Body by Science Workout

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Postby ramsfan » Mon Aug 23, 2010 4:09 pm

is there an alternate set of exercises for those with a home weight set? but no cable systems?
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Postby 3CT_Paddler » Mon Aug 23, 2010 4:56 pm

Going from benching 150 15 times to 310 15 times in 16 weeks is off the charts. If most people gain 40-50 lbs on their bench in 16 weeks that is pretty good. Like others said that is NFL O-lineman strong... based on a simplified max bench equation your max is around 430 lbs... which is definitely elite for anyone, much less your age group. Bravo to you sir for your hard work.
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Postby tc101 » Mon Aug 23, 2010 5:00 pm

Here is a youtube video of a guy bench pressing 1010 lb.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlDWdfTAx8o

Here is a scary video of a bench press accident. Be careful. Weight training can be dangerous:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSJCDcAK ... re=related
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Postby gatorman » Mon Aug 23, 2010 5:10 pm

ramsfan wrote:is there an alternate set of exercises for those with a home weight set? but no cable systems?


The book is less than $15. If you buy it you will find a section for those who use free weights. So, yes there are alternate exercises. I think it is a good idea to have the book in any event, as it is an excellent reference.
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Postby XtremeSki2001 » Mon Aug 23, 2010 5:19 pm

tc101 wrote:Here is a scary video of a bench press accident. Be careful. Weight training can be dangerous:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSJCDcAK ... re=related


- Not a very good spotter.
- Straight bar was up too high
A box of rain will ease the pain and love will see you through
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Postby gatorman » Mon Aug 23, 2010 5:25 pm

XtremeSki2001 wrote:
tc101 wrote:Here is a scary video of a bench press accident. Be careful. Weight training can be dangerous:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSJCDcAK ... re=related


- Not a very good spotter.
- Straight bar was up too high


Wasn't there a kid who played for USC that got hurt bad while lifting last year? I remember the accident but don't recall the details.

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Postby HardKnocker » Mon Aug 23, 2010 5:33 pm

Interesting thread but this type of training is not new.

It appears to be the old Mentzer Heavy Duty High Intensity training method from back in the 70's.

http://www.mikementzer.com/

I've used this type of training in the past but frankly, kind of enjoy working out at a lower intensity. I enjoy training and this type is not enjoyable. It's very stressful.

An article from that site:

"How Brief is Brief Enough?

by Dave Sears
Editor and Publisher of Muscles in Minutes

An important factor in determining proper exercise “dosage” is the time off in between your workouts. Mike Mentzer spoke about this issue on countless occasions and was often quite specific; start with 4-5 days between workouts and add 1 or 2 days as your progress stalls. Eventually, you could end up working out once every 10 - 12 days (or less).

However, Mike also recognized - and often referred to - the necessity of the stimulus being brief. How brief is brief enough? The answer is simple; as brief as necessary to stimulate growth, but not impede the growth process. I acknowledge this doesn’t sound simple to figure out, but with a little testing of days off and volume, it will be.

As editor and publisher of Mike’s latest book, Muscles in Minutes, we often discussed his most recent and greatest thoughts and ideas. We both knew that while it would be possible to further “tweak” his tremendously successful training program, this was pretty much “it”. It would be nearly impossible to improve upon his methodology in any grand-scale way.

The purpose of this article is to share a personal discovery with you. It should help some of you jumpstart your gains - and make Mike smile in the process. Over the past few years, I constantly experimented with my training - always reporting my conclusions to Mike. He was never surprised by my findings, just validated. After all, he didn’t need convincing that his training worked. Here are a few thoughts about what I have learned.
Days off…
While living in a vacuum as much as possible (same diet, same rest, same activity), I experimented with only one variable: days off in between my workouts. I performed an abbreviated total-body routine (3 exercises) and never varied the exercises. To be exact in measurement of strength, I used both rep count and the T.U.L. (time under load) method and was careful to record accurate times and keep rep modality as consistent as possible.

Overall, I tested (in 2 - 4 day increments) from 2 days off to 26 days off. After careful review, I determined that if I took any less than 6 days off - or more than 12 days off - I actually became weaker. I had (disappointingly) determined that the key (for me) was not as simple as adding days off in between workouts. Even staying in the 6 - 12 day off range, I was making barely perceptible progress.

Volume…
However, I knew that the complete equation involves both rest and volume. I had not initially planned on testing this [volume], because I was already doing an abbreviated routine and felt that any less exercise would be no exercise at all!

Yet, after applying logic to the situation, I decided to experiment anyway. I started with the facts I knew, and systematically eliminated the variables that were not in question. After all, as Mike said, if a training method is valid, it is valid all the time - it should work consistently. If it does not, the method (or a component of it) is not valid.

I checked my premises and concluded that:

a. One set was certainly enough stimulus to cause growth (if performed properly), so I could eliminate the testing of adding of additional sets
b. While I was training only once every 6 - 10 days - seeing marginal gains, I knew that I could eliminate the testing of days off in between workouts (I had tested that!)
c. Creating different workouts (with different exercises) was not the answer as I had tested that before and knew there was a more basic issue at hand
d. After rationally reviewing all available variables, I concluded the only one that needed to be tested was volume - so where did I start? At the beginning…

I consequently further reduced my workout to the following:

Workout 1: (1) set of pulldowns
Workout 2: (1) set of incline presses
Workout 3: (1) set of squats

Each workout was followed by 4 days off (later increased to 5, then 6 days off). After not having made any significant strength gains in the previous 8 months, I increased strength in EVERY workout for 2-1/2 months! I was especially amazed since one of the exercises (pulldowns) I had not increased in strength in 2 years!

