Body by Science / HIIT Experiment

luc

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We've been doing it for 2 months kind of irregularly (every 1-2 weeks), 6 sessions so far.

It took me about 2 sessions to get the hang of it and really exhaust my muscles. This isn't so easy, because as the authors say, your whole body goes into panic mode and wants you to stop! But the goal is to exhaust everything to the max, and the slow reps really accomplish that. It's really brutal and I feel completely finished afterwards!

In terms of effects, I noticed a better mood, more energy, better overall body feeling, feeling more healthy in general, more strength and yes, more muscles :-) Also, I think doing it every week is ideal, every 10 days or so was still okay for me, but when I had longer intervals between sessions, I felt the positive effect fading.

I have some issues/questions though: We're doing it with just a barbell, and my routine looks as follows (slightly adapted from the free-weight version in the book):
  1. Bent-over barbell row
  2. Standing overhead press
  3. Dead lift
  4. Push-up on the floor with a weight on my back (instead of bench press)
  5. Squats
  6. Pull-ups
Now, my problem is that I can't get to exhaustion with the dead lift exercise - my back starts hurting as hell. I really tried hard keeping a good posture and so on, tried different things etc., but I can't get it to work.

The squats don't work either - if I don't use a heavy weight, I can't get to exhaustion, but if I use one, it's just too dangerous and I can't get to exhaustion because I'm terrified of getting hurt.

Does anyone else use free weights and has some advice, perhaps alternative ways of doing dead lift and squats? Perhaps using dumbbells instead of a barbell might help?
 

Turgon

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Wow! Those sound like phenomenal results already. I came across Doug McGuff's work a few years ago and it almost seemed too good to be true. You only have to workout for 15-20 minutes, roughly once-a-week?? And your supposed to put on muscle and strength?? :umm: What ever happened to Arnold's 'Pumping Iron' routine or going to the gym for 1-2 hours 3-4 days a week? Which is what I've been used to all these years. So I think I may have only tried the exercises a few times and then stopped doing it which was more an emotional reaction to finding something 'wrong' with exercising so little in the week.

But with the results everyone has been showing so far, I'll give it another shot and read the book! A few questions for everyone that have started this experiment. Do you do any other workouts during the week that are less intensive? If not, do you have a physically active lifestyle?
 

Turgon

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We've been doing it for 2 months kind of irregularly (every 1-2 weeks), 6 sessions so far.
Now, my problem is that I can't get to exhaustion with the dead lift exercise - my back starts hurting as hell. I really tried hard keeping a good posture and so on, tried different things etc., but I can't get it to work.

The squats don't work either - if I don't use a heavy weight, I can't get to exhaustion, but if I use one, it's just too dangerous and I can't get to exhaustion because I'm terrified of getting hurt.

Does anyone else use free weights and has some advice, perhaps alternative ways of doing dead lift and squats? Perhaps using dumbbells instead of a barbell might help?
I tried when I first encountered his work and have incorporated doing slower reps, but you can't do the leg exercises with free weights, luc. At least not to the effect Doug McGuff is talking about. His exercises involve heavy/max weight plus total exhaustion, so safety is paramount. You need to use a leg press machine or something similar, and I don't ever remember him doing deadlifts using super-slow reps (I could be wrong), but I tried doing the same thing, although not as slow as he recommends, probably about 4 seconds up/4 seconds down and as long as your form is good, you should be okay. In fact, I found going slower prevented back injury, which I've had happen from deadlifts. Although I'm surprised it wasn't your forearms and grip that didn't give out sooner. That indicates to me that your technique is off in some way. Elliot Hulse gives some really good advice on how to do a deadlift properly to prevent injury. Hopefully it helps.

 

Jeffrey of Troy

Padawan Learner
In terms of effects, I noticed a better mood, more energy, better overall body feeling, feeling more healthy in general, more strength and yes, more muscles :-) Also, I think doing it every week is ideal, every 10 days or so was still okay for me, but when I had longer intervals between sessions, I felt the positive effect fading.

I have some issues/questions though: We're doing it with just a barbell, and my routine looks as follows (slightly adapted from the free-weight version in the book):
  1. Bent-over barbell row
  2. Standing overhead press
  3. Dead lift
  4. Push-up on the floor with a weight on my back (instead of bench press)
  5. Squats
  6. Pull-ups
Now, my problem is that I can't get to exhaustion with the dead lift exercise - my back starts hurting as hell. I really tried hard keeping a good posture and so on, tried different things etc., but I can't get it to work.

The squats don't work either - if I don't use a heavy weight, I can't get to exhaustion, but if I use one, it's just too dangerous and I can't get to exhaustion because I'm terrified of getting hurt.

