T Nation

SuperSlow: the Latest Lifting Hoax

I was quite happy to hear that my girlfriend was participating in a weight lifting study at our college. She’s a little lazy sometimes and doesn’t exercise much, but maintains a healthy weight regardless. Let’s face it though, we all want women like the beautiful figure athletes that grace this site, and I hoped that this study might spark her interest in resistance training.

I asked her about the details of what all the study was about, and my enthusiasm quickly waned. The study is meant to be some sort of validation of a new lifting “style” called SuperSlow ( http://www.superslow.com ) . Much like it’s namesake, SuperSlow emphasizes very slow repetitions - 10 seconds for the concentric and eccentric motions each.

I try to remain open-minded about new fitness ideas. After all, I used to think chain squats were just a way to try and look like a tough guy when doing squats, until I actually tried them. Let’s just say, walking was a bit more difficult than usual the next day, and I now respect the hell out of anyone that can perform squats with good form and have the variable resistance that chains offer.

Still, I thought it worth her and my time to investigate a bit. She directed me to their website, where the benefit of the doubt I had granted SuperSlow quickly disappeared. Among some of the program’s vices, the more notable ones include:

  • Never training more than twice per week, for no more than 20 minutes per session.
  • Absolutely never using free weights. All exercises are done on machines.
  • Claiming their one-size-fits-all workout is sufficient for athletes in need of sports specific exercise.

What’s more, SuperSlow has absolutely no accreditation from any sort of fitness organization. The are unknown to the NSCA, NSMA, or any of the various sites dedicated to the various forms of strength training, such as T-Nation or BodyBuilding.com.

Their only “accreditation” comes from the International Association for the Continuing Education and Training, which is an organization that only measures how good an educational program is and has nothing to do with weight training or even anything in the realm of fitness.

To me, this seems just like yet another testament to the extreme laziness that so many people would rather involve themselves in. Instead of using methods proven time and time again and putting effort into meals and workouts, people just want the easy way out, and SuperSlow is yet another venue that supports this laziness.

Just have a look at their Success Stories page (http://franchise.superslowzone.com/success-stories). Every single person there is an absolute beginner to resistance training; not one experienced lifter has commented on making gains. More importantly, none of the stories quantify their results. The participants claim to feel better and stronger, but as untrained individuals, any sort of strength training will cause gains, no matter how awful the program is.

Don’t get me wrong here, I believe that if a person was going to do either SuperSlow or nothing, he should do SuperSlow because at least he’s getting SOME exercise. But let’s be honest here, how does any of this translate to natural movements?

We all know that machines are significantly inferior to free weights, but if you’re going to lift a box over your head to put it on a high shelf, would you take a full ten seconds to lift it from your chest to the shelf? In fact, how is taking that long a natural movement in any way?

Unless anyone has some input that I’ve overlooked, it seems to me that SuperSlow is just another fly-by-night hoax, right up there with spot reduction and toning. With no outside accreditation, little basis in traditional lifting practices, and practices that are questionable at best, I very strongly doubt how SuperSlow can guarantee the gains it promises.

Superslow has been around some time and is generally regarded as part of the HIT style of training (one set to failure). There is a new book out called Body By Science by Doug McGuff? who is a physician and advocates the superslow style, so it may be making a comeback. Just like any other training, the body adapts after awhile and then the results will stop.

[quote]Ryan71 wrote:
Superslow has been around some time and is generally regarded as part of the HIT style of training (one set to failure). There is a new book out called Body By Science by Doug McGuff? who is a physician and advocates the superslow style, so it may be making a comeback. Just like any other training, the body adapts after awhile and then the results will stop.[/quote]

I’ll have to pick up his book. I wonder, though, if he encourages the super slow lifting technique as only one of many lifting techniques to utilize. The thing about the SuperSlow company is that they use this method exclusively, which is what drew my concern. Does anyone else have any experience with very slow lifting?

He does recommend superslow only I believe. There is a series of videos (12 I think) with him about the book and going thru a workout. Here’s the first one:

That does sound alot like HIT training, though ten seconds for both phases sounds excessive. The eccentric phase is the one thats should take longer.

lifting slow is stupid, Nuff said.

[quote]playeri10 wrote:
That does sound alot like HIT training, though ten seconds for both phases sounds excessive. The eccentric phase is the one thats should take longer.[/quote]

Yeah, see I can see how utilizing standard lifting techniques with slower reps as a part of a program could be useful as a different way to stimulate yourself. But I just can’t really see how that would be beneficial as the sole form of lifting, especially when confined to machines.

Actually this form of lifting was especially popular in the 60’s bodybuilding world, because of the invention of the nautilus machines. If done right, it can be beneficial. The drawback is that it’s not that east to master. You have to focus a lot on the negatives. There’s alot of books on it. Go to bodybuilding.com , and look it up. Personally, I’m not a big fan.

Yep, I went to a HIT gym for a few months and they did it there.

[quote]majicka wrote:
Yep, I went to a HIT gym for a few months and they did it there.[/quote]

Were any of the trainers/trainees big?