It's important to understand how muscle grows and why we lift weights. The fact is building new muscle is something that our bodies don't want to do without very good reason. There has to be a stimulus and that stimulus has to be strong enough to trigger a systemic response throughout the body. So if you just bend your elbow all day without holding a weight, your biceps will not receive a strong stimulus and will not increase in size. But if you bend your elbow while holding a 50 pound bucket of rocks the intensity of lifting is enormously higher and your body will trigger the muscle growth process.
To make a long story short, a great deal of research has been done to show that it is the intensity of lifting that is far more critical to muscle growth stimulus than the volume (or duration) of the lifting. This is why a 100 meter sprinter has quadriceps far larger and more powerful than a 26 mile marathoner's quadriceps.
And since we humans do not have infinite power and energy on tap, any time we increase the duration of an exercise we automatically decrease the intensity. That's bad. What we need is to maximize the intensity and minimize the duration - that would be the ideal exercise.
How do we do that?
Stated another way, how can we lift the most weight in the shortest time - and do it with maximum safety? The answer is to lift the maximum possible weight in our strongest and safest possible range of motion. That is exactly what the 1 REP GYM machine is engineered to do! And here is some more good news for busy people; when you train with maximum intensity on every exercise your body requires more time to recover so your workouts need to be spaced farther apart. Most of my advanced clients training on the 1 REP GYM are working out only two to three times per month. Yet they achieve the best results of their lives and get stronger than ever!
See why we call it revolutionary exercise performed on revolutionary equipment? Average, everyday people lifting two or three times more than they ever have in their lives, with maximum safety and with fewer workouts than any other training method and building leaner, stronger bodies than they've ever had in the past.
Benefits of Muscle
And what are the benefits of having more muscle and less fat?
We all know how being in better shape can transform our looks. And lean mass is good mass. A man can weigh 200 and look flabby or he can weigh 200 pounds and look fit and athletic. The difference is how much lean mass he has. The same goes for a woman who weighs 140 pounds. But there is so much more to the story.
A generally accepted medical fact is that the benefits of resistance training are a practical fountain of youth. Here is a partial list:
Osteoporosis: As we age our bones naturally get more porous and less dense. That makes them more brittle and prone to breaking. Resistance training reverses this process and adds density to bones.
Cholesterol: Exercise lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol and increases HDL (good) cholesterol. These are two key markers of heart disease that are improved by exercise.
Human Growth Hormone: We're not talking about the synthetic HGH that is constantly advertised over the Internet. Heavy resistance training causes your body to produce more of its own, perfect-for-you natural growth hormone. Increased HGH is known to boost sexual potency, improve your sleep, improve memory, decrease the wrinkles in your skin!
Testosterone: Resistance training naturally increases levels of testosterone which delays the onset of andropause, also know as male menopause.
Fat Loss: Adding muscle to your body increases your Basal Metabolic Rate which means you'll naturally burn more calories and lose fat 24 hours a day. Adding just 5 pounds of new muscle will burn off 20 to 25 pounds of fat annually.
More Energy: Having more muscle means that every activity throughout the day is less taxing. That means having extra energy to enjoy life more.
Look Better: Resistance training changes the composition of your body in two very positive ways. It increases lean body mass and decreases fat. In short, resistance training makes you look younger and fit.
The 1 REP GYM absolutely, positively delivers these benefits more efficiently than any other training method or exercise equipment in the world. We don't need to qualify that statement in any way. The 1 REP GYM equipment does what no other equipment or exercise method in the world can do: exercises of 3 to 5 seconds per muscle group can be performed at the absolute highest intensity any human (we know of) can achieve. Over three thousand pounds of resistance for upper and lower body isometric static contraction resistance exercises!
LINDSEY VONN could've had a longer career if she'd trained with 1 REP GYM and Measured Intensity Training!
American alpine skier Lindsey Vonn, a 2010 Olympic gold medalist, has won four World Cup overall titles and owns the record for most World Cup wins by a woman.
Recently Vonn announced her retirement stating "My body is broken beyond repair and it isn't letting me have the final season I dreamed of".
Sadly her amazing career will end short of her ultimate goal. Vonn has attained and unbelievable 82 World Cup wins (most ever for woman) falling just short Ingmar Stenmark's record of 86.
"Retiring without reaching my goal is what will stay with me forever" Even though Vonn has accomplished more than any woman will likely achieve for many years to come her body at ONLY 34 years of age, has given out on her.
There is any number of reasons why her career is being cut short due to her "broken down" body HOWEVER, there is absolutely ONE reason which if she had been properly advised on, could've not only extended her career but would've made her even better!
I will call this reason her "limiting factor". Her limiting factor was STRENGTH. Let me be very clear, Lindsey is definitely strong, but I guarantee if her strength training program incorporated static contraction training using the 1 REP GYM she would in no way be ready for retirement.
