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Old 11-09-2008, 08:31 PM   #1
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Slow Burn - Fred Hahn

Is anyone doing the slow burn method of strength training? Or have you done it in the past? Looking for feedback on whether you think it's better, worse, equal to typical strength training...

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Old 11-10-2008, 04:44 AM   #2
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Hey, neat! The horse's mouth, so to speak!

I JUST received your book in the mail Saturday as a gift from my brother. I had heard of Slow Burn, or superslow lifting, but had not received any specific instructions. Quick and interesting read, by the way. I finished it in an afternoon session. Anyway, before I received your book, I took it upon myself to just lift as slowly as I could stand to do, and have found some real interesting results in the past couple of months.

Now that I have the actual instructions, I will look forward to following them exactly to see what improvements I can make.

Question: just how sore should a person be after doing Slow Burn correctly? I am finding that the slower I lift, the sorer I am. BTW, I don't necessarily consider that to be bad, just a little annoying.

I still continue with my cardio sessions - I really can't imagine giving those up, whether or not they are actually 'needed.' After most of my life finding it a challenge to walk down the street without being winded, I'm not about to give up the freedom of running!

I am looking forward to an interesting time ahead! So glad you joined the discussion, and to the OP, I am glad you brought this up!
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Old 11-10-2008, 05:49 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by gharkness View Post
Hey, neat! The horse's mouth, so to speak!

I JUST received your book in the mail Saturday as a gift from my brother. I had heard of Slow Burn, or superslow lifting, but had not received any specific instructions. Quick and interesting read, by the way. I finished it in an afternoon session. Anyway, before I received your book, I took it upon myself to just lift as slowly as I could stand to do, and have found some real interesting results in the past couple of months.

Now that I have the actual instructions, I will look forward to following them exactly to see what improvements I can make.

Question: just how sore should a person be after doing Slow Burn correctly? I am finding that the slower I lift, the sorer I am. BTW, I don't necessarily consider that to be bad, just a little annoying.

I still continue with my cardio sessions - I really can't imagine giving those up, whether or not they are actually 'needed.' After most of my life finding it a challenge to walk down the street without being winded, I'm not about to give up the freedom of running!

I am looking forward to an interesting time ahead! So glad you joined the discussion, and to the OP, I am glad you brought this up!
Hi gharkness

Soreness comes and soreness goes. After a time, soreness gets milder - usually. Don't worry or think about it too much.

As for cardio, you do not need to do formal cardio for any reason whatsoever. Too much of it accelerates the aging process and, obviously, wears down the joints and connective tissues faster than normal. Fat loss will NOT be accelerated via aerobic activity. Promise!

Strength training will provide you with the same cardiorespiratory benefits. The reason for this is that both aerobic exercise and strength training increase total mitochondria.

But hey, if you love to run, run! Far be it from me to keep you from your loves!

Last edited by Slow Burn; 11-10-2008 at 05:56 AM.. Reason: added info
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Old 11-10-2008, 06:09 AM   #4
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I have not used the Slow Burn program so take my comments with a grain of salt. I have read the book and I am however familiar with the long line of training philosophy on these techniques. The techniques advocated by Arthur Jones and people who followed his teachings focused on high intensity training. El Darden really puts foward measured timed sets, making large "inroads," and allowing generous recovery. This book is a modern spin on these techniques.

In all these techniques, and in Slow Burn, intensity is the key. If you are the type of person who can drive yourself, or if you have coaching or workout partners who can help you with intensity, I believe most people can be very successful with this sort of program. If you wimp out, don't push yourself and give out just because it is uncomfortable, then this may not be the program for you.

ps. Fred, I hope I have not offended you with my opinions on your work.

pps. Soreness or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is a good sign, wear that badge with pride. Usually with repeated training, you experience less DOMS, however using high intensity training may result in occaisional DOMS even for experienced lifters.
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Old 11-10-2008, 06:15 AM   #5
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pps. Soreness or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is a good sign, wear that badge with pride. Usually with repeated training, you experience less DOMS, however using high intensity training may result in occaisional DOMS even for experienced lifters.
See, that's what I am thinking. In order to make the muscle grow, you have to insult/damage it to some degree. If you don't do that, then the muscle won't grow. The natural response to this "insult' is to produce lactic acid, then repair the damage with stronger muscle fibers. The lactic acid buildup inside the muscle is what causes the soreness (please correct me if I am wrong).

