Abby Eller was in good shape when her husband, a “health nut,” told her about The Perfect Workout. At age 63, she wanted to get in even better shape. “I was guardedly optimistic,” she says. “I figured nothing ventured, nothing gained.” She belonged to other gyms in the past, but didn’t like working out on her own, and didn’t like the obnoxious TV’s everywhere. The idea of working with a personal trainer piqued her curiosity, and she hoped it would yield better results and be safer. In February of 2013, Abby began slow-motion strength training. She doesn’t sugar coat the experience. “The workouts were challenging!”
The big reason slow-motion strength training is so much more effective than traditional weight lifting is because of the “muscle success” effect. That’s the point at which your muscles become so fatigued that completing another repetition isn’t just difficult, it’s impossible. You’re pushing or pulling as hard as you can, and the weight refuses to budge even a fraction of an inch. At this point it’s important to continue pushing or pulling for several more seconds to achieve deep muscle fatigue in the targeted muscles. Most clients say they couldn’t possibly get to this point working out on their own, and Abby agrees. “Having a personal trainer challenges me up to my limit. At the same time it prevents injury.” It’s safe and controlled because you’re using an appropriate amount of weight with an expert at your side who carefully watches your form.
The payoff? Over several months, Abby felt more energetic, and she had an improved sense of mental and physical energy. “That’s the main reason I continue to go,” she says. “My muscles have gotten stronger, and my abs especially needed conditioning.” Here are Abby’s top three tips for maximizing slow-motion strength training:
- “You have to take this seriously and stick with the regular workouts. No skipping, no canceling.” Even though it’s only two 20-minute workouts per week, it still takes discipline. Abby has only missed two sessions in the past year.
- “No holding back. You must concentrate. You must make a full effort. Get used to being uncomfortable.” The mental concentration required by the workout isn’t easy, which is why working one-on-one with a personal trainer can help you push through it when it gets challenging.
- “Keep in mind the marvelous vitality you’ll get from this. Not right away, but at about six months you will see a benefit.” It’s not a quick, overnight fix, but results will come.
Stick to the workouts, make a full effort when you’re there, and have a long-term vision for what you want to achieve. Do these things, and no matter what your age or level of fitness, you’ll get in even better shape. As Abby says, “Use it or lose it.”