Monthly Archives: November 2007

Stronger Kids, Healthier Kids

My new book is in the final stages of completion. It’s been a labor of love.

I want very much to include any and all testimonials, thoughts, etc. that any of you may have about how strength training and eating low sugar has helped your child.

I don’t know how many of you that read my blog have little ones, but please feel free to comment or send me a personal email at FHahn@slowburnpersonaltraining.com to let me know your mind on the matter.

There’s not much time left before manuscript delivery so the sooner you shoot me an email or comment here on this blog the better!

And, BTW, thank you for reading! I am grateful that you take the time to read this blog and grateful for any comments you send my way.

I really want this book to spark a flame in the minds of parents and teachers to get strength training and eating real foods into the lives of children making them mighty tykes and teens instead of obese and listless sugar junkies. 

I am going to donate a certain portion of the profits of this book to organizations that help educate children and discover cures for autism and other childhood diseases in need of help. 

Autism Speaks is a favorite of mine and was founded by 2 of my clients, Bob and Suzanne Wright who are two of the warmest, kindest and smartest people I’ve ever met. Mr. Wright of course was the CEO of NBC during the Seinfeld years and is one of the most successful CEO’s of our generation. Given this, one can be sure that Autism Speaks is a first rate organization.

So please send whatever ideas, thoughts, and experiences you may have and I’ll include it in the book. (OH – Please add that you give me permission to use the testimonial in the email.)

Colpo Counters

Albeit weakly.

First let me say that I promise this will be the last post on Mr. Colpo. I’ve got better things to do and better info to provide to you.

I only posted about him because he insulted me on his web board (which I have been banned from because he couldn’t take the heat of being wrong) along with my co-author Michael Eades M.D.

I realized then that blogging on him was more than likely a waste of time but I did it anyway. I caved, what can I say?

But what I find amazing is how little he understands about exercise. The more he talks about it and provides links to support his stance, the more I see how little he actually knows. It’s been an eye opener.

For example, in his rant at me he states the following to support fast speed reps:

"Research comparing eccentric- and concentric-only training indicates that the eccentric (negative) portion of a lift is critical in facilitating hypertrophy gains. Concentric only regimens deliver less muscle mass gains than eccentric only routines.

Traditionally, many trainers (even those who care little for super slow training) have advised their clients to perform the negative in a slower-than-usual fashion. Recent research indicates that this advice is in need of a rethink.

Shepstone et al took healthy young men and made them train one arm with fast isokinetic eccentric contractions, the other with slow contractions. They found greater hypertrophy and strength gains at 8 weeks in arms trained with fast isokinetic eccentric contractions than with slow contractions:"

http://jap.physiology.org/cgi/content/full/98/5/1768

The first part of this statement refers to isotonic (regular weight lifting technique) exercise, not isokinetic (a machine that delivers resistance via a servo motor) exercise. He states that:

"Concentric only regimens deliver less muscle mass gains than eccentric only routines."

There is no evidence that I am aware of to support this claim. He certainly didn’t give us a link to it as he did for several of his other claims. I’d like to see some please Mr. Colpo.

And even if there was, realize that negative only ISOTONIC training is always performed with a much heavier weight load and at much slower speeds. So, is it the negative that causes the superior results OR is it that when performing negative only ISOTONIC repetitions the muscles experience a slower and heavier contraction?

I think I know.

The study in question used isokinetic negative repetitions. They compared fast to slow repetitions. OK now here’s the problem…

A slow repetition on an isokinteic machine requires the servo motor to deliver LESS resistance. A fast repetition requires the delivery of a stronger resistance. What the subjects are attempting is to fight the servo motor from forcing the arm (in this case elbow biceps flexion) down. A slow rep can only be achieved via less overall resistance.

Capeesh?

And even still, the differences were meager. See below.

Zdg0050538320002

Notice how it says: Training Speed at the bottom? The researchers have it all wrong. It should say instead: Resistance Encountered Greater Lesser. In fact, if the resistance was so great that the arm was shoved downward so rapidly that the subjects could not begin to resist the load you’d see far worse strength and cross sectional results.

Same goes for far slower.

If they gave the subjects in the slow group half of the resistance allowing for say twice the lowering time (let’s call it superslow), they’d probably have experienced zip in terms of strength and size gains.

So here we see that Mr. Colpo doesn’t seem know or understand how an isokinetic machine operates – or hopes that YOU don’t.

And this is just one example.

He says the following:

"Hahn strongly protests about my citation of the Keeler study, which showed poorer results for Super Slow training, arguing that the lighter weights used in the Super Slow arm of the study invalidate the results. But deliberately lifting a weight slowly inevitably reduces the amount of resistance able to be used for a given number of reps. Keeler et al structured the workout routines so that both the slow and fast training groups performed a similar amount of repetitions."

I explained this in my previous blog but I’ll try again as Mr. Colpo seems to have misread it.

Colpo says:

"But deliberately lifting a weight slowly inevitably reduces the amount of resistance able to be used for a given number of reps."

