Super slow training

Discussion in 'Other' started by pet', Oct 20, 2019.

  1. pet'

    pet' More than 5000 posts


    Did someone here try the "super slow training" ?

    Good Workout Programs

    Basically, we perform only one set, once a week, without locking the bottom and top position, and do not have a break between the exercices. This gives some kind of HIT training

    Kind regards,

    Adam R Mundorf likes this.
  2. Adam R Mundorf

    Adam R Mundorf More than 500 posts

    I spent a whole 6 month period doing Steve Maxwells 5 Pillar Bodyweight System. I would vary the movements but it was always :
    • Vertical Push
      • Hindu Pushup
    • Vertical Pull
      • Chin up
    • Horizontal Push
      • Pushup
    • Horizontal Pull
      • Australian Pull Ups
    • Squat
      • Wall Sit
    • Hinge
      • Short Bridge
    • Anti Rotation
      • Bicycle
    • Ancillary (Grip)
      • Towel Hang
    I only did one set of each exercise, only measuring tut (time under tension). Moving right from exercise to exercise. I would go super, super slow until failure, keeping form perfect. I got wicked strong and my arms gained some freaky definition. My training frequency was once to twice a week.

    The downside to this training method is that it takes allot out of you. Hard to explain. Once to twice a week is more than enough.
    pet' likes this.
  3. pet'

    pet' More than 5000 posts


    @Adam R Mundorf
    Thanks !

    I never tried this. How long were your moves and sessions ?

    Did it also maintain some conditioning, like the "2 minute 1 repetition" claims for instance ?

    Kind regards,

  4. LukeV

    LukeV More than 300 posts

    Yes, I've done "super slow" as the Body By Science variant for about six months. For muscle building I found it superior to any other once per week program and the results were surprisingly good against modest expectations. I mean some people would claim you can't build decent muscle on a once per week program but you definitely can. Super slow is a brutal way to do it though! And while you can definitely build muscle that way my experience is that multiple hard sets with frequency twice per week or higher gets superior results. But if you're pressed for time and can only make the gym once per week then super slow is definitely the way to go.
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  5. Tim Randolph

    Tim Randolph Double-Digit Post Count

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  6. Adam R Mundorf

    Adam R Mundorf More than 500 posts

    So, I would only do one set until absolute muscular failure. I would time my exercises but I wouldn't have a specific time in mind. I would just go extremely slow and smooth. The TuL I aimed for was within 40 - 90 seconds. If I exceed 90 seconds in an exercise, I would move onto to a harder variation or change leverages. If a move fell below 30 seconds, it was too hard of a variation and I need to regress. I wouldn't know any of these numbers until after I hit absolute muscular failure, and hit stop on my phone timer.

    I guess my whole workouts lasted no more than 15 to 20 minutes. Probably less. The thing about this super slow training is you need to master yourself. It becomes a form of meditation and learning how to push to absolute failure while maintaining perfect form and breath. The breathing is really important.

    Conditioning for what?
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  7. pet'

    pet' More than 5000 posts


    @Adam R Mundorf
    I mean mainly some kind of "GPP", such as S&S.

    Kind regards,

    Adam R Mundorf likes this.
  8. Adam R Mundorf

    Adam R Mundorf More than 500 posts

    That's exactly what it is. It isn't meant to improve any one quality but to address the 5 point definition of exercise.
    1. Increase Muscular Endurance
    2. Increase Muscular Strength
    3. Increase Cardio Respiratory Function
    4. Increase Mobility and Flexibility
    5. Decrease chance of Injury
    I pretty much did the 5 pillars system and skipped rope with daily walks. I did feel like I was missing out on some great weighted movements, the goblet squat and turkish get up to be specific.
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  9. pet'

    pet' More than 5000 posts


    @Adam R Mundorf
    I really like your answer because it seems this program is some kind of bodyweight version of S&S.

    So at the time your training was something like ?
    - 1/2 a week: 5 pillars
    - 4/5 times a week: skipping rope and walking

    As some kind of test, did you "measure" your deadlift (for instance) before this protocol, and after ?

    Kind regards,

    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
  10. Adam R Mundorf

    Adam R Mundorf More than 500 posts

    That training schedule looks accurate. I skipped rope probably 3 days a week. I also did a ton of mobility work and crawling.

    I didn't have any kind of test. I just know that chin ups are now super easy for me, even when I don't train them or have gained weight. Something about performing super super slow chin ups ingrained the technique so deeply into my head, that I can perform a good amount of reps whenever I want regardless.
    pet' likes this.
  11. pet'

    pet' More than 5000 posts


    @Adam R Mundorf
    Thank you very much for all your information !

    I tried this morning some kind of "variation" of this program:
    - OA push ups
    - Pull ups
    - Squats
    - Deadlifts

    For all the moves, I really focused on avoiding the lock position to be sure to get some full contraction and maximazing TUL. However, I still wanted to be fairly close to it. I also paid attention to breathe beyond the shield all the way up and down. I used a timer to get 10s up and 10s down. I chose not to do a core exercise due to the OA PU and + squat + DL.

    I would not have imagined it was so tough, for both strength and cardio-vascular system !

    Did you try to add a few explosive reps after a set for instance, as described in the video below ?

    Kind regards,

    Last edited: Oct 22, 2019
  12. SinisterAlex

    SinisterAlex Still New to StrongFirst Forum

    Many many years ago i did something slow, can´t remember where i got the idea, but it was very simple and brutal:

    1-minute *rep* in the pushup and chins
    1-minute wall-sit
    1-minute band deadlift
    Twice a week, one set for a month.
    I mean, didn´t loose any strength nor size - however my workcapacity went drastically down.
  13. pet'

    pet' More than 5000 posts


    Conditioning and work capacity are something I am always after. Everyday, I do either running, burpees, or rope.