You see her performance on the slopes when she is competing last only seconds or minutes all together, yet her in preparation for an Olympic Gold or winning whatever race, she dedicated 1,000's upon 1,000's of dumb strength training.
It is dumb because it failed to keep her from getting injured so badly that at only 34 years of age her career is over. She would ski at more than 80 miles an hour and no matter how strong or how effective a strength training program is, if she crashes the result i most likely going to end up with injuries.
If she had someone really smart in her strength training camp they would have had her performing static contract isometric training using the 1 REP GYM.
But instead she was told do perform countless worthless full range of motion strength training exercise that NEVER forced her muscles to rebound stronger.
The concept of "Stimulate Don't Annihilate" is a foreign to anyone in her camp.
Please keep in mind I'm not referring to her stretching exercises, practice runs on the slopes, or IR sauna sessions. I'm ONLY referring to her "strength training" regime.
Lyndsey Vonn only 34 years old and the greatest female skier of all time succumbs NOT to injuries but to failed inefficient strength training programs combined with improper "recovery" periods which would've allowed MAXIMAL muscle recovery, gain, and strength.
What a shame!
10. You’re probably off. Way off.It’s a very well-known problem for diet researchers that people are absolutely terrible at estimating how many calories they eat – and the more overweight they are, the worse they’re likely to be at it. The typical underestimation is 10-45%, with an average of 30%. So if the average person thinks she’s eating 1500 calories, she’s probably closer to 2100. The more overweight you are, the worse you’re likely to be at calorie reporting: in this study, obese subjects underreported calories by 47% on average (on top of overreporting physical activity).
This study is even more telling. Researchers took women who claimed they couldn’t lose weight on a 1,200 calorie diet, and trained them how to track their calorie intake. They had all the women keep food logs, but also used very accurate metabolic techniques to measure how many calories they were really eating.
Almost all the women were severely overestimating their energy intake – one of them thought she was eating 1100 calories and was actually eating over 3000! On average, they were underestimating by around 50%. And these were women who were trained by experts and knew they were being evaluated based on how accurate their records were. So chances are very good that even if you think this doesn’t apply to you, it does (this study isn’t free full-text, but there’s a great detailed analysis here if you want the details).
To put it very simply, very few people are accurate calorie-counters. We tend to tell researchers – and Cronometer, and FitDay, and SparkPeople – what we think we should be eating, not what we actually eat. But unfortunately, our bodies keep an accurate log whether or not we write it down, so the end result is frustration: people honestly believe that they’re eating only 1200 calories per day, and get angry and discouraged when they still can’t lose weight, not realizing that they’re actually eating 2500+!
9. Calorie labels are inaccurate.Even assuming that you’re in the very small minority of people who can accurately keep track of your portion sizes and write down everything you eat, all your efforts are still being undermined by the incredible inaccuracy of labeling laws. Just to give a few examples:
8. It makes you hungry. Calorie restriction is a deliberate attempt to eat less than your body needs to maintain its current weight, forcing it to use up its fat stores for energy instead. It’s basically a very mild form of self-starvation. Given that fact, it’s completely natural to expect feelings of hunger. Unfortunately, when you’re expecting to feel hungry, chances are pretty good that you will!
Take a look at this study. The researchers tested restrained (dieting) and nonrestrained normal-weight women with either a high-calorie or low-calorie drink before a meal. Some of the drinks were labeled correctly, but on others, the labels were switched (so a high-calorie drink got a low-calorie label and vice versa). The dieters – but not the normal eaters – felt hungrier after a drink labeled as low-calorie regardless of how many calories it actually contained.
This one makes it even clearer. Study subjects who got either a high or low-calorie liquid meal “reported hunger more in accordance with belief about caloric value than actual value.” And in this study, just calling a food “healthy” made subjects feel less satisfied afterward (as opposed to calling it “tasty”).
So let’s take a look at what this says about a typical calorie-counting dieter:
7. Your baseline is probably skewed.Everyone’s heard of the 2000-calorie diet. That’s supposed to be what healthy people need to eat – despite the obvious silliness of having just one standard for everyone. Since it’s an average, men tend to assume they need a little more, and women tend to assume they need a little less. So for weight loss, most people take 2000 and subtract a more or less arbitrary number of calories to come up with 1500 or 1800 or something in that range.
But did you know that the 2000 calorie number is actually totally imaginary? You can read about this here: the short version is that it’s an estimation based on guesswork and surveys, and then rounded down in order to deliberately underestimate everyone’s calorie needs. The committee actually thought that giving an accurate number would somehow give us all permission to overeat, so they decided to lie instead.
So how many calories to weight-stable people actually need? Normal, healthy adult men need roughly 2700, and healthy adult women need around 2400. Those numbers are based on accurate measurement of how much people actually eat (using a technique called doubly-labeled water), not just surveys that give people the opportunity to lie and underestimate.