Really? Says who? In fact the opposite is true IF form in an exercise is kept pure. If you cheat violently then you can indeed toss aloft a heavier weight. But think about it – if your car stalled and it was a Mini you could push it off the road a lot faster than if it was a Hummer. In fact if it was a Hummer, you’d push it off the road at a snails pace if you could move it at all. And why? Because it’s heavy!

Whenever you lift weights, the heavier you make the weight the slower it will move to the point where it won’t move at all if it is too heavy. The lighter a weight load is, the faster you’ll be able to move it. And the heavier it is, the more tension created on your muscles. And the more tension placed on the muscles the greater the fiber recruitment hence quality muscular work. Isn’t this obvious?

But why believe me? Let’s take a look inside Brunnstrom’s Clinical Kinesiology textbook 5th edition, pages 142 -144:

This is under the subheading: Speed of Contractions:

"At slow speeds the maximum number of cross bridges can be formed. The more rapidly the actin and myosin filaments slide past one another, the smaller the number of links that are formed between the filaments in a unit of time and the less the amount of force is developed."

Another under the heading Eccentric Muscle Forces:

"At very slow speeds the force that the muscle can resist rises rapidly up to 50% greater than the maximum isometric contraction."

One more under the same heading but as a sub-heading Energy Expenditure:

"The relative cost of resisting the motion decreased as the rate of motion increased. Thus less energy is required to lower a given load quickly than to lower it slowly."

OK. Let’s move forward. Colpo says:

"Keeler et al structured the workout routines so that both the slow and fast training groups performed a similar amount of repetitions."

Yes indeed they did. Unlike the Westcott/Winett study that differed in repetitions but kept the set time equal which in the end, proved slow reps to be superior.

Keeler et al asked both the fast and slow repetition groups to perform the same number of repetitions which was 8-12. But the fast speed group was asked to perform a repetition in 6 seconds and the slow group in 15. Just because the rep number is the same doesn’t mean the set length is going to be the same and that’s what rep number represents – the length of a set.

Let’s see if I’m right. I’ll average the reps to 10 for each group for easy multiplication. It’s been quite a while since I was in 2nd grade so I’ll try really hard to get this right.

10 X 6 = er, um, ah! 60!

10 x 15 = er, um, ah! 150!

Let’s see 150 – 60 = er, um, ah! 90!

So the slow speed group sets were 90 seconds longer than the the fast rep group. And the sets lasted 150 seconds for the slow group and the fast speed group sets lasted 60 seconds. A fairly gross discrepancy if you ask me. For this error alone, the study belongs in the trash can.

As for the Westcott and Winett study, Colpo states:

"Hahn cites Westcott et al, who found greater strength and hypertrophy gains in those using a slow lifting speed. However, those using the slow speed performed 4-6 reps per set, while those in the fast-lifting groups used 8-12 reps."

Indeed they did – so that the set time would be the same. Again let’s do the 2nd grade math and see what we get. Lets look at both rep ranges as the average is a tad off in this case:

Fast speed 6 seconds per repetition:

6 x 8 = 48 and 6 X 12 = 72 – a set time of 48 – 72 seconds

Slow Speed 14 seconds per repetition:

14  x 4 = 56 and 14 x 6 = 84 – a set time of 56 – 84 seconds

In the Westcott/Winett study we see a difference of 12 seconds at best. This difference is extremely minute compared to the Keeler study that had a discrepancy of 90 seconds which alone is at the fringes of the anaerobic range!

Personally I think Westcott should have used 3-5 reps which would have made the set time 42 – 70 seconds but hey, no big deal. And 42 seconds is getting a bit on the low side if you know the science.

Bottom line: Westcott and Winett got it right and Keeler et al got it really wrong.

Then Mr. Colpo says:

"Secondly, what would the results have been if the subjects in the fast lifting group used a similarly lower rep range and hence heavier weights?"

What would happen? Let’s see…

6 x 4 = 24. Research tells us that the minimum time that a muscle needs to experience a given load in order to breakdown enough proteins to stimulate a positive response is 30-40 seconds. This would suggest that the low rep range would provide an inadequate stimulus for improvement.

The upper range would then be only 36 seconds. Barely enough to register a benefit. And if they did this for the fast group, the slow rep group would similarly have to lower their rep range to 2 – 2.5 reps.

Mr. Colpo just doesn’t get it.

Further, Mr. Colpo accuses Dr. Westcott and Dr. Winett of making profit from slow rep training. He states:

"First of all, I am a little uncomfortable with the fact that the only supportive research for Super Slow comes from folks (Westcott and Winnett) who profit from books promoting the concept."

Indeed not. Where does he get this information from? In fact, at one time Dr. Westcott worked for or consulted for Nautilus Sports medical which promoted, of all things, the faster rep 2/4 speed! Dr. Winett is the director of psychology for Virginia Tech University and profits nada from Super Slow. He’s never written a book on the subject and has never to my knowledge worked for an equipment of exercise company. And I know Dr. Winett very well as I do Dr. Westcott.

This is a perfect example of Colpo’s lies and BS. The horror for him is he has no idea who I know in this field and will more than likely continue to put his foot in his mouth if he keeps fibbing.

