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Buster Benson

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Ten commandments of the SuperSlow Power-of-10 weight training program
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In case you're curious, I'm reading a new book about the slow weights philosophy and am keeping notes:

  1. Perform reps that are 10 seconds up, 10 seconds down
  2. Don't hold your breath, breathe freely and evenly
  3. Don't jerk the weights around, be smooth and constant
  4. Do the number of reps it takes for your muscles to completely run out of gas, until you can't do another, and then go for 10 more seconds
  5. Do only 6-8 different types of exercises when you begin
  6. Choose a weight that means you're done in about 6-8 up and downs
  7. Move quickly from exercise to exercise
  8. Have a "zen-like" focus on form, motion, and speed
  9. Do only 1 workout a week, resting 5-7 days
  10. Use weight machines

I've been doing on my own this the last 3 times I've been to the gym and it's pretty interesting.  I'm tired in a completely different way than I usually am.  It's a solid, full-body tiredness.  Also, my appetite has definitely grown, and I'm pretty much hungry all the time.  So I think something about it is working, or at least having a better effect than my usual lame workouts.

As for the suggested diet changes:
  1. Avoid sugars: sugar, wheat, rice, potatoes
  2. Seek proteins: chicken, turkey, lean beef, lean pork, fish, shellfish, eggs, low-fat cottage cheese, whey powder
  3. Seek dark green, red, and yellow things: green leafy and cruciferous vegetables and fruit
  4. Seek whole foods: whole grains, beans, legumes, cereal, brown or wild rice
  5. Seek extra fiber: high fiber cereal, powdered psyllium
  6. Seek good fat: extra virgin olive oil, fish, nuts, avocados
  7. Drink lots of water
  8. Flavor your food so it still tastes good
  9. Take a multivitamin every day
  10. Don't skip meals
  11. Eat 6 times a day
  12. Count portions, not calories
  13. Take a day off every week to eat anything you want
Which is all in the direction that I've been slowly transitioning this last year, so I think I can continue that trend.  Adding meat back into the mix has been quite a relief, though I do have more of a taste and appreciation of vegetables and tofu than I did a year ago.

The third suggested change after exercise and diet that this book talks about is "rest and recovery".  I haven't read that chapter yet but it's supposed to be the true secret to the slow weight power-of-10 thing that this book is all about.  More soon.

First, any health experts strongly disagree with anything so far?

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Any "weight training program" that has "use weight machines" as one of its commandments is full of shit.

Weight machines are unnecessary, and frankly, quite inferior to freeweights. First of all, while they usually fix the motion so that you can't do the "wrong" thing, they fix the motion so that if your body derivates slightly from their path you can actually injure yourself worse than with free weights and proper form. Second of all, they tend to isolate one muscle (or maybe, muscle group). Theoretically that means that you are more efficiently targeting that muscle(group), but really what it means is that you miss all of the supporting muscles involved in doing the motion, potentially causing a muscular imbalance that can also lead to injury. This is also just an inefficient way to work out if your goal is "functional" strength, that is, strength that can be used to make the activities you might have to do in your day to day life easier. There is nothing anywhere near realistic in most of the motions you do in a machine.
Finally, machine work is really easy to get lazy about. You are sitting down when you do most of it which just flat out burns fewer calories than any standing work. You don't have to think to keep your form up. It's incredibly easy to just set it up to a known weight and crank out reps. Yes, you can do that with freeweights but it is slightly harder. Free weights do require more of an up-front investment in learning proper form and constant diligence to make sure your form doesn't break, but they reward in so many ways. You can do more variety, work more efficiently and generally have a ton more fun with free weights.
Seriously though, as a beginner you're going to see results either way, so do machines if you feel more comfortable doing them. But do not for a second believe that you HAVE to use weight machines for anything. I haven't used a weight machine in months and I am strong as an ox.

Yeah, I can see this argument.

One of the main points about the slow weights is the super-focus on form, speed, and motion. They claim to have almost zero injuries as a result, because everything happens so deliberately and stuff.

They do say that the weight machines are for beginners and that they will train you on free weights later on. I think it's just their way of focusing on one part of their philosophy without getting entangled in other parts.

My first one-on-one training session is today, so I'll ask about this... either way, I'm no zealot about free weights or machines and will try not to take sides other than to see each side's pros and cons.

Thanks for the good information!

I knew you'd get on this Camille! Whew!

Oh BTW I think the diet sounds pretty solid. Especially since you're a dude. "Don't count calories" doesn't always work that well for women.

Or the "eat whatever you want one day a week". Maybe one meal, but certainly not a whole day every week. Maybe one day a month?

Yeah, they elaborate on that point and say as much.

It's okay, I'm by nature a pretty healthy eater, except for the alcohol, and never crave foods I'm not "allowed" to have. Plus, I'm not doing this to lose weight anyway.

Plus, it's just easier on boys than it is girls. We store fat differently.

I'm also not exercising to lose weight, but I found that I did need more food and become hungrier when I started exercising, only for it to go down again when my body stopped freaking out. I rarely snack, but I found that I needed a snack between home and the gym. Just have good things on hand -- I keep a tub of dried peas at work for pre-lunch snack food because they have some protein, but they also don't taste so wonderfully that I want to eat a bunch beyond taking the edge off my hunger.

Alright buster, this has got me really intrigued. I'm going to be watching closely to see what kind of results you get with this system. If the signs point to YES, then it may be the final push I need to sign up at the Fairfax gym. Tomorrow I'm going out to buy a jump rope. Does yours have weighted handles or any special things about it that mine should have, or is an old piece of rope from the trunk of my car as good as anything else? By the way, I'm enjoying Pinback; I checked them out after I saw you went to their show.