I know that is WAY simplified, but it still just seems to me that without some delayed soreness, there won't really be any significant gains.
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Old 11-10-2008, 06:41 AM   #6
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See, that's what I am thinking. In order to make the muscle grow, you have to insult/damage it to some degree. If you don't do that, then the muscle won't grow. The natural response to this "insult' is to produce lactic acid, then repair the damage with stronger muscle fibers. The lactic acid buildup inside the muscle is what causes the soreness (please correct me if I am wrong).

I know that is WAY simplified, but it still just seems to me that without some delayed soreness, there won't really be any significant gains.
I agree with you that damage is probably a key element in causing muscle to grow. It probably occurs as microtrauma and the DOMS that you feel is perhaps part of that damage.

Lactic acid is a generated by anaerobic exercise and although it perhaps contributes to fatigue, it is flushed rather quickly. Lactic acid does not cause muscle soreness, although it may be part of the burn you feel during exercise. Lactic acid accumulates during heavy exercise, but is cleared quickly and can even used itself to fuel muscles during aerobic exercise. Do some light cardio after your weightlifting, and you will probably clear and consume any generated lactic acid from your weightlifting.

An old adage is that you don't grow big muscles by lifting heavy weights, you grow big muscles recovering from lifting heavy weights.
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Old 11-10-2008, 11:09 AM   #7
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Hi Fred,


Here's a question for you.....in some of the readings I did yesterday, there was a few mentions to not do Slow Burn if you had blood pressure issues. Now, I've been doing 'typical' strength training for the last year or so (with good results) and with the blessing of my physician, even though I do take BP medication. Is the Slow Burn method more detrimental to blood pressure control?

As a side, I did my first Slow Burn session yesterday and it was humorous watching other people watch ME do it. I'm sure they were wondering what the heck I was up to!

More than anything, I'm looking for a way to jump start my weight loss - although I've removed about 30 pounds this year (60 total over 18 months), I still have another 50 or so to go and am hoping this will not only relieve a bit of exercise boredom but also jump start my weight loss.

So, what about the blood pressure issue?
Also, until I get the book and see the exercises listed, I assume my best routine is to select an exercise for each body part, just make it as well-rounded as possible? Total body as opposed to upper/lower split?

Thanks for your time and offer to answer questions!
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Old 11-11-2008, 02:51 PM   #8
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Hi Fred,
Thanks for chiming in. I have been to your site and done quite a bit of research. Your book isn't available here in Australia but I plan to order it the next time I place an Amazon order.

Here's a question for you.....in some of the readings I did yesterday, there was a few mentions to not do Slow Burn if you had blood pressure issues. Now, I've been doing 'typical' strength training for the last year or so (with good results) and with the blessing of my physician, even though I do take BP medication. Is the Slow Burn method more detrimental to blood pressure control?

As a side, I did my first Slow Burn session yesterday and it was humorous watching other people watch ME do it. I'm sure they were wondering what the heck I was up to!

More than anything, I'm looking for a way to jump start my weight loss - although I've removed about 30 pounds this year (60 total over 18 months), I still have another 50 or so to go and am hoping this will not only relieve a bit of exercise boredom but also jump start my weight loss.

So, what about the blood pressure issue?
Also, until I get the book and see the exercises listed, I assume my best routine is to select an exercise for each body part, just make it as well-rounded as possible? Total body as opposed to upper/lower split?

Thanks for your time and offer to answer questions!
The blood pressure issue is truly a non issue. This issue reared its false head from a Wall Street Journal article written by a reporter named Kevin Helliker who had no idea what he was talking about. Both Dr. Eades and I sent him numerous studies showing how strength training helps blood pressure and he ignored us. VERY irresponsible.

Fat loss is all about eating correctly. Stay the low carb course and you will get to your goal.
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Old 11-12-2008, 04:46 AM   #9
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Well, yesterday I decided to try the sit-down exercise (never much did anything for lower body, since I run a lot - figured it would be unnecessary). Sorry, I don't have the book with me now and don't know if it has a more formal name. It's the one where you hold on to a door knob for balance and slowly lower yourself to a stool, then back up again.

Holy cow! I managed to get in TWO reps of these before my leg muscles gave out entirely (and I have very strong legs). It will be interesting to see just how sore my legs are tomorrow! I can definitely say this much, though: it's a tough exercise, and judging by all internal indicators, I need to do it!