Moving along…

Mr. Colpo states:

"According to HIT commentator Drew Baye, the percentages of RM used in the Keeler study "reflect the initial resistance selection recommendations in the second edition of the SuperSlow technical manual, page 132 of “70% of the suggestion for the standard 2/4 protocol”. The 50% of 1RM used by the SuperSlow group is approximately 70% of the 80% of 1RM used by the traditional group."

First of all Drew is a friend of mine and he and Ken Hutchins, the person who wrote The Super Slow Technical Manual had a severe falling out. Drew has had it out for Hutchins for some time now – and for some fairly legitimate reasons. Since then he has tried to discredit slow training (to hurt Hutchins) stating that a 5/5 rep speed is slow enough. And he may be right. But there is no evidence at present to support his opinion.

But once again Mr. Colpo fails to differentiate between percent of 1RM and percentage of the weight used compared to a faster rep speed which I addressed in my last blog. 50% of a person’s 1RM is well below the weight load that would correlate to the reduction of the actual weight used from 80% of a person’s 1RM. 

To boot, in the Super Slow manual it is stated that this lighter weight is for novices only and that after a short time, the weight used for slow reps will equal what was used with the faster reps. And I’ve already discussed this issue in this blog – the heavier a weight is the slower it will move when strength training – unless you’re cheating and using poor form which most trainees do.

I like this one:

"But Hahn is like every other dogmatist I’ve ever come across. The only bad evidence to folks like Hahn is that which conflicts with what he wants to believe (and what he profits from)."

Mr. Colpo should take a long hard look in the mirror. My mom used to say "Whenever you point a finger at someone else, there are 3 more fingers pointing back at you."

Then he begins to compare himself to me. How droll.

Here he is – looking lean – like anyone else who deprives themselves of food and who has the particular set of genetics to become so lean. In fact, there are homeless men in the park in NYC by my apartment who are as lean as Mr. Colpo. Eat less get lean, big deal. Real rocket science.

Colpo_2 

I am not as lean. (And the man is hairless). I like to eat. I also like fine wine and beer. I am also 46 years old and he is what – 30? Here I am at his age – a Scottish, beer drinking, french fry eatin fool:

Fred_aruba_2 

Mr. Colpo says:

"Hahn is not a lean nor particularly healthy-looking individual. His skin looks pasty…"

Now, now – I’m a Scotsman. We’re not known for our deep dark complexion lad. And remember – if you insult one of us you insult the entire clan! Careful where ye tread!

"… his arms lack a muscular defined appearance…

Well how’s this:

Fredmorearms_003 and this Img_1074

"…and there is no hint of the vascularity that characterizes lean and well-trained bodybuilders and strength athletes."

OH – do you think he means the vascularity and leanness of a strength athlete like this?:

Savickas

I am not a bodybuilder. Never cared to be. If you want to compete as one, then yes you have to get your diet down to a science and really stick to it like a maniac. I enjoy my life far too much to do that.

Mr. Colpo then says this:

"and I do think his lack of leanness is interesting in light of the fact that low-volume training programs elicit a much lower calorie burn than higher volume programs. Folks, if you are going to go with lower volume weight training programs that involve only one set per exercise, then be aware that you will need to account for the reduced calorie burn by tightening up on your caloric intake. Hahn, evidently, has not done this."

Glad this guy isn’t working for me at my gym. First of all, you can workout till the cows come home and be fat as a house. No matter what type of training you do it is diet that determines your level of leanness and nothing more.

Here’s my friend Dave L who works out once every 7-10 days using HIT slow rep training and ZERO aerobics:

Dave_landau_front_after_best  Dave_landau_back_after

‘Nuff said on that.

Onto the other studies. Mr. Colpo states:

"Munn et al found that 3 sets of exercise produce twice the strength increase of one set in the early phase of training, and that training fast produced greater strength increases than training slow. However, they found no additional benefit of training with both three sets and fast contractions. The study involved 115 healthy, previously untrained subjects training 3 x week for 6 weeks with a target rep range of 6-8RM:"

I don’t think Mr. Colpo read this study. It has the same flaws as all the others.

And when you perform 3 sets in the early stages of a study using untrained subjects, most of the strength gains made are neurological – benefiting those who practice it more.

Mr. Colpo even chided a poster about this point on his web board (which I cannot access as I have been banned – although I guess I could use my home computer and get on to cut and paste what Mr. Colpo said but that would take too long) calling him an idiot of sorts for not knowing that strength gains are mainly neurological at first. But we see here in this case he forgets all about this and uses it to support his position on multiple sets and fast rep speeds. For shame AC!

But when it came to actual muscle gains there was no difference.