If you don’t believe this, or don’t believe it applies to you, you can use the equation from this study (free full-text) to figure out your personal requirements. All you need to plug in is your height (in centimeters), your weight (in kilograms), your age, and your sex.
The upshot: if you’re basing your calorie restriction on anything like a 2000-calorie baseline, you’re probably severely underestimating your body’s actual needs. That’s called starvation, and it isn’t healthy – so don’t do it.
6. It encourages you to see “low-calorie” as a synonym for “healthy.” Another insidious danger of calorie-counting isn’t obvious at first. It only shows up later, in the tendency to start conflating “low-calorie” with “healthy,” as if calories were the only aspect of a food that mattered. This is called the “health halo” effect: whatever particular aspect of food you’re looking at, whether it’s calories, fat, nutrients, or anything else, you’re likely to make snap judgments about food based entirely on that one number, and miss out on the bigger picture.
This has been documented extensively with “low-fat” claims, but it’s just as true for “low-calorie.” And “restrained eaters” (research-speak for “dieters”) are more sensitive to external cues than normal eaters, so if you’re trying to restrict calories, you’re at a very high risk of falling into this trap.
Say for example that you start out intending to have some olive oil and vinegar on your salad. But after looking up the nutrition facts, you realize that just 2 tablespoons of that will cost you 200 calories: ouch! On the other hand, if you take the lite dressing from the grocery store, you’re only out 50 calories, so you can “afford” an afternoon snack later. That makes the grocery-store dressing look really tempting, but take a look at the ingredients:
Water, balsamic vinegar, soybean oil and extra virgin olive oil, sugar, salt. Contains 2% or less of each of the following: spices, garlic powder, caramel color, xanthan gum, sodium benzoate and sorbic acid and calcium disodium edta (used to protect quality), propylene glycolalginate, gum arabic, natural flavor, sulfur dioxide
The only reason why you’d think that dressing was better for you than oil and vinegar is that you’re focused on calories to the exclusion of everything else. But calorie-counting is like that: it tends to keep you zoomed in so tightly on calories that you start eating processed junk because not only is it lower in calories, but it’s also easier to count those calories when it’s right there on the label for you.
5. It makes you stressed.In this study, researchers assigned healthy women to one of four groups:
Chronic stress is bad news. It deranges everything from your gut flora to your skin to your immune system. If you’re stressing over your diet, it’s undoing at least some (if not all) of the health benefits of the diet itself.
4. It’s a risk factor for compulsive exercise.The natural companion of calorie restriction is cardio. After all, the catchphrase is “Eat less, move more,” not “Eat less, and sit on the couch.” So when most people start a diet, they also start trying to increase their calories out, by virtuously spending hours on the treadmill or elliptical trainer, or some other form of calorie-burning activity.
None of these things are bad in themselves – exercise is generally good for you and even the much-demonized cardio isn’t anything to be afraid of if you know your limits and don’t let it turn into a chronic addiction. But if you start exercising exclusively for the purpose of burning calories, you’re likely to cross the line into overdoing it very fast.
This study says it best: “Exercise and food regulation were often ‘traded off’ against one another, with increased exercise used to compensate for decreased dietary restraint.” This is the familiar pattern of exercising to “burn off” the calories in dessert. Unfortunately, it also meant that the subjects had some pretty disturbing answers when asked about their exercise habits. They showed symptoms both of addiction and of compulsion. To quote one of them:
“I often think that if I…became ill or I had an injury that would prevent me from exercising, would be just the worst possible thing that could happen in my life!”
This is a married woman with two children. And the “worst possible thing” that could happen to her is not a divorce, not a child becoming ill, but having to skip the gym.
This is not healthy. Compulsive overexercise is a serious health problem – it can cause all kinds of metabolic issues, not to mention overuse injuries (if you “can’t” take a day off from running to nurse a sore knee, that sore knee is going to get a lot worse very quickly). And that excessive exercise in turn cycles back to disordered eating: in this study, young women who exercised for the primary reason of “working off food, losing weight, or changing their appearance” had much higher levels of eating disordered symptoms than women who exercised for other reasons.
The upshot: exercise to feel healthy and strong, to build muscle, or to enjoy time with your friends. Do not exercise to “burn calories,” to “make up for” eating something you regret, or to “earn” your food. If you don’t care about calories in the first place, it’s a lot easier to take a healthy attitude toward the gym.
3. It doesn’t address the reasons why you overeat. Nobody woke up sometime in the 1980s and just decided that obesity sounded fun. For any given overweight person, there is a reason why he or she is overeating relative to his or her body’s requirements, and chances are it’s not “because I want to be fat.”
That reason might be personal trauma (eating for comfort after the death of a loved one); it might be a twisted protection mechanism (“if I’m fat, nobody will want to date me and I won’t have to fear the heartbreak of a breakup”); it might be habit (“I’ve always eaten this way and change is too hard”). It might also be hormonal derangement or deregulated hunger cues caused by years of junk food and a sedentary lifestyle. It could be anything.
