Returning to Slow Motion Weight Training

Earlier this year I decided to abandon my normal weight lifting protocol and try slow motion weight lifting. Body By Science is a stellar book and it made an excellent case for slow motion weight training using machines. How did my test go?

From the post Is Slow Motion Weight Training Superior? I wrote:

What I did learn was that slow training is boring. Apparently, I am not alone. That study that the slow motion group throws around has a back story. Even though the group had a 50% strength gain, the lead researcher discovered that only 1 out of the 147 people in the study continued training. Most felt it was too tedious.

I went back to my old classic weight lifting program. It was just more enjoyable to me. However, I haven’t been happy with my progress recently. My strength levels peaked in November 2008. Since then I have focused way more on diet, but even when I dedicate myself to lifting, I’m not putting up the numbers I did two years ago. For my age and body type I am in pretty good shape, but I can only go so long without seeing concrete gains before I decide enough is enough.

Recently, I read an interview with Luke Carlson about functional training on Conditioning Research. It addressed many of my doubts about using slower more controlled movements on machines. It was enough to convince me to try slow motion weight training again.

Even though it has only been a few weeks, I feel like this time it may stick. For someone who has only known how to generate intensity via explosive high momentum moves, I am slowly figuring out how to generate even more intensity using a much slower movement. I still think that the extremely slow moves are too boring, so I have found a middle ground of 6 second reps to play with (2 seconds up, 4 seconds down).

I’ll stick with this plan until spring and then reassess.

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Critical MAS is the blog for Michael Allen Smith of Seattle, Washington. My interests include traditional food, fitness, economics, and web development.