If you’re like me, you have a hectic schedule with your vocation, your household duties, and your family life but you want to stay in shape or get in shape physically. Who has time to go to they gym 3 to 5 times a week or even workout at home. Who has the energy? If that sounds like you, I think you will find this article about Slow Burn 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” which was written by Frederick Hahn, Michael R. Eades, M.D., and Mary Dan Eades, M.D. who are, respectively, a professional exercise trainer, and two pioneers in the field of metabolic medicine.
What is Slow Burn?
Like the subtitle of the book says, the Slow Burn fitness regime involves working out once a week for 30 minutes in total. The goal of the program is to quickly and efficiently build your strength without injury and without the risks that accompany most other exercise and fitness activities.
How Does Slow Burn Work?
Strength training improves you strength but it also helps your metabolic health of your muscles as well as the rest of your body. Your muscular system is the largest system in your body and it contains the largest network of blood vessels (your vascular system) in your body. Improving muscle health improves vascular health.
Your muscle mass is the largest factor in determining the rate that calories, in the form of sugar and fat, your body burns for fuel. More muscle means faster burning of calories, even at rest.
But as we age, the body loses muscle mass. This occurs slowly at first but faster as we grow older – up to 40% of our muscle mass. As a result, we lose strength, we grow proportionately fatter, and we burn calories at a slower rate. To slow and reverse this process we need to partake in a proper strength training program. As I mentioned previously, not only will this improve your strength, it will also improve your vascular system, lower your fat, increase your calorie burning, 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 fatigue of the muscles 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 biggest and fastest). These different types of muscle fibers have different roles in the body. The big 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 fiber type in our muscles and the ratios (based on our genetics) vary by type of muscle and from person to person.
Following the Slow Burn method, all the different muscle fibers will be strengthened. In traditional weight training, the slow-twitch fibers respond first to the exercise and then fatigued first. Then the intermediate-twitch fibers respond and fatigue. Only at the extreme do the large fast-twitch fibers come into play. They normally don’t get exercised enough to improve in strength, size, and metabolic health. To get at these muscle fibers quickly and effectively, use the Slow Burn method.
The Slow Burn technique is designed to quickly bring about deep fatigue of all muscle fibers, small and big. The key is to perform each exercise with slow, precise movements in perfect form with weight heavy enough to take the muscle to total fatigue in just a few repetitions. Total fatigue is the point where the muscle cannot move the weight anymore no matter what. At that point, the muscle fibers send out hormonal signals that stimulate growth, increase strength, and improve metabolic function so that the muscles will be able to meet future demands. Continued repetition of this technique quickly 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 rep, you will take three seconds to initiate the motion, then lift and lower the weight precisely and slowly. You should select a weight that for the first second or two it feels like the weight isn’t going to move. Breathe steadily and push slowly and steadily focusing on the motion. If you can lift the weight slowly with good form for at least sixty seconds to ninety seconds, that is about right. The proper weight allows for three to six slow repetitions within sixty to ninety seconds before failure occurs. Your goal is to completely fatigue the muscle, meaning the muscle has reached the point of deep and total fatigue where you 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 shift to the next exercise. You should get through the entire workout in less than half an hour.
How Can Slow Burn 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 motions easier on your joints, muscles, and ligaments lessening chance of injury.
o Increased muscle mass increases metabolic rate which increases calorie burning.
o Fat loss.
o Strengthen bones and reduced chance 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 Burn Fitness Revolution – The Slow-Motion Exercise That Will Change Your Body In 30 Minutes A Week” by Frederick Hahn, Michael R. Eades, M.D., and Mary Dan Eades, M.D. useful. I haven’t gone into the actual exercises and the program as well as the dietary guides as they are extensive. There are a number of books out there that describe similar programs but I feel that this is one of the better ones. It explains everything in a way that anyone can understand and the exercises can be done at home or the gym and don’t necessarily require specialized equipment. If this sounds interesting to you, go check out the book.