Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I really get
results training 20 minutes once per week?
A: Yes! We have raised the intensity of the exercise to a very high level so
that it becomes a stimulus that your body cannot ignore. The unavoidable consequence is that you cannot stand much more than
15-20 minutes of this kind of activity. Furthermore, the adaptation that your body makes (synthesizing new muscle and its
supporting metabolic adaptations) is expensive and takes roughly a week to occur. Twenty minutes once a week is not just something
we can get away with, it is actually a requirement for the production of the best results.
Q: What about my cardiovascular
system, don’t I need to do some cardiovascular exercise during the week?
A: Realize that the only way to get at your cardiovascular
system is by doing mechanical work with muscle. The higher the quality of muscular work, the better the cardiovascular effect.
The type of exercise you do at Exercise Solution will provide the best cardiovascular conditioning possible, and because the
stimulus intensity is high, your cardiovascular adaptations will also be well preserved and thus should not deteriorate
seven days. Aerobic type activities are of lower stimulus intensity, therefore your adaptations to this activity are less
well preserved, which is why this type of exercise must be done more frequently.
Q: So are you telling me that I shouldn’t
perform other forms of exercise?
A: No. If you do other activities because you enjoy them and they provide you with stress
release, social interaction, etc., then you should definitely continue to enjoy those activities. However, if you don’t enjoy
the activity and you are doing it because you think you need the extra exercise, then you should feel free to drop that activity
without feeling guilty.
Q: Isn’t working out so hard dangerous?
A: No! It is almost impossible to bring harm to
yourself through exertion because you are always limited by your current capabilities. As you reach muscular failure you are
literally too weak to produce enough force to harm yourself. The end of your set is actually the safest part of your workout.
The danger in exercise comes not from exertion but from excess force. Because we use the SuperSlow® protocol we have virtually
eliminated excess force from your workout. Force = mass x acceleration. By controlling acceleration we decrease force which
makes Exercise Solution’s program the safest exercise you can do.
Q: You seem very fixated on building muscle, what
if I just want to “tone up?”
A: “Tone” is actually an improper term made up by the fitness industry to deal with peoples’
(especially women’s) irrational fear of building muscles that are too large. The correct term for what you desire when you
say tone is “tonus.” Tonus is the residual tension that exists in a muscle that is not actively contracting. Muscle is the
only tissue in the body that has tonus. The degree to which you can increase your muscle relative to your body fat and other
tissues will increase your tonus and thus improve your “tone.”
Q: Does that mean if I build tone that I have to have
big bulky muscles?
A: No. We all possess a gene called myostatin that controls how large our muscles can become. This is
because our body wants the most strength for the least amount of size increase, because more strength with less mass is more
efficient. About one out of 5 million people possess a mutation which deletes the myostatin gene and allows unregulated muscle
growth in response to exercise and these are the people who are able to produce physiques seen in bodybuilding competitions.
These people are already very muscular before they lift a weight. The average person, however, has a very high level of myostatin
expression and will never become bulky or over-muscular no matter how hard they try.
Q: Why do you keep it so cold
in the training room?
A: Muscles produce a lot of friction as they perform work and this friction generates a lot of heat.
All the processes of muscular contraction are temperature dependent. If you accumulate heat too quickly you will fail prematurely.
By allowing you to lose heat through conduction and convection (through your skin and breath) we limit the buildup of heat
and you are able to work harder and longer which makes for a better exercise stimulus. If you can’t lose heat rapidly enough
through conduction and convection your body must resort to an evaporative heat loss mechanism (sweating). Thus, another benefit
is that you can get a really productive workout without having to get all sweaty.
Q: How soon can I expect to see results?
You can expect to “feel” results by the third or fourth workout. By feel we mean that you will feel firmer to the touch and
you will feel stronger and more capable in your activities of your daily life. If you are over-fat, the production of visible
results are going to depend more upon how diligently you create a caloric deficit to lose fat. If you are not over-fat it
will depend on your genetics (mainly your myostatin expression). In general, visible changes will occur around 6-12 weeks.
What factors determine the production of visible results?
A: The shape of the human body is controlled by three things:
your skeleton, your body fat and your muscle. The skeleton is just the framework on which everything hangs and cannot be altered.
Every undesirable shape of the human body is accounted for by underlying body fat. Every desirable shape on the human body
is accounted for by underlying muscle. The degree to which you can decrease your body fat and increase your muscle will determine
how much you can improve your appearance.
Q: If I need to produce a caloric deficit to lose fat, shouldn’t I perform
extra exercise to burn calories?
A: Exercise really does not burn much in the way of calories. When you get on a treadmill
and jog for 45 minutes and the computer screen says you burned 300 calories it is not telling you that if you did nothing
you would have burned 240 of those calories anyway. You actually burned only 60 calories above your baseline. If we were so
metabolically inefficient that we burned an extra 300 calories for 45 minutes on a treadmill, we never would have survived
as a species. You would have starved while hunting/gathering…at that rate you might starve shopping in a grocery store. Unfortunately,
the only reliable way to create a calorie deficit is to not put them into your mouth in the first place. What proper exercise
will do is create a circumstance where you will have discriminate weight loss. With a strong stimulus to make extra muscle
in the face of a calorie deficit, all of your weight loss will be shunted toward fat loss.