This has actually been studied, and the results are nothing but supportive of the commonsense idea that people tend to overeat for very compelling emotional reasons – reasons that aren’t addressed at all by calorie-counting. For example:
2. It doesn’t account for nutrient partitioning.“Nutrient partitioning” just means whether a given calorie is used for fuel or stored as fat. This is the big premise of the low-carb idea. In people who are severely insulin resistant, carbohydrate calories are preferentially stored as fat, even though the person’s organs are actually starving. This person doesn’t need to reduce total calories; he needs to get those calories to where they’re so desperately needed (his liver, brain, and other organs) and stop storing them as fat.
If you embark on a 1200 calorie diet in this state, you’ll probably lose some weight (or at least, gain it more slowly). After all, you can’t store calories as fat if they aren’t coming into your mouth in the first place. But that doesn’t heal your metabolism; now you’re just starving your muscles as well as your organs. Thinking about what kind of calories you’re eating, rather than just how many, is a much better way to tackle the real issue.
1. It doesn’t work in the long term.This review of diet studies said it best: “Dieters who gain back more weight than they lost may very well be the norm, rather than an unlucky minority.” Calorie-counting can take off pounds in the short term, but in the long term those pounds come right back, usually with some friends along for the ride.
Even if you’re willing to weigh and measure everything to ensure accurate portion sizes, and deal with the hunger, the deprivation, the stress, and everything else, this should give you a reason not to do it: all that sacrifice ultimately won’t get you what you want.
The exceptionsFor every rule, there’s at least one exception. And the advice against calorie counting is no different.
Exception: Ex-DietersIf you have starved yourself in the past, you may have to count calories to make sure you’re getting enough. It’s very well-documented in eating disorder treatment programs that chronic restrictors have a skewed idea of how many calories are in their food, and counting for a little while may help you re-set. This should be temporary, but sometimes it helps in the short term.
Exception: AthletesAthletes who want to compete at a very high level (especially strength athletes) may also have to count calories to make sure their food intake is adequate to support their training.
What the heck CAN you do that is effective?
A good place to start:
At this point, hopefully you’re convinced that counting calories is not the way to go. What you really need for sustainable weight loss isn’t calorie counting; it’s a diet that…
Nobody’s claiming that Paleo is perfect, but it certainly works a lot better than calorie-counting to hit these key needs. A few tips to help you really tweak the diet for weight loss without counting calories:
This is a good way to start, for more info on Paleo visit:
If you really want to start a catfight in the Paleo world, just raise the topic of calories. Is calories in, calories out a load of baloney, or is it the only legitimate way to lose weight? Do you need to count calories for weight loss? Does a ketogenic diet work because it automatically restricts calories, or because it provides some special metabolic adaptation?
As usual, the answer is complicated. And if we try to oversimplify it for the sake of a snappy catchphrase, we’re just making it harder to get to the ultimate goal: better health. So instead of getting caught up in black-and-white thinking about how calories either “count” or “don’t count,” consider that there are really two different arguments going on here:
As it turns out, that’s exactly what happens, and that’s probably why very intelligent people disagree so strongly on the calorie issue. Argument 1 seems to be true, in a certain very limited sense. But Argument 2, the “eat less, move more” prescription, is so oversimplified that it’s useless: it doesn’t even account for all the ways “calories in” and “calories out” can change. So the researcher who stubbornly insists that “calories count” is right, and the frustrated ex-dieter who couldn’t lose weight on 1,200 calories a day is also right. Calories are technically “true,” but human nutrition is so complicated that they just aren’t very useful.
Calories and the Laws of PhysicsLet’s start the foray into the science of calories by taking a good hard look at Argument #1, the claim that by the laws of physics, a calorie deficit is the only way to lose weight. This is the line you’ll hear endlessly repeated by obesity researchers and diet experts ‘round the world: “weight loss depends on a calorie deficit.” It’s called the Calories-In/Calories-Out hypothesis, or CICO for short.
The basic idea goes like this: by the physical laws that rule the universe as we know it, energy can’t be created or destroyed. It can only be transformed from one form to another. Calories are one unit of energy (if you want to get really precise, one dietary calorie is the amount of energy needed to raise one kilogram of water one degree Celsius). When you eat food, those calories either get used to do something (move your body around, maintain your body temperature, keep your heart pumping…), or stored as fat. No matter whether they come from protein, fat, or carbs, they must be either used or stored. They cannot magically disappear on the trail of the unicorns, or evaporate into thin air, or vanish at the full moon. If you’re gaining fat, it’s because you ate some calories and they got stored as fat. If you’re losing fat, it’s because some of those calories are coming out of storage and getting used for fuel.
This is usually delivered in that familiar tone of “Science says this, and that’s final” – with the implication that if you don’t believe it, you’re just being superstitious or unreasonable. But then again, we’ve also heard “saturated fat is bad for you” delivered in exactly the same tone. So does the CICO hypothesis actually deserve so much confidence?