He goes on to more studies:

"Neils et al compared super slow and traditional speed training, and found similar results in both groups save for superior gains in peak power in the traditional speed group"

Since his link didn’t bring you to the abstract, here it is:

"The purpose of this study was to determine the early phase adaptations in short-term traditional (TRT) versus superslow (SST) resistance training. Sixteen apparently healthy subjects participated in this study. Subjects were pretested and posttested for their 1 repetition maximums (1RM) in the squat and bench press, peak power in a countermovement jump (CMJ) and squat jump (SJ), and body composition using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry. Subjects participated in an 8-week resistance training program in either SST (n = 9, 3 men, 6 women), using 50% of 1RM, or TRT (n = 7, 3 men, 4 women), using 80% of 1RM. Both groups trained 3 days per week. The TRT and SST groups improved in strength by 6.8 and 3.6% in the squat exercise and by 8.6 and 9.1% in the bench press, respectively. Peak power for the CMJ increased significantly in the TRT group, from 23.0 +/- 5.5 W/kg to 25.0 +/- 6.3 W/kg; no such increase was seen with respect to the SST group. Both groups’ 1RM increased significantly for both the bench press and the squat. No changes in body composition were seen for either group. The results of this study suggest that TRT is more effective for improving peak power than SST."

Notice any glaring problems here – like the ones that were in the Keeler study?

Also note that neither group experienced any changes in body composition. Meaning, neither group gained an ounce of muscle. Pretty crappy results if you ask me.

Notice that the slow group did better in bench strength gains. I wonder how?

Peak power was better in the TRT group but again, the slow group was given too light of a weight load.

Just another crummy study that is worthless.

More:

"Hatfield and Kramer found that slow lifting speeds reduced the number of reps able to be performed with a given weight, while higher lifting speeds allowed for greater peak force and power generation. "

Slow lifting speeds reduce the number of reps?! Interesting. Now, if you do less reps why would you think that would be? My guess – lifting slower is harder and more intense to the muscles. Duh.

Higher lifting speeds require lighter weights (remember Brunnstrom’s) and peak force is higher at slower speeds (Brunnstrum’s). Sorry Drs. Fleck and Kramer you got it all wrong. Let it be known that Drs. Fleck and Kramer are the heads and co-founders of the NSCA – and organization that PROFITS from high speed, explosive exercise practices. (Remember what Mr. Colpo falsely accused Drs. Winnett and Westcott of?)

Then Mr. Colpo says:

"While Hahn issues unfounded allegations about the integrity of these researchers, their findings support what anyone who has ever tried to lift a heavy weight in ‘super slow’ fashion would have observed first hand."

I am not the only person in this field who accuses Dr. Kramer and others of his ilk of charlatanism. Dr. Winett, Carpinelli, Otto, and many others have done the same. They lie about multiple sets being superior, about periodization being superior and many other facets of training. I’ve openly debated them on these issues at trade show conferences.

And anyone who has lifted heavy weights consistantly in a manner that is safe (good form) and efficient (twice weekly for 30 minutes a session) experiences excellent gains in muscle size and strength to the degree that their particular genetics allows.

On bone density:

"Weight training is commonly recommended to older adults as means for combating bone loss and osteoporosis. Stengel et al assigned osteopenic postmenopausal women to weight training programs that involved either slow lifting or fast lifting. The program consisted of twelve-week intervals of periodized high-intensity training [70–90% 1-repetition maximum (1 RM)] intermitted with 4–5 wk of lower training intensity (50% 1 RM)."

Here we go again with the 50% 1RM! The weight is too light!!! Why are these researchers so biased? Or are they just dimly lit?

But Colpo see it differently. He believes what the researchers said which was:

"The only difference between the two groups was the movement velocity. The training protocol specified a 4-s concentric, 4-s eccentric sequence in the slow lifting group and a concentric fast/explosive, 4-s eccentric sequence in the fast lifting group."

No, the OTHER difference was the % 1RM.

He blabs on and on. But you Get the idea I think. He does say this:

"Folks like Poliquin, Simmons, Pavel, etc continue to attract far more attention and acknowledgment than you could ever dream of."

Well Poliquin and Simmons teach two entirely different things and Simmons (while a cool guy in his own right) is almost a cripple from all his explosive heavy lifting. Charles Poliquin is actually fairly smart but doesn’t really understand motor learning principles.

As for Pavel (and Poliquin), my book is consistently ranked better on Amazon than theirs. And Pavel’s kettle bell training program while sort of cool, is overly dangerous. How do you train your cervical spine with kettlebells? Answer: You don’t. You injure it.

Lastly he says to me:

"To be quite honest Fred, while I hardly consider your training methods to be optimal, I’d rather someone at least be in the gym using them than doing nothing at all. Some training is usually better than none. As time goes on, hopefully those folks would then eventually discover and switch to more effective training methods. "

Optimal for what? There is no optimal training program. There are dangerous ones and safer ones. There are inefficient ones and more efficient ones. But thanks for tossing me a bone there AC. I appreciate it.

When you can prove via science that there is a better or more effective method than what I and Dr. Eades teach for making a person leaner and stronger, I’d love it if you sent it this way.

Who is Anthony Colpo and (should anyone care)?

AnthonyAnthony Colpo is a personal trainer and health/fitness writer from Australia who has recently, caused a bit of controversy.

