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What's the deal with SuperSlow/TUL?

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  • What's the deal with SuperSlow/TUL?

    Hey Docs. Long time listener, first time caller.

    Been doing barbell training for several years now with some success but I have friends who are really into this "SuperSlow" thing. They claim they are making mad gainzzz working out 1 day/week (maybe 2) and for only 20 minutes. Some of them do "5 second reps" and others do what they claim is a full range of motion for a lift for like 2-3 minutes. As in, they are constantly under load for 2-3 minutes.

    I did a *very* brief search on the Interwebs and came across Ken Hutchins and a few other people including Mike Mentzer, who seemed to be the poster boy for this type of training back in the day. Also seems like it's become really popular lately (or maybe the Google is fooling me with its algo).

    I really respect your opinions and so my question is: does this type of training actually work and if so why or... if not, why and why do so many people seem to buy into it? It almost seems too good to be true. Are these folks onto something or just super slow?

    Anyway, thanks for all the work you put into these forums and your website and podcast.

  • #2
    You should look into Doug McGuff's Body By Science book. If I represent it correctly, he wants to stress the body by training to failure, typically with 1-3 minutes TUL on the major exercises. Obviously using machines since going to failure. He then wants to do the next training when recovered, which can be 1-2 weeks depending. He really emphasizes the failure part, not just giving up, but sticking it out like your life depended on it, the lifting a car to get a toddler-type scenario, create an emergency which causes your body to respond by building muscles/strength. I am probably bastardizing his theory, I'm a novice myself and neither have I tried it. He has some youtube-videoes as well, both of training and talks.

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    • #3
      Sounds like a good way to sit around for a lot of the time I could be working out and to be fucking miserable while I am.

      I didn't know it was possible to get enough GainzZz from one workout to justify skipping 2 or 3.

      How long have your friends been lifting? How long have they been doing this in particular? Do they bulk for only 1-2 days after their workout? The rest of the week they would be mostly gaining fat if anything while they are still recovering.

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      • #4
        So if I just do a set of 30-0-30 tempo squats, I don't have to squat the rest of the week? Sweet

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        • #5
          Originally posted by DavidLewis View Post
          Hey Docs. Long time listener, first time caller.

          Been doing barbell training for several years now with some success but I have friends who are really into this "SuperSlow" thing. They claim they are making mad gainzzz working out 1 day/week (maybe 2) and for only 20 minutes. Some of them do "5 second reps" and others do what they claim is a full range of motion for a lift for like 2-3 minutes. As in, they are constantly under load for 2-3 minutes.

          I did a *very* brief search on the Interwebs and came across Ken Hutchins and a few other people including Mike Mentzer, who seemed to be the poster boy for this type of training back in the day. Also seems like it's become really popular lately (or maybe the Google is fooling me with its algo).

          I really respect your opinions and so my question is: does this type of training actually work and if so why or... if not, why and why do so many people seem to buy into it? It almost seems too good to be true. Are these folks onto something or just super slow?

          Anyway, thanks for all the work you put into these forums and your website and podcast.

          Mentzer augmented his favorable genetics by being an enthusiastic steroid pincushion. A better question would be what training wouldn't have worked for him.
          From memory, one of the cornerstones of 'Heavy Duty' style training was a protracted eccentric phase in the movement, which makes you sore.

          Muscle soreness.
          Growth stimulated.
          ???
          Profit!

          Look at the biggest, strongest, most successful athletes around. Nobody noteworthy trains like that.
          There really is nothing new under thew (hypertrophy) sun.

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          • #6
            I know Steve Maxwell has been into SuperSlow for bodyweight training stuff. And speaking as a former client of his; i try and do whatever the opposite is he suggests.

            I think the logic goes something like: time under tension is good, so we should try and maximize this right? But more important concerns like volume and intensity seem to get thrown out the window in order to serve this ultimate goal of time under tension. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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            • #7
              Originally posted by neandrewthal View Post
              Sounds like a good way to sit around for a lot of the time I could be working out and to be fucking miserable while I am.

              I didn't know it was possible to get enough GainzZz from one workout to justify skipping 2 or 3.

              How long have your friends been lifting? How long have they been doing this in particular? Do they bulk for only 1-2 days after their workout? The rest of the week they would be mostly gaining fat if anything while they are still recovering.
              Some of them have been doing it for years, others for maybe a couple months. Oddly enough, none of them really look like they lift at all. They mostly use machines so it's hard for me to translate exactly how they are doing. No idea what their diet is like. They'll just say stuff like "Oh hey, I did 300lbs on the leg press for 3 minutes and they show me and it's like this press where they are pushing horizontally." At one time, many years ago, one of them tried to convince me that barbell lifts were inherently more dangerous than machines and I sort of chalked it up to them not really understanding the barbell lifts and left it at that for a while and never looked into it again until just recently.

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              • #8
                I remember this existing back in the late 1990s. I didn't realise Super Slow was still being peddled.
                Log

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by figolift3000 View Post
                  You should look into Doug McGuff's Body By Science book. If I represent it correctly, he wants to stress the body by training to failure, typically with 1-3 minutes TUL on the major exercises. Obviously using machines since going to failure. He then wants to do the next training when recovered, which can be 1-2 weeks depending. He really emphasizes the failure part, not just giving up, but sticking it out like your life depended on it, the lifting a car to get a toddler-type scenario, create an emergency which causes your body to respond by building muscles/strength. I am probably bastardizing his theory, I'm a novice myself and neither have I tried it. He has some youtube-videoes as well, both of training and talks.
                  I read the book and tried the method. McGuff advises a low weight be lifted extremely slowly utilizing a machine station. Made very little progress over 4 months. The worst part was people kept coming over to help me with my apparent struggle to bench 100 lbs. Thankfully I discovered Starting Strength and had a fantastic NLP.

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