Calories: The Other Side of the StoryThe main argument otherwise isn’t that calories are a lie, or somehow “false.” It’s that the typical story about “calories in, calories out” doesn’t account for how we use those calories, or why we’re driven to overeat calories in the first place.
Think of it this way: imagine your body is a train, where the people getting on are calories in, and the people getting off are calories out. So the more crowded the train, the more weight you’ve gained. Now imagine that one day, the train is really packed. You might turn to your friend and ask, “why is the train so crowded?” And if your friend is an annoying smart-aleck, he might answer, “because more people got on than got off.”
Everyone understands that that’s a ridiculous answer, and that’s not what you were asking for at all. You were probably expecting to hear something like “because it’s rush hour,” or something else that explains why more people got on than got off. But that’s what the CICO hypothesis does. Why did you gain weight? Because calories in exceeded calories out. This is technically true, but the question remains: what caused calories in to exceed calories out? It’s not nearly as simple as “you ate too much and/or exercised too little,” because there’s a lot more to the “calories in” than food, and a lot more to the “calories out” than exercise.
In other words, the insulin hypothesis (blaming excess carbohydrates for weight gain), and the food reward hypothesis (blaming addictive processed foods), and the lean-tissue hypothesis (blaming nutrient deficiency) all start from the premise that calories count. They just also argue that it’s a lot more complicated than that.
For example, take a look at this. It’s an explanation of the insulin hypothesis from Gary Taubes, one of its biggest champions. But even in this explanation, carbs don’t create fat out of nowhere. Excess carbohydrates raise the levels of a hormone called insulin, which directs calories away from the organs. Organs are the biggest calorie consumers in the body, so anything that stops calories from getting to your brain or liver is seriously reducing the number of calories out. With nowhere else to go, those calories get stored as fat instead. The question isn’t whether calories “count” or “don’t count;” it’s what causes them to be stored instead of used.
To put it in terms of the train image above, insulin would be something like a nasty conductor who prevents anyone from ever getting off the train. What Taubes is saying is that we need to find this one conductor and get rid of him, instead of focusing on the people – people who would like to get off the train, if only they were allowed.
There are a lot of problems with this idea – to start with, the number of perfectly healthy traditional societies who ate a lot of carbs and yet did not struggle with obesity. It’s not at all clear that the insulin hypothesis is actually useful for explaining what goes on in people who aren’t already diabetic. There’s probably no reason why healthy people should avoid carbohydrates, especially not if they exercise regularly. But for the purposes of this article, what really matters are the claims about calories.
Notice that the chain of events above does not include a step where insulin or carbohydrates manufacture fat out of thin air. This person is still gaining weight because they are storing calories as fat. The laws of physics are not violated. Calories in (food) still get either stored as fat or used for energy; the difference in this case is just that the person is storing more, and using fewer of those calories.
Calories: It’s ComplicatedThe take-home from the insulin hypothesis is that calories technically “count,” but what your body does with those calories counts more. And that was just the tip of the iceberg: take a look at some of the many other reasons why both the “calories in” and the “calories out” side of the equation are much more complicated than they first appear.
“Calories in” is not just the number on the Nutrition Facts panel. Like any other nutrient, the number of calories you actually get from your food depends on how many you absorb, not how many you put in your mouth. And that’s influenced by…
Taken to an extreme, this can cause some serious problems. You’ve changed “calories in” (by dieting), and you might have even increased “calories out” (by exercising) but your body one-ups you and decreases metabolism so drastically far that it makes up for all the starvation and the time on the treadmill.
So when you add it this all together, the equation is not just “fat gain/loss = calories eaten – calories burned on the treadmill.” “Calories in” are more than food, and “calories out” is more than exercise. In real life, it depends on all kinds of factors, some of which you have no control over and can’t even measure. If you took all those factors into account, then you could construct a useful weight-loss plan based on counting and measuring calories. But you can’t take them all into account – and that’s why calorie-counting fails, even though calories technically still count. In order to produce real-world weight loss, we need to focus on something else.
Objections to Calories-In/Calories-OutBefore moving on to Part 2, take a look at some of the common objections to the CICO theory, and why they’re not convincing.
But nobody eats precisely the same amount of calories every day.This objection is based on the idea that, if CICO is an accurate model, weight-stable people must be eating the exact same number of calories every single day. And of course this never happens: in the real world, calorie intakes vary a lot.
But this still doesn’t disprove CICO, for two reasons:
But I can’t lose weight even on _____________ calories/day!This may very well be true. But it doesn’t prove that calories don’t matter; it only proves that counting calories isn’t the best way to lose weight. Remember the insulin-resistant person above, who was gaining weight from eating too many carbs? That person could very well stay fat on 1,200 calories per day or even less. But it’s not because the calories didn’t count; it was because they were storing calories instead of using them. It’s true that thinking about calories won’t help this person lose any weight, but that doesn’t mean the calories don’t matter.