To some degree this controversy has been created by his very decent book on cholesterol, but most of it is due to his lovely persona whenever he responds to people who dare to disagree with any of his ideas on health, nutrition and fitness. I usually don’t waste my time with people who act as he does, it’s usually not worth it. But this time I feel it is.

The interesting thing about Mr. Colpo is, for all the flotsam he spews forth, he does get a lot of stuff right. (Well, at least he agrees with those people who originated his ideas that are right.) Most of what he supports has good scientific foundation.

However, when it comes to fitness and exercise, many of his ideas are little more than old school dogma that belongs in a bodybuilding rag mag – and then promptly tossed into a trashcan.

Digression: I was turned onto Colpo’s book The Great Cholesterol Con by my friend and co-author Dr. Michael R. Eades MD. I read it cover to cover. I had previously read several books on the subject that were similar but I liked Colpo’s simpler style.

I contacted Colpo to let him know how much I enjoyed his book and decided to join his Low Carb Muscle forum to ask some questions about his exercise ideas from his book.

I might as well have contacted Stalin. Rather than be gracious and courteous, he was rude, nasty, impertinent and childish.

Let’s take a look at some examples of his cheery character so you can get a really good taste of the man. These are quotes directly from his web forum. Here he is addressing Dr. Eades:

I read with interest your recent post on your blog in which you made some assertions regarding the comparative rate of weight and muscle loss on low-carb versus high-carb diets. These assertions are so unscientifically ludicrous as to be laughable. I’ll be honest: After reading that post I am convinced you must either be a shameless charlatan or one of the world’s most amateurish researchers.

What a way to begin an ongoing and friendly relationship, with a bestselling author and physician right? Colpo would do well to read the book The Secret and perhaps take a tranquilizer.

Again, adressing Dr. Eades:

Your comparison of the Keys and Yudkin studies is so amateurish as to be absurd.

Ooo wee!

One more for good measure (here he tosses me into the fray.):

I suggest you spend a little less time with folks like Feinman, Hahn, and Cordain, who have already established that they care far more for doggedly defending their precious dogmas than respecting sound science.

Can you beleive this guy? (Though I’m honered to be lumped into such company!) He doesn’t even know any of us and obviously has not read any of our collective works.

And what does he mean by ‘sound science?’ First of all, Colpo is not a scientist and trying to insult your betters to get your point across is a bit, well, ______ (you fill in the blank).

Here’s a goodie. He goes at Dr. Eades again:

Instead, start digging up the studies I’ve cited in my book, and get your butt into a REAL gym and start building the body of an athlete, not an armchair expert.

Such a charming fellow. He’s referring to his recent self-published book The Fat Loss Bible as if Dr. Eades hasn’t already read the research Coplo has poorly interpreted in his book. Dr. Eades would have written the textbooks upon which Colpo would have learned enough to write his Fat Loss Bible. “Dig up the research?” What a joke. My advice? Don’t buy his book and instead pick up a copy of Reader’s digest for a fraction of the price. You’ll learn about the same stuff. Eat less food and exercise.

Furthermore he’s never even met Dr. Eades. He has no idea what Dr. Eades looks like! And what, pray tell, is ‘the body of an athlete?’

Marathon runners are athletes and I sure as heck don’t want a body like theirs. (No offense intended to the person in the picture of course. She obviously loves running and that is fine by me!)


Bulletin Message
You have been banned for the following reason:
No reason was specified.

If you care to read his polite and intelligent comments in their entirety, go here.

OK. Let’s read one more of his rants just to be crystal clear of Mr. Colpo’s persona – the kind of professional you should spend your money on – before we mush on:

But I tell you what…why don’t you post a photo of yourself with your top off, so that we can all see what a superior, awe-inspiring, uber-masculine physical specimen you truly are!

You just gotta love this guy, right?

Fact: You don’t have to be 8% body fat or look like the cover of a modeling magazine to be in good health and physical condition. And there are plenty of out of shape trainers and coaches who know what they are talking about. You don’t have to be a bodybuilder to know how to build muscle either. There are legions of skinny exercise physiologists who help body builders make incredible gains.

And as I mentioned earlier, genetics (not training style) dictate how large and muscular a person can ultimately become. Not everyone can be massive, ripped and lean. How one stores body fat due to their genetic heritage plays a major role in how they will look – no matter what the training method is you employ. Two people can have the same body fat percentage and look entirely different. Mr. Colpo seems completely ignorant of this fact, otherwise, why did he make such a statement?

I’d like to see some proof of Mr. Colpo’s clients and their amazing uber-bodies. I can’t seem to find them anywhere on the internet. No doubt he’ll feel the need to prove me wrong and pick and choose anyone he wishes who looks good and post them on his site. But it will require dated comparison photography and signed testimonials to be valid.

What I am going to do in a moment is discuss a few of his comments on slow repetition versus traditional speed strength training which will reveal his difficulty in interpreting a simple study and his personal bias on training.

But first, realize that Mr. Colpo is a staunch advocate (or so he says) of using science as ‘a candle in the dark’ (to qoute the late Carl Sagan). He is constantly calling himself a bastion of truth, justice and the scientific way.