That's the wonderful thing about life - new stuff to learn all the time.
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Old 11-12-2008, 06:08 AM   #10
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Well, yesterday I decided to try the sit-down exercise (never much did anything for lower body, since I run a lot - figured it would be unnecessary). Sorry, I don't have the book with me now and don't know if it has a more formal name. It's the one where you hold on to a door knob for balance and slowly lower yourself to a stool, then back up again.

Holy cow! I managed to get in TWO reps of these before my leg muscles gave out entirely (and I have very strong legs). It will be interesting to see just how sore my legs are tomorrow! I can definitely say this much, though: it's a tough exercise, and judging by all internal indicators, I need to do it!

That's the wonderful thing about life - new stuff to learn all the time.
Indeed - we all need to strength train.

Now hold on to yourself and don't get mad at me If you only did 2 of these and gave out then your legs have a lot of strengthening to do.

Contrary to what you have been told, running does very little to strengthen muscle. Endurance activities are not intense enough to stimulate a positive tissue adaptation. Not my opinion - its a fact of physiology.

The real nice thing about strength training is that as you get stronger you'll experience a vast improvement in your running!

Stick with it - you'll be glad you did.
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Old 11-12-2008, 06:30 AM   #11
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Now hold on to yourself and don't get mad at me If you only did 2 of these and gave out then your legs have a lot of strengthening to do.
Well, why would I get mad at you? I am the first to agree that I need to do a lot more strength training - this is something that I can see benefiting me in the future AND it's also something that can easily be done at home without a bunch of equipment (while I am not short on resources, I AM somewhat short on patience, so I need simple things I can do that won't take too long and will return good results.) I am also a results-focused person - give me changes that I can SEE and I am happy .

I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how this can help me.
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Old 11-12-2008, 07:10 AM   #12
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Well, why would I get mad at you? I am the first to agree that I need to do a lot more strength training - this is something that I can see benefiting me in the future AND it's also something that can easily be done at home without a bunch of equipment (while I am not short on resources, I AM somewhat short on patience, so I need simple things I can do that won't take too long and will return good results.) I am also a results-focused person - give me changes that I can SEE and I am happy .

I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how this can help me.
Me too! Keep us posted.
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Old 11-12-2008, 11:07 AM   #13
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I'm off to my 2nd Slow Burn workout in about 60 minutes. I'm really looking forward to it - I need this change.
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Old 11-12-2008, 11:13 AM   #14
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I'm off to my 2nd Slow Burn workout in about 60 minutes. I'm really looking forward to it - I need this change.
Go Sybil!! If you need guidance, feel free!
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Old 11-12-2008, 05:13 PM   #15
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Thanks Fred. And yes, I'll stay the low carb route. It's the only way for me. I almost wonder if my over-exercising may be interfering with weight loss. This 7 week Slow Burn experiment will be a good test of that theory.

I must say, I'm feeling very SLACK with not exercising 5-6 days a week. The two days I have worked out, I ONLY did the 6 repetitions (of 8 machines) to the count of 20 and that feels so foreign. However, I must say that this short workout did indeed kick my backside....I was exhausted walking up the driveway after my workout.

I don't have the count down perfectly yet - many times I hit the top of the lift and still had 2-3 'beats' left to my count but I think that will get better with practice.

Georgene, please keep posting on your process - it's good to have someone else starting out doing this - we can encourage each other!

Cheers-
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Old 11-12-2008, 05:39 PM   #16
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Sybil, how many reps do you actually do for a set? Right now, I do a 1 second-3 second method. If I do a one-armed preacher curl for an example, I will lift the weight towards me fast (1 second) and then drop down slowly (3 second). Is this the same thing you do with the slow-burn?
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Old 11-12-2008, 05:39 PM   #17
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Will do, Sybil!
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Old 11-12-2008, 05:41 PM   #18
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Thanks Fred. And yes, I'll stay the low carb route. It's the only way for me. I almost wonder if my over-exercising may be interfering with weight loss. This 7 week Slow Burn experiment will be a good test of that theory.

I must say, I'm feeling very SLACK with not exercising 5-6 days a week. The two days I have worked out, I ONLY did the 6 repetitions (of 8 machines) to the count of 20 and that feels so foreign. However, I must say that this short workout did indeed kick my backside....I was exhausted walking up the driveway after my workout.

I don't have the count down perfectly yet - many times I hit the top of the lift and still had 2-3 'beats' left to my count but I think that will get better with practice.

Georgene, please keep posting on your process - it's good to have someone else starting out doing this - we can encourage each other!

