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Fred Hahn’s "Slow Burn Fitness Revolution" book– PART 2: An In-Depth Analysis of the Information Presented in the Book


Posted on January 3rd, 2011 by Jeff Thiboutot M.S.

To Fred and others,

First, we thank you for taking the time to send us your thoughts about our first post on this subject. We always appreciate feedback. However, we feel that there are many problems with Fred’s rebuttal and with much of the information present in his book. The number of non-sequiturs, hasty generalizations, and straw-man types of faulty reasoning found throughout the book is astonishing.

This will be a long; no, very long rebuttal (to make it much easier to read you may want to download the PDF version). The length is necessary in order to give clear and well supported responses to the many problems we feel are presented in the book and in the follow-up replies by Fred Hahn and others. However, I guess, for brevity and apparently a valid method for stating a position (see comment below), we could have just said “Our friend Dr. X said that everything we say is correct” therefore we are right and you are wrong. Well that would certainly be a very bad response and we would want someone to tell us that we were idiots for using that type of justification for our arguments.

We will cover a few things mentioned in some of the comments from our first post on this subject first and then will go through the book, chapter by chapter, highlighting the many bold statements and then demonstrating that there are many problems with them. Before proceeding there is one more thing to clear up.

Apparently the word “crap” was not well received. This was said to be mean-spirited and unprofessional. We don’t really agree with this assessment, due to the format for which it was presented, a blog. Also, the word crap is a common slang word generally used to describe something that is not very good. In fact, according to Wikipedia crap can mean “used to describe something substandard”. Dictionary.com states the following for the slang use of the word crap; “a. nonsense; drivel; b. falsehood, exaggeration, propaganda, or the like”. But, we will concede this point and have changed the wording in our original post so that the word crap is removed. Instead we have changed it to; “We feel that this book is filled with misleading, incorrect and unsubstantiated claims regarding the benefits of a type of exercise referred to as Slow Burn. Therefore, it is not worth reading.”

Please feel free to send us your comments, debate and intelligent discussions are great learning opportunities. However, we ask for two things; the comments must be logical and have some quality evidence to support them.

Fred stated;

“ ‘The likelihood of one individual being right increases in direct proportion to the intensity with which others are trying to prove him wrong.’ That about sums up this review in a nutshell.”

Matt & Jeff’s response;

Really Fred, this quote sums up our review? There are so many instances that this is wrong. For example, should the creationist think they are right because virtually every scientist feels that the evidence for evolution is strong and creationists are wrong? There is “intense” opposition to the creationist view; does that make them right? There are typically many people, yes often one side has more opposition than another, who disagree with a particular viewpoint, i.e., Lipid Hypothesis, eating fat makes you fat, and doing cardio is the best type of exercise and so on. However, there is usually one view that has the preponderance of evidence to support it. The view that has greater validity may or may not be the side that has more “intensity” against it. Come on, this is a poor argument and in no way sums up our review in a “nutshell”. Talk about a red herring argument!

Fred stated;

“First, the editor of our book chose NOT to put a bibliography in the book. She also did not want too many technical references. She also felt that since two physicians were writing the book, this was authority enough.”

Matt & Jeff’s response;

We are not asking for a bibliography we are looking for in-text citations to material that supports your claims. Apparently the editor allowed 10 footnotes with 3 of them referring to peer-reviewed research to support your statements. Those were great, but how come they were so few and far between? Why have any at all? Why were there no footnotes/references for the many bold statements you made? Here are a couple of examples. We will be highlighting many more shortly.

“Slow Burn is a form of exercise that has been shown to provide all the benefits you seek from an exercise regime in only thirty minutes per week, with negligible risk of injury” (p.10) (no references)

“Performing a Slow Burn workout will set in motion biochemical forces make you less hungry and get rid of the aches and pains that may have seemed to be inescapable part of getting older” (pp.14-15) (no references)

“Although it’s true that conventional strength training – if it’s done properly done – can bring about gains in muscle, strength and fitness, it can be tedious and dangerous” (p.22) (no references)

“Instead of spending hours in the gym, grunting, sweating and straining, you’ll learn how to do a controlled Slow Burn that will improve your strength, rebuild your bones and muscles and restore your vitality and post-pone the aging process more safely and effectively than any other single form of exercise, in just thirty minutes a week” (p.23) WOW! (All underlining was added for emphasis)

As long a medical doctor is writing a book there is no need to support statements, particularly statements that are debunking the typical paradigm, with quality evidence? Really? Do you believe this? No offense to M.D.’s, but just because a person has any type of education, here a medical degree, does not allow them to go spouting anything they want and not give evidence for it. So for fallacious reasoning, here is one, “appeal to authority”. It would have been better, but still not excusable, if one of the co-authors was an exercise physiologist/physical therapist, i.e., someone who specializes in human movement. Anyway, we are so sick of the excuses such as the “editor/publisher said” or “people don’t care about references” or some other lame excuse for not properly supporting arguments. The excuses are bollocks and have no place in quality writing. There are rules for non-fiction writing. We agree with the following overview of what non-fiction writing should entail.

Definition of Nonfiction Writing

By Robert Vaux, eHow Contributor

Nonfiction writing is essentially factual writing, intended primarily to provide information rather than entertainment or speculative truths. Though the details and conclusions may include a certain amount of opinion, they must be backed up by concrete date and stem from a belief that the details are factual.

Types

Nonfiction includes newspaper articles, magazine articles, autobiographies, travel essays, political essays and product reviews.

Thesis and Support

Many forms of nonfiction start by positing a thesis, then citing pieces of evidence in support of it.

Citation

Because nonfiction can be colored by conjecture and opinion, proper citation of sources is very important. A piece of nonfiction backed up by hard data becomes much more persuasive.

Objective Nonfiction

Objective nonfiction means nonfiction that presents only concrete, verifiable facts. A list of historical dates is an example of this kind of nonfiction. (underlining added for emphasis)

Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/facts_5506969_definition-nonfiction-writing.html

Yes, there still can be problems. People can misinterpret the information and/or the study/paper itself may be flawed. That is all the more reason to do proper citations. People can actually check to see if what you are saying is really true, not that many people will do this. But that does not matter. This can help to weed out bad information and allows the scientific method to work. We do our best to put forth quality information, but we can certainly mess-up. Being transparent and citing the evidence we use will hopefully lead to good discussions and a greater validity of what we have said or potentially to a change a recommendation if new evidence, sometimes offered by others, supports such a change.

Additionally, using the “Dr said” or some other authority said so often leads to many problems and tends to perpetuate recommendations that actually have no quality evidence to support them. This appeal to authority can often end up producing recommendations that have, for support, nothing more than a repeated reference to a statement made by an authority/expert that never had any good support to start with. I am sure you understand this aspect when it comes to low-carb eating and the “aerobics is the best type of exercise” view. There are experts, both with a lot of formal education and those without, and we can and often should listen to them, but nobody is above the requirement to support their views with good evidence. Finally, why have any footnotes/references at all? On pages 9, 38 and 57 you have footnotes referencing a few studies. So the editor allowed you a few references. Why bother with these? When making strong statements it is your responsibility to support them properly.

Fred stated;

“Slow Burn is not Super Slow. Slow Burn sets last 60-90 seconds. SS sets last well over 2 minutes well out of the anaerobic range” (emphasis added)

Matt and Jeff response;

First, Super Slow is often the general term for resistance training that is done in a slower fashion than the typical recommendation of 2s concentric/4s eccentric (2/4) contraction speed (Greer; Nelson et al; Smith et al; Keeler et al, Westcott et al). For instance Keeler et al state “Superslow (SS) strength training is a resistance training program that involves performing very slow repetitions, approximately 15-20 seconds per repetition.” (p.309). Wescott et al also used the term, such as “Conclusion. Super-Slow training is an effective method for middle-aged and older adults to increase strength” (p.154). Therefore, in the general sense Slow Burn is a type of super slow type exercise. However, Slow Burn is not Super Slow in the technical sense of being the exact same thing as the Super Slow® which is trademarked and promoted by Ken Hutchins. But the differences seem minor. Let’s take a look.

Super Slow (SS) methodology, based on Hutchins, consists of 10s concentric and a 5 s eccentric (10/5) pacing (Hutchins, 1992; cited in Hunter et al & Mazzetti et al) for around 8 reps resulting in a time under tension of about 120 seconds, or 2 minutes. However, according to Baye, the current training protocol of Hutchins Super Slow is 10/10 with 4-8 reps which would result in 80 to 160s per set.

Slow Burn (SB) recommends a 10s concentric and a 10s eccentric (10/10) contraction, for 3 to 6 reps (Hahn, p.91) However Fred also states “Twenty to thirty seconds, or beats, to complete each of the three repetitions” (Hahn, p.91). Therefore each rep could be a 15/15 cadence. Anyway, using the 10/10 for the 3 to 6 rep range wound lead to the following set durations;

  • 3reps @ 20s each = 60s
  • 4reps @ 20s each = 80s
  • 5reps @ 20s = 100s
  • 6reps @ 20s = 120s

Therefore, the range of set time is potentially 60-120s, or 1 to 2 minutes

As you can see there is a difference, albeit a small one between the set durations of Super Slow and Slow Burn training. However, it seems reasonable to consider Slow Burn a type of super slow training so referring to it as such seems appropriate. This is really beside the point of this analysis, which is to see if the Slow-Burn (SB) style of super slow resistance training is actually superior to other forms of resistance training.

Where has it been demonstrated, empirically, that the SB form of resistance training is superior to a 2/4 cadence, the type recommended by Arthur Jones and Darden (Smith et al)? Is it superior for strength gain? Muscle hypertrophy? Fat loss? Metabolic rate? Muscular endurance? Safety? Where has it been shown that SB is superior to other infrequent, high intensity, 2/4 speed type of resistance training? According to Smith et al “A number of studies found no significant difference between slow and fast-paced repetitions in increasing strength development” (p.60) Smith et al goes on to say “…it appears that Jones’ recommendation of a moderate repetition range (~8-12) is efficacious and prudent (p.63)”. The SB 10/10 cadence has not been shown to be superior. Even the beloved Westcott et al studies do not support the specific SB approach. Westcott used a 10/4 cadence, either a 3 x a week or a 2-3 x week protocol and a few different exercises. This is not what SB recommends. This will be discussed multiple times throughout this paper.

Fred claims Slow Burn is not the same as Super Slow. He also cites the Westcott study in support of his Slow Burn training. Westcott, even in the abstract, calls the slow training regimen Super Slow as a proper name. You can have it one way or the other; Slow Burn is like Super Slow or it’s not. If you feel they’re similar enough then by all means use Westcott et al as support. However, if you feel they are different, how can you justify using the research that used super-slow training speeds to support your Slow Burn training speeds?

References:

Baye, D. (Oct, 20. 2008) SuperSlow Training, Ken Hutchins and the SuperSlow Zone, Retrieved from; http://baye.com/superslow-training-ken-hutchins-and-the-superslow-zone/

Hahn, F. et al (2003). The slow burn fitness revolution: the slow-motion exercise that will change your body in 30 minutes a week. New York. Broadway Books.

Keeler, L. et l (2001). Early-phase adaptations of traditional-speed vs superslow resistance training on strength and aerobic capacity in sedentary individuals. J Strength Conditioning Research; 15(3): 309-314.

Smith, D. & Bruce-Low, S. (2004). Strength training methods and the work of Arthur Jones. JEPonline; 7(6): 52-68.

Westcott, WL. et al. (2001). Effects of regular and slow speed resistance training on muscle strength. J Sports Med Phys Fitness; 41: 154-158.

Strength training and health.

We want to make it CLEAR that we think strength training, particularly the high-intensity, shorter duration, lower volume, types, often referred to as HIT, are beneficial in many ways. There is ample evidence for the myriad of benefits from properly performed strength training. With respect to weight management, we even state in our book that we think strength training is likely to be the best form of exercise “The advantages of each mode, however, lie in the details, and resistance training proves to be the most effective” (p.61). We are not saying in any respects that infrequent, high-intensity strength training is not safe and efficacious. However, we think there are likely a number of exercise modalities that can elicit many health benefits, even with small amounts of time. For instance the research done on “wind sprints” seems to show that brief, intense bouts of some type of sprinting (clearly NOT a slow form of training) has many potential health , body composition and weight management benefits (Babraj; Gibala 2008; Gibala 2009; Tabata; Trapp; Tremblay). What we are saying is that there is no quality evidence that demonstrates that the Slow Burn type of training is better or really as good as (for health, weight management, etc.) other forms of HIT.

References;

Babraj, J et al (2009). Extremely short duration high intensity interval training substantially improves insulin action in young healthy males. BMC Endocrine Disorders; 9:3.

Gibala, M. (2008). High-intensity interval training: a time-efficient strategy for health promotion? Current Sports Medicine Reports; 6: 211-213.

Gibala, M. (2009). Molecular responses to high-intensity interval exercise. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab; 34: 428-432.

Tabata , I. et al (1996). Effects of moderate intensity endurance and high intensity intermittent training on anerobic capacity and VO2max. Med Sci Spor Exerc; 28(10): 1327-1330.

Trapp, EG et al (2008). The effects of high-intensity intermittent exercise training on fat loss and fasting insulin levels of young women. Inter J Obesity; doi:10.1038/sj.ijo.o803781: 1-8

Tremblay, A. et al (1994). Impact of exercise intensity on body fatness and skeletal muscle metabolism. Metabolism; 43(7): 814-818.

Chapter 1: The Exercise Myths

“Slow Burn is a form of exercise that has been shown to provide all the benefits you seek from an exercise regime in only thirty minutes per week, with negligible risk of injury” (p.10) (no references)

“Performing a Slow Burn workout will set in motion biochemical forces make you less hungry and get rid of the aches and pains that may have seemed to be inescapable part of getting older” (pp.14-15) (no references)

“Fitness is the ability to perform strenuous work or exercise” (p.16)

Matt and Jeff’s response;

Where has it been shown that the Slow Burn approach to exercise will provide all the benefits you seek from exercise? There is absolutely zero quality evidence (not a single study) done with the specific protocol used for Slow Burn that could lead to such a strong statement. Even the two studies (Westcott) that have shown positive results from a slow motion, infrequent, high intensity exercise have not shown that it will produce all of the benefits that can be attained from strength training type exercise. Where in the two Westcott studies did they prove that a slow type of training (10/4 cadence) makes you less hungry and gets rid of aches and pains? There was nothing mentioned in these studies regarding those parameters. How about the Keeler et al or Hunter et al studies? Any mention of a reduction of hunger or aches and pains? Nope, no mention of these factors in these papers. How can you say such a thing? There is a ton of research on the connection between exercise and appetite regulation, see Bilski et al; Blundell et al; King; Trapp et al;Westerterp. Where, in the vast literature on the subject, does it say that the Slow Burn type of training is the best at making you less hungry or affects hunger at all? The whole topic of exercise and appetite is fascinating, but complicated. There is no evidence for your statement. Therefore, to say that Slow Burn will lead to less hunger is misleading and clearly over-simplifies the subject.

Your definition of fitness is interesting. The definition of fitness is elusive and depending on who you talk to you can get many different answers. Even the top certifying bodies, such as NSCA and ACE, do not have a clear definition of fitness. ACE alludes to it by saying that four components should be measured; cardiorespiratory efficiency, muscular strength and endurance, muscle and joint flexibility, and body composition (p.170). According to Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, fitness or being fit is “the ability to transmit genes and being healthy”. A very Darwinian definition. According to Dr. Mel C. Siff, “We can arrive at no better definition of fitness than to base it on our intuitive awareness that it is something that allows us to function more easily under specific conditions, and which we can improve if we train regularly to cope under those conditions. Thus, fitness is the ability to execute a given task effectively and safely” (p.63). It seems, based on your definition, powerlifters and strong man competitors are the fittest people in the world, due to their level of strength. Is this really true? Is it really necessary to be that strong to live a long and healthful life, which, we would argue, is really the essence of “being fit”? Is it more likely that having a decent amount of strength is all that is needed by the majority of the population to be healthy and productive, which again we would argue would be “fit”? There is no clear definition of fitness, but we would say that having the ability to participate in activities that you enjoy, with confidence and with little risk of injury is a good working definition of fitness. We are not saying that your definition is wrong, but we found it interesting that you framed your definition in such a way that it would fit your overall premise that strength is the most important aspect for so many things health related.

References;

Bilski, J. et al (2009). Effects of exercise on appetite and food intake regulation. Med Sport; 13(2): 82-94

Blundell, JE. et al (2003). Cross talk between physical activity and appetite control: does physical activity stimulate appetite? Proc Nutr Society; 62: 651-661.

King, NA. (1998). The relationship between physical activity and food intake. Pro Nutr Society; 57: 77-84.