Having said that, here are a few comments he has made with absolutely no scientific back-up:

“On a personal note, I’ve tried every approach there is, and bumping up the frequency and avoiding failure works best for me and my trainees. The scientific literature also indicates that this is the best approach.”

Sorry but, no it doesn’t. There is no scientific evidence whatsoever to support this claim. (Remember, the burden of proof lies upon the claimant.) Whatever scientific literature he is referring to is more than likely hopelessly flawed – or he simply read it wrong. May we see it please Mr. Colpo? Where are your references?

And re-read the first part of this comment”

“On a personal note I’ve tried every approach there is…”

Sounds like the beginning of a bad infomercial. Whenever you hear people say things like this you “I’ve tried every approach there is…” know you are listening to BS.

He goes on to say:

“Heck, even Ellington Darden, the well-known “High Intensity Training” advocate, has begun singing the virtues of scheduling in not-to-failure traing days!!”

Good try Mr. Colpo. If he had read Dr. Darden’s books (which he clearly hasn’t) or spoken to him (which he clearly didn’t – I know Dr. Darden personally) he would know that the not to failure training approach that Dr. Darden advocates is designed forrecovery and maintenance, not for building muscle. NTF training days simply appease people who feel the need to train more often than is necessary – hence recovery.

On page 90 of Dr. Darden’s new book The New High Intensity Training:

“There’s also another way you can save some of your recovery ability: Don’t train to failure during a workout.”

“Then you drop the the NTF (not to failure) workout which leaves you training five times in 2 weeks. After 6 more weeks, one of your workouts becomes NTF.”

If you get Dr. Darden’s book (and read it) you will see that Mr. Colpo’s way of training (higher volume and never to failure) and Dr. Darden’s are entirely different – world’s apart.

But Mr. Colpo likes to spin things to suit himself. Something he accuses just about everyone else of who disagrees with him. He acts as if he is immune to such one sided reporting.

In fact, Dr. Darden and I were discussing these issues just a few weeks ago at a memorial dinner for the late, great Arthur Jones.

(That’s Dr. Darden in the middle right; I am at the far right and Roger Schwab on the middle left.)

I can tell you with all honesty that Dr. Darden is a firm believer in training to muscular failure for best gains and he has been for decades.

Let me toss out one other statement Colpo made on low carb:

“I really am starting to get sick of all the heat I am drawing for stating an indisputable fact: there is NO “metabolic advantage” (to a lower carbohydrate diet he means) when it comes to weight loss save for a slight increase in lean mass retention and slight increase in fat loss from higher protein intakes, which occurs independently of carb intake.”

Well that wouldn’t be NO metabolic advantage now would it? It would be some metabolic advantage I think. And if it occurs independently of carb intake this would mean you’d have to eat that many more calories in carbs in order to eat the extra fat and protein which will result in fat gain. If you keep the calories the same, then upping the protein and fat and lowering your carbs creates the metabolic advantage without the body fat gain.

And if it’s all about calories as Colpo suggests, why does he call his forum ‘Low Carb Muscle Forum?’ He should change the name to ‘The Low Calorie Muscle Forum.’

Another little bit of information before I move onto the Slow repetition speed vs. Traditional repetition speed study. Mr. Colpo in his letter to Dr. Eades tried to belittle him by suggesting that the only way studies can show or indicate that one approach to dieting is better than another is if they are conducted as ‘ward’ studies.

Essentially what Mr. Colpo means is that the conditions of the research are very tightly controlled so that the subjects cannot cheat (impossible) or at least have a very hard time cheating on the diets. The researchers can feed the subjects only what they wish them to eat and in doing so you have a much purer outcome (ideally, but they can still cheat).

Well if this is true about diets, the same must be said for research on exercise as well, agreed?

Any study on exercise (in this case strength training), would have to be controlled in the same ward-like manner. If not, how do we know that one group of subjects didn’t cheat and do other exercises skewing the data when away from the researchers? Well, we wouldn’t of course. Remember what Colpo said above:

“The scientific literature also indicates that this is the best approach.”

Were these ward studies Anthony?

Therefore virtually ALL the research ever published WRT strength training and exercise in general has this inherent non-ward flaw built in. Not enough control.

But of course this doesn’t bother Mr. Colpo. He likes to pick and choose his criteria and use it as it suits his position and then act as if he somehow he has got it all right and anyone who disagrees has got it all wrong – a strong indicator of a dogmatist.

If you do disagree with him to the point where he is incapable of responding, he spews forth insults and expletives and bans you from his message board. He’ll also edit a nay-sayer’s post to his liking. If a poster on his forum says anything that proves Colpo wrong, something he can’t possibly refute, he edits those parts of the message out. He did it to me.

Then he bans them or closes the thread for further comment – as he did to me. When I try to log onto his Low Carb Forum this is what I get:

I weep.

On his low carb forum Colpo answers a poster who asserts that Slow Burn training has given him great results. The poster says:

“I have been following Fred Kahn’s Slow Burn method with excellent results. In an oversimplified nutshell, you do each exercise with the heaviest weight you can manage to move very slowly to failure within 60 – 90 seconds. You can do a full body workout in less than 30 minutes, and you only need to do it 1x per week, or 2x if you are in a hurry. I am getting excellent results with this approach, I can’t see why I would need to do multiple sets and spend that much more time in the gym.”