I had previously been thinking that my days of strength increases were over forever - something I did not even want to consider. However, by thinking “outside the box”, and testing objectively (as Mike encouraged), I was able to break through to the next level.

By the way, the only reason I didn’t continue my strength increases past 2-1/2 months was due to two significant health issues back-to-back. However, I am now back in top shape, have just started back on that Super Consolidated Routine, and will report my progress as it occurs.

Mike, you were right - once again!"
“Gold gets dug out of the ground, then we melt it down, dig another hole, bury it again and pay people to stand around guarding it. It has no utility.”--Warren Buffett
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Postby tc101 » Mon Aug 23, 2010 5:41 pm

The aspect of the workout I like the most is that I've been able to stick with it without getting hurt. Over the years, I've often been limited by injuries. I think the slow motion aspect of it minimizes those and I think the low number of reps limits overuse problems.


I am 60 and have been weight training for about 4 years. My goal at this age is to stay fit and avoid injury. Doing low reps means you will be doing higher weights. Is there a greater danger of injury with the higher weights?
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Postby gatorman » Mon Aug 23, 2010 5:45 pm

HardKnocker wrote:Interesting thread but this type of training is not new.

It appears to be the old Mentzer Heavy Duty High Intensity training method from back in the 70's.

http://www.mikementzer.com/

I've used this type of training in the past but frankly, kind of enjoy working out at a lower intensity. I enjoy training and this type is not enjoyable. It's very stressful.


There is a great deal of anxiety generated when the weight won't budge, or is just barely moving- even when using cables. It takes awhile to get used to it and I'll admit it freaked me out a bit the first three or four times it happened. But after awhile, I got used to it and now just view it as part of the process. I still feel the anxiety, but I can concentrate past it.
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Postby HardKnocker » Mon Aug 23, 2010 5:48 pm

If you like it and it works go for it.

The stress of the actual workout (discomfort) is what I'm talking about. I put some music on. Work at just a medium intensity.

I kind of exercise to relieve stress and that Heavy Duty style brings the stress on. :lol:

Your gains are great. I appreciate you sharing your experience.
Last edited by HardKnocker on Mon Aug 23, 2010 5:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby tc101 » Mon Aug 23, 2010 5:48 pm

With these high intensity once a week workouts, do you do any aerobics or other exercise in between?
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Postby gatorman » Mon Aug 23, 2010 5:52 pm

tc101 wrote:
The aspect of the workout I like the most is that I've been able to stick with it without getting hurt. Over the years, I've often been limited by injuries. I think the slow motion aspect of it minimizes those and I think the low number of reps limits overuse problems.


I am 60 and have been weight training for about 4 years. My goal at this age is to stay fit and avoid injury. Doing low reps means you will be doing higher weights. Is there a greater danger of injury with the higher weights?


I don't think so, because I move the weights very slowly and do not jerk them at all. When I got hurt it was usually when I abandoned perfect form or tried to really push the weight extra fast. If you are concerned about dropping the weight on yourself, use machines instead of free weights. There is an excellent discussion in the book describing why the chance of injury is reduced on this program.
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Postby ryuns » Mon Aug 23, 2010 5:54 pm

gatorman wrote:
HardKnocker wrote:Interesting thread but this type of training is not new.

It appears to be the old Mentzer Heavy Duty High Intensity training method from back in the 70's.

http://www.mikementzer.com/

I've used this type of training in the past but frankly, kind of enjoy working out at a lower intensity. I enjoy training and this type is not enjoyable. It's very stressful.


There is a great deal of anxiety generated when the weight won't budge, or is just barely moving- even when using cables. It takes awhile to get used to it and I'll admit it freaked me out a bit the first three or four times it happened. But after awhile, I got used to it and now just view it as part of the process. I still feel the anxiety, but I can concentrate past it.
gatorman


So I take it that you kind of will your way past bad sets? There aren't any where you just sort of give up after 8 sets because your head wasn't in it? You just sort of concentrate to the point of going to the point of failure, or exhaustion?

I thought from the first glance that BBS looked like a bit of BS, but I could see the how it could work. If there aren't any junk sets, and each rep really counts, I think it makes sense. I've noticed when working out myself that sometimes I say "ok only two sets of pullups today, and we'll make them good ones" and I feel, on some qualitative level that it's just as good of a workout.

Edit: Kind of funny--I notice that it wouldn't really make me happier if it turned out that working out less gave the same results. I really rather like exercising. I guess there's always lower impact stuff, or more aerobic (though I'd still probably do mostly intervals) or things like yoga.

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Postby gatorman » Mon Aug 23, 2010 6:01 pm

tc101 wrote:With these high intensity once a week workouts, do you do any aerobics or other exercise in between?


I walk for pleasure and ride my bike on an irregular basis. My college athletic experience has left me unable to run- bone on bone in the knees. Surprisingly, I can still do leg presses if I go slow. My orthopod tells me I won't hurt myself doing leg presses, but I think anyone with joint problems should get cleared by their own doctor before proceeding, just because it won't hurt me doesn't mean it won't hurt you.

The book has quite a discussion on aerobics, the author's position is that no additional aerobic exercise is necessary.

