If you are like me, you have a hectic schedule with your vocation, household chores and family life but you want to keep fit or get physically fit. Who has time to hit the gym 3-5 times a week or even work out at home? Who has the energy? If that sounds like you, I think you’ll find this Slow Burn article interesting.
This article is essentially an overview of the book “The Slow Burn Fitness Revolution: The Slow Motion Exercise That Will Change Your Body in 30 Minutes a Week” written by Frederick Hahn, Michael R. Eades, MD, and Mary Dan Eades. , MD who are, respectively, a professional exercise trainer and two pioneers in the field of metabolic medicine.
What is slow combustion?
As the subtitle of the book states, the Slow Burn fitness regimen consists of exercising once a week for 30 minutes total. The goal of the program is to build your strength quickly and efficiently without injury and without the risks that accompany most other exercises and physical activities.
How does slow combustion work?
Strength training improves your strength, but it also helps the metabolic health of your muscles and the rest of your body. Your muscular system is the largest system in your body and contains the largest network of blood vessels (your vascular system) in your body. Improving muscle health improves vascular health.
Your muscle mass is the most important factor in determining the rate of calories, in the form of sugar and fat, that your body burns for fuel. More muscle means faster calorie burning, even at rest.
But as we get older, the body loses muscle mass. This happens slowly at first but faster as we get older, up to 40% of our muscle mass. As a result, we lose strength, gain proportionately fat, and burn calories at a slower rate. To slow down and reverse this process, we must engage in a proper strength training program. As I mentioned earlier, this will not only improve your strength, but it will also improve your vascular system, reduce your fat, increase your calorie burn, and improve the functioning of the other organs in your body.
The Slow Burn program is different from other weight training programs in that it involves slow movements, low repetitions, and complete muscle fatigue in a short period of time.
There are four different types of muscle fibers: slow twitch fibers (the smallest), two types of intermediate twitch fibers (slightly larger and faster), and fast twitch fibers (the larger and faster). These different types of muscle fibers have different functions in the body. The large fast twitch fibers are designed for situations that require explosive power of short duration. The slower fibers are more for endurance. We all have some of each type of fiber in our muscles, and the ratios (based on our genetics) vary by muscle type and from person to person.
By following the Slow Burn method, all the different muscle fibers will be strengthened. In traditional weight training, the slow twitch fibers respond to exercise first and then fatigue first. The intermediate twitch fibers then respond and fatigue. Only at the extremes do the large fast-twitch fibers come into play. They typically don’t exercise enough to improve their strength, size, and metabolic health. To target these muscle fibers quickly and effectively, use the Slow Burn method.
The Slow Burn technique is designed to rapidly cause deep fatigue of all muscle fibers, small and large. The key is to perform each exercise with slow, precise movements and in perfect form with enough weight to bring the muscle to full fatigue in just a few repetitions. Total fatigue is the point at which the muscle can no longer move the weight, no matter what. At that time, the muscle fibers send out hormonal signals that stimulate growth, increase strength, and improve metabolic function so that the muscles can meet future demands. Continuous repetition of this technique rapidly builds muscle strength, muscle mass, power, and quickness.
A typical Slow Burn workout of a specific muscle group will take sixty to ninety seconds to perfectly perform a single set of three to six repetitions. With each repetition, you will take three seconds to initiate the movement, then raise and lower the weight precisely and slowly. You should select a weight that for the first second or two appears as if the weight is not going to move. Breathe steadily and push slowly and steadily concentrating on the movement. If you can lift the weight slowly with good form for at least sixty seconds to ninety seconds, that’s about right. Proper weight allows three to six slow reps within sixty to ninety seconds before failure occurs. Your goal is to completely fatigue the muscle, which means that the muscle has reached the point of deep, total fatigue where it can no longer lift the weight and still maintain perfect form.
You should spend a couple of minutes on each exercise with a minute in between as you move on to the next exercise. You must complete the entire training in less than half an hour.
How can slow combustion benefit you?
These are some of the benefits of the Slow Burn method:
o Greater muscle strength gains in a shorter period of time.
o Shorter workouts save you time.
o Slow movements are easier on joints, muscles and ligaments, reducing the chance of injury.
o Increasing muscle mass increases metabolic rate, which increases calorie burning.
o Loss of fat.
o Strengthens bones and reduces the possibility of osteoporosis.
o Improved circulation, blood sugar levels and better response to insulin which improves blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides.
So I hope you found this overview of “The Slow-Heat Fitness Revolution: The Slow-Motion Exercise That Will Change Your Body In 30 Minutes A Week” by Frederick Hahn, Michael R. Eades, MD, and Mary Dan helpful. Eades, M.D. I have not gone into the actual exercises and program as well as dietary guides as they are extensive. There are several books that describe similar programs, but I think this is one of the best. He explains everything in a way anyone can understand and the exercises can be done at home or in the gym and don’t necessarily require specialized equipment. If this sounds interesting to you, take a look at the book.
Frederick Hahn’s website is located at www.seriousstrength.com, where you can find many additional resources. You can buy the Slow Burn Fitness Revolution book or read additional reviews here.