I use a speed jump rope. Super thin rope with good ball bearings in the handles. Not weighted. You should be able to do 2 or 3 jumps a second no problem. Also, if you hold the rope to the ground with one foot and pull the handles up, the handles shouldn't go any higher than your shoulders. Ideally, the tops should go about to your arm pit.

It's all good...I would only caution re: #4 to limit starchy carbs like grains to only half your carbohydrate intake, and the rest vegetables.

Noted! Hey, Erin and I are thinking of going out tonight for dinner/drinking... interested in joining?

Yeah, she was facebooking me about that. I'm in, at least for drinks. Let me know where!

1) One workout per week? I don't understand this. Your muscles recover faster than that.

2) Working consistenly at the same (low) intensity until exhaustion won't challenge your muscles. Successful lifters have heavy, medium, and light days. There is a lot of the science here.

3) It is important to set goals. Are you keeping records? Did you take your measurements? Your body fat? Your 1 Rep Max? Where are you trying to get to? (helpful page on setting goals)

4) The food advice sounds good. There is so much food advice out there, but eating well is most easy when you are eating fresh whole homemade things. There are far too few high protein snacks, you may find it useful to take a protein supplement. I am a fan of Jay Robb. While you shouldnt obsess over calories, there is general guidance about how much fat, protein, and carbs you need per day. I think the guidance is currently about 30% fat, 30% protein, and 40% carbs (though I did read a very good articleabout eating more good fats

5) Also I've never understand the idea of institutionalized "cheat days", its not really cheatingif you are allowed to do it, so what WOULD be cheating and why would you want to cheat your own self anyway? We always,inevitably, falter anyway, and it is important to forgive ourselves but we shouldnt build it into the structure.

re: 5, I think "cheat" days are just another way to talk about refeeds which can be essential to certain types of diets. When I was losing weight a few years ago I usually did refeeds by default on weekends because it was impossible to have a social life and eat like I was the rest of the week. Theoretically having one or two days a week (or even more depending on how lean you are already) where you eat enough calories helps to reset your metabolism and keep your diet effective. It definitely helps you keep from feeling totally deprived at all times and of course the social life thing.
The only problem with calling it a cheat day is that some people will use that as an excuse to eat such a huge amount of calories that they undo the good they're doing during the week. So don't "cheat", "refeed".

I have no problem with occasionally boosting calories in a controlled manner, it's an important part of weight loss. However we both know there is a difference between using the cheat day as a day to eat a few extra mostly "clean" calories and using the day to binge on total garbage. The diets should be more explicit about that.

Re: yes, yes re-feed

Eh I don't really know about eating "clean". You don't have to eat clean all the time to see decent results, and frankly, I don't know that it is reasonable to expect everyone to be able to live by some definition of "clean". I'm sure I could cut another couple percent body fat if I gave up booze and General Tso's chicken. I'm not sure it would be worth it.

Re: yes, yes re-feed

I'm not sure it would be worth it.

*waves white flag*

you're absolutely right.

1) This is their "crazy plan" and have a whole book written about it. Powers-of-10 is the name. So, you either buy it or you don't, I know it's a little crazy.

2) Yeah, I think the sciences don't necessarily cancel each other out, there are different ways to do different things. I'm a newbie to the science of it all and it's interesting to see how emotional it can all become.

3) Not yet. Today's my first training session. I'm going to definitely track progress. I'm all about that.

4) I'm going to start drinking protein shakes and fiber supplements for sure.

5) Yeah, it's silly. It's just a way to institutionalize the removal of guilt for not being 100% on point all the time.

The "slow 'til you're horribly tired" thing sounds a lot like my Pilates class, actually. We don't go as slowly as your guy recommends, but Pilates really focuses on form and keeping muscles engaged. We only do 4-10 of any exercise, but it really hurts if you're doing it properly and it stays challenging longer that way. There's a former ballerina who shows up to my class. We also focus on breathing, and it's often built into the exercise, like The Hundreds.

I imagine skamille is right about weight machines, but there are people who can't use free weights. I've had bilateral carpal tunnel release surgery and the scar is right down my lifeline and I'm not supposed to put any pressure across it. I've dropped my yoga class because the teacher spends a half-hour on handstands.

True. This method actually came about from experiments with creating workout methods for people who had recently undergone serious injuries. And they found that they gained muscle mass faster than people doing the traditional training methods.

what's wrong with the other colors?

Some of my favorite foods are blue and purple. I can't even think of any yellow vegetables, except for yellow squash which is mostly white. And corn which is not really a vegetable. Does orange count since it's red and yellow?

Power of Ten

While this program is not suited to professional athletes. I have had great results with it. On it for 4 weeks now and have increased weight loads by 30%. I work all muscle groups at every workout. Upper arms increased by 3 inches, and not in fat content.

give this a try if interested it worked for me

What's up?

I just saw a special on TV about the Power of 10. I figured i'd look it up on the internet to see testimonials if it actually works before I buy the book. Ok...it's been almost a month and you haven't posted. Are you still doing the workouts? Are you getting any results?

How's it going now?

So, Buster, how's the exercise program going now? I read the Power of 10 book, and was web searching for others who'd tried it. I've done it a couple of times now, and am planning another slow workout tomorrow.
I think this program comes down on the machines in the machines vs. free weights issue that was commented on by someone else is because machines are somewhat safer if you are working your muscles to complete failure. If you're lifting a weight over your head, for example, and it's at that point your muscles fail, then you might drop it on yourself, which wouldn't be good. That may not be likely, but I think that's where the program's coming from.
Please post a follow up on how this exercise program's worked out (so to speak) for you.

Cheers, Evan

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