Siff, M (2003). Facts and fallacies of fitness. Denver. Mel C. Siff.

Trapp, EG. et al (2008). The effects of high-intensity intermittent exercise training on fat loss and fasting insulin levels of young women.

Westerterp, KR. (1998). Alterations in energy balance with exercise. AJCN; 68(suppl): 970S-974S.

Chapter 2: Slow-Speed Strength Training

“Although it’s true that conventional strength training – if it’s done properly done – can bring about gains in muscle, strength and fitness, it can be tedious and dangerous” (p.22) (no references)

“Instead of spending hours in the gym, grunting, sweating and straining, you’ll learn how to do a controlled Slow Burn that will improve your strength, rebuild your bones and muscles and restore your vitality and post-pone the aging process more safely and effectively than any other single form of exercise, in just thirty minutes a week” (p.23) (no references)

Studies have shown that subjects following a slow-speed strength-training regimen achieved 50 to 100 percent greater strength gains than those in a traditional weight-lifting program. That’s up to two times as much strength, doing fewer reps, taking far less time, with much less risk of injury, and in many cases with much less weight” (pp.23-24). (no references)

“When you join the Slow Burn Fitness Revolution, you vastly improve all your muscle fibers; you’ll strengthen the slow ones, the intermediate ones, and even the fast ones.” (p.25) (no references)

“The key element is that each exercise must be performed with slow, precise repetitions, in perfect form, with a weight heavy enough to make the muscles being worked to total fatigue in just a few repetitions” (p.27). (no references)

“…you’ll spend a mere sixty to ninety seconds perfectly performing a single set of only three to six repetitions.” (p.28)

“The ideal weight choice for any give exercise is one that allows you to complete three to six repetitions within the sixty-to-ninety second time frame, before failure occurs” (p.28)

“You’ll want to select a weight so heavy that for the first second or two you feel like you won’t be able to budge it” (p.28)

“If you spend a couple of minutes on each exercise with a minute or so in between as you shift from one from one exercise to the next, you’ll be able to complete the entire Slow Burn fitness regimen in less than half an hour and without breaking much of a sweat” (p.29)

Matt and Jeff’s response

Where to begin after that dizzying display of misleading information and contradictions? How about “tedious and dangerous”. This is pure nonsense. Where is the evidence for this statement? The fact of the matter is Slow Burn, with its fixed exercises (13 specific exercises are given in the book with no alternatives given) and a fixed cadence is the tedious one. According to Westcott “Super-slow (R) strength training, with a 10-second lifting phase and a 4-second lowering phase, represents an extremely slow repetition speed that most people find unacceptable as a standard exercise technique… from a psychological perspective there was little subject support for the Super-Slow (R) exercise technique. Only one participant in each study continued to train in a Super-Slow (R) manner after completion of the research project.” (pp.1-2). Wow, 2 out of 147 people wanted to continue with this type of training. This does not sound like something that will confer a high level of adherence, which is paramount for deriving the benefits of exercise. A quality strength training program that modifies the exercises, rep, set and tempo aspects occasionally would seem to be far less tedious than Slow Burn. But, the fact is virtually all exercise programs have some level of a “tediousness” factor. If you want to get stronger or faster at a particular movement you need to do that particular movement often. Regarding the “danger” component, there is no evidence that a 2/4 cadence of properly performed exercises is more dangerous than the Slow Burn cadence. This is complete conjecture.

No “straining”? You want a person to go to “complete muscular failure” and not strain? You also say “You’ll want to select a weight so heavy that for the first second or two you feel like you won’t be able to budge it” How is it possible to use a load that you feel you cannot move at first and not strain to get it moving? This makes no sense. If Slow Burn is in the class of high-intensity training, then there is a lot of straining! Ever see Mike Mentzer or Dorian Yates completing a single set to failure? I would say there was a bit of straining. If you want to conflate SB with HIT, then you must recognize that there is plenty of straining!

Related to this is the “no sweating” comment. This is as silly as the no straining comment. Doing 13 exercises to complete muscular failure with only about a minute between sets will not elicit some sweating? Are we supposed to be exercising in an ice box? Whether or not you sweat is really no big deal, but insinuating that a Slow Burn workout, if done properly, will not involve straining or sweating is very misleading. Did Mentzer and Yates brake a sweat?

“Hours in the gym”, Really? You make it sound like ALL other strength training programs recommended you spend lots of time working out. You are setting up a false dichotomy. Yes, there are some weight lifting programs that do recommend hours in the gym each week. So what? There are also a number of HIT type programs that recommend only 1-3 workouts a weeks, of relatively short duration, usually around 30 minutes. Also most of the strength training programs that are recommended by the big personal training organizations for beginners typically amount to about 30 minutes 2 to 3 times a week.

You mention “taking far less time”. Less time than what? In the studies done with super slow type training both groups would exercise for the same amount of time. Although in the Westcott studies (see next) there seemed to be better strength gains with the slower speed training. But, BOTH groups improved their strength and BOTH groups exercise for the SAME amount of time. How do you conclude that it takes “far less time”?

Well we guess it’s time to review the Westcott studies seeing you brought them up, i.e., Studies have shown that subjects following a slow-speed strength-training regimen achieved 50 to 100 percent greater strength gains than those in a traditional weight-lifting program.” Saying studies tends to imply that there are many studies, when it is likely that you are referring to only 2 studies (Westcott). These have actually been well analyzed by a few people in some non-reviewed pieces of work. For instance a couple of blog post by Baye and an article by Nelson and Kravitz have done a good job of going over all of the details of these studies. We will cover a few key points here. First, there are only two studies that have shown better results on one parameter; strength. So to conclude that this is the best way to get strong is taking a pretty big leap of faith. Additionally, how can the Westcott studies be used to say that Slow Burn is good for all kinds of other things (this will be covered in more detail in the following pages)? These were both relatively short duration studies, 8 and 10 weeks. We don’t know what will happen with a longer duration. All the subjects used in the two studies were sedentary individuals and the average age was 54 ½. Therefore the external validity of this study is very limited. The other major criticism to these two studies was the lack of quality control over the rep speed. Clearly the emphasis in slower training is the pace at which the reps are completed. Knowing that this is a fundamental aspect why was the reps not timed precisely with a stopwatch or other timing instrument? Due to these limitations the results from these two studies need to be used with caution. Finally, the studies used a 3 x week and a 2-3 x a week program and a 10/4 rep speed. The program you recommend is 1 (your main recommendation) or maybe two times a week and uses a 10/10 rep speed and does not use the exact same exercises; of the 13 exercises, there are 5 different ones used. Due to the limitations of the Westcott studies and the number of differences between what was exactly studied and what you recommended with Slow Burn, not to mention other studies that have been done comparing super slow type training verse traditional type strength training that did not show a better results with super slow (Keeler; Hunter; Mazzeti), there is no good justification to conclude that Slow Burn is a superior type of strength training. It is likely a useful type of training, but in no way is it better than “any other single form of exercise.”

One final thing; the safety aspect. You state “much less risk of injury”. How did you come to this conclusion? There is no empirical evidence for this statement. Were there any injury differences in the Westcott studies? No. Was there any difference in injuries in any of the studies comparing slower training with traditional speed strength training? We have yet to see any difference. According to Greer, “Because the muscle-tendon unit is under tension for considerably more time during Superslow training, there is a theoretical greater risk for overuse injuries, although as of yet there has been no research investigating this parameter” (p.35). We feel that an honest assessment of the safety issue would result in the following conclusion; a range of controlled speeds during weight lifting exercise and a focus on proper form during the entire exercise would likely be equivalent in minimizing the likelihood of injury.

References;

Baye, D. (June, 13. 2008) A review of research on SuperSlow® high intensity training. Retrieved from http://baye.com/a-review-of-research-on-superslow%C2%AE-high-intensity-strength-training/

Greer, B. (2005). The effectiveness of low velocity (Superslow) resistance training. Strength Cond J; 27: 32-37.

Hunter, G. et al (2003). Comparison of metabolic and heart rate responses to suoer slow vs, traditional resistance training. J Strength Cond; 17(1): 76-81

Keeler, L. et l (2001). Early-phase adaptations of traditional-speed vs superslow resistance training on strength and aerobic capacity in sedentary individuals. J Strength Conditioning Research; 15(3): 309-314.

Mazzetti, S. et al (2007). Effect of explosive versus slow contractions and exercise intensity on energy expenditure. Med Sci Sports Exerc; 39(8): 1291-1301.

Nelson, J. & Kravitz, L. (n.d.) Super slow resistance training. Retrieved from http://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article%20folder/superslow.html

Westcott, WL. et al (2001). Effects of regular and slow speed resistance training on muscle strength. J Sports Med Physical Fitness; 41(2): 154-158.

Westcott, WL. (n.d.). The Facts on Slow-Speed Strength Training. Retrieved from www.kandiymca.org/…/Slow%20Speed%20Strenth%20Training%20-%20Adult%209.pdf

Chapter 3: Turn your body into a fat-burning machine

“…there’s no type of exercise that will aid your fat loss effort more and get you to your goals faster than the Slow Burn Fitness Revolution” (p.32) (no reference)

“First, slow-motion strength training builds muscle better than any other type of training” (p.32) (no reference)

“In fact, studies show that slow-speed weight workouts build muscle about twice as fast as traditional weight training…” (p.32) (no references)

“Second, Slow Burn training increases your body’s sensitivity to the hormone insulin, the chief culprit behind weight gain” (p.32) (no references)

“If you add aerobics to the mix, believe it or not, you can actually lose more muscle on a typical low-calorie eating plan than if you didn’t exercise at all – a finding that’s been published in a number of scientific research papers” (p.34) (no references)

“…with the Slow Burn workout, you’ll actually gain muscle as you lose fat” (p.35) (no references)

Intense exercise – such as taking your muscles groups to failure with Slow Burn – also stimulates the production and activity of an enzyme (called AMP kinase) that appears to be the body’s master fuel switch. Flipping that switch turns on the fat-burning process during exercise and keeps it going for a substantial amount of time after you quit. Studies have shown that the enzyme-stimulation switch stays flipped for about seven to ten days after a bout of high-intensity training – thus the need to perform a Slow Burn workout only once a week” (p.36) (no references)

“And finally, studies have shown that high-intensity exercise, such as Slow Burn causes as much as a fivefold increase in the number of “fat-burning furnaces” (called mitochondria) within the muscle cells” (p.36) (no references)

Matt and Jeff’s response;

These are bold statements. What does the evidence actually say with respect to the statements from Chapter 3?

First, there is no direct evidence for any of these statements. What we mean is that there is not a single study using the Slow Burn methodology that has demonstrated any of these effects. The research on similar training, such as the Westcott studies, has not demonstrated anything that could be interpreted in a way that would result in any of your statements.

We will discuss three specific aspects; fat loss, muscle hypertrophy and mitochondria biogenesis.

For clarity purposes, we are re-stating what you said regarding fat loss “…there’s no type of exercise that will aid your fat loss effort more and get you to your goals faster than the Slow Burn Fitness Revolution” and “Studies have shown that the enzyme-stimulation switch stays flipped for about seven to ten days after a bout of high-intensity training – thus the need to perform a Slow Burn workout only once a week”. As we covered in our book SPEED, the general consensus from the abundance of studies and reviews on this topic (exercise and weight loss) is that exercise, any type within relatively realistic time commitments, is likely to have a minimal effect on the speed at which weight is lost. This is why we think exercise is overrated when it comes to fat loss. However, there are a number of other weight loss related benefits from exercise, particularly strength training, but we will not go into that here. For the purpose of this analysis, we will discuss the studies using slow speed type training and general HIT studies and their affect on bodyweight.

  • Westcott et al studies say nothing regarding body weight regulation
  • Keeler et al study says nothing regarding body weight regulation and overall they found no change in percentage of body fat, body mass index, lean body mass and bodyweight in either group.
  • Hunter et al study focused on metabolic and heart rate responses. The clinical endpoints were not bodyweight, bodyfat, or lean tissue modifications. There may be problems with this study, but in no way can it be used to support weight loss benefits for Slow Burn.
  • Mazzetti study found that “explosive contractions induced greater increases in the rate of energy expenditure and total kilocalories expended compared with SLOW, despite a longer exercise duration and greater BL [blood lactate] with SLOW” (p.1297). The SLOW group was not a true super slow type training, but it was still a relatively slow method and if slower elicits greater energy expenditure then it should have demonstrated this when compared to the faster training method.

How many calories are burned during one or two full SB workouts? Obviously it depends on the size of the person but it is likely to be about 200 calories (Hunter; Mazzetti). So one or two of these workouts per week could directly increase energy expenditure 200 to 400 respectively for the week. This would equate to an average increase in daily energy expenditure per day of 29 to 57 calories, respectively. With a pound of body fat equating to about 3,500 calories this level of expenditure is going to have a minimal effect on fat loss. However, maybe the weight loss benefits are due to the after-burn effect (EPOC). This will be discussed shortly.

The next question: Is this amount of expenditure likely to be more than another workout done for the exact same duration, but with faster rep speeds? Not likely. There have been a couple of studies comparing calories burned during the exercise session and metabolic rates 12-22 hours post-workout. What have these studies concluded?

Mazzetti et al states “These findings are in agreement with those from previous studies that have reported greater increases in energy expenditure (or O2 consumption) with faster muscle contractions…Therefore, explosive contractions may be more effective than slow contractions for enhancing energy-expenditure responses for weight loss when using resistance exercise” (p.1297)

Hunter et al stated “Traditional resistance training increased energy expenditure more than SST [super slow] does and thus may be more beneficial for body weight control (p.76).

Also, the paper by Greer had this to say “The premise that Superslow training would not be effective in controlling body weight/body fat is further supported by an unchanged body fat percentage after 16 weeks of Superslow training. The traditional group, following the ACSM guidelines for the same time period, showed a 5.51% decrease in body fat percentage” (p.34). Again, the evidence that a Slow Burn workout, particularly once a week, which is the dominant recommendation in the book, is not likely to have much of a weight loss affect and is it no way better than other HIT type training programs.

What about the studies showing that SB type training will switch on this fat burning process for 7 to 10 days?

This aspect deals with AMP Kinase (AMPK) production and excess post exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). So is there any evidence that a single 30 minute SB workout will have a major metabolic effect for 7 to 10 days post workout? No, this is very unlikely. Here is what the evidence actually says.

First, we are unable to find research showing that high-intensity, short duration resistance training increases the production of AMPK. In fact, it is endurance type training that elicits an increase in AMPK production (Baar; Coffey; Nader).

The following is from Nader, G. (2006) Concurrent Strength and Endurance Training: From Molecules to Man. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 38(11):1965–1970,

“Endurance exercise is associated with signaling involved in metabolic homeostasis, comprising AMPK signaling, among others. Activation of AMPK by endurance exercise or contractile activity may inhibit mTOR signaling via TSC and suppress resistance exercise–induced muscle-protein synthesis”

Figure from Nader et al, p.1969

Additionally, two recent papers on cell changes from endurance and strength training do not mention anywhere in the papers that resistance training will increase the production of AMPK. They do, however, go into some detail how endurance type training will increase AMPK production (Baar; Hawley).

A recent paper by Gibala on high-intensity interval training (HIIT or Gibala calls HIT) has the potential to increase AMPK production. However, HIIT is not the same as high-intensity strength training or Slow Burn. Gibala states “Although sometimes equated with strength or heavy resistance training, high-intensity interval exercise training (HIT) does not induce marked fiber hypertrophy. Rather, there is a growing appreciation of the potential for HIT to stimulate the skeletal muscle remodeling normally associated with traditional endurance training” (p.429).

Finally, the “switch” that we think you are referring to is the hypothesis put forth by Atherton, the “AMPK-PKB switch” (Gibala). Apparently the support for this hypothesis is still not clear (Gibala).

Regarding strength training and AMPK; we will leave it on this note, which is neither a positive or negative position, but clearly does not allow for any suggestion that there will be a 7 to 10 day stimulation of AMPK by SB or other similar types of strength training.

“Few studies that have investigated AMPK signaling in humans have incorporated resistance training as a stimulus. Hence, our knowledge of AMPK signaling following this mode of contractile activity is limited. Of those studies that have employed resistance training protocols, several reported increased AMPK phosphorylation and gene expression following both a single bout and repeated bouts of exercise.[45,59,60] Resistance exercise-induced changes in AMPK phosphorylation may reflect an increase in insulin-independent cellular glucose uptake and transport. However, the physiological significance of increased AMPK following resistance training has yet to be determined.” (Coffey et al; p.741). (emphasis added)

Wouldn’t an in-depth paper on the molecular bases of training adaptations, published in 2007, mention the awesome ability of strength training to elicit a 7 to 10 day perturbation of AMPK production if there was one?