Colpo responds:

“I am yet to come across or read about a champion strength athlete who uses Fred Kahn’s Slow Burn … but hey, I’m glad you feel it’s working for you.”

Why does a champion strength athlete have to use my system for it to be a valid method of becoming stronger? Even if it were true that not a single athlete on earth used my system, would this make my system invalid? Of course not. Some strength athletes wear good luck yellow ducky socks to a meet – do these work? Should we all wear yellow ducky socks to the gym because some champion strength athletes do?

Rather than praise the commenter for finding a system that he’s happy with and that he is making progress on, he has to in a round about way, denigrate the technique and make the poster feel stupid about using it. I guess Slow Burn doesn’t get the AC seal of approval even though if he came to my gym and trained he’d barely be able to walk out.

“Be aware that I hear these kind of reports all the time, and excuse me for sounding jaded, but they tend to become rather yawn-inducing…these novel training schemes often present the body with a new stimulus, one that shocks the body into growth. But this novel stimulus does not stay novel forever. The body endeavors to adapt to new stresses imposed upon it.”Colpo spurts.

Why try and make the poster feel stupid with unscientific drivel like this? ‘Shocks the body into growth.’ Show me the science Mr. Colpo.

Then he says:

“So report back to me in a year or two, if you are still getting “excellent results” and making stupendous progress (that has been carefully documented and can be verified), then I’ll sit up and take notice.”

First of all, who gives a poop if Anthony Colpo, the self appointed, expert sits up and takes notice? How about saying: “Good for you my good man, keep up the great work!”

And, by the way, after a couple of years of consistent, smart training, anyone will be close to or at their genetic potential. You don’t keep getting stronger and more muscular year after year after year. Let’s see all of the documented progress Colpo has achieved.

Another:

“So it is with lifting: high volume and avoidance of failure allows you to perfect your lifts.”

Here Mr. Colpo confuses strength training with skill acquisition. Strength training is not about perfecting ‘a lift’ (as in Olympic lifting), it’s about fatiguing your muscles in the proper time frame and then at the next session increasing the load, sometimes fractionally. Sure, you want good form when strength training but that is not the focus of the training. The focus of strength training is fatiguing the muscles enough to initiate/stimulate a strength/growth response.

He blathers on:

“You are more than welcome to disagree with me about training to failure, but the fact is that Olympic lifters and power lifters have been avoiding failure as a matter of course since time immemorial.”

Again, Colpo can’t seem to differentiate between the sports of Olympic and power lifting and the modality known as strength training. Clearly he is unaware of the theory of orderly recruitment of muscle fibers. And perhaps if these lifters understood the physiology behind fiber recruitment, they too would start adding some strength training to aid their power and olympic lifts.

Here’s a good one. Colpo says to the same commenter:

“So again, you are welcome to disagree, but if you are going to publicly express your disagreement on this forum, please try and base your assertions on something a little more substantial than “I am using Slow Burn and getting excellent results!”

But then in the same thread Colpo says this:

“So for me and my training partner, the difference was making no progress whatsoever with superslow, and making progress with more traditional style training. I’d say that justifies any extra time input!!”

Perhaps Colpo should take his own advice? And the poster was talking about Slow Burn not Superslow.

OK onward. One of the studies Colpo cites on his forum to ‘prove’ the superiority of traditional training over slow training is this one:

Keeler LK, et al. Early-phase adaptations of traditional-speed vs. superslow resistance training on strength and aerobic capacity in sedentary individuals. J Strength Cond Res. 2001 Aug; 15 (3): 309-14.

If Colpo had read this study properly, he’d have tossed it into the garbage and never cited it as proof of anything. But instead he tries to use it to prove his point.

In this study, the traditional speed group (n=8) used 80% of their 1 repetition maximum as their starting poundage. A correct percentage of resistance to use by any standards for gaining strength.

The slow speed group (n=6) was given 50% of their 1RM. Now, any exercise physiologist worth her salt would know that using 50% of a person’s 1RM will do little if anything to increase strength.

And so should Coplo. But I guess not.

Nowhere in any of the scientific literature does it state that slow training should use 50% of a person’s 1RM. So why did these researchers use such a piddley little weight load? I smell bias bread a mile away.

The study lasted 10 weeks (only). They were supposed to increase the weight load for the leg press by 2.5 pounds when the correct number of repetitions was reached. But the researchers had BOTH groups using 8-12 repetitions! The traditional speed group was instructed to lift the weights in 2 seconds and lower in 4 seconds making each repetition last 6 seconds.

The slow speed group was instructed to lift the weight in 10 seconds and lower in 5. That’s 15 seconds per repetition.

Therefore, the traditional rep speed group was given more weight once the set length reached 48 -72 seconds (the anaerobic window) but the slow speed group had to reach between 120 – 180 seconds (far beyond the anaerobic window) before they received more weight. Could these researchers not see the gross difference in the set times?