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Postby HardKnocker » Mon Aug 23, 2010 6:51 pm

gatorman wrote:
tc101 wrote:The book has quite a discussion on aerobics, the author's position is that no additional aerobic exercise is necessary.

gatorman


It really gets you huffing and puffing. It's hard.
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Postby gatorking » Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:34 pm

Lot's of information on BBS on the website:
http://www.bodybyscience.net/home.html/?page_id=2

I gave it a try for couple of months - I found it really difficult to stick to. I think I'd need a trainer to get me to stick to it.
Right now, prefer to do body weight exercises.
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Postby mhalley » Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:25 pm

I just picked up the book today for my kindle, too bad I didn't see the videos on the bodybyscience website, might have saved me 10 bucks> Just wanted to mention that he compares his exercises to being the "mutual fund of exercises", and states that "an index fund that tracks the total market" (here he uses S&P 500, where he should use total stock market) "will typically outperform 85 to 95 percent of all other mutual funds"
Looks like the authors are bogleheads!
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Postby TJAJ9 » Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:06 am

tc101 wrote:Here is a youtube video of a guy bench pressing 1010 lb.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlDWdfTAx8o


Wow! :shock:
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Postby HardKnocker » Tue Aug 24, 2010 7:13 am

Here's a book by John Little, the author of Body By Science.

No doubt his ideas are from Mentzer and Arthur Jones (inventor of Nautilus machines)

Image

It's to be noted that Mentzer was serious steroid abuser and drug addict who basically killed himself with drugs.
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Postby gatorman » Tue Aug 24, 2010 8:25 am

HardKnocker wrote:Here's a book by John Little, the author of Body By Science.

No doubt his ideas are from Mentzer and Arthur Jones (inventor of Nautilus machines)

Image

It's to be noted that Mentzer was serious steroid abuser and drug addict who basically killed himself with drugs.


I'd agree. If you look at the early Nautilus Bulletins:

http://www.arthurjonesexercise.com/

you will see a lot of the same kinds of ideas expressed. The details are different, but the philosophy is the same. I think the Body by Science authors acknowledge that in several places in the book.

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Postby gatorman » Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:28 am

HardKnocker wrote:Here's a book by John Little, the author of Body By Science.

No doubt his ideas are from Mentzer and Arthur Jones (inventor of Nautilus machines)

Image

It's to be noted that Mentzer was serious steroid abuser and drug addict who basically killed himself with drugs.


Here is Wikipedia's summary of Mentzer's training methods:

While Mike Mentzer was serving in the US Air Force, he would work 12-hour shifts, and then follow that up with 'marathon workouts', as was the accepted standard in those days. In his first bodybuilding contest, he met the winner, Casey Viator. Mentzer learned that Viator trained in very high intensity (heavy weights for as many repetitions as possible, to total muscle fatigue), for very brief (20–45 minutes per session) and infrequent training sessions. Mentzer also learned that Viator almost exclusively worked out with the relatively new Nautilus machines, created and marketed by Arthur Jones in Deland, Florida. Mentzer and Jones soon met, and became friends.[4]

Jones had virtually pioneered the principles of high-intensity training in the late sixties and early seventies. He emphasized the need to maintain perfectly strict form, move the weights in a slow and controlled manner, work the muscles to complete failure (positive and negative), and avoid over-training. Casey Viator had seen fantastic results training under the direction of Jones, and Mentzer became very interested in this training philosophy.[4] Eventually, however, Mentzer concluded that even Jones was not completely applying his own principles, so he began investigating a more full application. He began training clients in a near experimental manner, evaluating the perfect number of repetitions, exercises, and days of rest to achieve maximum benefits.[1]

For more than ten years, Mentzer's Heavy Duty program involved 7-9 sets per workout on a three day-per-week schedule.[1] With the advent of "modern bodybuilding" (where bodybuilders became more massive than ever before) by the early 1990s, he ultimately modified that routine until there were fewer working sets, and more days of rest. His first breakthrough became known as the 'Ideal (Principled) Routine', which was a fantastic step in minimal training. Outlined in High-Intensity Training the Mike Mentzer Way, fewer than five working sets were performed each session, and rest was emphasized, necessitating 4–7 days of recovery before the next workout.[2] According to Mentzer, biologists and physiologists since the nineteenth century have known that hypertrophy is directly related to intensity, not duration, of effort (Mentzer 2003;39). Most bodybuilding and weightlifting authorities do not take into account the severe nature of the stress imposed by heavy, strenuous resistance exercise carried to a point of positive muscular failure.[1]

Mentzer's training courses (books and audio tapes), sold through bodybuilding magazines, were extremely popular, beginning after Mentzer won the 1978 IFBB Mr. Universe contest. This contest gathered a lot of attention, because at it he became the first bodybuilder ever to receive a perfect 300 score from the judges. Some time later, Mentzer attracted more attention when he introduced Dorian Yates to high-intensity training, and put him through his first series of workouts in the early '90s.[1] Yates went on to win the Mr. Olympia six consecutive times, from 1992–1997.


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Re: Body by Science Workout

Postby Houston101 » Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:31 am

gatorman wrote:This is a great workout, I raised my bench press from 150 lbs to 310 lbs in 16 weeks, had similar gains on the other exercises. Get your doctor's approval before attempting.

Here is a summary of the exercise program:

5 exercises:
Bench Press
Overhead Press
Cable Row
Pulldowns
Leg Press

Make sure you do the exercises with perfect form.
Start with weights you can do 15 reps.
Do the pulldowns with an underhand grip.
On the cable rows and pulldowns, try and pinch your shoulder blades together at the end of each rep.
Raise the weight slowly over 10 seconds and lower it slowly over 10 seconds.
Do not jerk the weights and do not attempt to lift quickly.
Don't rest between exercises.
Exercise once per week, 1 set of each exercise.
Raise the weight on each exercise 10 lbs. per week until you reach a weight you can only do 5-8 reps.
After you reach that weight, try and increase your reps until you can do 8 reps again, then increase the weight.
The objective is to achieve momentary muscle failure at 5-8 reps.
Once you are doing 5-8 reps of each exercise the entire workout shouldn't take more than 10-15 minutes max.

