer

Thanks for the comments so far..Im aware that superslow is more than rep speed, there is turn around speed, bracing, breathing and inroad techniques invloving static holds.

I'm aware that the definition of such is 10-10 by the people who coined the phrase superslow..Still, it brings up the question why 10 seconds, what makes 10 seconds magical ?..Im sure a 9-9 sequence would be little different either in application or results...Likewise for 8-8, so in a liberal sense these have to be considered superslow like -dispite not adhering strictly to the 10-10 protocal.

Somewhere down the line though ,there has to be a thershold where the rep speed would no longer be considered superslow but would now be considered conventional speed..Some people may consider 4-4 to still be a superslow speed while others [medx, arthur jones, mike mentzer] would consider this to be a controlled conventional speed.

Where is the threshold that seperates the two ?? If pure superslow is possibly limited by the reduction of reps per inch, then im sure 9-9 would have the same limitation ? For critics of superslow - based on the idea of limited reps per inch - im curious where would the rep speed allow adequete reps per inch to be considered an effective rep speed ?
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H.I.T. Believer

Isometric squueze- not static hold.. i better make that correction before the point of my discussion gets high zacked.

H.I.T. Believer wrote:
Thanks for the comments so far..Im aware that superslow is more than rep speed, there is turn around speed, bracing, breathing and inroad techniques invloving static holds.

I'm aware that the definition of such is 10-10 by the people who coined the phrase superslow..Still, it brings up the question why 10 seconds, what makes 10 seconds magical ?..Im sure a 9-9 sequence would be little different either in application or results...Likewise for 8-8, so in a liberal sense these have to be considered superslow like -dispite not adhering strictly to the 10-10 protocal.

Somewhere down the line though ,there has to be a thershold where the rep speed would no longer be considered superslow but would now be considered conventional speed..Some people may consider 4-4 to still be a superslow speed while others [medx, arthur jones, mike mentzer] would consider this to be a controlled conventional speed.

Where is the threshold that seperates the two ?? If pure superslow is possibly limited by the reduction of reps per inch, then im sure 9-9 would have the same limitation ? For critics of superslow - based on the idea of limited reps per inch - im curious where would the rep speed allow adequete reps per inch to be considered an effective rep speed ?


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H.I.T. Believer

Brian, i totally understand what you are saying and I believe your right. For exercises with shorter ranges of motion a 10-10 speed would be next to impossible to do without severly compromising the exercise.

I also have always thought , that suoerslow with exercises that have poor strength curves would be inadequete. This includes most free weight exercises - which i believe dont lend themselves very well to a superslow technique. Any exercise with a bad sticking point will result in failure faster due to the inability to get over this sticking point.

Failure due to getting in a rutted hole is not the same as failure due to deep muscular fatique..Any attempt at flattening out a strength curve has got to help with the superslow allpication even if said flattened strength curve is not perfect.

Brian Johnston wrote:
I did a SS critique back in the mid 1990s... my main point of contention is that because there are different stroke lengths (compare a wrist curl to a chest press to a machine pullover), then in order to maintain a similar or constant speed/velocity among all exercises that the cadence or timing of each rep would alter.

For instance, if moving at relatively the same speed for a wrist curl vs. a chest press vs. a machine pullover, you might have a cadence of 3/3, 6/6 and 10/10 respectively. I don't know if those cadences work out to those numbers, but I'm simply illustrating.

After all, if you did a barbell curl at 10/10, you would have to move slower than you would in a machine pullover of 10/10 in order to ACCOMMODATE the same cadence. And so, SS is not about working at a particular speed or velocity of movement, but altering that velocity or speed in order to ACCOMMODATE a fixed rep cadence time. As Shatner would say, "Weird or What?"


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Landau

Florida, USA

Isometric Squeeze - Does that mean I squeeze the Isometric Device?
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farhad

Massachusetts, USA

Landau wrote:
Isometric Squeeze - Does that mean I squeeze the Isometric Device?


LOL. you got it DL. best exercise since the Shake Weight.

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Brian Johnston

Ontario, CAN

I could be completely wrong about this:

1. 10-10 was selected because it was easy to administer/count the seconds... a nice round number, as opposed to 9/9. From there the cadence stuck because that is how the concept began. Some alterations were made, but the original 10/10 still stuck around as a basic protocol that's easy to track and count.

2. Back in the day, 10/10 was fine since the exercises generally were all somewhat big stroke, such as pulldowns and chest press, leg press, and rows. It's only once you take into account calf press, wrist curls, etc., that the 10/10 seems too long, but such exercises were not a factor with Hutchins and the Osteo project and the longer-stroke machines incorporated at the time. Regardless, the issue I brought up with shorter vs. longer stroke exercises altering in speeds to accommodate a cadence goes ignored.
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H.I.T. Believer

Just my attempt at describing pushing against an immovable object as hard as you can creating a near maximum isometric contraction..Not sure what term best describes it.

Landau wrote:
Isometric Squeeze - Does that mean I squeeze the Isometric Device?


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H.I.T. Believer

Brian, you could very well be correct and this could very well be why they chose 10-10 as the correct speed- that being the convienece of using nice round numbers..Easier taught and adminstered.

As far as exercise physiology goes, other speeds must act in the same way though , such as 9-9 and 8-8..With regard to exercise physiology, what would be [ in your opinion of course] a rep cadence that could no longer be considered to be superslow with regard to the dynamics of muscular contraction ?? 6-6, 5-5,4-4 ?? Let us just consider big movements with long ranges of motion such as leg press, row and chest press.


