We’ve known for a while that “slow and steady” wins the race. Now it looks like it may make you substantially stronger, too.
According to a study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, super-slow weight training may increase strength gains by 50 percent. Yes, 50 PERCENT!
In the study, researchers split 147 weight trainers among two groups. Both groups trained three times a week for eight weeks on a 13-exercise weight-training circuit.
The only difference between the groups was the speed at which they lifted and lowered the weight. One group trained at a conventional speed (2 seconds lifting, 1-second pause, 4 seconds lowering).
The other group was asked to dramatically slow things down (10 seconds lifting, 4 seconds lowering). At the beginning and end of the trial period, all of the participants were tested for their 10-rep max.
Results showed that super-slow training resulted in about a 50 percent greater increase in strength than regular-speed training. Specifically, the super-slow training group showed a mean increase in 10-rep max of 26.4 pounds. The regular-speed group experienced only a 17.6-pound increase.
Lead study researcher Dr. Wayne Westcott believes the results are due to the increase in lifting intensity seen with super-slow training.
“Slower repetition speed may effectively increase intensity throughout the lifting phase while decreasing momentum,” he says.