Diet: Try to eat a paleo diet- lean meat, green veggies, fruits, nuts (but not peanuts). No dairy, no bread, cereal, pasta, legumes or grains. No corn,rice or potatoes.

Here is a link to the book:

http://www.amazon.com/Body-Science-Rese ... 451&sr=1-1

I hope it works as well for you as it did for me.

gatorman


Sorry, if this question sounds tupid but I am not a fast learner.

Are we supposed to start with maximum weight that 15 reps can handle & then increase 10lbs every week to to the extent 8 reps can handle?

Please correct me where I am getting this wrong.
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Postby leo383 » Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:22 am

Some of these sites recommend getting down to three reps.
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Re: Body by Science Workout

Postby gatorman » Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:18 pm

Houston101 wrote:
gatorman wrote:This is a great workout, I raised my bench press from 150 lbs to 310 lbs in 16 weeks, had similar gains on the other exercises. Get your doctor's approval before attempting.

Here is a summary of the exercise program:

5 exercises:
Bench Press
Overhead Press
Cable Row
Pulldowns
Leg Press

Make sure you do the exercises with perfect form.
Start with weights you can do 15 reps.
Do the pulldowns with an underhand grip.
On the cable rows and pulldowns, try and pinch your shoulder blades together at the end of each rep.
Raise the weight slowly over 10 seconds and lower it slowly over 10 seconds.
Do not jerk the weights and do not attempt to lift quickly.
Don't rest between exercises.
Exercise once per week, 1 set of each exercise.
Raise the weight on each exercise 10 lbs. per week until you reach a weight you can only do 5-8 reps.
After you reach that weight, try and increase your reps until you can do 8 reps again, then increase the weight.
The objective is to achieve momentary muscle failure at 5-8 reps.
Once you are doing 5-8 reps of each exercise the entire workout shouldn't take more than 10-15 minutes max.

Diet: Try to eat a paleo diet- lean meat, green veggies, fruits, nuts (but not peanuts). No dairy, no bread, cereal, pasta, legumes or grains. No corn,rice or potatoes.

Here is a link to the book:

http://www.amazon.com/Body-Science-Rese ... 451&sr=1-1

I hope it works as well for you as it did for me.

gatorman


Sorry, if this question sounds tupid but I am not a fast learner.

Are we supposed to start with maximum weight that 15 reps can handle & then increase 10lbs every week to to the extent 8 reps can handle?

Please correct me where I am getting this wrong.


First off, you need to be cleared by your doctor to lift weights and if you have any special health issues, you need professional supervision when you lift. If you haven't lifted before you should get set up to lift by a professional trainer who can instruct you as to correct form and as to safe lifting technique. Also, if you haven't lifted weights before, pick weights you can handle easily and can do 15 reps without discomfort. When starting out it is easy to overdo it, and the pain, which may not develop until a day or two later can be excruciating and can last a long time. So start off slowly and lift light weights until your body adapts to the extra strain you are putting on it. For example, you might try not increasing the weights until you have worked out 3 or 4 times, just to give your body a chance to adapt. It is much better to pick weights that are too light than to start off with weights that are the least bit beyond what your body can handle with comfort. You can always increase them, but if you start off too heavy, it may be quite awhile until you are able to lift again.

After you are used to lifting weights or if you are already in good shape, pick a weight that allows you to do 15 reps with perfect form. Every week increase the weight you lift by 10 lbs. and exercise for 15 reps or until momentary failure (until you can't move the weight any further). Keep raising the amount you lift by 10 lbs every week until you reach momentary failure at someplace between 5 and 8 reps. When you can do 8 reps or more at that weight, increase the weight by up to 10 lbs (as the weights get really heavy, you may not be able to increase by the whole 10 lbs. I suggested in my original post).

Does that answer your question? Lifting weights is one of the most effective means of increasing strength, but it must be approached with caution, especially by beginners. I would also suggest you buy and read the Body by Science book before starting.

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Postby Curlyq » Tue Aug 24, 2010 2:08 pm

Another offshoot of Mentzer's work is the book, "Power of 10," which also advocates super-slow HIT.

With arthritis coming on in one hip and after knee and shoulder reconstructions and then, last year, cancer surgery to remove a chunk of my arm, I have not been able to do regular weight-training because all of the reps and sets bother my joints and incision area.

Super-slow weight-training with very heavy weight (lifting with excellent form is essential) is easier on my joints and only having to go to the gym once a week or once every 10 days pretty much removes a lot of excuses to avoid resistance exercise. Yes, it's intense and yes, one could say "painful," but I never experienced any kind of muscle pain that could be related to damage. Just the regular, "my gosh, this is REALLY heavy and I'm not even done with the rep yet" kind of pain.

And yes, once I get close to the max weight per exercise, I can generally lift three reps per muscle group, 20-second reps with no rest between reps, so I spend one minute per muscle group. I usually work 5 or 6 muscle groups in a workout and have finished my workout in 10 minutes when I can access the workout station without waiting. Normally, though, I take 30 minutes because gyms are very social places for me (and filled with mostly men, which is a wonderful added bonus). If I'm training for a meet, I'll spend additional time on that particular lift, such as being coached on technique.

I have very successfully used super-slow HIT to maintain great strength and bone health. Without lifting more than once a week and taking a week or so off here and there, I won a gold in the regional Senior Games Power Lifting competition. At another meet, I even beat women 10 years or more younger than I am. I started Power Lifting in November and won in March and April. I suppose if I want to keep going, I'll get even more strength gains, but I haven't decided if I want to continue Power Lifting or move toward Olympic Lifting.