Cheers-
You gain when you recover from exercise not when you exercise. Never forget this. Don't beat yourself up, build yourself up.
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Old 11-12-2008, 05:48 PM   #19
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Sybil, how many reps do you actually do for a set? Right now, I do a 1 second-3 second method. If I do a one-armed preacher curl for an example, I will lift the weight towards me fast (1 second) and then drop down slowly (3 second). Is this the same thing you do with the slow-burn?
Hi Lora - The idea is to lift a heavier weight slowly. Lifting weights quickly is dangerous and allows for momentum to aid the lift. Increase the weight load you use now and start very slowly. A set should not last more than 70 seconds.
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Old 11-12-2008, 06:01 PM   #20
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I am reading Jim Karas book, The Cardio Free Diet at the moment (along with several others), and he recommends this method for training large muscle groups. Post-exercise metabolism following strenuous activity was up to 72 hours.

Last edited by LJB; 11-12-2008 at 06:03 PM..
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Old 11-12-2008, 06:14 PM   #21
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I am reading Jim Karas book, The Cardio Free Diet at the moment (along with several others), and he recommends this method for training large muscle groups. Post-exercise metabolism following strenuous activity was up to 72 hours.
My book 'The Slow Burn Fitness Revolution' preceded Jim's book by 4 years and promoted no formal aerobics and slow speed lifting. Jim simply copied what I wrote nearly a half decade before.

But truth be told, strength training is not cardio free - it is aerobics free. Jim really doesn't understand the mechanisms at all. He, like Jorge Cruise, jumps on the bandwagon and rides it for all its worth.

The exercises he recommends are inferior to sound strength training. Follow it if you like but you will not get much benefit from it. I mean this from the bottom of my heart NOT to get you to buy my book.
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Old 11-12-2008, 06:21 PM   #22
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I must admit I did feel extreme muscle soreness after I used this method. I will take a "look" at your book, too.

Equal opportunity. Different points of view.
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Old 11-12-2008, 06:28 PM   #23
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I must admit I did feel extreme muscle soreness after I used this method. I will take a "look" at your book, too.

Equal opportunity. Different points of view.
To a degree. Points of view should be subservient to science. Our opinions matter little science shows the way. 'Science as a candle in the dark.' - Carl Sagan
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Old 11-15-2008, 05:49 PM   #24
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OMG - Slow Burn Lunges and pushups......they are killers! I sure hope this works because I'm really enjoying it. I did my 3rd workout today.
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Old 11-15-2008, 06:20 PM   #25
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Where can I get more information about the SB program? I am looking for something I can do at home to help build core strength but have fibromyalgia and back problems. I'd like to know if this is something feasible for me.
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Old 11-16-2008, 04:59 AM   #26
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OMG - Slow Burn Lunges and pushups......they are killers! I sure hope this works because I'm really enjoying it. I did my 3rd workout today.
Sybil - it works. And it will work best if you:

1. Stick to it twice a week
2. Eat or have a protein shake (better) 30 minutes before and directly after you train - within 20 minutes.
3. Sleep soundly
4. Don't do aerobics. RECOVER.
5. Count that you are getting at least 100 grams of protein per day.
6. Super hydrate. A gallon of water per day
7. Work the muscles to complete muscle failure

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Old 11-16-2008, 08:09 PM   #27
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Thank you for the links Sybil. I don't know if I can do it or not either.... but I have to do something to build core strength. I've done hydrolic assisted weight training and it did help, but I could not continue to pay the trainer. I need something I can do with my BowFlex at home.
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Old 11-17-2008, 03:48 PM   #28
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I got the Slow Burn book years ago, but cause I didn't have a gym close, or a gym set up, I never really gave it a go.

I'm going to see if I can find my book and read it again. I've got a nice gym set up, and I bet I could actually do this method for a while.
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Old 11-17-2008, 04:47 PM   #29
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I got the Slow Burn book years ago, but cause I didn't have a gym close, or a gym set up, I never really gave it a go.

I'm going to see if I can find my book and read it again. I've got a nice gym set up, and I bet I could actually do this method for a while.
If you need help or guidance let me know!
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Old 11-24-2008, 07:38 PM   #30
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I did my 4th SB workout on Sunday - 12 exercises, increased the weights on about 1/2 of them, max of 6 reps. In and out in less than 30 minutes. It was wonderful!

I don't have any DOMS but I do have some 'muscle/body awareness'....especially in my chest and legs. I am becoming a firm believer in the need for the longer recovery period.

How's everyone else doing?
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