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Lifting Weights the Super-Slow Way

Workout Technique May Bring Desired Results

How to Do It

Before you start a super-slow workout, Hutchins says it's important to determine how much weight you can lift and then reduce it by 30%.

"If you're a novice and we knew the weight that was perfect for your strength it wouldn't be good to go that high," he says. "You need to master the technique."

Concentration on form is important with super-slow.

  • Find a quiet place where you can work uninterrupted for 20-30 minutes.
  • Start with six to 10 repetitions of each exercise, taking 10 seconds to lift the weight and another 10 seconds to lower it.
  • Take as little time as possible in between exercises.

Remember, Hutchins says, the objective of super-slow exercise is to make the muscles fail.

"Move briskly but safely between exercises," he says.

A good workout for beginners should include five to six exercises.

  • Begin with the lower body. Do a calf raise, squat, or leg press.
  • Follow that with a chin-up or pull-down. Next, do pushups or a chest press.
  • Finish the workout with a static neck exercise.

"Do nothing that is sudden or jerky," Hutchins says. "We generally want to stick to compound movements that involve more than one joint, like a row, chest press, or squat. They work more muscle mass at one time and are easier to judge in terms of form."

As with any weightlifting exercise, Hutchins says, take at least a day off in between workouts.

"The muscle building goes on when the body is resting," he says. "If you work out while it is trying to build muscle, you prevent it."

Bob Calandra is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in several magazines including People and Life. He lives in Glenside, Pa.

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Reviewed on May 14, 2001

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