For you stats guys, I'm a 51 y.o. female, 5'7" tall, 145 pounds. Body fat 23%. Winning lift combo: 240 dead and 105 bench. Doesn't seem like much with the "big boys" on this thread, but heavy weight training has really helped me with my other sports and for life in general. I would defnitely recommend a version of this type of lifting program to most seniors, all women, and anybody who has joint issues.
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Re: Body by Science Workout

Postby Houston101 » Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:00 pm

gatorman wrote:Does that answer your question?
gatorman


Thanks gatorman for your reply and detailed post. Appreciate it.
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Postby gatorman » Wed Aug 25, 2010 8:51 am

Curlyq wrote:Another offshoot of Mentzer's work is the book, "Power of 10," which also advocates super-slow HIT.

With arthritis coming on in one hip and after knee and shoulder reconstructions and then, last year, cancer surgery to remove a chunk of my arm, I have not been able to do regular weight-training because all of the reps and sets bother my joints and incision area.

Super-slow weight-training with very heavy weight (lifting with excellent form is essential) is easier on my joints and only having to go to the gym once a week or once every 10 days pretty much removes a lot of excuses to avoid resistance exercise. Yes, it's intense and yes, one could say "painful," but I never experienced any kind of muscle pain that could be related to damage. Just the regular, "my gosh, this is REALLY heavy and I'm not even done with the rep yet" kind of pain.

And yes, once I get close to the max weight per exercise, I can generally lift three reps per muscle group, 20-second reps with no rest between reps, so I spend one minute per muscle group. I usually work 5 or 6 muscle groups in a workout and have finished my workout in 10 minutes when I can access the workout station without waiting. Normally, though, I take 30 minutes because gyms are very social places for me (and filled with mostly men, which is a wonderful added bonus). If I'm training for a meet, I'll spend additional time on that particular lift, such as being coached on technique.

I have very successfully used super-slow HIT to maintain great strength and bone health. Without lifting more than once a week and taking a week or so off here and there, I won a gold in the regional Senior Games Power Lifting competition. At another meet, I even beat women 10 years or more younger than I am. I started Power Lifting in November and won in March and April. I suppose if I want to keep going, I'll get even more strength gains, but I haven't decided if I want to continue Power Lifting or move toward Olympic Lifting.

For you stats guys, I'm a 51 y.o. female, 5'7" tall, 145 pounds. Body fat 23%. Winning lift combo: 240 dead and 105 bench. Doesn't seem like much with the "big boys" on this thread, but heavy weight training has really helped me with my other sports and for life in general. I would defnitely recommend a version of this type of lifting program to most seniors, all women, and anybody who has joint issues.


Thank you for your post. You brought out some key points:

Super-slow weight-training with very heavy weight (lifting with excellent form is essential) is easier on my joints and only having to go to the gym once a week or once every 10 days pretty much removes a lot of excuses to avoid resistance exercise.


As I have gotten older, I find that if I lift on a two or three day a week basis, I am much more likely to develop joint problems. Those problems were one of the primary reasons I quit lifting for quite awhile. However, using the Body by Science protocol, I am able to lift and have not re- developed the problems I suffered from before (except for some tendonitis in my elbow, which is a condition I have suffered from since my mid-thirties.) My other joint problems are much reduced.

Also, after lifting for many years I found that I had come to resent the time required to lift as an unwelcome intrusion on other life activities. Because the new workout is so brief, I no longer feel that way. Instead, I find that I look forward to my weekly workout and am eager to get into the gym.


I have very successfully used super-slow HIT to maintain great strength and bone health.


This is really key. High intensity training has been shown to improve bone density, important for all of us, but especially important for older women. Also, it is possible using this protocol to maintain a high level of strength well into one's later years, which cannot do anything but improve one's overall quality of life.

So, for myself, thus far I see a lot of benefits and very little downside. For those who can do it with their doctor's blessing, I'd suggest giving it a try for 6 months or so. At the end of that period, if you have done the workouts on a faithful basis and have really put in the effort, you will be in a position to state with certainty whether or not you have benefitted. For those with no prior weightlifting experience, or those having special physical challenges, see my advice to Houston101 above, take it slow and easy when starting out, it is quite easy to overdo it when starting out and it takes awhile to condition one's body to the extra stress resulting from weightlifting.

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Postby vesalius » Wed Aug 25, 2010 11:04 am

gatorman wrote:
XtremeSki2001 wrote:
tc101 wrote:Here is a scary video of a bench press accident. Be careful. Weight training can be dangerous:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSJCDcAK ... re=related


- Not a very good spotter.
- Straight bar was up too high


Wasn't there a kid who played for USC that got hurt bad while lifting last year? I remember the accident but don't recall the details.

gatorman


USC's Stafon Johnson. In 2009 he was benching 275 lbs with a spotter. The spotter wasn't paying close enough attention and the weight simply slipped out of Stafon's hands and landed unimpeded on his throat crushing his larynx.

BTW, Stafon only benched 225 lbs 13 times at the NFL combine.
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Postby ryuns » Wed Aug 25, 2010 12:21 pm

Only tangentially related, but I watched the movie "Bigger Faster Stronger*" on Netflix Instant and really enjoyed it. Basically about the sometimes factious relationship between the concept of "fairness" (in this case, mostly about using performance enhancing drugs) and the intense pressure of competition.
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Postby minesweep » Wed Aug 25, 2010 5:36 pm

Ramsfan wrote:is there an alternate set of exercises for those with a home weight set? but no cable systems?

Substitutes for cable row:

Barbell Bent-over Row

Dumbbell Bent-over Row

Substitutes for cable pulldown:

Barbell Pullover

Barbell Bent Arm Pullover

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Re: Body by Science Workout

Postby Rolyatroba » Tue Jun 25, 2013 7:53 pm

How's this for an ooooollllldd bump? :)

I just found this thread, as I have been doing the Body by Science workout since December 2009 and a relative asked for some info on the topic. It's odd, how Google brings me to the Bogleheads forum for so many different topics.

