Frequently Asked Questions
1. WHAT DOES LOW-FORCE, HIGH-INTENSITY MEAN?
Workouts done at Ultimate Fitness are low-force, high-intensity.
Strength training can either be high or low force. High force workouts correspond with greater momentum and repetitions. In a high-force workout, it is difficult to sustain intensity. Therefore, high-force exercise tends to correlate with lower-intensity. Low-force training corresponds with greater intensity.
Strength training can also be high-intensity or low-intensity. When a workout is highly intense, it means that you have 1-4 minute spurts where certain muscle groups are hitting full failure (i.e. you can't do anymore because your muscles have given out for the muscle group being worked). Low-intensity is when you exercise without hitting complete failure in any particular muscle group.
2. WHY SLOW?
When this protocol was founded under Ken Hutchins and the Nautilus Osteoporosis Project, Hutchins discovered that the patients participating in the study had bones so brittle that traditional strength training with some velocity could break their bones. He decided to slow down the rate of the exercise and make the weight proportional so as to still build bone density. What he discovered was that not only did he significantly reduce the risk of injury but he also helped them build bone density faster with this method. What they concluded was that this method was a superior way to strength exercise and that long term commitment led to other additional health benefits
3. WHAT ABOUT CARDIO?
Cardio is derived from the Latinized Greek word kardia meaning "pertaining to the heart" (ref. dictionary.com). When we talk about doing "cardio" what we mean is that we are engaging in exercise that works out the heart. Most people think of exercises that "really get your heart pumping" like running, swimming or Zumba. None of these activities work you heart directly per se. They indirectly work the heart by placing the muscles in a state of oxygen deficiency. This anaerobic state forces the heart to pump harder to deliver more oxygen to those muscles. Therefore it is the muscles' need for more oxygen that creates a cardiovascular state of exercise. When you strength train using Active Muscle Training, you are putting the muscles in an anaerobic state by working them out directly. As you progress through each exercise, the demand for oxygen increases, giving you both cardio and strength training all in one workout,
4. IS 30 MINUTES TWICE A WEEK REALLY ENOUGH EXERCISE?
When a workout is truly this intense then yes, 30 minutes twice a week is all you need. Recovery is just as important as the exercise, if not more so. During your recovery time, your muscles are hard at work repairing themselves. This time is crucial in making you stronger and avoiding injury. Additional intense workouts only increase the risk of injury, In this case, more is not always better.
Dr. Doug McGuff, pioneer of this training philosophy, made a good analogy. It only takes one low-force, super high intensity workout to trigger a growth hormone response in your muscles so they can start an adaptation process. It's like being on an elevator and you want to go to the third floor so you press the third floor button. "Ding" you're there now you keep pressing the third floor button but nothing happens because you're already there and no matter how many times you keep pressing the button you're still on the third floor. So when you work out intensely enough you trigger the response in your muscles and there is no need to workout again until you have fully recovered from the previous workout.
5. CAN I COMBINE THIS TRAINING WITH OTHER EXERCISE?
We do not recommend that you combine this exercise with other high intensity exercises during the week. Doing so increases your risk of injury and prevents the muscles from very important repair time. However, other low intensity exercises or recreational activities can be enjoyed in moderation.
6. HOW QUICKLY WILL I SEE RESULTS?
If, by results, you mean how quickly will you gain strength, this happens in as few as one to three sessions.
In terms of other results (weight loss, increased bone density, greater agility, etc.), these take a longer commitment to achieve. It all depends on how inspired you are to reach those results. Some clients have achieved results in as few as three months, others over the course of years. The good thing is that strength training is like a good investment plan, the longer you train, the greater the final pay off.
7. I'VE NEVER DONE EXERCISE BEFORE, CAN I STRENGTH TRAIN?
Yes! The beautiful thing about Active Muscle Training is that safety is the number one priority. The machines used at The Strength Studio are Nautilus, retrofitted with SuperSlow design or SuperSlow Systems. They were specifically designed to do a SuperSlow workout and to be able to set up a variety of body types to reduce the risk of injury. Additionally, your trainer is focused only on you during your workout, guiding you to proper alignment and breathing while also motivating you to reach full muscle failure. Your trainer is attuned to your precise needs and abilities making this type of exercise an excellent choice for anyone with any range of exercise experience and especially for those for whom other styles of high intensity exercises are no longer possible.
8. WHAT IF I'VE HAD AN INJURY?
Working out in the Active Muscle Training philosophy is the best option for a majority of persons with prior injuries looking to gain strength or participate in low force, high intensity exercise in a safe way.
It may seem impossible that any kind of high intensity exercise could be safe but consider this: this exercise philosophy was created as a by product of a scientific study on full scale osteoporosis patients. Researchers wanted to know if they could reverse osteoporosis through strength training but they were worried about the brittleness of their patients bones. They discovered that by slowing down the exercise and adding more weight load, patients' risk of injury was significantly reduced and they not only built up their bone density, but they also built it up faster in this method.
The philosophy used today requires the use of specialized machines, trainers certified in this method of exercise dedicated only to you and a distraction free environment. This is what you can expect at The Strength Studio and this is why people with previous injuries love this type of training.
9. WILL I BULK UP?
No. What we mean to say is that you can bulk up but only if you intend to do so. Bulking up requires a specific program of training, supplements and diet that is designed to unnaturally enhance the muscle to its full scope and possibly beyond. Although there are a select few who are genetically inclined to build bulk, this is rare. The overwhelming majority of clients build lean muscle, resulting in a reduction of circumference and a look of being slim and elongated.
10. I ALREADY HAVE OSTEOPOROSIS (OR ANOTHER MEDICAL CONCERN), CAN I STILL TRAIN?
This method of exercise was developed for osteoporosis patients (see the full explanation in question number 8). However, if you have a current health condition, we require a doctor's clearance before you engage in this method of training. Once cleared there is no reason why you can't train.
The Benefits of Power of Slow Motion Training
By providing our members with exemplary workouts, we are able to assist them in achieving these benefits:
Faster post-op recovery
Lower blood pressure
Stronger immune system
Longer life span
Enhanced sport skills