What about EPOC?

To be clear you did NOT mention anything about EPOC, but just to cover the bases, we thought we would check to see if high-intensity resistance training was likely to elicit a 7 to 10 day EPOC affect. Nope on this one too. It is true that high intensity type resistance training is likely to have the greatest effect on EPOC, but the effect does not last anywhere near 7 to 10 days (Powers; Meirelles; Wu). Again, to be clear, you didn’t say it would, but we are trying to find out where this 7 to 10 day phenomenon that you speak of is coming from. The exact duration that an EPOC episode will last is still not clear (Carpinelli; Coffey). In fact, according to Carpinelli et al, “Resistance training may not be effective for increasing metabolic rate in women” (p.505). The range for EPOC seems to be 2 to 48 hours post exercise. Interestingly, according to Mazzetti et al, “…it seems as if high-intensity resistance exercise using explosive contractions would provide the best combination or resistance exercise techniques for optimal energy expenditure” (p.1292) (emphasis added). One recent study using a high-intensity training protocol on young males, lasting 31 minutes, found that EPOC lasted 39 hours (Schuenke et al). So there is a good potential to elicit an EPOC affect for about 2 days. However, no matter what the type of exercise, the best response for EPOC is 2 days. Additionally, the overall effect of EPOC on total calories burned per day is low, with a general estimate of an additional 100kcal/day. According to Meirelles et al, “…EPOC resulting from a single resistance exercise session does not represent a great impact on energy balance, its cumulative effect may be relevant” (p.137). The point with this is that there are certainly some energy expenditure benefits from resistance training. However, the overall effect from the calories burned during one or two 30 minute high-intensity weight training session a week, coupled with the potential EPOC, still does not equate to very many calories burned for the week. That is why (this is the general conclusion from the research), this amount of exercise will not have much of an effect on weight loss. There could be some additional calorie burning benefits it there is an increase in muscle mass, but that is not likely for the majority of people who are trying to lose weight. We have discussed this topic before in a post titled; The Muscle Metabolism Myth.

What about the ability of SB to induce a “fivefold increase in the number of “fat-burning furnaces” (called mitochondria) within the muscle cells”?

Let’s see what one exercise physiology textbook has to say on this matter.

Molecular and Cellular Exercise Physiology;

“On the other hand, strength training fails to result in an increase in mitochondrial density” (Mooren & Volker, p.66)

How about a recent paper on this exact topic; Plasticity in skeletal, cardiac, and smooth muscle. Invited review: Contractile activity-induced mitochondrial biogenesis in skeletal muscle;

“Interestingly, resistance training, which does indeed recruit fast-fatigable motor units, does not lead to a mitochondrial adaptation. Because the very high intensity and low duration of most resistance training regimens represent such a strong stimulus for the synthesis of myofibrillar proteins leading to muscle hypertrophy, the mithcochondrial content within the enlarged muscle fibers may even be ‘diluted within the cell’”(Hood, p.1139)

The two things that seem to have the potential to increase the mitochondria density are endurance training and calorie restriction (Civitarese; Reznick; Hood). However, high-intensity interval training may also increase the number of mitochondria, but the evidence for this is still sparse. (Gibala)

The ability to increase mitochondrial density “fivefold” from SB or high-intensity strength training seems unfounded.

The ability to lose weight and gain lean tissue at the same time is very challenging for many people. We are unaware of any research that has shown that a SB type of weight training (very slow rep pacing vs “regular” pacing, 2/2, 4/2. 4/4) will do this at all or do this better than some other weight training programs, particularly during calorie restriction for weight loss.

So, from the few studies that have specifically tested the slow speed training and for similar SLOW – FAST training methods, the research on AMP Kinase, EPOC, mitochondrial biogenesis and the ability to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time, there is no evidence that the information presented in this chapter regarding these aspects are true. There is no evidence that Slow Burn is actually very useful or a superior method for fat loss.

How about the ability of one or two Slow Burn sessions to elicit muscle hypertrophy?

There are no studies that have concluded that a slow speed type of training is as good as or better than other types of HIT training for eliciting muscle hypertrophy. How can you say studies show that slow-speed weight workouts build muscle about twice as fast as traditional weight training”? We hope that you are not suggesting that the Westcott studies somehow justify this statement. Our speculation would not be needed if you would have just referenced what you said.

There is a bunch of research on what elicits muscle hypertrophy, but we have yet see any of it say that a super slow type method is as good as or better than some other well-established methods. How about these conclusion from Carpinellie et al (2004) “ In summary, neither of these studies of Keeler et al or Westcott et al provides sufficient evidence to support the advantage of one repetition duration over another” (p.6) and “All the studies strongly suggest that within a reasonable range of repetitions, approximately 3 to 20, there does not appear to be a specific number of repetitions (e.g., 4-6, 7-10, 12-15, etc.) the will elicit more favorable gains in muscular strength, power, or hypertrophy” (p.11). Here is one final quote from a recent paper comparing slow speed (~10s concentric and ~4-10 eccentric contractions) with normal speed (3 second eccentric action and maximal acceleration concentric action) strength training;

“Evidence for the load used in resistance exercise emphasizing hypertrophy indicates a possible optimal threshold of 85% 1RM (Fry, 2004), but the multitude of acute training variables that may be altered in addition to load make a precise recommendation difficult. However, the reduced load advocated by PS [slow training] might be less effective for hypertrophy due to load constraints. This reduction in load is seen by PS advocated as inconsequential to the ultimate physiological effects. However, a basic premise of tissue adaptation (i.e., Wolff’s and Davis’ Laws (Biewener and Bertram, 1994) is that a minimum threshold of force is required to elicit adaptation. The notion that load is peripheral in its importance is in direct opposition to other authors’ demonstrating the magnitude of mechanical stress (i.e. load) is most responsible, in the context of exercise volume, for strength gains and muscle hypertrophy (Dudly et al., 1991: Hortobagyi et al., 1996). Please note that although related, load and muscle force are not equal, as propulsive forces can differ” (p.301).

In no way does the research show that the SB approach to strength training is the best method for strength or hypertrophy. High-intensity strength training can lead to muscle hypertrophy. However, let’s not forget that diet plays a big part in this process (Antonio et al). Also, we are unaware of studies that have shown that the SB type of resistance training will build muscle twice as fast as traditional weight training. If you, Fred, can supply us with these studies (just the proper reference information will do) and the research is legit then we will gladly change what we have said regarding SB and muscle hypertrophy. Otherwise we have to conclude that your statement regarding SB and muscle hypertrophy is fictitious and very misleading to the reader of your book.

References;

Antonio, J. et al (2008). Essentials of sports nutrition and supplements. Totowa, NJ. Humana Press

Baar, K. (2006). Training for endurance and strength: Lessons from cell signaling. Med Sci Sports Exerc; 38(11): 1939-1944.

Carpinelli, R. et al (2004). A critical analysis of the ACSM position stand on resistance training: Insufficient evidence to support recommended training protocols. JEPonline; 7(3): 1-60.

Civataresse, A. et al (2007). Calorie restriction increases muscle mitochondrial biogenesis in healthy humans. PloS Med; 4(3): e76.

Coffey, V. & Hawley, J. (2007). The molecular bases of training adaptations. Sports Med; 37(9): 737-763.

Gibala, M. (2009). Molecular responses to high-intensity interval exercise. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab; 34: 428-432.

Hawley, J. (2009). Molecular responses to strength and endurance training: Are they incompatible? Appl Physiol Nutr Metab; 34: 355-361.

Hood, D. (2001). Plasticity in skeletal, cardiac, and smooth muscle. Invited review: Contractile activity-induced mitochondrial biogenesis in skeletal muscle. J Appl Physiol; 90: 1137-1157.

Hunter, G. et al (2003). Comparison of metabolic and heart rate responses to suoer slow vs, traditional resistance training. J Strength Cond; 17(1): 76-81

Keeler, L. et l (2001). Early-phase adaptations of traditional-speed vs superslow resistance training on strength and aerobic capacity in sedentary individuals. J Strength Conditioning Research; 15(3): 309-314.

Mazzetti, S. et al (2007). Effect of explosive versus slow contractions and exercise intensity on energy expenditure. Med Sci Sports Exerc; 39(8): 1291-1301.

Meirelles, CM. et al (2004). Acute effects of resistance exercise on energy expenditure: revisiting the impact of the training variables. Rev Bras Med Esporte; 10(2): 131-138.

Mooren, F. & Volker, K. (2004). Molecular and cellular exercise physiology. Champaign, IL. Human Kinetics.

Nader, G. (2006) Concurrent Strength and Endurance Training: From Molecules to Man. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 38(11):1965–1970.

Powers, S. & Howley, E. (2007). Exercise physiology: theory and application to fitness and performance. Boston. McGraw Hill.

Reznick, R. & Shulman, G. (2006). The role of AMP-activated protein kinase in mitochondrial biogenesis. J Physiol; 574(1): 33-39.

Schilling, B et al. (2008). Force-velocity, impulse-momentum relationships: Implications for efficacy of purposefully slow resistance training. J Sports Sci Med; 7: 299-304.

Schuenke, M. et al (2002). Effect of an acute period of resistance exercise on excess post-exercise oxygfen consumption: impliocations for body mass management. Eur J Appl Physiol; 86: 411-417.

Westcott, WL. et al (2001). Effects of regular and slow speed resistance training on muscle strength. J Sports Med Physical Fitness; 41(2): 154-158.

Wu, BH. & Lin, JC. (2006). Effects of exercise intensity on excess post-exercise oxygen consumption and substrate use after resistance exercise. J Exerc Sci Fit; 4(2): 103-109.

Chapter 4: The heart of the matter

“…if I were to then tell them that thirty minutes a week doing a Slow Burn workout will give them as much endurance as three hours of jogging, they would probably treat you like the village idiot and quickly move away. Strange though it seems, your unlikely claim would be true” (p.37) (no references)

“…whereas the total-body strength gains from Slow Burn will enhance your endurance in almost any athletic pursuit” (p.38, in footnote) (no references)

“The Slow Burn strength-training regimen will give you greater general cardiopulmonary fitness and endurance than running” (p.37) (no references)

“Running and other forms of “aerobic” exercise strengthen the muscles” (p.39)

Matt and Jeff’s response;

You have done the field of exercise physiology and athletic performance a huge disservice. How do the decades of research in these fields lead you to the conclusion that SB will enhance a persons’ endurance for almost any athletic pursuit? We would love to see the studies that demonstrate this.

So, you say, running and other aerobic activities strengthens muscles? So a long distance runner will have strong leg muscles? His ability to increase his 1RM or 10RM (i.e., strength) in the squat or leg press would increase due to his running. We are confused with this statement. Wouldn’t it be more likely that the long distance runner will have more efficient muscles, due to the increase in mitochondrial density and other changes related to energy utilization by the muscles and not greater strength? He would have better muscular endurance, not muscular strength.

You also state “Another problem with low-intensity [long duration aerobic activities] work is that instead of building your overall muscle mass, you actually reduce it” (p.46). So let’s get this straight, “running and other forms of ‘aerobic’ exercise strengthens the muscles” and, at the same time, will decrease the amount of muscle tissue you have. What are you talking about? So, the logical conclusion, from your statements, would be the runner is getting stronger and losing muscle mass at the same time. We know that strength and muscle size are not tightly correlated, but your statements seem illogical.

Also why do you conflate doing “long endurance event such as a marathon” (p.46), with what most people will do for cardio or aerobics? You are creating a false dichotomy. Is the only option, for someone who is going to do aerobic type exercise, to train for a marathon? That is ridiculous. Doing a few mile walk or jog a few times a week is nowhere near the same thing as marathon training, which we would agree has a big potential for negative outcomes on the body. However, based on the research on the Tarahumara runners, lots of running may not be detrimental. Anyway, doing some moderate amounts of walking, biking, swimming, and so on, is likely to have health benefits and not likely to lead to negative effects on the body or injuries.

Regarding cardio or aerobic exercise and lean tissue; during a weight loss diet there is actually a decent amount of research that shows that it helped to preserve lean tissue, such as Janssen et al and Ross et al. So it is not as fatalistic as you present it, i.e., “If you add aerobics to the mix, believe it or not, you can actually lose more muscle on a typical low-calorie eating plan than if you didn’t exercise at all – a finding that’s been published in a number of scientific research papers” (p.34). There are a number of variables, such as protein intake, level of calorie restriction, amount of exercise and others that will determine the effect for an individual.

References;

Janssen, I, et al (2006). Effects of an energy restricted diet with or without exercise on abdominal fat, intermuscular fat, and metabolic risk factors in obese women. Diabetes Care; 25(3): 431-438.

Ross, R. et al (1996). Influence of diet and exercise on skeletal muscle and visceral adipose tissue in men. J Apply Physiol; 81: 2445-2455.

Chapter 5: Enhancing flexibility

“…the most important factor in the kind of flexibility we want is muscular strength” (p.50) (no references)

Muscle strength actually enhances flexibility. Why? Because [a] trained muscle is not only stronger, it is more supple, has improved circulation, is better hydrated, and can exert much greater force across the joint” (p.52) (no references)

“Any activity that increases strength is going to increase flexibility, but, as we’ve seen, nothing increases strength as quickly as Slow Burn training, so by extension, nothing will increase flexibility as quickly either” (pp.55-56).

A study done at Democritus Univ on flexibility. “At completion of the training period, the strength-trained subjects had enormous increases in flexibility in all seven categories.” (p.56). (finally a reference to a peer-reviewed paper)

Olympic weight lifters were second only to gymnast in their overall score on a number of flexibility tests. How did these weight lifters get to be so flexible? Was it Yoga? Pilates? A regime of painful stretching exercises? No. There secret is that they have great muscular strength and, accordingly, strong ligaments and tendons, allowing the joints to move easily through their entire range of motion.” (p.57) (from Scientific Basis of Athletic Conditioning, but does not give full citation, but at least something to go with)

“Do you want to enhance your flexibility? Forget about stretching, yoga, Pilates, and all the rest. Do Slow Burn for thirty minutes a week instead and make all your joints be the best they can be” (p.57).

Matt and Jeff’s response;

Let’s look at a couple of things before looking at the research on this topic.

“Painful stretching”? Who is recommending painful stretching? What physical therapist or other reputable practitioner recommends that a person get into painful stretches? As is articulated by the researchers in this field, it is likely that the stretching will sometimes be uncomfortable, but not painful. You are giving a false description of what should be occurring during most stretching activities. Related to this, what do you call a full-out effort to move as heavy a weight as possible for 3 to 6 reps at a slow pace until complete muscular failure is reached? Pleasant? Peaceful? Relaxing? Come on, there is a high level of discomfort that will likely be felt during a high-intensity workout. Our point is you have clearly misrepresented what stretching should feel like.

Regarding the study done at Democritus University. What type of strength training were they doing? Was it similar to SB? Also, the result of the aerobic group, the small increase in hip flexibility is logical. They were walking/jogging, therefore they were really only working that joint.

The “Olympic weight lifters”. Seeing this was done on Olympic lifters, we can assume that they were not doing slow speed training and were training with heavy loads at fast speeds and probably training for much long durations and frequency than what SB recommends, which is ideally one full session a week. Also, were these Olympic lifters doing any type of stretching also? Overall, how does this support your type of training as a great way to improve flexibility?

Some research on the topic.

From Fatouros (2006), “Although it seems that resistance training positively affects flexibility performance, the mechanism underlying this relationship is still unknown” (p.639). While there seems to be a correlation between strength gain and ROM increase from resistance training, we can’t say that the increase in strength causes the increase in ROM. We could just as easily postulate that the increase in ROM brings about the increase in strength, since long-term stretch programs seem to enhance performance (Shrier 2004).

It should be noted that the flexibility changes in the elderly subjects in Fatouros 2006 were intensity dependant, with intensities above 60% 1 RM eliciting the greatest improvements, but with no further improvement at 80% 1 RM compared to 60%.

Monteiro et al and Santos et al have recently found increases in ROM with resistance training. In 2005, Noobrega found that although resistance training alone did not improve flexibility, it did not hinder ROM increases due to specific flexibility training.

More recently, Aquino et al (2009) studied the effects of either stretching or strength training on the flexibility, stretch tolerance, and peak torque angle of the hamstrings. Neither strength training (3 sets of 12 at 60% 1 RM 3x/wk in a lengthened position) nor stretching (4 sets of 30s 3x/wk) increased flexibility, both increased stretch tolerance, and only strength training affected peak torque angle. The authors are unclear of the mechanisms behind the shift in peak torque angle, but postulate a possible addition of sarcomeres in series and/or alterations in muscle properties affecting myofascial force transmission.