Anyway, I thought I'd share a few thoughts on this, as I've read the book about 8 times, tried very hard to debunk before trying the routine, and since starting have done quite a bit of research in physiology.

First and foremost, there are three very important things I took away from this entire process:

1 - [Medical condition (mitigated by strength training) removed by admin LadyGeek]

I can't think of a better group to evangelize this to--intelligent folks that wish for long retirements. :)

2 - The BBS method is--and the authors even call it this--the INDEX FUND of personal fitness. It isn't the only way to build muscle or improve fitness, but it is a routine that will satisfactorily improve fitness and quality of life for most people. It's not for body builders or for endurance athletes*--rather, it's for people that don't want to put a lot of time or thought into getting basic fitness; think of it as a lazy 5-exercise portfolio.

3 - [Medical discussion comparing aerobic vs. strength training removed by admin LadyGeek]

Last, if you do go and buy the book and embark on routine, you don't necessarily have to do exactly as the book says. The American College of Sports Medicine has a position paper on strength training that you can download. I look at BBS as sort of a Cliffs Notes version of certain components of the paper. It's just as good to take other approaches as long as you're within the range. You can sub rep counting for time counting (a little more fun), and you can move the bar faster than as with the SuperSlow 10s/10s method (just be sure to not move so fast that you risk injury).

*One thing to be aware of, however, is that the authors are misleading about endurance conditioning. Though not heavily discussed, the book touches on some endurance sports, and on their website they even have a piece on how BBS made one cyclist superior among his peers. But, their treatment and thinking on this is greatly ignorant, and I've called them out on it on their blog. If you do any endurance activities, such as hiking or biking, and especially if you compete in such, BBS does little to help this area of fitness.
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Re: Body by Science Workout

Postby Bogle101 » Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:01 pm

Thanks for the bump. I am getting so bored of my current gym routine
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Re: Body by Science Workout

Postby LadyGeek » Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:25 pm

Sorry, but the forum guidelines where changed after this thread was started. See: Consumer Forum Reopened (Feb 27, 2012). Posts from today forward should adhere to the current guidelines. Providing medical advice; which is diet and (medical conditions or treatments), is no longer permitted.

Medical Issues

Questions on medical issues are beyond the scope of the forum. If you are looking for medical information online, I'd like to suggest you start with the Medical Library Association's User's Guide to Finding and Evaluating Health Information on the Web which, in addition to providing guidance on evaluating health information, includes lists of their top recommended sites in the following categories: consumer health, cancer, diabetes and heart disease. They also provide a larger, but less frequently updated, list called Top 100 List: Health Websites You Can Trust

It's very difficult to avoid these topics in a workout thread, but let's give it a try.
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Re: Body by Science Workout

Postby Rolyatroba » Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:46 pm

LadyGeek wrote:Sorry, but the forum guidelines where changed after this thread was started. See: Consumer Forum Reopened (Feb 27, 2012). Posts from today forward should adhere to the current guidelines. Providing medical advice; which is diet and (medical conditions or treatments), is no longer permitted.


Got it...no problem. You should probably strike my third point then, as well.

Is it ok to discuss the stricken topics in PMs?
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Re: Body by Science Workout

Postby LadyGeek » Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:05 pm

I don't see why not, but bear in mind the disclaimer at the bottom of every page still applies, as well as abiding by Forum Policy.

No guarantees are made as to the accuracy of the information on this site or the appropriateness of any advice to your particular situation.

Remember that this is an anonymous internet forum. Members posting here may give (and receive) incomplete and unqualified advice - which includes via PM.

FWIW, if anyone receives an unwelcome PM, just report it using the "!" in the top right corner of every PM. See: REPORTING VIOLATIONS AND UNWELCOME PMs
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Re: Body by Science Workout

Postby steve roy » Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:48 pm

I've been a gym rat to a greater or lesser degree (depending on the decade) since I was a teenager. (Rowed freshman crew in college. That really got me in shape.)

My exercise routine as I enter Geezerhood is as follows: One hour of brisk walking per day. Weight machines at the gym one day a week. I don't do the fifteen minutes that "Body By Science" recommends, I do more, but I work through the machines pretty good. (I added free weights for about a year, but an over-rambunctious session where I popped off way too many pull-ups gave me rotator cuff issues and caused me to back off.)

I found this thread enlightening when it first unspooled and started practicing the BBS system. I've been very satisfied with the results.
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Re: Body by Science Workout

Postby TRC » Sat Jun 29, 2013 7:01 am

gatorman wrote:Here is a summary of the exercise program:

5 exercises:
Bench Press
Overhead Press
Cable Row
Pulldowns
Leg Press



Any exercise is better than no exercise, but I see 2 problems with this routine:

1) There's no variety. You need to mix things up to maximize results every few weeks, otherwise you'll hit a plateau and get bored.

2) These machine related exercise isolate muscles too much. If you switched them out as follows, you'd hit more muscle groups:

- Push-ups instead of bench press. Mix it up - wide, close, incline, weighted. This will hit your core, bench press doesn't.
- Pull-ups instead of pull downs. Same comments as above - mix it up with different grips. Add weight if needed.
- squats instead of leg press.

I used to go to the gym a lot, until I started doing p90x.
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Re: Body by Science Workout

Postby 4stripes » Sat Jun 29, 2013 4:09 pm

TRC wrote:Any exercise is better than no exercise, but I see 2 problems with this routine:

1) There's no variety. You need to mix things up to maximize results every few weeks, otherwise you'll hit a plateau and get bored.
2) These machine related exercise isolate muscles too much. If you switched them out as follows, you'd hit more muscle groups:

- Push-ups instead of bench press. Mix it up - wide, close, incline, weighted. This will hit your core, bench press doesn't.
- Pull-ups instead of pull downs. Same comments as above - mix it up with different grips. Add weight if needed.
- squats instead of leg press.