The slow speed group should have performed 3 – 5 repetitions in order to keep the set time equal which also would have forced the researchers to start the slow speed group off with a lot more weight – a lot.

So as an example, the amount of weight that the slow speed group increased by in the leg press exercise over the 10 weeks was only 9.6 kgs! That’s a measley 21 pounds! What exactly were the researchers thinking? Could they think is more the question. How in the world did this study pass peer review?

Further, studies where there are less than 20 subjects in a group are usually considered invalid given too few subjects to render a good statistical outcome. This study had less than 10 in each group.

What was Colpo thinking using this paper as ‘proof’ of anything? Or did he just visit Pubmed, read the abstract, cut and paste it onto the thread on his forum and hope that no one would call him on it?

Most of the other research papers on this thread used to prove the superiority of traditional rep speeds have the same fatal flaws:

“Subjects participated in an 8-week resistance training program in either SST (n = 9, 3 men, 6 women), using 50% of 1RM, or TRT (n = 7, 3 men, 4 women), using 80% of 1RM. Both groups trained 3 days per week.”

Here we see again the traditional speed group (TRT) was given 80% 1RM and the slow group got gypped only receiving 50% 1RM. What is the problem with these researchers? Again, nowhere in any of the slow speed books or literature does it say to use 50% 1RM as a starting weight load.

Some of the slow training books state that you should decrease the weight you would traditionally use with faster rep speeds by 20%-30%. What this means is if you are using 100 pounds in a biceps curl you should lower the weight to 70-80 pounds to start off to get the technique right. Not lower your 1RM to only 50%.

If the 1RM of a person is 120 pounds in a biceps curl, they will use 100 pounds for the working set. Superslow training asks that you lower the weight by 20%-30% for the weight you would normally use in a faster set. 20%  of 100 pounds = 20 pounds. 100 – 20 = 80. Lowering this to 60 pounds (as they would have done in these studies for the slow group) would be far too light for any meaningful strength gains.

Mr. Colpo likes to pretend that he is an unbiased researcher at large who provides the world with the truth and nothing but the truth. But the real truth is he does not do so consistently. He does so only with what suits him and when it suits him.

And when it doesn’t suit him he bad mouths anyone who disagrees with him and if done so on his forum, bans the person so they can’t respond. He’s like the bully in the playground who spits in your eye and then runs away.

He insults his betters to gain popularity and scoffs at the science that disagrees with his opinion. Yes, Mr. Colpo is a real bastion of science – his interpretation of the science that is – and if you don’t like it he’ll take his ball, run home, lock the door and twiddle his thumbs in his ears at you.

We should all take a man like Mr. Colpo very seriously indeed. It is clear by his actions and words that he isn’t in the least bit interested in a serious debate – or relationship – with anyone. He just likes to hear the sound of his own voice.

On his web forum under his name he uses this quote from Sir William Osler:

“The greater the ignorance the greater the dogmatism.”

Amen to that. It would do Colpo well to re-read the very quotes he uses to define himself.

Here’s one for you Mr. Colpo:

“What you resist, persists.”  – C.Jung.

I can’t wait to read the response to this blog that Mr. Colpo will assuredly feverishly pen. Perhaps we will get a whole slew of insults and explitives here-to-fore not known to the English language. Maybe he’ll even write an entire 50 page free PDF download all about ME this time. Let’s wait and see!

Date the ban will be lifted: Never

Mini workouts

Short and sweet workouts have great value. Don’t belittle or poo-poo them.

On those days when you find that you don’t have the time to exercise, what you are really saying is that I don’t have time to do a lot of exercise – or my usual full routine.

Well you don’t need to.

Here are the three exercises you need to do and still stimulate global strength gains:

  1. Leg press or squat
  2. Chest press or bench press (or even push-ups)
  3. Pull-downs or chin-ups

That’s it. It will take you all of 3 minutes to complete.

Is it better to do more? Sure. But these three do a heck of a lot.

So when you think "Oy vey! I truly don’t have 30 minutes today to do 10+ exercises." fret not. Do these three and feel guilt free.

Sugar, sugar…

Jack LaLanne was truly a pioneer.

Lalanne_3 

But not just about exercise. He had a dang good handle on nutrition.

Watch this and see what you think.

Just remember mom, dad, grandpa, grandma, doctor, nutritionist, dietitian, trainer, coach, chiropractor, etc. that:

Whole wheat spelt bread baked in the Himalayas is just sugar.

Pasta created in Naples and hung to dry near the Aegean sea is just sugar.

Cereals approved by the ADA, AMA, AHA, RDA, NIH are just boxes of sugar.

Yes they have some vitamins and minerals but hardly. And most of these are not bioavailable. Compared to veggies and fruits grains are a joke.

Being told we NEED grain in our diet is a canard, a prevarication – a big, fat, stinking lie. And for those who really want to read how bad grains are – go here. Read, know.

Contact Information

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212.579.9320
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Montclair, NJ 07042

973.233.1013
infomontclair@seriousstrength.com

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