Does anyone else use free weights and has some advice, perhaps alternative ways of doing dead lift and squats? Perhaps using dumbbells instead of a barbell might help?
Recovery's where you make your gains. Very unequal distribution throughout population of biologically inherited recovery ability. "You do you!"

I disagree with pushing yourself to exhaustion. "Minimum effective dose." Stimulate your skeletal muscles, and give yourself time to grow into the new you. You may find this affect's recovery positively, as starting recovery exhausted means you might miss the "sweet spot" of training frequency. Any workout powerful enough to stimulate skeletal muscles to get bigger or stronger also stimulates you on the systemic level (central nervous system, endocrine, immune, etc.)

I strongly prefer dumbbells over barbell for bent over row. Try it and you'll see - or rather, feel - what I mean. You need to keep your elbows tucked in to hit the center of your back, which doesn't get well worked any other way. Back straight, head up (just look at wall, neither floor nor ceiling).
 

mkrnhr

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I have some issues/questions though: We're doing it with just a barbell, and my routine looks as follows (slightly adapted from the free-weight version in the book):
  1. Bent-over barbell row
  2. Standing overhead press
  3. Dead lift
  4. Push-up on the floor with a weight on my back (instead of bench press)
  5. Squats
  6. Pull-ups
Thanks for the good news. I was going to ask weather the exercises required complex machines or if there were alternatives with simple material (books take time to arrive here, from weeks to months sometimes).


Now, my problem is that I can't get to exhaustion with the dead lift exercise - my back starts hurting as hell. I really tried hard keeping a good posture and so on, tried different things etc., but I can't get it to work.

The squats don't work either - if I don't use a heavy weight, I can't get to exhaustion, but if I use one, it's just too dangerous and I can't get to exhaustion because I'm terrified of getting hurt.
I think you don't need to risk injury. You can do it progressively. If your back hurts when doing deadlifts it means that you don't immobilize it enough during the exercise. You may start with less heavy loads first in order to strengthen the core first (immobilization) and once you secure a steady secure movement, increase the weight progressively. I've seen many people ruin their back permanently because they wanted to lift heavy too soon.

Same thing with squats, increase the weight progressively in order to achieve your goals without risking injury.
In terms of physical exercise, doing it well is better than doing lots of it.

OSIT.
 

SeekinTruth

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Thanks for bringing this up. I wanted to do a weekly exercise routine (haven't exercised formally in a long time) for a while. I have a dumbbell somewhere that I can load up quite a lot of weight on. Being alternately not too physically active and then needing to do a bunch of physical work (some pretty hard) around the house and property, I've been wanting to get into better shape as I'm sometimes becoming aware of my age (turned 51 in February).

I tone up pretty quickly and also start getting more muscle mass pretty fast from any physical activity, especially any kind of real, formal workout - actually I stay pretty toned up muscle-wise even if I don't workout for really long periods of time, just lose muscle mass slowly over time, especially my legs become quite skinny more than the rest of my body from lack of any workout. So I'm looking forward to getting back into a very little-time-consuming workout to get in better shape and reboot mitochondria, etc.
 

aragorn

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FOTCM Member
I've also tried this approach the last ca 10 times I've been to the gym, and I've noticed the same effects as has been mentioned. As Scottie wrote, the way your muscles feel afterwards is interesting: there's a gentle, good kind of aching that goes very deep, right to the bones. And I attest to the shakiness, sometimes my legs and arms start to shake and tremble also during the work out. The muscle "ache" for me can last for several days afterwards, but it's a good feeling. I haven't read the book, so I'm wondering if there's more to the technique than just doing it super slowly with less weight? I've been using ca 1/3 of the weights I usually train with, and doing the movements as slowly as I can.

As a side note, once you start doing the work out in this super slow way, it feels right, and as you see those other guys "pumping" and groaning at a very fast pace, it appears quite crazy and wrong.
 

Mikey

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I did this workout about 5 times, and muscles definitely have strengthened and grown. Objects which previously felt heavy when lifted, don't any more so much. I really like this method and am looking forward to do more sessions, which are quite time-efficient btw.
 

Laura

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I've been doing it for 2 months. I then skipped a week and will be back on schedule tomorrow. It is a few minutes of intense pain once a week. I can do that. Sure is better than having to work out every day or every other day. It's fast and WORKS!!!
 

Balance

The Force is Strong With This One
Maybe I can contribute to this thread by pointing few things. It's really interesting that you say that you do exercises more slowely, because ACTUALLY this benefit you much more than going full "pumping and groaning at a very fast pace". And why is slow movement(especially eccentric part) better than going full pumping and why do you feel sore "to the bone" after workout?

Because you recruit a lot more muscle fibers and you damage them more if you are doing slow eccentric muscle movement (eccentric phase of the movement is elongation -> that phase when you are actually 'not' lifting weights but bringing back weight to starting position).