A recent study by Huang shows short-term increase in hip ROM with short duration massage, and proposes massage as an alternative to static stretching (Huang 2010). This is not surprising since we know that myofascial mechanoreceptors respond to various types of pressure (Schleip 2003).

Also, whether or not ROM is increased by changes in muscular properties or by an analgesic effect is worth further study for all means of ROM increase (resistance training, stretching, massage, etc.). However, in real-world situations, an increase in ROM is an increase in ROM. If stretching provides an increased stretch tolerance in the hamstrings, which allows a person to keep neutral spine (or close to it) through increased hip mobility while bending over to pick up a child, so be it.

It is believed excessive or improper stretching can cause joint instability due to laxity of connective tissue. Well, excessive or improper strength training could cause damage to connective tissues as well. On an even playing field of intelligent use, strength training and stretching should both be painless (although sometimes a bit uncomfortable) and safe to the subject.

Yes, doing strength training is likely to have positive effects on ROM for most people. However, to say that Slow Burn is the best type of strength training to elicit this type of benefit is not supported by the research. And yes you said that, “by extension” nothing will do it quicker than Slow Burn. Again, it is these exaggerated claims and misleading statements that are so troublesome.

References;

Aquino CF, Fonseca ST, Gonçalves GGP, Silva PLP, Ocarino JM, Mancini MC. Stretching versus strength training in lengthened position in subjects with tight hamstring muscles: A randomized controlled trial. Man Ther.2010;15:26-31

Fatouros IG, et al. Resistance Training and Detraining Effects on Flexibility Performance in the Elderly are Intensity-Dependent. J Strength Cond Res. 2006;20(3):634-642

Huang SY, Di Santo M, Wadden KP, Cappa DF, Alkanani T, Behm DG. Short-duration Massage at the Hamstings Musculotendinous Junction Induces Greater Range of Motion. J Strength Cond Res. 2010;

Monteiro WD, Simão R, Polito MD, Santana CA, Chaves RB, Bezerra E, Fleck SJ. Influence of strength training on adult women’s flexibility. J Strength Cond Res. 2008;22(3):672-7

Nóbrega, A.C.L., K.C. Paula, and A.C.G. Carvalho. Interaction between resistance training and flexibility training in healthy young adults. J Strength Con. Res. 2005;19(4):842-846.

Santos E, et al. Influence of Moderately Intense Strength Training on Flexibility in Sedentary Young Women. J Strength Cond Res. 2010;24(11):3144-3149

Schleip R. Fascial plasticity – a new neurobiological explanation: Part 1. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies. 2003;7(1):11-19

Shrier I. Does Stretching Improve Performance? A Systematic and Critical Review of the Literature. Clin J Sport Med. 2004;14:267–273

Chapter 6: Stronger bones

“Let’s examine in a little detail a recent study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine that points the clear benefit – and safety – of strength training” (p.62) (no reference)

“…dozens of other medical studies have demonstrated the clear benefits to bone health that accrue from strength training…” (p.63) (no references)

“A recent study compared two groups of women involved in exercise to strengthen their bones…what the researchers found…significant bone mass increase with the strength regime, especially in the all-important hip-region, but no increase whatsoever with the endurance protocol” (no references)

Without reservation we can say that a properly performed regular total-body strength-training regimen such as Slow Burn Fitness Revolution brings about bigger and better sustained bone-density gains in women and men of all ages – even those in their eighties and nineties – than any other form of exercise.” (pp.64-65) (no references)

“a once or twice a week Slow Burn session is the key to healthier bones and better balance…” (p.65) (no references) (now it might be 2 times a week instead of once? Also better balance, just throwing in that one in, even though at no point did he discuss that strength training can improve someone’s balance)

Matt and Jeff’s response;

So there have been dozens of studies showing the CLEAR benefits from strength training? Also, the bone benefits from the particular Slow Burn type and frequency of exercise is better for bone-density than “any other form of exercise”. Wow, you are certainly not shying away from making definitive statements about what SB can do. Again, you love to throw around that there are “dozen of studies” which is easy to say but do nothing to back up these statements. What is most interesting, as you will see, is the lack of support for your statements.

Let’s start with one older paper that discusses this topic.

According to a 2001 paper by Winett and Carpinelli titled: Potential health-related benefits of resistance training, regarding bone mineral density;

“a training protocol consisting of one set of repetitions for a variety of resistance exercises, using free weights or machines, two or three times a week, should provide an adequate stimulus for increasing BMD in the anatomical regions that are stressed by each specific exercise and is the recommended protocol…It appears likely that the usual generally recommended protocol (6 to 10 repetitions using 4 s to raise the resistance and 4 s to lower the resistance; see later) will favorably impact bone mineral density and is similar to a protocol used in seminal work in this area” (p.507) (emphasis added)

What is interesting is Winett et al referenced a 1994 paper by Nelson et al and consider their work as seminal work in this area. So we checked out the Nelson et al study. It was a year-long study on postmenopausal women. Here was the training protocol;

  • Workout 2 x week
  • Each workout was 45 minutes plus a 5 min warm-up on a cycle and a 5 min cool-down with stretching
  • 5 exercises
  • 3 sets of each exercise
  • 8 reps for each set
  • Weight was set at 80% of 1 RM
  • Each rep lasted 6 to 9 seconds
  • 3 second rest between each rep
  • 90 to 120 seconds rest between each set

Did you notice the length of workouts, number of sets, speed of reps and other variables? These, in no way could be considered nearly identical as the recommendations you give in your book for the Slow Burn workouts. This research can be applied to strength training in general, but not for support of Slow Burn over other types of resistance training.

Well, how about four recent reviews on the topic? Let’s look at the conclusions they have come to.

A 2006 paper in Sports Medicine titled: Progressive High-Intensity Resistance Training and Bone Mineral Density Changes Among Premenopausal Women (St. James);

“Regular weight-bearing physical activity has been widely recommended for adult women and may be beneficial in preserving bone mineral density (BMD). However, there is conflicting evidence regarding the effects of resistance training on BMD in premenopausal women” (p.683).

“The purpose of this article was to help provide more information on high-intensity resistance for the purpose of prescribing optimal training regime to best augment BMD in adult premenopausal women. The findings of this review and meta-analysis support the interpretation that, among premenopausal women, this mode of exercise may be effective in increasing BMD of the lumbar spine but possibly not the femoral neck. However, these findings should be interpreted carefully, taking into account that the included studies presented high attrition rates and did not present any intention-to-treat analyses, furthermore, that a positive publication bias might also be present” (p.702).

Clearly this is not a solid recommendation for high-intensity resistance training, in general, as being a great facilitator of increased BMD. Not to mention, there is no clear advantage to one type of high-intensity resistance training over another.

In a 2006 meta-analysis by St James and Carroll on the effectiveness of resistance training on bone health in postmenopausal women, all studies included but one involved a frequency of two or more days/week with some as high as 4-5 days/week. They concluded,

“It would appear from this review that regular high intensity resistance training is appropriate exercise therapy in maintaining lumbar spine BMD amongst postmenopausal women although the inclusion of other weight bearing activities may also be necessary to best augment hip BMD without other therapeutic agents” (p.1238).

Also from St James and Carroll, “However, in the modern era, BMD increasingly appears to be not the most appropriate study endpoint in assessing the effects of exercise regimes on bone strength and fracture risk” (p.1238). What these authors are saying is that measuring bone mineral density may be a mistake, which was also the conclusion from Nikander et al (2010).

A 2009 paper in Sports Medicine titled: Exercise and Bone Mass in Adults;

“Not all exercise modalities have shown positive effects on bone mass. For example, unloaded exercise such as swimming has no impact on bone mass, while walking or running has limited positive effects. It is not clear which training method is superior for bone stimulation in adults, although scientific evidence points to a combination of high-impact (i.e. jumping) and weight-lifting exercises. Exercise involving high impacts, even a relatively small amount, appears to be the most efficient for enhancing bone mass, except in postmenopausal women. Several types of resistance exercise have been tested also with positive results, especially when the intensity of the exercise is high and the speed of movement elevated…Additional randomized controlled trials are needed to determine the most efficient training loads depending on age, sex, current bone mass and training history for improvement of bone mass.” (p.439). (emphasis added)

Did you notice the last sentence?

A 2010 paper in BMC Medicine titled: Targeted exercise against osteoporosis: A systematic review and meta-analysis for optimising bone strength throughout life;

“In premenopausal women, the findings from several meta-analyses of RCTs examining the effects of different modes of exercise on BMD indicate that resistance training and high-impact weight-bearing exercise, alone or in combination, can produce 1%-2% gains at the lumbar spine and femoral neck [26-29]. Although not all RCTs have reported beneficial effects, the findings from the meta-analyses indicate that high-intensity progressive resistance training appears to be more effective for improving vertebral BMD, whereas high-impact training results in greater gains in femoral neck BMD. Whether exercise has a beneficial effect on BMD in young men is not clear, because few RCTs have been conducted in this population. However, one meta-analysis of randomized and nonrandomised trials incorporating both young and older men reported a site-specific beneficial effect of exercise on BMD in men aged older than 31 years versus those younger than 31 years [30].” (p.7)

“In postmenopausal women, there are mixed results from several meta-analyses reviewing the effects of aerobic training, weight-bearing impact exercise, resistance training or their combination on BMD [26,28,29,31-36]. In general, the findings from these meta-analyses indicate that lumbar spine BMD can be increased by 1%-2% following resistance training, but findings from the femoral neck have been somewhat contradictory. According to several meta-analyses, endurance training or walking appears to have little or no effect on either femoral neck or lumbar spine BMD [29,31,35,37]. However, a recent meta-analysis reported that mixed-impact loading programs including low- to moderate-impact exercises such as jogging, walking and stair climbing were most effective for preserving BMD at the lumbar spine and femoral neck when combined with resistance training. Interestingly, more demanding high-impact jumping programs without other exercises were ineffective” (p.8)

“In middle-aged and older adults, the evidence for a beneficial effect of training on bone strength was less definitive due to the limited number and short average duration of the available RCTs. However, epidemiological evidence suggests that moderate to vigorous physical activity performed three to four times per week is associated with considerably lower incidence of fragility fractures in both women and men [70,71]. In addition, findings from cross-sectional studies of adult athletes suggest that regular exercise for many years has the potential to substantially improve bone strength. The findings from these studies also suggest that exercise regimens that include moderate- to high-magnitude impacts from varying loading directions (high- and odd impact exercise) may represent the optimal mode to enhance bone structure and strength.” (p.14)

Nikander et al (2009), a cross-sectional study, suggests that high-impact and what they call odd-impact activities are more apt to improve bone structure and strength at the femoral neck. The powerlifters (high-magnitude group) came in third. Of course, this is a cross-sectional study and so has no power to convey causation, since we could argue that a natural tendency toward stronger bones could make an athlete gravitate toward squash instead of powerlifting and so the groups are naturally formed (this is true, but we are being somewhat facetious).

So from this very recent review we could conclude that resistance training is probably good for BMD, but possibly not the best for all areas. However, determining what is the BEST method for increasing BMD in adult males and females is still a bit elusive.

Finally, when it comes to frequency, 2-3 days a week is needed for best results on bone density. In a meta analysis by St James and Carroll on the effectiveness of resistance training on bone health, all studies included but one involved a frequency of two or more days/week with some as high as 4-5 days/week. “It would appear from this review that regular high intensity resistance training is appropriate exercise therapy in maintaining lumbar spine BMD amongst postmenopausal women although the inclusion of other weightbearing activities may also be necessary to best augment hip BMD without other therapeutic agents.” (p.1238)

It is looks good that a high-intensity, full-body strength training workout, with a relatively high load, about 70-80% of 1RM, done 2 to 3 times a week is one of the best methods for maintain or increasing bone density. However, the evidence for high-impact activities also looks good. There is also the recent research that BMD may not be the best clinical endpoint for determining bone health, instead overall bone strength might be the better endpoint. With that said, please explain how you could conclude that “Without reservation we can say that a properly performed regular total-body strength-training regimen such as Slow Burn Fitness Revolution brings about bigger and better sustained bone-density gains in women and men of all ages – even those in their eighties and nineties – than any other form of exercise”? Seriously, unless these extensive review papers and a number of papers on the topic are trying to hide something there is no evidence to substantiate your claims. It seems, to us, that you are not representing the facts honestly.

References:

Guadalupe-Grau, A. et al (2009). Exercise and bone mass in adults. Sports Med; 39(6): 439-468.

Nelson, M. et al (1994). Effects of high-intensity strength training on multiple risk factors for osteoporotic fractures. JAMA; 272: 1909-1914.

Nikander et al (2009). Targeted exercise against hip fragility. Osteoporos Int; 20: 1321-1328.

Nikander, R. et al (2010). Targeted exercise against osteoporosis: A systematic review and meta-analysis for optimising bone strength throughout life. BMC Med; 8: 47.

St. James. M. & Carroll, S. (2006). High-intensity resistance training and postmenopausal bone loss: a meta-analysis. Osteoporos Int; 17: 1225-1240.

St.James, M. & Carroll, S. (2006). Progressive High-Intensity Resistance Training and Bone Mineral Density Changes Among Premenopausal Women. Sports Med; 36(8): 683-704.

Winett, R. & Carpinelli, R. (2001). Potential health-related benefits of resistance training. Preventative Med; 33: 503-513.

Chapter 7: Bye-bye back pain

“Why is it so common for our backs to break down? The primary blame can be laid at the door of widespread loss of muscle and soft tissue strength in the lumbar spine” (p.67) (no references)

“but far and away the most crucial factor in the development of most low back pain is loss of muscle mass and strength” (p.68) (no references)

“there is no safer or more effective method [slow-burn] for preventing or resolving this pervasive disorder” (p.70) (no references)

“Take the lumbar muscles to complete failure in three to six reps once a week and say, ‘Bye-bye back pain!’”(p.71) (no references)

Matt and Jeff’s response

First, your discussion of low back pain and strength severely over-simplifies the topic. The etiology of back pain/dysfunction is multifactorial. Strength in general is often NOT a big component of a pain free back (ref). Additionally, where is the research to support the superiority of a “slow-burn” type of strength training compared to other speeds of strength training? With that said how can you say that a “slow-burn” type of strength training will end back pain?

Here’s what the late Dr. Siff had to say on the subject. He states “There is no evidence that subjects with low back pain possess particularly weak muscles, except when they have been kept off work for prolonged periods.” (p.90) He goes on to say “For instance, numerous articles (many from Spine Journal) have concluded that the incidence of back pain and its ultimate resolution do not show any consistently significant correlation between abdominal strength and training of any of the abdominal muscles” (p.90).

What would an expert in the field of back function say regarding this matter? Well, here is what Dr. McGill, author of Low Back Disorders, had to say about the information contained in your book. We sent him the quotes listed above, and he said;

“if this is all they are [saying] then the statements are very simplistic. There are many sources and mechanisms of back pain and a thorough assessment is required to sort out the cause of pain, eliminate it and then build the deficits with appropriate corrective and therapeutic exercise. There are some people who really need to build some back muscle mass in a way that spares the pain causing mechanism – yet others may simply be due to inappropriate movement patterns or motor patterns – for example they may have disc damage such that avoiding flexion at that joint makes daily activity painfree. The reality is that “back pain” must be subclassified into groups that will respond to specific approaches, and that each group must be matched with the best approach.

The slow burn may address a very small proportion of back pain sufferers (some do well with endurance training) but it does not address movement problems. It sounds like a pure muscle physiology approach that ignored all we know about injury mechanics. His claim about safety is not buttressed with evidence or at least no evidence was supplied. Taking these muscles to failure would be highly inappropriate for many back pain sufferers.” (McGill)

Now there has certainly been some research showing that doing lumbar strengthening exercises can increase the strength in that area and reduce the symptoms of pain and days of absenteeism from work (Carpenter et al; Risch et al). So there are certainly some potential benefits to doing specific strength training in the lumbar area. However, from looking at the preponderance of evidence on this subject, it seems like it is a major oversimplification and mischaracterization of the evidence when you stated, “the most crucial factor…for most low back pain…is muscle mass and strength”. Let’s look at some more research on the topic.

What seems to be the general consensus is that it is muscular endurance, not absolute strength that is more important in preventing and rehabilitating low back disorders and pain (Grenier et al). A recent paper by Grenier et al has these conclusions;

“To date, no specific exercise intervention has been shown to be substantially more effective than another [for low back pain]” (p.20).

“Several researchers have demonstrated that muscular endurance and not muscular strength is more protective when it comes to the low back” (p.20).

“There is also considerable evidence that general aerobic exercise such as walking plays a key role in both preventing and treating low back injuries” (p.20).

