Body by Science / HIIT Experiment


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Almost 20 years ago, Tony Robbins was promoting a John Little exercise routine called static contraction, which is briefly mentioned in Body By Science. It is basically no movement and a 10 second hold to failure involving super heavy weights. Body By Science explains why static contraction is not ideal because it does not exhaust the slow twitch muscles. I also think the really heavy weights is dangerous too, eg I was holding up 3 times my weight on the bench press and that might be too much intensity to be healthy.

I was wary of reading another John Little promotion so it took a lot of time until I was able to force myself to read Body By Science. I plan to start the exercises this month. Here are some thoughts I had about the book.

I think the recovery time needs to be longer than a week after someone has done this workout for a while. By the time I progressed to the heaviest weights when I did static contraction, it would be more than a month between workouts. Body By Science discussed psychology where some people felt one week was too much time between workouts and they felt like they had to lift more frequently, so that's probably the resistance to waiting longer than a week. I think the stronger a person gets, the heavier weights they lift, the more energy they use and damage they cause, and the more time off the person needs for recovery and growth. So one explanation for people hitting a limit or regressing is that they might need 2, 3, 4 weeks or months between workouts in order to give the body enough time.

I also think it is safest to do these exercises with a machine rather than free weights. If using free weights, I think there has to be a safety mechanism. For example, with the bench press, there can be two bars that go the length of the body so that the bars catch the barbell above your body when you are exhausted and can no longer hold it up.

For accessories, a timer is needed to know how long it is taking to reach failure. So recordkeeping the amount of weight and time is a good idea. Lifting gloves help a lot too. I have a pair of Harbinger gel gloves recommended by Little a long time ago.
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