Q: You always seem to increase
my weights, will we ever get to the point where we stop increasing the weights and just maintain my current level?
We will always attempt some resistance progression, even if it is only 1/4 foot-pounds. We actually attempted maintaining
a stable resistance in some clients but found that this quickly resulted in retrogression. It seems the body only understands
increasing demands and takes maintenance as an excuse to backslide.
Q: Is Exercise Solution’s program safe for the
A: Yes! Superslow® was originally designed for a research project on osteoporosis. Remember the danger in exercise,
particularly for the elderly, is excess force and Superslow® is the best way to decrease force. The elderly actually have
more to gain from our program than anyone. The major problems associated with aging are due to a condition called “sarcopenia.”
Sarcopenia is the age-related loss of muscle. Without proper exercise a person will lose a pound of muscle for every year
beyond age 35. This loss of muscle is the underlying cause of the loss of bone mineral density, loss of balance, inability
to carry out the activities of daily life and ultimately deterioration of all the systems that support the mechanical functioning
of muscles (the nervous system, the cardiovascular system, etc.). As elderly people are exposed to proper exercise they quickly
regain lost strength. As they regain strength all their functional capabilities such as balance, gait, and cardiovascular
efficiency will track improvements in strength.
Q: You don’t seem to include a warm-up, isn’t a warm-up necessary?
A warm-up is necessary before sporting events where you are going to carry out high force movements that could produce injury.
The risk for injury comes from excess force not from exertion. By using Superslow® protocol we keep force at very low levels.
Also, as you fatigue, you literally become too weak to produce enough force to injure yourself. At Exercise Solution, the
warm-up is built into the exercise.
Q: Is Exercise Solution’s program safe in Pregnancy?
A: Yes. Pregnancy and
labor are probably one of the most demanding athletic events that most women will ever experience. Labor will involve intense
muscular contractions, severe exertional discomfort and avoidance of valsalva (breath holding) during all but the final stage
of labor. Exercise Solution’s program is the best way to not only rehearse these skills but to improve your condition. Protracted,
non-progressive labor is dangerous to both mother and child and poor muscular conditioning is a major cause of non-progressive
labor. Proper muscular conditioning is one of the best ways to ensure a smooth delivery and quick return to pre-pregnancy
shape. We have many clients who have trained through their pregnancy.
Q: Under what conditions should a pregnant client
not work out?
A: There are many conditions that may preclude working out and your obstetrician should warn you of these.
Pre-term labor, hypertension of pregnancy, pre-eclampsia, placenta previa, premature rupture of membranes and several other
conditions might warrant a lay-off from training. Pregnant clients in the first trimester should understand that around 1/5th
of first trimester pregnancies will undergo a spontaneous miscarriage. This is inevitably due to genetic abnormalities that
would not allow further development of the fetus. It is human nature, however, to seek a blame for such an upsetting event.
If you are concerned that you might blame yourself and your exercise program if this were to occur we suggest you lay off
until the 12th or 13th week of pregnancy. As always, check with your doctor.
Q: I participate in a sport. Will Exercise
Solution’s program help my performance? Do I need to do a “sport specific” exercise?
A: Exercise Solution’s program will
definitely improve your sport performance regardless of your Sport. When it comes to sports training there are two distinct
forms of conditioning ~ skill conditioning and physical conditioning. Skill conditioning involves practicing the specific
skills of your sport just like you would in competition. Physical conditioning involves selecting exercises that track muscle
and joint function (rather than mimicking sports movements) so that improvements in muscular and metabolic function can be
stimulated. Physical training is about improving your physical capabilities. Skill training is about improving your efficiency
and economy of motion so that you can get the most out of your physical capabilities. Your physical conditioning should be
intense and brief so that will free up more time for you to devote to acquiring and perfecting the skills of your sport. Exercise
Solution is heavily involved in training athletes of all kinds. If you are involved in a competitive sport, let us know so
we can help set up a proper training schedule.
Q: What if I miss working out for several weeks (or longer), do I have
to start from scratch?
A: It depends. If you have only been working out for 6-8 weeks, a significant lay-off will result
in going back to the beginning. However, if you have 20 weeks under your belt, a six-week layoff will require little or no
adjustments. The more consistently you train the more well preserved will be your conditioning.
Q: Does it ever get
A: No. In other forms of exercise the intensity is relatively constant, so that as your condition improves
the exercise seems easier. At Exercise Solution we will always increase the intensity of the exercise to challenge your improved
level of conditioning. As you become stronger, you are doing more mechanical work, which translates into more metabolic work
which means an even harder workout. What will improve is your mental and physical toughness but the workout itself will never
Q: What if I have other questions?
A: Ask us. We love the opportunity to answer questions and dispel