A final piece of evidence from a 2007 Cochrane review, titled: Exercise therapy for treatment of non-specific low back pain (Hayden et al)? This recent and very high-quality review concluded the following;

“Acute low-back pain populations

Ten of 11 trials involving 1192 adults with acute low-back pain had non-exercise comparisons. These trials provided conflicting evidence: one high quality trial conducted in an occupational setting found mobilizing home-exercises to be less effective than usual care (Malmivaara 1995) and one low quality trial conducted in a healthcare setting found a therapist-delivered endurance program improved short-term functioning more than no treatment (Chok 1999). Of the remaining eight low quality trials, six found no statistically significant or clinically important differences between exercise therapy and usual care or no treatment; the results of two trials were unclear” (p.5).

“Chronic low-back pain populations

In 43 trials including 3907 individuals with chronic low-back pain, 33 exercise groups had non-exercise comparisons. These trials provide strong evidence that exercise therapy is at least as effective as other conservative interventions, and conflicting evidence that exercise therapy is more effective than other treatments for chronic low-back pain” (p.5).

It seems that having a certain level of strength is a good thing for back health and for some people dealing with chronic low back pain doing strength training for the lumbar area is likely to be helpful. However, it is not likely that having strong low back muscles will actually prevent the occurrence of low back pain (Grenier; McGill; Siff). Let’s also not forget to consider the placebo effect. For research dealing with pain, there is always the possibility that the therapeutic effects can be due to the placebo effect and not necessarily the specific drug or manual therapy used (Price; Wager). So after reviewing some key literature on the subject and consulting one expert in this area, we think that the ability to say, with any certainty, that “but far and away the most crucial factor in the development of most low back pain is loss of muscle mass and strengthand “there is no safer or more effective method [slow-burn] for preventing or resolving this pervasive disorder” grossly misrepresents the evidence.

References;

Carpenter, D. & Nelson, B. (1999). Low back strengthening for the prevention and treatment of low back pain. Med Sci Sports Exerc; 31(1): 18-24.

Grenier, L. & Jamnik, VR. (2009). The ABC’s of back health. Health Fitness J Canada; 2(1): 20-22.

Hayden, JA. et al (2007). Exercise therapy for treatment of non-specific low back pain. Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews; 3 (CD000335): DOI 10.1002/14651858.Cd000335.pub2

McGill, S. (2010) Personal communication on December 30th, 2010

Price, D. et al (2008). A comprehensive review of the placebo effect: Recent advances and current thought. Annu Rev Psychol; 59: 565-590.

Risch, S. et al (1993). Lumbar strengthening in chronic low back pain patients. Spine; 18(2): 232-238.

Siff, M. (2003) Facts and fallacies of fitness. Denver. Mel C. Siff.

Wager, T. (2005). The neural bases of placebo effects in pain. Current Directions Psych Sci; 14(4): 175-179.

Chapter 8: Improving athletic performance

“If you do have the genetics for it, Slow Burn will “rip” and “shred” you faster than any other method around” (p.75) (no references)

“He [Barry Bonds] was a good player, but it wasn’t until he began strength training that he became the powerhouse home run hitter that he is today”(p.76)

“There is no activity or task or sport imaginable that won’t be easier if you are stronger. And there is simply no better way to get stronger fast and without a major time commitment than with Slow Burn training.” (p.79) (no references)

Matt and Jeff’s response;

See also our comments from Chapter 4

Regarding getting ripped or shredded. This was covered in the Chapter 3 review.

We found only a single study done with super slow type training on sport related activities and not a single study specifically with the Slow-Burn type of training on sports performance. According to Greer “…vertical jump, upper and lower limb power as measured by dynamometry, and grip strength were not improved over 16 weeks of Superslow training” (p.34). Based on this information it does not look promising that this type of training would improve athletic ability. It might, or it might not, but the fact is we don’t know and there are, in fact, other types of training strategies that have been studied which show that they will likely improve athletic performance.

Using Barry Bonds to somehow demonstrate that the Slow Burn type of strength training will work for athletic performance is perplexing to us. How do you make this leap of faith? Does Barry only do Slow Burn type of training? Does he do Slow Burn at all? We hardly doubt it. Did steroids have anything to do with his increase in size and strength? This is just a very bad example.

References;

Greer, B. (2005). The effectiveness of low velocity (Superslow) resistance training. Strength Cond J; 27: 32-37.

Chapter 10: Slow burn in the gym

Perform them [exercises ,13 of them] “in the exact order given” (p.137)(no references)

Matt and Jeff’s response;

How did 13 become the magic number of exercises and why these 13 exercises? Also, why no mention of alternatives for these particular exercises when working out in a gym? Wouldn’t giving some alternatives help people mold the workout to what they had available at their gym as well as reduce the boredom of doing the same thing every time? We think so. Finally, why the “exact order”? Where is the evidence for this type of specificity? There is none that we have seen. In fact, according to Carpinelli, there is no discernable benefit from do exercises in any particular order. This makes no sense to us. But, we could be wrong. Please show us the evidence for this recommendation.

References;

Carpinelli, R. (2010). A critical analysis of the claims for inter-set rest intervals, endogenous hormonal responses, sequence of exercise, and pre-exhaustion exercise for optimal strength gains in resistance training. Med Sport; 14(3): 126-156.

Conclusion

There you go, a detailed analysis of the information presented in the book, The Slow Burn Fitness Revolution, and the comments that Fred and others have made at our blog. We obviously think it is very clear that the information Fred has presented in this book is incorrect, misleading, and unsubstantiated. There is no proof that the Slow Burn type of exercise routine is superior, in any way, to other types of high-intensity strength training in relation to the benefits of strength training. Until further research is done on this type of training or at least something very similar, it is purely speculation to say Slow Burn does what the authors say it does, or does it better than other types of strength training.

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84 Responses to “Fred Hahn’s "Slow Burn Fitness Revolution" book– PART 2: An In-Depth Analysis of the Information Presented in the Book”

  1. Terry O'Carroll says:

    I got about a quarter of the way through this article and decided that you’d made your point and stopped reading ;) I think you’ve justified your criticisms of this book.

  2. mrfreddy says:

    I’ve been following Fred’s advice for four years or so. At age 54, I have all the endurance and strength and flexibility I need to surf or ski for hours at a go. Without any other exercise whatsoever, unless you count walking the dogs. And certainly no stretching. Except when I wake up in the morning.

    Oh yeah, a couple of years ago I messed up my lower back pretty good, could hardly walk. His lower back machine fixed it almost instantly. I felt immediate relief of say, 70 percent of the pain. The rest was gone in a couple of days.

    Damn you Fred, you’ve mislead me!

    • Jeff Thiboutot M.S. says:

      mrfreddy,

      Thank you for the feedback. Glad to hear that your lower back problems have subsided. However, I think you have missed the point of our review and comments. We have never said that the Slow Burn type of resistance training is worthless. Our “beef” is with the content of the book, i.e., it is filled with incorrect, misleading and unsubstantiated claims for the Slow Burn type of exercise. It is likely that people, including yourself, will get some benefit from doing the Slow Burn workout. But, your individual results/benefits, although excellent, may be due to other factors. These “confounders” are what researchers try to control so that we can make a definitive statement about causality. However, your results could be entirely due to the Slow Burn workout. But, again, that is not the point of our comments.

      I would likely count walking the dogs, but would want to know how long you go before I made a definitive conclusion. Also, how often do you surf or ski, do these not count as exercise? What do you mean “except when I wake up in the morning”? Do you mean you do some type of formal stretching in the morning or just the “I am waking up, yawn and stretch thing”?

      Finally, I am curious, have you actually read the entire ‘In-depth analysis…” that we put together?

  3. Fred Hahn says:

    Sorry for the long delay in responding. I’ve been quite busy doing important things. I am, however, preparing a response to your part II. You have made several errors which I will correct.

    Let me ask you both this and perhaps you can clarify this to the few readers you have. If you are so very adamant about unsubstantiated claims in the fitness industry, why do you market your book thusly:

    “The only weight loss book worth reading.”

    I claim that “Slow Burn is the best way to perform resistance exercise.”

    Where is the scientific evidence to support YOUR claim that your book SPEED is the only weight loss book worth reading? Do you really think that is true? Please provide the scientific evidence that supports this statement.

    Chances are not only is your book NOT the only weight loss book worth reading, but it’s not even the best book for weight loss.

    And you meant FAT loss didn’t you? Weight loss and fat loss are two very different things as are some other things you failed to differentiate in your criticism of my book.

    Now, I’m sure you’ll scurry over to your critique to see where the errors are. If you’re smart, you’ll find them. But don’t try and alter and edit the text if you do find the errors (as you did with your part I where you altered your statement about my book being “a piece of crap” without having the honesty to say so) because I have a screen shot and print out of the original.

  4. [...] “mean spirited”. Others even thought that it was unprofessional. Really, as we mentioned in our most recent post on the Slow Burn book, one of the words to define crap is drivel, so these two words are really synonomous. So from this [...]

  5. Fred Hahn says:

    Matt and Jeff,

    If you recall, I did ask you both to be thorough in your research before sharing the rest of your critique. In doing so, you would make sure to get your information correct. Instead, you created strawman arguments and misrepresented what Drs. Eades and I said in our book.

    I’m not going to spend the time needed to address every single point you two make (or try to make) since so many of them lack scope and are so blatantly designed to malign, that it makes the effort worthless.

    FE: We state in our book to perform 13 machine based exercises in a certain order. You both actually wanted us to present scientific support for the exercises chosen and the order we put them in? Did we also need to cite scientific evidence for each of the individual exercises we chose? For the equipment we pictured? For the clothing the models were wearing?

    You said:

    “How did 13 become the magic number of exercises and why these 13 exercises? Also, why no mention of alternatives for these particular exercises when working out in a gym? Wouldn’t giving some alternatives help people mold the workout to what they had available at their gym as well as reduce the boredom of doing the same thing every time? We think so. Finally, why the “exact order”? Where is the evidence for this type of specificity? There is none that we have seen. In fact, according to Carpinelli, there is no discernable benefit from do exercises in any particular order. This makes no sense to us. But, we could be wrong. Please show us the evidence for this recommendation.”

    First, Carpinelli’s paper does not discuss the issue of logical order or if fatiguing a small muscle group before a large one that requires the small one to be fresh makes a difference. You are using his paper out of context. Some order must be chosen and given and people who do not know anything about resistance training (who the book was intended for mainly) need guidance. That said, those of us who have experience training people know that the order matters and matters a lot.

    Second, if the exercises we chose and the order we put the exercises in doesn’t “make sense” to you, I’m happy to do a phone consultation (gratis of course) with the two of you and help you to understand how to put together a logical and full body RT routine. Do either of you have Skype accounts?

    How did 13 become the magic number of exercises you ask? Um, the tooth fairy told me?. We never said it was “magic” gentlemen. Calm down. What we presented in the book is a well rounded, full body RT routine, that’s all. Why no alternatives? To keep it simple. I can’t know what people have and don’t have in their gyms. As for boredom, RT is not for entertainment. If you’re doing the routine correctly, you’re in and out of the gym in 15-30 minutes. Should we have added a free weight plan? I guess so. I guess we could have also included a Bow Flex routine, a Total Gym routine, a Theraband routine, a Keiser pneumatic machine routine, a kettle bell routine, etc. My experience is to keep it simple for people. Then they will do it.

    Question for you two – What’s wrong with doing 13 exercises? What’s wrong with the 13 exercises I chose? What’s wrong with the exercise order? If the answer is nothing why did you bother bringing this (as well as a host of other things akin to this) up?

    People who read our book aren’t interested in the scientific evidence that doing a biceps curl before a row could result in less stimulation to the latissimus muscles due to biceps exhaustion. Now, is there any science which suggests that doing a biceps curl before a row will result in less lat stimulation? I don’t know but I doubt it. But it is my experience that this is so and I’ve been training people and keeping highly accurate records for nearly 25 years. No instructor worth her salt would do a biceps curl right before a chin up or a shoulder lateral raise right before a bench press.

    That you both criticize our choice of exercises and the order we put them in exposes your desperation to discredit our work rather than make a genuine attempt to write a well thought out critique of SB.

    So now that you get WHY I am not going to bother going over everything, instead of going through the entire post and wasting time with more of the same, what I will do is discuss a few scientific issues you erred on. These errors will cast serious doubt on the validity of your entire SB treatise.

    Let’s start with the issue of mitochondria. To quote your Part II review:

    “What about the ability of SB to induce a “fivefold increase in the number of “fat-burning furnaces” (called mitochondria) within the muscle cells”?

    Let’s see what one exercise physiology textbook has to say on this matter.

    Molecular and Cellular Exercise Physiology;

    “On the other hand, strength training fails to result in an increase in mitochondrial density” (Mooren & Volker, p.66)”

    “Interestingly, resistance training, which does indeed recruit fast-fatigable motor units, does not lead to a mitochondrial adaptation. Because the very high intensity and low duration of most resistance training regimens represent such a strong stimulus for the synthesis of myofibrillar proteins leading to muscle hypertrophy, the mithcochondrial content within the enlarged muscle fibers may even be ‘diluted within the cell.”

    This is what you said WE said:

    “The ability to increase mitochondrial density “fivefold” from SB or high-intensity strength training seems unfounded.”

    Strawman. Here is what we actually said (page36):

    “And finally studies have shown that high intensity exercise such as Slow Burn causes as much as a five fold increase in the number of “fat-burning furnaces” (called mitochondria) within the muscle cells. The more fat burning furnaces you create the more fat you’ll burn.”

    You might want to read that again – SLOWLY.

    We make no mention of a definitive five fold increase in mitochondrial DENSITY or a definitive 5 fold increase in total mitochondria across the board.

    You both are so desperate to find fault in our work that you were not thorough in your reading of it.

    The two terms ‘total mitochondria and ‘mitochondrial density’ are not interchangeable. They have very different meanings and implications. That you misquoted us, used a quote from a text book as well as quote from a recent research paper to suggest that they are one and the same confounds the concept and confuses the issue. You both probably DO know that there is a difference between the two, but in your haste to harm you missed it.

    In the paper “The effect of strength training on estimates of mitochondrial density and distribution throughout muscle Fibres” by Philip D. Chilibeck á Daniel G. Syrotuik á Gordon J. Bell conclude:

    “We conclude that the muscle hypertrophy associated with strength training results in reduced density of regionally distributed mitochondria, as indicated by the reduction in the activity of SDH.”

    This study (the one we used among others to support our statement on total mitochondria) specifically looks at the issue of strength training on mitochondrial density. The conclusion of the paper is that strength training does NOT increase mitochondrial density. True – the data that these researchers produced does show that mitochondrial density decreased.

    But a careful reading of the study (which you either did not do or read at all) shows that just the mitochondrial DENSITY decreased. The actual number of total mitochondria increased. And this is what we said. The data showed that strength training produced a 26-28% increase in muscle cross-sectional area (volume) while the SDH activity (a measure of mitochondrial density) as a function of the muscle volume decreased by 13% – only 13% mind you.

    If the muscle volume had increased by 27% and the number of mitochondria per unit volume had stayed the same, the researchers would have seen a decrease in SDH of 27%. But, the decrease was only 13%. This means that the absolute number of mitochondria increased. In other words, if you had 100 people in a 1000 square foot room, you would have a person density of 1 person per 10 square feet. If you then increased the room size to 2000 square feet while keeping the number of people in the room at 100, you would have a person density of 1 person per 20 square feet, or a reduction of person density of 100%.

    If you increased the number of people in the 2000 square foot room to 150, you would then have a person density of 1 person per 13.3 square feet, which would be a decrease of 33% from your original 10 person per square feet density. If you were publishing a study on this, you could then say that you found that as the size of the room doubled, the person density of the room fell by 33%, which would be true. But the number of people in the room actually increased by 50. It’s the same with the mitochondria in this study. Although the density, or the number of mitochondria per unit of muscle volume decreased, the absolute number of mitochondria increased – by about 44%.

    We are most concerned (or should be) with total mitochondria, not necessarily the density. If we increase the total number of myofibrils as well as the mitochondria, we have achieved our goal. This is more than likely the reason why you see MD increase with semi-starvation diets. Significant muscular atrophy is occurring and that is not a good thing. It’s like squeezing all the cars on a 4 lane highway into 2 lanes. Same total cars,but more density. And as you both should know, the more muscle and mitochondria you have, the greater the potential for enhanced muscular strength as well as endurance.

    Now you might argue that since the Slow Burn protocol was not used in this study I cannot make the leap that people who do SB would reap the same benefits (though we did say “high intensity exercise such as Slow Burn”). Perhaps so, but though the exercise set number was higher in this study, there is no scientific evidence to support the belief that more sets of the same exercise of high intensity training or more than 2 weekly sessions as used in this study, elicits a greater or better training response.