    Kind regards,

  14. SinisterAlex

    SinisterAlex Still New to StrongFirst Forum

    I guess if you have an active lifestyle on the side this kind of training might be a very good bet.

    I would love to see someone that have an active lifestyle gives this type of training a shot over time....
  15. Adam R Mundorf

    Adam R Mundorf More than 500 posts

    This is the best video example of what I did :

    I did not add any explosive reps.
  16. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Forum Administrator Senior Certified Instructor

    There are a total of 4 blog articles on this subject if memory serves. Follow the links and read them all.

  17. Tim Randolph

    Tim Randolph Double-Digit Post Count

    Thanks, Steve. It was the Superslow training that I didn’t know, but you promoted me to figure it out. It is an odd protocol and I was fooled by the name. This is actually a rapid fire series of machine lifts that happen to be done slowly. No long rests as the whole thing takes 12-15 minutes. Definitely not aimed at the same goals.
  18. pet'

    pet' More than 5000 posts


    Below is a good interview of Doug McGuff, regarding the Slow training.
    - 1 set per exercise, to failure, 1 a week
    - TUT between 45s and 90s
    - Very low rest (almost no rest actually) between the exercises
    - As soon as it becomes "easy", we switch to heavier weight (or a harder variation if we go for bodyweight training)

    It claims that this kind of training can give the same metabolic benefits (cardio vascular / endurance) than regular protocols.

    In this video from the same guy (Drew Baye), it is admitted that Doug McGuff is not optimal for a bodybuilder who is looking for hypertrophy, or a runner who is after endurance, or a powerlifter who wants max strength. Nonetheless, it seems to be a good "compromise" between all these different physical activities, with good results considering the time invested.

    Below is a review of someone who actually ran the program (there is also a description of the protocol):
    Body By Science High Intensity Training Review: My 9 Month Experiment

    Here is an article which covers the book itself:
    Super Slow High Intensity Training: 15 minutes of Training A Week!
    If you do not mind and have a little time, as I know you are busy, I'd have a few questions:
    - Do you know this protocol ? What do you think about it ?
    - Do you think it would lead to "similar" results with other moves (possibly with weight or "hard variations"): push up (push), pull up (pull), cable crunch / dragon flag (core), squat (hip), DL (hinge) ?

    Thanks !

    Kind regards,

  19. More than 500 posts

    Super Slow Protocol

    I purchased the book directly from Ken Hutchins (listed above) back in the 1990's. I spoke with Ken by phone several times on the Super Slow Protocol Training Method.

    Essentially, it is the Nautilus High Intensity Training Program that Authur Jones promoted when his Nautilus Gym Fitness Equipment came out in the mid 1970's, only with a Super Slow Movements.

    I briefly worked for the Natulius Gym franchise in Houston, Texas.

    Ken Hutchins worked for Nautilus and was introduced to it when one of the Nautilus Franchise Gym owner's began using it and training his members with Super Slow.

    The late Mike Mentzer was a proponent of Nautilus HIT and Dorian Yates became an advocate of it after working with Mentzer.

    Fred Hahn (Slow Burn) is a disciple of Super Slow. I have had discussion with Fred about Super Slow.

    I used the Super Slow Protocol Training Method for a while.

    So yes, I know this protocol.

    It has it place on the training table.

    As with any Strength Training Program, individual are going to obtain some benefits with it.

    Years ago when I did Personal Training, I used the Nautilus High Intensity Training and Super Slow Protocol variation with clients.

    However, many of the "Super Slow Cult" over rate the effectiveness of Super Slow.

    Similar Results

    Yes, it will have a similar training effect with other exercises. The concept and application remain the same, the variable is the exercise.

    Time Under Tension

    45 to 90 seconds of continuous Time Under Tension is a long time. It produces "Metabolic Stress, somewhat of a mini "Pump"; that due the fact that only one set of an exercise is performed.

    "The Pump" is produced when blood is pumped into the muscles. It's similar to blowing up a balloon.

    Blowing into the balloon with only one breath (one set) doesn't blow the balloon (pump the muscle up) as much as multiple breathes/sets do.

    Exercise Selection

    One of the issue maintaining tension on the muscle for long periods of Time Under Tension or pushing movements to failure in a free weight exercise it that the movement is altered.

    That means the exercise you start out performing, usually is not same one you finish with.

    The Squat-Morning is an example of what can occur with a free weight exercise when pushed near or to failure. It become a complete different exercise; a Squat turned into a Good Morning.

    What I've found it that High Intensity Training and Super Slow Protocol Training with machines does not allow you to modify the exercise movement and turn it into something else. The movement is locked in, one guide path.

    With that said, I've seen some individual find a way to modify the movement even on a machine.

    Overall Perspective

    I am not a proponent of Super Slow Protocol. However, I am not a "Super Slow Protocol Hater".

    If someone likes this method, then do it.

    Kenny Croxdale
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2019 at 10:40 AM
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  20. pet'

    pet' More than 5000 posts

    First of all, I thank you very much for your answer.

    When I read the different comments, it almost sounds "too good to be true": such gains in almost every fields of health (cardio vascular and muscle endurance, strength, some hypertrophie, etc...)

    In your experience, and based on your science background, do you confirm it works that well ?

    Could it almost be considered as an "alternative" to S&S ?

    Kind regards,


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