I have some quibbles with your routine. For one, doing the same lift, but increasing the weight each workout is enough "variety" to illicit an adaptation. This is the primary principle of linear programming for strength training. Don't confuse complexity with effectiveness--at this point, the "shock your body" approach is fairly outdated. CrossFit and P90X are good examples--hardly anyone makes much meaningful progress after about 3 months. Certainly a fitness base can be kept this way, but not much serious strength.

I agree with your statement about machines. If you're not an octagenerian or have an injury, machines are the least effective method to build strength. Machines exist because they don't require any training to use, thus are easy, which people like. However, the bench press is a core lift, and push ups are no substitution. One does not get much beyond a >135# bench by doing push ups. Again, stress must be increased to produce an adaptation. Push ups just aren't enough of a stress. One gets plenty of core work by doing heavy standing overhead presses.

Lastly, this program doesn't have enough posterior chain work. It's a top-heavy program that comes from a body-building legacy. That is its fundamental weakness.
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Re: Body by Science Workout

Postby leonard » Sat Jun 29, 2013 4:58 pm

150 to 310 in 4 months? Sorry - have to call shenanigans on this one.
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Re: Body by Science Workout

Postby stoptothink » Sat Jun 29, 2013 5:29 pm

leonard wrote:150 to 310 in 4 months? Sorry - have to call shenanigans on this one.


I can't possibly believe anybody in this thread took that statement seriously. According to a fairly recent study done by the NSCA approximately 2% of American males are able to bench press (competition legal) 315lbs. A grown man with a maximal effort of 150lbs. is probably in the 20th percentile, more than likely less. Going from the 20th to 98th percentile in 16 weeks is physiologically impossible. I worked in strength & conditioning at the collegiate and professional level for nearly a decade and am a former competitive powerlifter, I have knowledge and real world experience with pretty much every program out there and have never heard of progress remotely close to that.
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Re: Body by Science Workout

Postby Rolyatroba » Sat Jun 29, 2013 6:20 pm

It would seem that trc and 4stripes have not read the book, but please correct if I'm wrong.

For one thing, related to variety, the book does go into quite a bit of detail on expanding the routine beyond the "Big 5". This provides an avenue for making it more interesting, as well as making more pertinent for individuals with specific wants/needs. They even include a variety of exercises applicable to several popular sports.

One thing to always keep in mind about the Body by Science routine, is that it is meant to be something that works for busy (or lazy) people--15-20 minutes, once a week--and you can even skip workouts somewhat frequently. For me, 20 minutes a week on this, and one week off every 4-6 weeks seems like no time drain at all. Variety isn't necessary when you're in and out in 20 minutes. (The author also owns a gym, keeping the temp around 60 degrees, so that clients can come in at lunch--in business suits--and do a 12-minute workout without breaking a sweat.)

Another thing to keep in mind is that it is meant to be the very least one can do to stay reasonably fit. Surely, it is not hitting every piece of skeletal muscle, but the vast majority of what you use in everyday life are vigorously, or at least lightly, exercised. In keeping with this, the authors give several examples of how it helps in everyday life.

As for the effectiveness of free weights vs. machines, please refer to the ACSM position statement on this (link below). Here's a quote from that: "Research shows that free-weight training leads to greater improvements in free-weight tests and machine training results in greater performance on machine tests. When a neutral testing device is used, strength improvement from free weights and machines appears similar."

Machines are safe, easy to use, and plenty effective for the objective at hand.

Last, the body weight exercises suggested generally violate the progressive loading principle of exercise physiology. Adding weight to your push-ups, pull-ups etc., once you've maxed on your own weight, is both cumbersome and risky. Certainly, you can get some value from those exercises (as mentioned earlier, any exercise is better than no exercise), but they fall way short in adequately building strength beyond a certain point.

Here's the link to the ACSM position paper--note this is not medical! :) - http://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/Fulltext/2009/03000/Progression_Models_in_Resistance_Training_for.26.aspx
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Re: Body by Science Workout

Postby stoptothink » Sat Jun 29, 2013 7:35 pm

Rolyatroba wrote:Last, the body weight exercises suggested generally violate the progressive loading principle of exercise physiology. Adding weight to your push-ups, pull-ups etc., once you've maxed on your own weight, is both cumbersome and risky. Certainly, you can get some value from those exercises (as mentioned earlier, any exercise is better than no exercise), but they fall way short in adequately building strength beyond a certain point.[/url]


Is the weight vest or dip belt going to choke or strangle you? I've done pullups, dips, and various iterations of weighted pushups for 15yrs or so (often with well north of 100lbs. of added resistance) and I am more afraid of hitting my head on the pulldown bar than adding resistance to those foundational movements. I think you stated it best when you said that this is a program for those with a short amount of time who want to stay reasonably fit, it is not an ideal means to exceptional physical conditioning.
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Re: Body by Science Workout

Postby gatorman » Sun Jun 30, 2013 12:09 am

stoptothink wrote:
leonard wrote:150 to 310 in 4 months? Sorry - have to call shenanigans on this one.


I can't possibly believe anybody in this thread took that statement seriously. According to a fairly recent study done by the NSCA approximately 2% of American males are able to bench press (competition legal) 315lbs. A grown man with a maximal effort of 150lbs. is probably in the 20th percentile, more than likely less. Going from the 20th to 98th percentile in 16 weeks is physiologically impossible. I worked in strength & conditioning at the collegiate and professional level for nearly a decade and am a former competitive powerlifter, I have knowledge and real world experience with pretty much every program out there and have never heard of progress remotely close to that.