    In this paper this was the protocol used:

    “Subjects in the strength-training group trained for 3 days per week for 12 weeks. Training sessions included four lower-body exercises (double leg incline press, single leg knee extension and extension and double leg calf raises). The intensity and volume of the strength training was monitored and progressively overloaded. The training intensity was increased by approximately 4% every 3 weeks (from a mean of 72% to 84% of the pre-training one-repetition maximum, 1 RM) and the number of sets and repetitions ranged from 2 to 6 and 4 to 12, respectively.”

    Only 4 exercises were used in this study as opposed to 13 in SB. The intensity was high and progressed over time as it does when using SB. The percent of 1RM used is also very similar to SB as is the rep range. Only the total set number varied per exercise. (NOW we can use the Carpinelli study.) But as mentioned before, the preponderance of research comparing single to multiple sets indicates that more sets per exercise is not superior to a single set.

    Could the slightly higher volume or the greater number of sets per exercise be the difference in increasing total mitochondria? Perhaps. Perhaps not. And if the total sets per exercise exceeded 2-3, the intensity could not have been very high. And it appears that it is the intensity of effort that matters most. This is why research indicates that HIIT training is superior to low level aerobic training for increases in aerobic capacity.

    Slow Burn resistance training conforms to all of the scientific requirements for a high intensity stimulus. A high intensity stimulus within the skeletal muscles results in increased protein synthesis, hypertrophy, total mitochondria and a host of other positive tissue adaptations. While many other factors contribute to positive tissue remodeling of lean tissue, the fact remains that SB will, due to the nature of the protocol, induce increases in total mitochondria. And our clients experiences bear this out. If a few scientific papers do not show that RT increases endurance but scores of people swear it does, perhaps the studies are flawed. Studies alone do not reality make.

    As an analogy, as long as a diet is low in carbs (say <130 grams for example), it can be referred to as a low carb diet. You can swap tuna for salmon, lettuce for kale, apples for apricots or beef for lamb but so long as the carbs are under 130 grams, it’s low carb. The same can be said for resistance training protocols. As the Carpinelli paper indicates, so long as the muscles are taken to failure, there is little difference in outcomes. And slow reps are less forceful and thus safer. F = ma.

    Soon I will address errors made in 2 other areas that I will not disclose to you now since you might go and reread your work and change what you originally wrote as you did when you removed the sentence "we think it's a piece of crap" and replaced it with a more genteel comment – all of course without being honest to your readers about doing so.

    Be well,
    Fred

    • Jeff Thiboutot M.S. says:

      Fred,

      I like the sarcasm with the phone consultation thing, funny. Anyway, of all the points we make in our in-depth review you start with the exercise order and specific exercise ones. Seriously, we right a 26 page response and your first response has to do with one paragraph that is on page 26. Of all the things we bring up this is likely the least important. In fact, if this was your only misleading statement we might not have brought it up. However, seeing we did an in-depth review and because you emphasized the order aspect by stating “in the exact order given” and putting it in italics it seemed that you were making it very clear that this was very important. But, of course there was no evidence given to support your very specific recommendation. So we decided to see if there is some quality evidence for making such a specific statement. I was going to give you a bunch of quotes from the Carpinelli paper, but I am growing tired of doing your job, so please go re-read the Carpinelli paper, he does discuss this topic, starting at p.144, with the heading “Sequence of exercises” and ends on p.148. Also, for anyone else who wants to know who is right, please go read that section. In fact, if you want to read the paper, just e-mail me and I will send you the entire paper. Yes, giving some guidance for the novice is obviously necessary, but why this order? If order does matter, which seems, based on the Carpinelli paper, it does not, why start with a single joint movement that engages relatively small muscles (#1 Neck extension)? Why not do the multi-joint movements with the relatively big muscles, such as leg press, shoulder press, first? Why have them do a knee extension (exercise #3) before the leg press (exercise #4)? Why have them do a shoulder side raise (exercise #7) before the overhead shoulder press (exercise #8). What is the rational for this specific sequence? Are you doing some type of pre-exhaustion method? If so, then again, read the Carpinelli paper, he covers this topic as well (pp.148-152). I’ll give you a hint to what he says, Author Jones was probably wrong about this one.

      You state;

      “No instructor worth her salt would do a biceps curl right before a chin up or a shoulder lateral raise right before a bench press.”

      Is doing a shoulder lateral raise before a shoulder overhead press basically the same silly thing as doing it before a bench press? If so, can I conclude that you have salt problems?

      There is nothing wrong with giving someone something specific to follow, but you are conveying the idea that ONLY these exercises in this EXACT order can be done to produce the results that you say that they can get from doing Slow Burn. What exercise book, even for ones for beginners, gives such limited options? You could have easily given a few exercise options for each movement, for example the shoulder overhead press could include a machine, seated dumbbell or a standing split stance using a barbell (a bit more advanced option).

      “those of us who have experience training people know that the order matters and matters a lot”

      It matters for what exactly? Also, are you saying that Carpinelli’s conclusion about sequence of exercises is wrong?

    • Jeff Thiboutot M.S. says:

      Really Fred, because we criticized your choice of exercises and order requirements, which was ONE paragraph out of 26 PAGES (the PDF version) somehow means that we did not write a well thought out critique of SB. You must be kidding me. You are saying that 26 pages filled with clear and logical conclusions supported with a slew of references is somehow not “a genuine attempt to write a well thought out critique of SB”. That is a ridiculous statement. It is very likely that you are the only person, who, after reading our in-depth review, would conclude that it was not a “well thought out critique”. You then try to use this nonsensical statement to justify you decision to not give some evidence based responses to what we said. Hay, it that works for you, great, but I think it’s a bunch of B.S.

      Speaking of B.S. Are you going to end every comment with some sad and incorrect statement about our use of the word “crap”. Fred, use the space for something useful will you. Matt and I have been very open about the changing of the first post; we spelled it out in a long paragraph at the beginning of the second review. If we were trying to hide something why would we bring it up there and allow your comments about it to be posted. Are you hoping that if you say it enough times that it will magically become true.

      Also, your suggestion that we will edit our review, in any meaningful way, or do it in a way that is not transparent and honest is completely uncalled for. I really want to say some bad things to you but, I will refrain. Matt and I work very hard at what we do and do our best to be honest and objective and to give, to those that read our work, clear and factual information so that they will be able to make good decisions about what to do to be healthy. I will just say that you have no justification for your accusation.

    • Jeff Thiboutot M.S. says:

      Fred stated;

      This is what you said WE said:
      “The ability to increase mitochondrial density “fivefold” from SB or high-intensity strength training seems unfounded.”
      Strawman. Here is what we actually said (page36):
      “And finally studies have shown that high intensity exercise such as Slow Burn causes as much as a five fold increase in the number of “fat-burning furnaces” (called mitochondria) within the muscle cells. The more fat burning furnaces you create the more fat you’ll burn.”

      Fred, are you kidding me. I know what page the quote is on, we quoted it exactly on p.10 of the PDF version. You might want to go back and read it slowly; I think you missed it the first time. You were clearly suggesting that a Slow Burn type of workout could increase the number of mitochondria within the muscle cells up to 5 fold. Read it again, you said “within the muscle cells”. More mitochondria within a muscle cell would mean that it had a greater mitochondria density. That is different from having more muscle fibers that have mitochondria which would result in a greater overall number. This is due to a hypertrophy effect which we also covered in the 2nd review. Anyway, the quote from Hood stated that “resistance training… does NOT lead to a mitochondrial adaptation and is “diluted within the cells”. Also Coffey et al states that resistance training causes changes in contractile and structural components and the creation of new muscle cells, but no mention that the number of mitochondria within a muscle cell would increase due to resistance training (see 2nd review for reference). Again you said that there would be as much as a 5 fold increase within the muscle cells. Even the paper you mentioned concluded that there was a decrease in density. And NO we did not read the Philip paper. Did we reference it in our review? NO. Did you have this reference in your book so that we would know what you where using to support your statement? NO. So don’t give me that shitty line about “But a careful reading of the study (which you either did not do or read at all)” Spare me the bullshit. Also, I know what density means. Anyway, back to the subject. Regrettably I am unable to get the full text of the paper you have referenced, so I will take your word on what occurred in the study. The volume did increase. However, that is NOT what you said in the book. You said within the cell. You did not say that if you increase the size of your muscles you will have more mitochondria. Also, from the study you mentioned how do you conclude that there is a potential for a 5 fold increase in mitochondria from a Slow Burn type of workout? I have yet to see anything that would allow the “as much as a five fold increase” to be stated with confidence. The paper you mention does not support that statement.

    • Jeff Thiboutot M.S. says:

      Fred stated;

      We are most concerned (or should be) with total mitochondria, not necessarily the density. If we increase the total number of myofibrils as well as the mitochondria, we have achieved our goal. This is more than likely the reason why you see MD increase with semi-starvation diets. Significant muscular atrophy is occurring and that is not a good thing. It’s like squeezing all the cars on a 4 lane highway into 2 lanes. Same total cars,but more density. And as you both should know, the more muscle and mitochondria you have, the greater the potential for enhanced muscular strength as well as endurance.

      More total mitochondria can be due to an increase in mitochondria density. Do you want a “room full of people” analogy? If you have the same amount of cells but you have more mitochondria per cell then you will have more total mitochondria. That is likely what occurs during endurance training. According to Coffey et al “Briefly, endurance adaptations results in increased muscle glycogen stores and glycogen soaring at submaximal workloads via increased fat oxidation, enhanced lactate kinetics and morphological alterations, including greater type 1 fiber proportions per muscle area, and increased capillary and mitochondrial density.” (p.748). It is very clear that endurance training causes an increase in mitochondria density and this is one of the key adaptations for improvements in endurance. According to Hawley, “…the improved performance capacity after a program of endurance training is mostly associated with the increase in mitochondrial density and oxidative enzyme activity, termed mitochondrial biogenesis” (p.357)

  6. Fred Hahn says:

    First of all I’ll respond to your review of SB as I see fit to do so.

    Just admit that you were wrong on the issue of mitochondria. You are the one who needs to go back to page 36 and reread. If the study I cited showed a 44% increase in total mitochondria, where did that increase reside? Outside the muscle cells? C’mon Jeff. Enough already. More total mitochondria is a good thing and is what we said happens from HIT.

    You said:

    “Yes, giving some guidance for the novice is obviously necessary, but why this order? If order does matter, which seems, based on the Carpinelli paper, it does not, why start with a single joint movement that engages relatively small muscles (#1 Neck extension)? Why not do the multi-joint movements with the relatively big muscles, such as leg press, shoulder press, first? Why have them do a knee extension (exercise #3) before the leg press (exercise #4)? Why have them do a shoulder side raise (exercise #7) before the overhead shoulder press (exercise #8). What is the rational for this specific sequence? Are you doing some type of pre-exhaustion method? If so, then again, read the Carpinelli paper, he covers this topic as well (pp.148-152). I’ll give you a hint to what he says, Author Jones was probably wrong about this one.”

    Why this order? Back at ya – why NOT this order? What is wrong with this order? If your answer is that there is nothing really wrong with the order, why do you bring it up? You cite the Carpinelli paper as proof that order doesn’t matter and yet you demand science to support my order???

    You didn’t answer any of the questions I asked you in my last post and the reason you didn’t is because you know you are both being ridiculous with this questioning.

    Why I waste my time with this I have no idea. I’m on lunch so what the heck.

    BTW, we did not have them do knee extension before leg press. We have them do knee flexion first. It’s a good way to lubricate the knee prior to the much heavier weights in leg press. There is no knee extension exercise listed in the book.

    And if you don’t know the rest of the answers to your own questions here, like I said, if you have a Skype account I can assist you. I am not being sarcastic. You are telling me that you don’t know why I listed the order I did. And if you DO know the answers, why in the world are you asking me? What is your point?

    Question for you: Define and describe pre-exhaust. Don’t give me examples of pre-exhaust, explain what it is.

    And just because Carpinelli suggested that AJ was “probably wrong” doesn’t mean he WAS wrong. AJ was right about a lot of the things he said. And bear in mind that Carpinelli is simply stating that there isn’t any good scientific evidence to support much of what is held as gospel (e.g., periodization, multiple sets, heavy weights, etc.) in the field of strength and conditioning.

    You said:

    “I really want to say some bad things to you but, I will refrain.”

    That is wise.

    “Matt and I work very hard at what we do and do our best to be honest and objective and to give, to those that read our work, clear and factual information so that they will be able to make good decisions about what to do to be healthy. I will just say that you have no justification for your accusation.”

    You changed the wording in the first paragraph of your original post without alerting your readers that you did, so, what’s to stop you from doing that again?

    And you altered it because someone you respect called you out for using such language. (Since that time you both have been trying hard to malign me by running around to different websites to try and find stuff I said to show people what a meanie I am without realizing that this simply hammers the nail in your own coffin even harder).

    Q: Why didn’t you leave what you wrote “We think it’s a piece of crap.” as it was originally written? If what you said by your admission is so O.K., why not change it back to what you wrote originally? You made ZERO mention to your readers that you chose to retract that statement and re-write it. You just changed it. Admit it.

    At least I have the honesty to admit that speaking that way about a colleague is wrong – on every level. Web MD is not a person. It’s an information website. When I have done this (Jorge Cruise book FE) I was wrong to do it. It was done out of frustration and anger. But that does not make it right. It was wrong.

    I’ll write more later if I have time. Give me your email address and i’ll send you the paper on mitochondria.

    • Jeff Thiboutot M.S. says:

      Just admit that you were wrong on the issue of mitochondria. You are the one who needs to go back to page 36 and reread. If the study I cited showed a 44% increase in total mitochondria, where did that increase reside? Outside the muscle cells? C’mon Jeff. Enough already. More total mitochondria is a good thing and is what we said happens from HIT.

      Really Fred, did I suggest that it occurred outside the cell? No! But it is clear that there are two different things that can occur. You can increase the number of mitochondria WITHIN each cell and you can add more muscle which would bring with it more mitochondria. However, the type of muscle fibers that are increased would also change the absolute amount of mitochondria increase. Again, you said “WITHIN THE MUSCLE CELLS” Also, let’s say there was a 44% increase (I need to read the paper to confirm this) iin total mitochondria. This is less than a 50% increase which would equate to a ½ fold increase, how did you get your “up to a 5 fold increase”? A 500% increase, could you please give us the evidence for this.

    • Jeff Thiboutot M.S. says:


      Why this order? Back at ya – why NOT this order? What is wrong with this order? If your answer is that there is nothing really wrong with the order, why do you bring it up? You cite the Carpinelli paper as proof that order doesn’t matter and yet you demand science to support my order???

      Only because you clearly felt that it was very important, yet there seems to be no quality reason for the need to follow the exact order, which was our point. Fred, it is YOUR responsibility to support your recommendations not me. Anyway, regarding what I would do for exercise order, assuming no contraindications, for the general person, I would have them do 5 minutes of a low-intensity cardio type exercise; walking, biking, etc. for a systemic warm up, then I would have them do one set with, say 8-10 reps, at a relatively slow pace (let’s say a 3/3 pace) with a very light weight, of the multi-joint exercises that they would be performing that day, for a specific warm-up/lubrication of all the joints that will be worked. Then I would start with large-muscle multi-joint movements (squat, push-ups, pull-ups, dips, seated low-row, lunges or single leg squats), then some type of arm curl and arm extension, and probably end with a prone plank iso hold and a standing cable torso twist done within a short range of the transverse ROM. So about 10 exercises. I freely admit that doing multi-joint, large-muscle exercises before single-joint smaller-muscle exercises, based on Carpinelli’s paper, may not be as advantageous as is typically portrayed in many training books & articles. That’s why I would not write in my book or on my blog that a person should do ONLY these exercises in this EXACT order; that would be silly.

    • Jeff Thiboutot M.S. says:

      BTW, we did not have them do knee extension before leg press. We have them do knee flexion first. It’s a good way to lubricate the knee prior to the much heavier weights in leg press. There is no knee extension exercise listed in the book.

      I was wrong about the knee extension, it was a knee flexion before the leg press. Yes Fred I can admit when I am wrong, but just have not felt that I’ve needed to do it with you until now.

    • Jeff Thiboutot M.S. says:

      Regarding questions and comments about our book. Two things; First, what we said in our book has absolutely NOTHING to do with the current debate which is whether the statements made in your book are incorrect and/or misleading. Second, until you read our book we will not answer any questions you have about it. If and when you do read our book and then would like to debate us on what we said in it then great, we are all for it.