ConclusionWhat’s ultimately going on here? It’s clear that calories are the ultimate drivers of weight changes – even the supporters of the insulin hypothesis don’t argue that. But it’s also true that “eat less, move more” completely fails to capture the complexity of how calories are actually used in our bodies. And because we can’t actually control for all the aspects of the “calories in/calories out” equation, calorie restriction is not the best way to achieve long-term weight loss.
In other words, all three of these people are “right:”
Dr. Wayne Westcott, the fitness researcher associated with the Navy Seals, performed a study of different combinations of sets and reps in different styles of training, and came up with an unexpected number. All of the conventional styles of training that worked well for him seemed to end up at about a 70 second duration (+ or - 10 seconds). You could vary the number of reps and the speed of the reps any way you wanted to, as long as you ended up with an exercise that lasted about 70 seconds.
Is there a biological connection between anything that goes on in the muscles and 70 seconds?
Yes there is. Working at their peak level, intermediate twitch fibers exhaust in about 60 seconds, give or take 10 seconds, which leaves the last 10 seconds for the fast twitch fibers to exhaust.
Now here is the interesting common secret that you will get from almost every fitness guru.
"You have to push hard through those last 2 or 3 reps."
Why? Why wouldn't the first 60 seconds be enough?
Remember, INTENSITY of EFFORT is key! Why is so much determination necessary for the last 2 reps, and not for the first 60 seconds or so, with standard exercise? And why does all the new muscle mostly come as a result of the all out effort done right at the end?
A Little Light on Muscle Recruitment
The reason has to do with how the motor neurons that engage the muscle fibers are wired. They are wired in a fashion that requires you to fire all of the Slow Twitch Type I fibers before you fire the first Fast Twitch Type IIa fiber. And to fire all of the Fast Twitch Type IIa fibers before you fire the first Fast Twitch Type IIb fiber.
That type of biological techno-speak mumbo-jumbo is what used to get me picked on by the other kids in school, so let me give you an analogy.
You have rented out this theater to put on your daughter's play, and you want to shine a great spotlight on her during her big scene.
But the guy who does maintenance for the theater doesn't speak the same language that you do, and turns out to be really stingy with lighting. He has been instructed to keep the electric bill, and the bulb replacement bill as low as possible, but still make sure that you get all the lighting you need.
So he's installed a system where the bulbs are arranged in a row. The dimmest, longest-lasting bulb is the easiest to turn on, you just reach over and flick it on. He stuck that one closest to you because it's dim and has a ridiculously long lasting bulb. That way he saves on electricity, and you've got a bulb you can use all the time.
He shows the system to people, and shows them how he wants them to first turn on the 1st bulb, then the 2nd, and so on, so that they are always using the longest lasting lowest power bulbs for as long as possible.
But some people start cheating and just turn on the bulbs in the middle, to get bright light quickly. He doesn't like that because the middle bulbs don't last as long, and take more power. He'd rather you use two of the dim bulbs instead of one middle brighter bulb.
So what he stretches the bulbs out along a catwalk. Now you have to turn on the first bulb to be able to see your way to get to the second bulb, and you have to turn on the second bulb to get to the 3rd, brighter bulb. And this way he is certain that you only use as much electricity as you need, and you only use the longest lasting bulb that you can.
But just in case, there at the very end of the catwalk he's put some flash bulbs, just for the most brilliant light you might need (though they are the shortest lived)
Even so he has been instructed to make sure you have all the lighting you need, so if this ever isn't enough, he's to upgrade all of the lights to larger, brighter bulbs.
At first he would sit in the audience and watch the whole play just to make sure that you always had enough light.
Then he notices something. If you never turn on the flash bulb, then you always had enough light. Only if you turn on the flash bulb, only then do you need more light. And that's his way to be absolutely sure that the lighting needs to be upgraded. If you use the flash bulbs then, and only then does he know that the lighting needs to be upgraded.
Nature Is Efficient, Not Perfect
Your body is a lot like that theater manager. You can't tell it what you want, and it doesn't always use a clear signal to figure out what you want.
Conventional, 20th century fitness training with weights, somehow got locked into the notion that it isn't safe to do an all out effort, even though sprinters, shot putters and Olympic lifters routinely do exactly that.
And if you follow the analogy they are much like the father in the theater turning on everything except the spotlight on his daughter, and then only turning the spotlight on after the other lights burned out.
The theater manager didn't care if the other lights burned out or not, he was used to the way most people turn on the lights. Most people go straight out to that last light, turning every light on along the way, if they want more light than the theater has.
Who am I talking about when I say, most people? I'm talking about the entire animal kingdom, and all of humankind prior to the advent of weights.
Nature doesn't care about the dim lights in the Slow twitch fibers. Nature wants to know if you need the Bright lights, and especially if you burn out the brightest one in the house. Because if you do, an upgrade to the lighting is an absolute requirement.