These are generally called 'Negatives'(focus is on slow elongation/eccentric phase).

You can even make it beyond failure by 'Cheating reps'. When you cannot do conncentric phase("lifting weights") you help yourself lift weight with other hand or with spotter or with rest of your body and than do slow negative part. (It's called cheating because you helped yourself with first part of the movement but...I have to say that it's not cheating haha...you burn and feel muscle which is the whole point of mucle-mind-body connection. The whole point is to connect yourself with your body and not to "just do your routine")

These techiniques do A REALLY GOOD work especially for hardgainers and those who reached platoue of muscle development.

And that's why Scottie says he sees much improvement(and soreness). You recruit much more muscle fibers thus making more damage thus being sore thus being more stronger every next workout.

Here's much better explenation of one known physiotherapist (Jeff Cavaliere) who helped me very much in my training and whole understanding of workout/muscles/tendons/more safer way to train/best techniques for training.

btw. slow movement technique is the third one in video -> "Muscle mechanical damage" -> "Eccentric overload"


P.S. This guy is really good at explaining how many things about body/workout work, because as he says: 'He's marrying science and workout' which is much much better than 'bro-science'...
There are a lot of videos about 'pain in lower back and how to diminish it', 'pain in shoulders', right way of preforming exercises to reduce pain and boost muscle damage etc etc...many great stuff....
 

luc

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I haven't read the book, so I'm wondering if there's more to the technique than just doing it super slowly with less weight? I've been using ca 1/3 of the weights I usually train with, and doing the movements as slowly as I can.

As a side note, once you start doing the work out in this super slow way, it feels right, and as you see those other guys "pumping" and groaning at a very fast pace, it appears quite crazy and wrong.
I think reading the book is worth it, because you get to know the hows and whys, plus they give some detailed advice and tips on how to optimize the exercises. But the main difference is indeed the very slow speed, and I think there lies the "secret" - with normal (fast) exercises, I feel I get to exhaustion (i.e. where the magic happens) just at the very end, while with the slow speed, it feels like you are "sweating" almost from the beginning, and so you're able to exhaust your muscles much more thoroughly. A good indication is that I often start hyperventilating after just 2 reps or so and so can keep my body in "panic mode" much longer.

I tried when I first encountered his work and have incorporated doing slower reps, but you can't do the leg exercises with free weights, luc. At least not to the effect Doug McGuff is talking about. His exercises involve heavy/max weight plus total exhaustion, so safety is paramount. You need to use a leg press machine or something similar, and I don't ever remember him doing deadlifts using super-slow reps (I could be wrong), but I tried doing the same thing, although not as slow as he recommends, probably about 4 seconds up/4 seconds down and as long as your form is good, you should be okay. In fact, I found going slower prevented back injury, which I've had happen from deadlifts. Although I'm surprised it wasn't your forearms and grip that didn't give out sooner. That indicates to me that your technique is off in some way. Elliot Hulse gives some really good advice on how to do a deadlift properly to prevent injury. Hopefully it helps.
Thanks a lot, Turgon. Indeed, it seems I didn't do the deadlift properly. Today, I tried it using the video you linked, and it got way better - I now started to get to the limit in terms of forearms. Still, I'm not quite there yet, because my lower back started hurting at some point, so I stopped. It seems to be a difficult exercise that needs some practice.

As for the squats, I found that with the veeery slow reps and keeping the tension (not standing up completely straight so that I avoid any resting position) I can get to exhaustion much faster and with less weights. But still, I don't quite get there with the squats, and maybe it's just not possible really? Thanks again!
 

Balance

The Force is Strong With This One
Deadlift and back exercises are known to excert much tension on lower back. So first they will have to become stronger but if constant 'pain' (not burn) continues, it's advisable to work your glutes...yeah, working your glutes more.



There are more videos about this because it's one of the constant problems when doing deadlifts/squats/any back exercises where you are bent etc.
 

c.a.

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FOTCM Member
Agree, (from what I've participated in), that Circuit Training is by far the most effective as described.

Interesting is that 3 time a weeks for 15 to 20 minutes causes a minor body burn, Which will slowly (over time), increases mussel tone, strength, and bone density straightening (depending on one's nutrients). Win Win. Thanks Scottie and other's for the feedback.

 
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Laura

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This sounds awesome. I am looking forward to trying it out. The short-duration is also very appealing, and fits in with the good old saying "work smarter, not harder!"
That's the main thing that prompted me to give it a try: I HATE to exercise; it takes time away from things I want to do. But, I know I need to so that I can continue to do the things I want to do. Thus, a program that takes literally 10 minutes ONCE A WEEK is a dream come true! I mean, how efficient is that?
 
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