    • Jeff Thiboutot M.S. says:

      And just because Carpinelli suggested that AJ was “probably wrong” doesn’t mean he WAS wrong. AJ was right about a lot of the things he said. And bear in mind that Carpinelli is simply stating that there isn’t any good scientific evidence to support much of what is held as gospel (e.g., periodization, multiple sets, heavy weights, etc.) in the field of strength and conditioning.</blockquote

      >

      If he, AJ, is “probably wrong” and there is no good scientific evidence to support it then what is the support that it is actually useful? Therefore, based on the evidence there is no logical way to conclude any definitive benefit from exercise order or pre-exhaustion. Also, just because AJ was right on some stuff does not mean he was right about everything or that by being right on somethings magically makes the things he was wrong about correct.

    • Jeff Thiboutot M.S. says:

      Q: Why didn’t you leave what you wrote “We think it’s a piece of crap.” as it was originally written? If what you said by your admission is so O.K., why not change it back to what you wrote originally? You made ZERO mention to your readers that you chose to retract that statement and re-write it. You just changed it. Admit it.

      “ZERO” mention of the “crap” thing. Really Fred. Here is exactly what we said in the second review;
      Apparently the word “crap” was not well received. This was said to be mean-spirited and unprofessional. We don’t really agree with this assessment, due to the format for which it was presented, a blog. Also, the word crap is a common slang word generally used to describe something that is not very good. In fact, according to Wikipedia crap can mean “used to describe something substandard”. Dictionary.com states the following for the slang use of the word crap; “a. nonsense; drivel; b. falsehood, exaggeration, propaganda, or the like”. But, we will concede this point and have changed the wording in our original post so that the word crap is removed. Instead we have changed it to; “We feel that this book is filled with misleading, incorrect and unsubstantiated claims regarding the benefits of a type of exercise referred to as Slow Burn. Therefore, it is not worth reading.”

    • Jeff Thiboutot M.S. says:

      At least I have the honesty to admit that speaking that way about a colleague is wrong – on every level. Web MD is not a person. It’s an information website.

      First Fred, saying we are colleagues is a bit of stretch. A true colleague would appreciate the clear and logical arguments put forth. It’s not wrong to call a spade a spade. I would tell my true colleagues and friends that something they did was crap if I thought it was. However, I would also give them solid reasons for my assessment and I would hope that my friends and colleagues would call me out if presented some crap. It happens, sometimes we get tunnel vision, we fall prey to confirmation bias and other pitfalls of objective and critical thinking resulting in the need for others to give us a wake-up call. Web MD, doesn’t run itself or magically write its’ own articles. Web MD is run by people and it is people that are writing the information, likely MD’s or they at least approve it, so you are actually saying the people at Web MD are writing “drivel”. Saying it’s just a website is lame.

    • Jeff Thiboutot M.S. says:

      Here is my e-mail address, jeff@speedweightlossbook.com, while you are sending this paper, could you also send, if possible, the other papers, you said there were many more, that support your position on the topic of mitochondria, or at least the full citation of these papers so that I can look them up and read them.

  7. Fred Hahn says:

    Something struck me as I finished putting someone through a rugged, HIT Slow Burn workout this morning – do the two of you REALLY believe that both Drs. Eades and I wrote our book in an endeavor to try and hoodwink people into believing in a useless exercise training protocol? Apparently so.

    The absurdity of this rivals that of James Kreiger’s rant against Gary Taubes book Good Calories Bad Calories. Perhaps you two should try and tackle Mr. Taubes next. Good luck.

    Here are some quick facts for people who might be reading this blog and are wondering…

    Building strength and muscle increases bone density – even in children.

    Stronger muscles allow for greater joint mobility in those who require such. Stretching is overrated and unnecessary if you are engaged in a sound resistance training program.

    If you become stronger, more muscular and leaner you will also increase muscular endurance and you will be able to do anything you like that is physical with more power and stamina.

    A productive resistance training program need only last 15-20 minutes, twice a week or less.

    If you adhere to a true low carb diet, you will never ever have to count calories which is an exercise in futility.

    • Jeff Thiboutot M.S. says:

      Something struck me as I finished putting someone through a rugged, HIT Slow Burn workout this morning – do the two of you REALLY believe that both Drs. Eades and I wrote our book in an endeavor to try and hoodwink people into believing in a useless exercise training protocol? Apparently so.

      I am not a mind reader, so I don’t know what your intention was. What I really BELIEVE is that a lot of the information you and the Eades presented in your book is incorrect, misleading, and unsubstantiated. So yes, I would say that you are trying to hoodwink (cause someone to believe an untruth) people in believing that Slow Burn is better than other HIT type strength training and that it does things that it likely can’t do.

    • Jeff Thiboutot M.S. says:

      The absurdity of this rivals that of James Kreiger’s rant against Gary Taubes book Good Calories Bad Calories. Perhaps you two should try and tackle Mr. Taubes next. Good luck.

      What is absurd about pointing out that someone has presented information that is “crap” or should I say “drivel”? Yes, Fred I used the evil, mean-spirited word. It happens all the time and it should continue. Without a skeptical and critical view of information there would be little hope for progress. Why do you continue to circumvent the subject matter at hand, which, if you don’t know yet, is whether much of the information you present in your book is incorrect and/or misleading.

    • Jeff Thiboutot M.S. says:

      Here are some quick facts for people who might be reading this blog and are wondering…
      Building strength and muscle increases bone density – even in children.
      Stronger muscles allow for greater joint mobility in those who require such. Stretching is overrated and unnecessary if you are engaged in a sound resistance training program.
      If you become stronger, more muscular and leaner you will also increase muscular endurance and you will be able to do anything you like that is physical with more power and stamina.
      A productive resistance training program need only last 15-20 minutes, twice a week or less.
      If you adhere to a true low carb diet, you will never ever have to count calories which is an exercise in futility.

      Fred, I hope that this is not your rebuttal to the information that Matt and I put together. You have just stated your same positions again and again with no evidence for them. Thanks for the “facts” update, I am sure the readers of this will clearly know that what you said in your book is factually based now. Glad you cleared that up. Got to go now and check on all of those references you had to support your position.

  8. Jason Whitmore says:

    Wow…i’ve read some spectacular claims over the years…but seriously Fred…this is appalling. Not only have you not produced a single piece of clinical research to substantiate ANY single claim in your book…you have actually claimed that SB cures peoples back pain. Well please don’t experiment with anyone with a herniated disc, severed nerve dmage, or any one of a multitude of back problems that would most certainly not benefit from holding heavy weights for a ridiculous length of time. You may find when you have finished paralysing that person, you book is used as evidence in the subsequent legal proceedings. As for your claims that you can build a body better than any other method in just 30 minutes a week…well let’s see it Fred…take the shirt off…because the only picture of yours I see shows an out of shape man with little muscle…not a man who has discovered a method of training that is more effective than any other.

    Maybe your goals are to be mediocre, or average…well you most certainly haven’t reached those dizzy heights with this book…it’s somewhat below remedial.

    Time to start being truthful with yourself Fred…we all have to do it at some point…or there is no point.

    Or you can keep lying if that sits comfortable with you…but if that’s your choice Serious Strength….I suggest SB should stand for Spectacular Bullshit

  9. Jason Whitmore says:

    As for your niggling comments about the readership of this forum, I wouldn’t be concerned…many sites and forums will have a link to this entire conversation, and like Michael Eades and Protein Power, your name will become synonymous with lies and false claims.
    The truth always remains Fred…it is always the final arbiter…you will always be found out…and it is very easy with you to see you are lying…you continously fail to produce any facts, and when questioned, you simply deflect away from the questions…a format that your authors have been using for their entire careers…and why…to sell some books and pretend you’re some kind of health expert…well you’re not…you are a person who deceives others for money…sad when you think about it…30,000 people starve to death everyday…and you sell bullshit so you have more money, to spend on things you don’t need, to impress people you probably don’t even like.

    Maybe you should give this up and try something else…politics perhaps…although you’d piss the catholic church interview…you could get that job via phone!

  10. Jason Whitmore says:

    Oh yeah I forgot about these Fred…here you are on camera bumbling on about how nobody will ever reach their goals without a personal trainer…what utter nonsense…unless of course you are the personal trainer…then without question, nobody will reach their goals.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFxu1XhDw4o&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  11. Luann says:

    Wow it took me two days to plough through the reviews and these posts—good stuff!

    For all parties concerned please define your acronyms! Some were defined but not all and I am just starting to read in the exercise physiology arena and was able to discern some through reading the text but, things like RM, I am still at a loss. Oddly enough I have had microbiology so I got the AMPK; one which was defined :)

    “People who read our book aren’t interested in the scientific evidence that doing a biceps curl before a row could result in less stimulation to the latissimus muscles due to biceps exhaustion.” I am, so I guess by your conclusion, Fred, I shouldn’t read your book?

    “No instructor worth her salt would do a biceps curl right before a chin up or a shoulder lateral raise right before a bench press.” Ok Fred, I’ll bite, why?

    Fred, I fail to see how your mitochondrial rant is a strawman? Rather, this is turning into an interesting “he said, she said, he said” conundrum. What Jeff and Matt quoted and what you quoted does not show that they pulled their quote out of context (one possible permutation of a strawman fallacy). You actually misquoted their quote of your quote. Whoa, say that three times fast!

    Jeff and Matt quoted you in the body of their text:

    “And finally, studies have shown that high-intensity exercise, such as Slow Burn causes as much as a fivefold increase in the number of “fat-burning furnaces” (called mitochondria) within the muscle cells” (p.36) (no references)”

    Your quote of their quote:

    “The ability to increase mitochondrial density “fivefold” from SB or high-intensity strength training seems unfounded.”

    Your quote of your quote:

    “And finally studies have shown that high intensity exercise such as Slow Burn causes as much as a five fold increase in the number of “fat-burning furnaces” (called mitochondria) within the muscle cells. The more fat burning furnaces you create the more fat you’ll burn.” And yes I read it slow.

    You are making a strawman out of a strawman by accusing Jeff and Matt of misrepresenting what you said, when in fact, you misquoted them and the refute your misquote.

    My response to your quote of your quote: Again what studies? Mitochondria don’t burn fat–again misleading and inaccurate. The mitochondria are where the citric acid cycle occurs and ATP (adenosine triphosphate) is synthesized. Mitochondria are powerhouses, yes, but it is where chemical energy contained in nutrients (fat, carbohydrates and protein) is captured and stored through the synthesis of ATP. Does putting it in quotation marks absolve you of the inaccuracy? Let me take a leap here and posit that one of your explanations will be generalizing for an audience who isn’t interested in scientific evidence, or information for that matter, about mitochondria. Why reference scientific studies, however incomplete, if your audience isn’t always interested in scientific evidence? In my opinion you need to decide whether you want to generalize or be scientific.

    Jeff and Matt don’t have to run around to other websites, Fred, you are pretty mean-spirited in this one. Oh by the way, I am glad you dropped the “Truth, Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth” in your website.

    Jeff and Matt, after I spend some more time reading, is it possible to ask questions not directly related to posts on your website? Thanks again for a thorough treatment of this subject.

    • Matt Schoeneberger M.S. says:

      Luann,

      RM is typically Repetition Maximum. 1 RM is the maximum amount of weight you can lift for 1 rep. 5 RM is the maximum amount of weight you can lift for 5 reps.

      ROM is used for range of motion. I only say this because it’s similar to RM and I wanted to make sure I was giving you what you wanted :)

      You can email us any time with questions. Just use Jeff or Matt at speedweightlossbook.com

      Matt

    • Jeff Thiboutot M.S. says:

      Luann,
      Thanks for taking the time to read our stuff and making a comment. Good point about the acronyms. Need to do a better job of making it a bit easier to follow the material, it can easily get confusing with a bunch of acronyms. Matt and I are glad to answer questions. You can e-mail me at jeff@speedweightlossbook.com or e-mail Matt at matt@speedweightlossbook.com

  12. Luann says:

    Wow, thanks so much for you speedy reply and yes Matt that is what I needed. Now that I know what it means it is kind of a “duh” should have figured that one out. My husband I work for totally different organization that operate with volumes of acronyms and are constantly asking each other, “Can you please speak English.” I look forward to future conversations!

  13. Fred Hahn says:

    Jeff and Matt – I am preparing a response but am quite busy. Obviously, responding to your “review” is not on the top of my most important things to do list. Running a gym that trains hundreds of clients a month and has for 13 years running is a touch more important. But my response is coming.

    Jason – you are rude individual who is not worth responding to except to say you have no idea what you are talking about. You embarrass yourself. Here’s a word of advice: Keep a lid on your vitriol and know the facts before you behave in such a manner.

    Luann you said:

    “People who read our book aren’t interested in the scientific evidence that doing a biceps curl before a row could result in less stimulation to the latissimus muscles due to biceps exhaustion.” I am, so I guess by your conclusion, Fred, I shouldn’t read your book?”

    Right Luann. If you are looking for a book that discusses this issue, you will waste your money buying my book. I suggest instead you get a copy of Bill DeSimone’s book Moment Arm Exercise.

    http://amzn.to/hkT1JE

    But in short, if you deeply fatigue the biceps prior to doing an exercise like a compound row for lats and rhomboids (an exercise that requires the biceps), it is possible, and in my experience highly likely, that you will diminish the effect on the lats and rhomboids as these larger and stronger muscles will not be able to fatigue as deeply since your biceps (which are the weak link in the row to begin with) will be exhausted. Better to give the larger muscles more of a fighting chance so to speak by doing the row first then biceps curls.

    Make sense?

    I said:

    “No instructor worth her salt would do a biceps curl right before a chin up or a shoulder lateral raise right before a bench press.”

    You replied:

    “Ok Fred, I’ll bite, why?”

    Well, now you know why right? Same idea as above.

    As for the mitochondria -

    Jeff said we said in our book that Slow Burn increased mitochondrial density. No we didn’t. On page 36 we said it increased total mitochondria because of hypertrophy. And this is true. This is what we meant and what we were trying to get across to people in a simple way.

    On that same page we discuss the issue of increased metabolic rate after intense exercise. There is ample evidence which suggests that MR is elevated for up 72 hours and can stay elevated to to continued protein synthesis as much as 7-10 days after a high intensity training session. This info is not hard to find:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2862249/?tool=pubmed

    From this paper you can do your homework and check the other references within. Additionally, Dr. Wayne Westcott gave an entire lecture on this very subject citing many studies which indicate that after 7 days after a single 20 minute HIT session muscle protein synthesis was STILL on the rise. In fact, I spoke to Wayne two days ago on this very subject and he said new research is emerging from Wayne State University on the subject.

    The one thing I will say is that since the book came out, I recommended 2 weekly sessions over one. One works well, but I do think two is better since most people do not work hard enough. My book does recommended 1-2 sessions a week.

    And let us not forget this:

    Potential health-related benefits of resistance training.
    Winett RA, Carpinelli RN.

    Center for Research in Health Behavior, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061-0436, USA. rswinett@vt.edu

    “Public health guidelines primarily focus on…However, research demonstrates that resistance exercise training has profound effects on the musculoskeletal system, contributes to the maintenance of functional abilities, and prevents osteoporosis, sarcopenia, lower-back pain, and other disabilities. More recent seminal research demonstrates that resistance training may positively affect risk factors such as insulin resistance, resting metabolic rate, glucose metabolism, blood pressure, body fat, and gastrointestinal transit time, which are associated with diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Research also indicates that virtually all the benefits of resistance training are likely to be obtained in two 15- to 20-min training sessions a week. Sensible resistance training involves precise controlled movements for each major muscle group and does not require the use of very heavy resistance…”

    You said:

    “Mitochondria don’t burn fat–again misleading and inaccurate. The mitochondria are where the citric acid cycle occurs and ATP (adenosine triphosphate) is synthesized. Mitochondria are powerhouses, yes, but it is where chemical energy contained in nutrients (fat, carbohydrates and protein) is captured and stored through the synthesis of ATP. Does putting it in quotation marks absolve you of the inaccuracy? Let me take a leap here and posit that one of your explanations will be generalizing for an audience who isn’t interested in scientific evidence, or information for that matter, about mitochondria.”

    Here is what we said:

    “The more furnaces per muscle cell, the more fat you can burn during your exercise. The more muscle you build, the more furnaces you need to fuel them. The more furnaces you create, the more fat you’ll burn.”

    Mitochondrial density decreases after chronic RT because of fiber hypertrophy. My “‘rant” as you call it, is an accurate assessment of the paper we used to support increased total mitochondria. WE never said the density increased only that the total number within the muscle cell increased. Since as far as we know hyperplasia does not occur in humans only hypertrophy, if total mitochondria increases, where do you think they live? Myofibrils increase in number but not fibers.

    “Why reference scientific studies, however incomplete, if your audience isn’t always interested in scientific evidence? In my opinion you need to decide whether you want to generalize or be scientific.”