The quickest way to burn out the bright one is to turn all of them on right away, including the bright one.
That's what sprinters do. That's what shot putter's do. That's what Olympic lifters do.
But don't do it with free weights, without a power rack. Unless you have the skills of an Olympic lifter and are prepared to just toss the weights to the side when you get in trouble, then it's just too dangerous.
And that, more than any other reason, is why the whole "wear out the weak lights before turning up the power" method of training has evolved, because of the unsafe nature of barbells that are near your strength limit.
But with a bar that doesn't move, that worry is a thing of the past.
Effort is the KEY!
The same way the theater manager could tell that you really needed newer brighter lights when you were willing to walk all the way out the catwalk, with all the lights on, your body can tell that you are serious only if you turn on every motor unit, which takes a massive amount of effort.
This amount of effort is foreign to most people. And there's a reason, because it is effort.
And it actually works both ways. The reason nature has made it so hard is that nature is stingy, and doesn't want to build any stronger a body than it has to. That strong body just takes too many calories to keep going. So nature made it as hard as possible to turn on the flash bulbs.
That's nature's way of knowing that you really needed the upgrade.
Your slow twitch fibers are nature's equivalent of 40 watt bulbs, and your fast twitch fibers are nature's equivalent of a flash bulb.
And the effort you have to put into it is nature's equivalent of the catwalk that the theater manager set up.
So if you think of the dim bulbs as the Slow Twitch Type I fibers, the brighter bulbs as the Intermediate Twitch Type IIa fibers, and the brilliant but short lived flash bulbs as the Fast Twitch Type IIb fibers, and you think of the light switches that all had to be turned on along the way as the motor units, then you have an image of the way muscle works.
So why 70 seconds?
If the weight used were so low that the slow twitch fibers could mostly handle it, then when the intermediate twitch fibers finally gave out the fast twitch fibers would only blow a few bulbs.
What's wrong with the analogy?
The analogy is not perfect. Your body does look down the row of lights a bit.
It does upgrade the lighting a little bit even if you never get to the last flash bulb.
But the evidence from shot putting, Olympic lifting, and 100 meter dash sprinting is very clear. In similar events, the shorter all-out effort grows faster larger muscles than longer efforts at lower intensities do.
Intensity, Muscle Size and Power
In the Olympics, which track athletes have the largest muscles?
Is it marathoners, who train by running up to 60 miles per week, then engage in an event that lasts about 2 to 3 hours?
Or is it sprinters, whose entire run lasts for about 10 seconds?
Compare a shot putter to a baseball pitcher? Who puts in more time? Who has the larger muscles?
The biological reason is that efforts that require a great amount of power require large muscles, whereas efforts that require a long effort only require a good blood supply and efficient energy system for a small muscle.
But here is the interesting point. In the sprinters, and in the shot putter's, even though their effort is all out, they are not exhausting the intermediate twitch, or the slow twitch fibers. And yet still their muscles grow larger then even the people who only exert slightly less power over only slightly longer times periods (400 meter people, javelin and discuss throwers)
If it took long duration efforts to produce muscle, or if duration (the extra time spent) helped build muscle, even a little, then the musculature distinctions between each higher distance, lower speed event would not be so clear.
At almost every increase in distance, and in time to the event, the average muscles size goes down.
Pharmacy students are taught that the ubiquitous Rx prescription symbol refers to the Latin designation to take. But as it turns out that there’s another more mysterious and occult tradition associated with the well-known sigil that has come to be synonymous with all things pharmacy.
Modern pharmacy’s early roots in 16th century Europe owes much of its basic tenets of “pharacakeia”, the science of making and administering drugs, to early Greek medical practices. And the Greeks, in turn, assimilated much of their understanding of the healing arts from the Ancient Egyptians, whose works they revered.
The Egyptians regarded Horus as the father of medicine. Horus, according to Egyptian theology, was the son of the two primary Egyptian deities: Osiris and Isis. According to the tale, he was also the avenger of his father’s death at the hands of his wicked uncle Seth (later named Satan), brother of Osiris, with whom he did battle, losing his left eye in the fight. Thoth, the god of wisdom and the patron deity of physicians and scientists, magically healed the eye and gave it back to Horus, who used it as a remedy to restore his father Osiris to the world of the living.
Thus began the legend of the Eye of Horus which initially referenced Sirius, the brightest star in the sky, known as the Dog Star, whose first appearance at the beginning of summer predicted the flooding of the Nile. Over time it was linked to the sun itself (The Eye of Ra) and then the sky; Egyptian hieroglyphs depict Horus as having the head of a falcon. From there it was a short leap to connecting the Eye to light and sight and later it became a powerful sigil representing healing and rebirth. Egyptians referred to the eye with the term “wedjat”, meaning “whole one” and in addition to wholeness (healing) they associated the symbol with protection, prosperity and abundance. Other variations of the Eye of Horus that can be found in the superstitions around the “evil eye” and it may have been linked in metaphysical circles to the Hindu concept of the third Eye (or the pineal gland if you’re more scientific). And of course it shows up in modern culture in freemasonry’s all-seeing-eye in the pyramid, as well as the eye associated with the dollar bill and the so-called "Great Seal of the United States".