I probably was unclear in explaining what I did. I am a former D1 college athlete (benched close to 400# in college), lifted weights for years and was starting back after a long layoff. I've always been very strong and am not a small person. So, my results may not be what others would see. 150 lbs. was a weight that felt heavy to me but still allowed me to do 15 reps (starting into lifting again after a long layoff) , and, in retrospect, 15 reps at 150 didn't tax me much at all. It felt heavy, but I really wasn't feeling much real strain until I got to about 270 lbs, and then it got more difficult. My objective was to add weight gradually and to not get hurt, so I started off with a weight which was a lot less than my 15 rep. max. weight.
But I was extremely happy with how quickly I was able to progress working out just once a week with minimal post-workout muscle pain compared to other workouts I've done and very little in the way of the joint pain I used to have with high volume workouts. I think the BBS workout is a great tool, but I'd agree, there's more than one way to skin the fitness cat.
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Re: Body by Science Workout

Postby snyder66 » Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:19 am

I really don't care how much I bench, I'm not 16.
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Re: Body by Science Workout

Postby gatorman » Sun Jun 30, 2013 9:00 am

snyder66 wrote:I really don't care how much I bench, I'm not 16.


I think it is important to be as strong as one can be. One never knows when one will have to call upon one's strength and muscle in an emergency situation. Recently, I was involved in an auto accident. I credit the extra muscle I've added as a major factor in mitigating my injuries. I had lots of bruises and contusions, but thankfully nothing broken. Awhile before that, we were putting together some cabinets for our home office. I caught my foot in some of the strapping used on the boxes the cabinets came in and took a face first header into the concrete floor of our garage. I was able to get my hands out in front and was able to absorb the shock pushup style. If I hadn't been strong enough to do that, at a minimum I was probably looking at some serious injuries to my face. As a result of being strong enough to absorb the blow, I just ended up with some sore wrists. Perhaps you are a younger man and still in your prime, so still have plenty of strength and good reflexes. But I think you will find that as you age, you can't be too strong, and it is better to start early getting there.
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Re: Body by Science Workout

Postby leo383 » Sun Jun 30, 2013 1:17 pm

steve roy wrote:My exercise routine as I enter Geezerhood is as follows: One hour of brisk walking per day. Weight machines at the gym one day a week.


That sounds like an excellent routine.

I might add one short intense aerobic workout each week. 6 or so intense 30 second bursts on an elliptical/rowing machine/stationary bike, that kind of thing.
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Re: Body by Science Workout

Postby Bobbybell » Sun Jun 30, 2013 1:41 pm

I think that the fact that he used to be able to bench 385 makes his improvement rather meaningless for others. Achieving a new level of fitness is very different than getting back to a previous level of fitness. His strength is very impressive.
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Re: Body by Science Workout

Postby livesoft » Sun Jun 30, 2013 2:00 pm

gatorman wrote:But I think you will find that as you age, you can't be too strong, and it is better to start early getting there.
gatorman

This is so true. Use it or lose it. That include strength and balance and, ahem, other things.
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Re: Body by Science Workout

Postby lightheir » Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:23 pm

I can guarantee that 99% of people who try this workout and weren't able to bench 350+ at one point in their lives earlier on will never, ever come close to benching 350 lbs in 16 weeks.

If it were so easy to do, every high school athlete in the country would be pressing 350lbs.

It does sound like OP had particularly favorable response to training, but having done much, much more lifting than that myself and seeing literally hundreds of other dedicated people lifting around me over the years, it's pretty obvious that 16 weeks from 150lbs to 350+ bench is unreacheable by the vast majority. OP make such fast progress mostly because he was able to press 385 at some point earlier in his life and was a D1 athlete so there was a very, very big base AND talent to begin with.

Any exercise is better than none, but 14 minutes a day to expect outsized gains compared to somebody who lifts 1-2 hrs a day is quite unreasonable. If you can bench 350lbs with a mere 14 minutes a day, you should be pressing 400+ with a more normal workout regimen, so you'd be underperforming anyway compared to capacity.
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Re: Body by Science Workout

Postby Sammy_M » Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:06 pm

Sounds interesting so I decided to give it a try. I'll provide an update in the fall as to how it went. I'm around 165lb, early 40s, and have lifted on and off for 25 years. My 1 rep max bench press around 300 now. Given the bench:body weight ratio is already high, I expect limited gains under this (or any) strength building program. We'll see.

Tried it for the first time today and it went something like this:
(1) I went way too heavy at 155lb for bench. My 5 rep max is 275, so I thought 155 would be relatively easy. The slow down/up is killer! And man does it HURT! To finish the 15, I had to stop and drop to 135 which is where I'll start next time. I'm taking the 10 seconds up/down thing literally, and am using Bluetooth headphones and an Android app that beeps every 10 secs. Feels like forever!
(2) After bench press, I had to use just the bar (45lb) for overhead presses.
(3) Next were pullups at bodyweight. I only have free weights so will have to substitute these for both pulldowns and cable rows. My lower back couldn't take bent-over barbell rows at that slow pace. As far as body weight pullups, I can normally bang out 20 with no problem. I struggled to get 6 with the 10 sec up/down approach.
(4) Next were back squats and I decided to keep it at 135lb in order to finish. I don't have a leg press machine.
I was so winded after going through this routine, with virtually no rest, that I had to lay down afterwards. Reminded me of the feeling after a Crossfit workout.

In addition to this training program, I'll probably do 3-4 mi slow pace runs once or twice a week and an interval/tabata style workout once a week.
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