Brian Johnston wrote:
I could be completely wrong about this:

1. 10-10 was selected because it was easy to administer/count the seconds... a nice round number, as opposed to 9/9. From there the cadence stuck because that is how the concept began. Some alterations were made, but the original 10/10 still stuck around as a basic protocol that's easy to track and count.

2. Back in the day, 10/10 was fine since the exercises generally were all somewhat big stroke, such as pulldowns and chest press, leg press, and rows. It's only once you take into account calf press, wrist curls, etc., that the 10/10 seems too long, but such exercises were not a factor with Hutchins and the Osteo project and the longer-stroke machines incorporated at the time. Regardless, the issue I brought up with shorter vs. longer stroke exercises altering in speeds to accommodate a cadence goes ignored.


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AShortt

Ontario, CAN

I don't think it is really about 10/10 at least not anymore. From what I know with RenX, this would define it for me: apply just enough force to begin movement but no more, if movement starts to stall apply more force 'just' until movement continues again.

The more the fatigue the more force you must apply to continue movement. Movement should be steady and smooth (no noticeable increases in cadence no stuttering/stop starting), jaw and face relaxed, breathing should increase in a puffing approach as fatigue increases. No rest should be allowed at either end of the rep (no lock out or let off) Outlying musculature should be minimized to reduce wasted effort from outroading.

Focus should be 100% on the exercise and muscles in question...not 99% but 100%. Sets are taken until absolutely not positive motion can be created and the negative portion becomes 'runway'. As well there would be a host of positioning and cam timing fine tuning to do for each individual to keep it bio mechanically safe and appropriate.

Now that said I have never read any S.S. or RenX manuals nor talked with anyone at length who has been trained in the protocol. I have read the online RenX articles and looked and pondered closely the latest RenX machines.

Regards,
Andrew
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dipsrule

Pennsylvania, USA

At first 10/5 was used alot due the the friction of the machines at that time.

3-5 reps at 10/5 was first recommended.

Maybe I was wrong so far things seam to be going well. :)
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H.I.T. Believer

Thanks andrew, you gave a good description of the super slow technique - at least in-so-far as the way the folks at ren/x do it..
With this description it appears there is no strict rep speed cadence..It appears it must be personal and individualy based and may differ from person to person, lift to lift....

Doesn't sound restricitve at all- at least with regard to the notion of using variable rep speed rather than a set rep speed.


quote]AShortt wrote:
I don't think it is really about 10/10 at least not anymore. From what I know with RenX, this would define it for me: apply just enough force to begin movement but no more, if movement starts to stall apply more force 'just' until movement continues again.

The more the fatigue the more force you must apply to continue movement. Movement should be steady and smooth (no noticeable increases in cadence no stuttering/stop starting), jaw and face relaxed, breathing should increase in a puffing approach as fatigue increases. No rest should be allowed at either end of the rep (no lock out or let off) Outlying musculature should be minimized to reduce wasted effort from outroading.

Focus should be 100% on the exercise and muscles in question...not 99% but 100%. Sets are taken until absolutely not positive motion can be created and the negative portion becomes 'runway'. As well there would be a host of positioning and cam timing fine tuning to do for each individual to keep it bio mechanically safe and appropriate.

Now that said I have never read any S.S. or RenX manuals nor talked with anyone at length who has been trained in the protocol. I have read the online RenX articles and looked and pondered closely the latest RenX machines.

Regards,
Andrew[/quote]

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highheavy

Tennessee, USA

The description in inaccurate.

SuperSlow is RenEx and RenEx is SuperSlow plain and simple.

They claim 10/10 is the IDEAL speed.

The founder declares 10/10 as the foundation of All BIOMECHANICS.

The RenEx manual is very similar to the SuperSlow manual. Somethings are exactly the same with the term SuperSlow replaced with RenEx.

A major difference is the long duration that is now recommended vs shorter duration sets in earlier versions of SuperSlow.
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backtrack

Having any set cadence is a complete waste of time. You just have to judge for yourself what you feel is the best cadence for each exercise without introducing momentum. Sometimes a little bit of momentum with free weights isn't necessarily a bad thing as the effective resistance can change greatly depending on the exercise.

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BennyAnthonyOfKC

Missouri, USA

As an early member (late 1994) of The SuperSlow Exercise Guild, but far from the earliest of members to be sure, when I encountered the argument that Brian Johnston reiterated above, originally from the late 1990s, when I first happened across his writings, I knew immediately that he had a point, an enormous point. While Hutchins always maintained, as of the late 1980s, that 10 was also arbitrary to some degree so beginners could understand, as well as our most base of natures could remember the number under the stress of load & intensity..... Hutchins did a great disservice to SuperSlow for never responding, other than to repeat that his cams were timed to 10/10, which the misunderstanding of many outsiders to SuperSlow is about 10/5 that Hutchins, and others, endorsed for free-weights & friction-laden equipment that in the worse of cases might need to be adjusted to between to 5/5, or not used at all in the case of radically bent guide-rods that some gyms refuse to discard out of being skinflints.

In an case, Hutchins also disliked using 10/10, or 10/5, to quantify SuperSlow, in the sense that it discounted THE TURNAROUNDS that, to use my quantifications, make SuperSlow Repetitions more akin to 10-1-10-1, or even 10-2-10-2, which both depends upon the needs of the exercise's intrinsic sub-protocol due some exercise's have TURNAROUNDS are slightly different; for example, trainees with injured ankles probably need slower turnarounds than those with healthy and/or young ankles, but exercise with longer strokes probably needed longer turnarounds too.
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