So what’s this got to do with pharmacy? Well as it turns out, at least according to some folks, the Eye of Horus bears an interesting resemblance to the Latin designation Rx. While pharmacy students learn that it is a "directive to the patient", there are those who believe it is actually an acknowledgment of the historical and occult foundations of the practice of pharmacy.
While you probably know that you have a nervous system that controls the flow of the electrical energy in the body, as it turns out, you actually have two nervous systems!
One, which has been called the “fight or flight” system, is technically known as the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and it directs energy into the activities that keep us alive in emergency and life-threatening situations. The second, called the parasympathetic system (PNS) is involved with more long-term activities. The PNS is sometimes called the “the rest and digest” system and the more time we spend in this parasympathetic realm, the longer we will be alive and healthy. Or to put it another way the less time we spend in "fight or flight" mode the longer we will be alive and healthy.
Many of the signs of illness and disease reflect chronic SNS activation and overload. Cardiovascular health issues especially high blood pressure and blood clotting are classics signs of fight or flight. Same goes for immune system suppression and frequent colds and flues. Cold sores and other skin problems may indicate sympathetic nervous system has been kicking in. Constipation, cramping and digestive problems often mean the body is in survival mode. For women dealing with menopause, hot flashes, night sweats jitteriness and anxiety are also signs that the body’s SNS emergency system has been activated.
In fact, almost any degenerative disease can follow long-term activation of the sympathetic nervous system. And it should come as no surprise that most us spend a large amount of time in fight or flight mode. Anything we can do to maintain ourselves in rest and digest, relaxation mode is in our long term health interest. This is especially true if we’re dealing with a major crisis like cancer or heart disease.
1 REP GYM™ CAN HELP
Using isometric exercise and the 1 REP GYM™ is not only the smartest way to exercise it is also the most efficient. By incorporating 1 REP GYM™ you will turn back time, increase cardiovascular system , improve immune system and receive many other benefits ALL of which lead to staying in the "rest and digest" state as opposed to the "fight or flight" state which as mentioned above is (not) how you want to be living.
Performing isometric exercises regularly will help with improving the overall flexibility of your joints. Isometric exercises can help improve muscles after a surgery is performed, according to MyIsometrics.com. These can be especially beneficial when it comes to ball-and-socket joints such as the knee, hip or shoulder. These exercises can also help improve bone density, minimize arthritis and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
The BEST way to incorporate isometrics in a rehabilitation environment is to use the 1 REP GYM™ because there are no moving parts. This makes it the safest and most effective way to increase bone mass density, reverse osteoporosis, increase strength, improve balance, and many other benefits.
TIME is our most valuable asset and it's the one thing I certainly wish I had more of and I bet you feel the same way. Whether it's wanting more time for shopping, traveling, or spending time with family there just isn't enough TIME in the day it seems. TIME or lack thereof is one of the first excuses we use to get out of "exercise". Over the years as a personal trainer I often asked clients how long they normally spend exercising and or going to the gym to workout. It never ceased to amaze me ho much TIME people spend going to the gym. Driving to the gym, spending 3o minutes to an hour sometimes longer waiting for equipment, or just performing boring long drawn out workouts. How many hours per week, month and year have you spent in the gym?
TIME is a friend of isometric exercise because many of the exercises can be performed virtually anywhere. Isometric exercises take minimal time to complete. Most exercises can be done in a minute or less. The plank is a core isometric exercise that works wonders for the abdominal and lower back muscles. Try this exercise on a mat by positioning your forearms on the ground and supporting yourself on them and your toes. Tuck your navel in towards your spine and hold as flat as you can while squeezing your glutes. Try to aim for 30 seconds to start. If you are an advanced exerciser, try holding it for a minute or longer.
Isometric exercises are beneficial because of the amount of TIME you save. The 1 REP GYM™ is the BEST isometric training equipment available. You can train your entire body in LESS than 2 minutes per week (no that isn't a typo and it's not BS). Performing 10 exercises to hit every major muscle group takes literally 2-5 seconds per exercise because it's a maximum voluntary contraction which cannot last very long. You exhaust the muscle fibers very quickly. The 1 REP GYM™ is the proven solution to achieving the greatest benefit from isometric exercise in the least amount of time without the wear and tear on your body from performing multiple reps/sets! Whether your goal is to be the most powerful you can be, or rehabilitation, or simply wanting maintain a great level of fitness for the rest of your years here, there is only 1 choice, 1 REP GYM™!
Buy your 1 REP GYM™ today and let me help you become the best you can possibly be!!
DO LESS, PROPERLY!