    Opinion noted. Thus far very few of the 80,000 + people who have bough the book have sent me hate/disappointment mail. In fact quite the opposite is true.

    When the time comes that you get to write a book for a major publishing house like Random House/Broadway, you’ll learn that writing a book is a collaborative effort between the author(s) and the editor. You do the best you can. You will always err. You will never get it 100% right.

    And allow me to make a suggestion – try doing 2 Slow Burn sessions a week for a month or so and tell me how you feel and how you perform. If you need guidance, let me know.

    • Jeff Thiboutot M.S. says:

      Looking forward to your response. I hope you follow your recommendation to Matt and I “be thorough with your research”. However, the funny thing is you should not have to do ANY research to respond to what we said. You did the research before you wrote the book 8 or so years ago. So you must have your citations listed somewhere, maybe in the main manuscript before they were taken out because people don’t care about references and the editor did not want to confuse the reader. You mention many times that “studies” say this or that. I am assuming you read these before you wrote the book and during the writing process you noted where you got your information from. Is this not true? Therefore, is it not likely that just an hour or two and you could easily response to our criticisms with evidence? You already have it don’t you?

      Mitochondria thing, again
      Fred stated;

      “As for the mitochondria –
      Jeff said we said in our book that Slow Burn increased mitochondrial density. No we didn’t. On page 36 we said it increased total mitochondria because of hypertrophy. And this is true. This is what we meant and what we were trying to get across to people in a simple way.
      On that same page we discuss the issue of increased metabolic rate after intense exercise. There is ample evidence which suggests that MR is elevated for up 72 hours and can stay elevated to to continued protein synthesis as much as 7-10 days after a high intensity training session. This info is not hard to find:
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2862249/?tool=pubmed
      From this paper you can do your homework and check the other references within. Additionally, Dr. Wayne Westcott gave an entire lecture on this very subject citing many studies which indicate that after 7 days after a single 20 minute HIT session muscle protein synthesis was STILL on the rise. In fact, I spoke to Wayne two days ago on this very subject and he said new research is emerging from Wayne State University on the subject.”

      Seriously Fred, do I need to quote to you your entire book, it’s your damn book. But, here I go, maybe this will help some of the readers realize that you are not being honest with your statements. I will start on p.35.

      “Slow burn turns your body into a fat-burning machine, not because of the extra calories you expend in the workout, but rather because of the metabolic and hormonal changes it brings about. Although the biochemistry of how this happens is quite complex, three basic forces are at work sending signals to turn on the fat-burning process, increase the number of fat burning “furnaces” within the muscle cells, and preserve muscle mass. Let’s take a moment to briefly explore how this works.” (p.35, emphasis added)
      “Studies [there is that word again] have shown that the enzyme-stimulation switch stays flipped for about seven to ten days after a bout of high-intensity training – thus the need to perform a Slow Burn workout only once a week. That’s why you’ll continue to burn fat for days during the interval between workouts.” (p.36, emphasis added)
      “An finally studies [there is that word again] have also shown that high-intensity exercise such as Slow Burn causes as much as a five-fold increase in the number of “fat-burning furnaces’ (called mitochondria) within the muscle cells. The more furnaces available per muscle cell, the more fat you can burn during your workout. The more muscle you build, the more furnaces you’ll need to fuel them; the more furnaces you create, the more fat you’ll burn. Get the picture?
      Performing a regular thirty-minute Slow Burn workout once a week, then, builds and preserves muscle that prefers to burn fat as its fuel source, throws the switch to turn on the fat-burning process and keeps it on, brings more fat-burning furnaces online to meet the higher demand, and creates, in the process, an efficient fat-burning machine-you!” (p.36, emphasis added, also these two paragraphs are the last two paragraphs of the chapter)

      Fred your comment;
      “On page 36 we said it increased total mitochondria because of hypertrophy. And this is true.”

      How is this true? First, you do NOT state that exact sentence! You state multiple times that the increase will occur “within the muscle cells”, or “per muscle cell” and you state it will “preserve muscle mass”. You also mention that if you increase you muscle mass that this will require more furnaces (mitochondria). However, your reference to studies had to do with the number of mitochondria “within the muscle cells” or “per muscle cells”. These last to statements are referring to “mitochondria density”. If that is not true please supply us all with the definition of “mitochondria density”. It is you that is conflating density and total amount.
      We cover the hypertrophy thing in the review, but Fred, please tell me and everyone else how much muscle mass can a typical person gain from doing a 30 minute Slow Burn workout 1 time a week. Also, many people are trying to lose weight (fat, I don’t want you to think I don’t know the difference), so how much muscle mass will the typical person gain during a fat loss program while doing the Slow Burn workout 1 time a week? I will give you a hint, very little or none. But, I would be glad to read the research, pre 2003, that shows that a single 30 minute Slow Burn type of workout is going to make a real world difference in the amount of muscle mass a person has. Please show me the evidence for this. Show us how we may be able to increase our mitochondria five-fold because of hypertrophy. I think we would all love to see it.

      A new thing I notice while I was quoting your book; “the more fat you can burn during your workout”. Really, does diet have anything to do with this? Meaning, wouldn’t a person have to be “fat adapted”, i.e., a very low CHO to make their body use fat during anerobic exercise. Also, the mitochondria is where aerobic respiration takes place which is definitely not the system being used during anerobic respiration, i.e., high-intensity weight training.

      Dr. Wescott said. I love that argument. Are you going to use the old “my dad is tougher than your dad” also. Show me the evidence! Also, NEW research cannot support what you said 8 years ago!
      Fred, did you say anything in your book about protein synthesis specifically? I don’t think so. Now it is certainly possible that one of the metabolic changes could be a change in protein synthesis. However, you specifically said the 7-10 day effect was from AMPK. Here is what was said in your book, again “Studies [there is that word again] have shown that the enzyme [AMPK] –stimulation stays flipped for about seven to ten days after a bout of high-intensity training – thus the need to perform a Slow Burn workout only once a week” (p.36, emphasis added). We covered this in the review and of course we would all like to see the “studies” that have demonstrated this effect.

    • Jeff Thiboutot M.S. says:

      Fred,
      Thanks for the link to the papers. However, I am still waiting for the Chilibeck et al paper you said you would send me if I gave you my e-mail address, which I did. Here it is again, jeff@speedweightlossbook.com. Also, one of your comments regarding mitochondria, you said “This study [Chilibeck et al] (the one we used among others to support our statement on total mitochondria)”. I would love to have that list, would you mind sending me the names of the studies?

      Also wanted to ask about a question about a statement you made in one of your comments regarding this subject;

      “While many other factors contribute to positive tissue remodeling of lean tissue, the fact remains that SB will, due to the nature of the protocol, induce increases in total mitochondria. And our clients experiences bear this out. If a few scientific papers do not show that RT increases endurance but scores of people swear it does, perhaps the studies are flawed. Studies alone do not reality make.”

      Please tell me and everyone else; HOW you KNOW that your clients have increased their total mitochondria? What “client experience bears this out”? Yes, the studies could be flawed. Are you saying the studies Matt and I used to support our statements on this subject are flawed? The thing is, saying the studies could be flawed is not a good argument, it really is a strawman. This type of silly response can be said for everything, but it has no meaning unless you show that the study/paper in question is faulty. Also, could it be possible that a clients’ perception of the situation could be flawed? Isn’t this more likely than tightly controlled experiments?

      Finally, I just want to point out that you have often pointed us to papers that have been published AFTER you wrote the book, 2003. Therefore, these papers cannot be used to support what you said when you wrote the book. Also, to be clear, I am not saying that the newer papers support what you said then or that I am afraid that the newer research will show that Matt and I are wrong about our conclusions. I have no problem if you want to try to use current research to support your statements, but the fact is, you were clear that there were many “studies” to support your statements then. Therefore, if you were being honest, then the research needs to have been available THEN.

  14. Fred Hahn says:

    Jeff -

    Your tone is caustic, condescending and accusatory. I’m sure you’re aware I don’t have to spend a single minute here defending myself.

    Statements like:

    “Seriously Fred, do I need to quote to you your entire book, it’s your damn book. But, here I go, maybe this will help some of the readers realize that you are not being honest with your statements.”

    “This type of silly response can be said for everything…”

    If you want me to spend a single second longer here discussing these issues, refrain from the condescending and accusatory phrasing and tone.

    You said:

    “Finally, I just want to point out that you have often pointed us to papers that have been published AFTER you wrote the book, 2003.”

    Have I? I don’t recall doing this. Example please of a paper I used to support the statements in my book that were published after my book came out.

    Did you ever stop to think that anyone can err when writing a book Jeff? Why accuse people of trying to mislead – why jump to that assumption with us? And stating that 5 years ago I made some strong statements about Jorge Cruise does not absolve you of the same behavior.

    I’d like to point out that in the first part of your review, you lie about many things you say we said like:

    “The book makes extraordinary claims about the benefits of super slow exercise, trashes other forms of exercise and activities like running, golfing, skiing, tennis, raquetball, and basketball,…The authors speak in hyperbole, making these other activities seem outrageously dangerous and grossly ineffective…

    This is completely false. First, we do not mention Super Slow exercise once in the book. We do not say a negative thing (you chose the word “trashes”) about any of the sports you mention.

    We state on page 17 that:

    “…you’ll find all your physical pursuits become easier – whether that means playing a better game of tennis…”

    We make mention that jogging and other activities that cause excessive pounding and grinding can cause injury. Any they can. Do you dispute this? Talk about using hyperbole.

    Speaking of hyperbole, how this as an example:

    “S.P.E.E.D: The only weight loss book worth reading!”

    Then you continue with a tone and attitude that is downright banal and holier than thou.

    You then say:

    “Once again, an extraordinary claim. I agree weight training will build muscle better than aerobics (possibly not for maintenance, however) and I don’t think anyone would argue that.”

    Are you suggesting that aerobics is better for maintaining muscle mass than resistance training? Love to see the research to support that.

    As I mentioned I will send a more lengthy response covering some other issues. But you really should get over yourself Jeff – your writing here drips of hyperbole and false accusations.

  15. Fred Hahn says:

    Jeff -

    Before I get into anything else, I want to, once again for your readers who missed it the first time, address the hypocrisy of your statement that we made unsubstantiated claims for SB when you did the exact same for your own book. When are you going to explain and support your claim that your book SPEED is:

    “The only weight loss book worth reading!”

    Even Anthony Colpo calls you out on the carpet for this. How long will you keep evading the question?

    Is your book really the only weight loss book worth reading? Not even close. So why did you make this untenable claim? Why the hyperbole? It’s funny – you’re all over me like a fly on a cow pie for what I/we said about Slow Burn, yet you make this completely ridiculous overblown claim about your own book.

    How ironic then is your use of the idiom “the pot calling the kettle black” to describe my rebuttal about you calling our book “a piece of crap” by pointing out that I have called other people’s work to task? Talk about hypocrisy. If you are going to point fingers at other people for making supposed exaggerated claims, don’t make any yourself. Stating that your book is the only weight loss book worth reading is like me stating that Slow Burn is the only form of weight lifting that works. If you DID answer and explain I missed it. Perhaps you could be so kind as to explain this again?

    My claim, in essence, is that Slow Burn (i.e., moderately heavy weights, slow rep tempo, single sets per exercise done to concentric and often resulting in eccentric failure, once or twice weekly for 15-30 minutes a session) is the best method to perform resistance training. It certainly isn’t the only weight lifting method that can produce results. Onward.

    You said about exercise order:

    “Only because you clearly felt that it was very important, yet there seems to be no quality reason for the need to follow the exact order, which was our point. Fred, it is YOUR responsibility to support your recommendations not me.”

    Once AGAIN you admit that you can’t understand the order for the exercises I chose. Why? What is it about the order of exercises I chose that is so hard to understand and/or seems to be of “no quality” Jeff? And no, I don’t have to support my opinion of the exercise order I chose in my book. And support it HOW exactly? Please explain why the order I gave is not correct or requires scientific evidence that it would be of benefit. If I said that high intensity strength training is physically challenging and very hard to do, would I need to support this with scientific research? Of course not.

    Then you say:

    “I freely admit that doing multi-joint, large-muscle exercises before single-joint smaller-muscle exercises, based on Carpinelli’s paper, may not be as advantageous as is typically portrayed in many training books & articles. That’s why I would not write in my book or on my blog that a person should do ONLY these exercises in this EXACT order; that would be silly.”

    It is hardly “silly” to give people structured guidance Jeff. In fact, it is silly NOT to. People who don’t know anything about lifting weights need confident and specific instructions to follow. What they don’t need is to waste their time reading research papers so that they know for a fact that the order I put the exercises in is scientifically supported. And there ARE no such scientific papers Jeff and you know it. Putting together a productive exercise order comes from experience – in the trenches know-how – which I have quite a lot of.

    Since you can’t seem to figure it out and, more than likely won’t Skype with me about it, here is the main reason why you want to keep the order exactly the same: Accurate record keeping. If you keep switching around the order of the exercises, you’ll wind up using the wrong resistances from time to time which can undermine progress and/or be dangerous.

    The typical person won’t know how to adjust for this and it overly complicates the routine for no added benefit. There is no reason for getting into a complicated explanation of this in the book. It would be superfluous to the typical trainee. If I was writing a tech book for instructors then I would devote an entire chapter on how to create a logical and productive exercise order.

    Your challenge to me on the issue of exercise order was (and is) completely pointless and serves only to prove that you are mostly interested in being argumentative for the sake of trashing my book at nearly every turn. I will not speak further on this matter. If you don’t get it by now, so be it. Onward.

    I find it interesting that you recommend people warm up with low intensity cardio before hitting the weights in your book to lubricate/warm the joints without any supportive scientific evidence.

    You said:

    “I would have them do 5 minutes of a low-intensity cardio type exercise; walking, biking, etc. for a systemic warm up,”

    Would you? Again, where is the scientific evidence that indicstes this makes a difference or aids the person in any way when resistance training or is even necessary at all for any reason? Do you have any references that this sort of warm up is in fact necessary? And let me ask you this, what “warms up” the client for doing the 5 minute cardio warm up you suggest? The warm up concept is entirely unscientific WRT controlled RT and little more than fitness mumbo-jumbo overall.

    You seem to enjoy quoting the Carpinelli paper I made you aware of “A Critical Analysis…” – I’ll put a link to it here for all to read:

    http://versita.metapress.com/content/c7u4385456704860/fulltext.pdf

    Given the conclusion of this paper that just about any reasonable RT program will produce similar outcomes, what do you mean by suggesting or implying that Slow Burn will not work to produce the benefits we mention in our book – benefits that are all shown in scientific research?

    You said:

    “Please tell me and everyone else; HOW you KNOW that your clients have increased their total mitochondria? What “client experience bears this out”?

    The question is, how do I know my clients have increased lean mass? I know by increases in strength, anthropomorphic measurements, visually, bioimpedence readings, etc. And if they have increased their lean mass, they then will have increased their endurance capacity. The clients I have who are athletes tell me how much better they are at swimming, running, etc. Why would they lie? Are you actually making the suggestion that my clients – hundreds of them – are experiencing a placebo effect?

    You state:

    “I am not a mind reader, so I don’t know what your intention was. What I really BELIEVE is that a lot of the information you and the Eades presented in your book is incorrect, misleading, and unsubstantiated. So yes, I would say that you are trying to hoodwink (cause someone to believe an untruth) people in believing that Slow Burn is better than other HIT type strength training and that it does things that it likely can’t do.”

    Why would I purposefully make up nonsense – to make a fool of myself? Why would the Eades do that – to smear their already world famous name? For money? I’m curious – are you under the impression that our book (or any fitness book for that matter) rakes in the dough? Do you know anything about the publishing business? Do you have any idea how little money one makes off of a book unless you are a world famous name or an already famous author? Do you think I spent a year of my life writing it to fool people? I had already been training people since 1993 using this system and had tremendous success with it. How utterly absurd that I’d/we’d waste our time writing about a training method that was virtually worthless to purposefully hoodwink people. The notion is preposterous.

    When you get a chance, take a look at my website and look at the testimonials. The bulk of these people do not give out their endorsements lightly. A few virtually never endorse anything.

    I’ll say this for the last time – resistance training especially performed in a controlled, progressive, high intensity manner, (e.g., Slow Burn) does indeed produce all of the benefits we mention in our book (i.e., increased muscle mass, endurance, bone density, flexibility and all in half the time of conventional training methods.) You should know this. I shouldn’t have to prove this to you. Are you suggesting that SB is the only form of HIT that doesn’t work to cause said benefits?

    You mention that you would recommend single sets, slow rep speed (why you chose a 3/3 rep tempo I don’t know, but 3/3 seems reasonable) and 10 exercises. Do you have any scientific evidence for a 3/3 rep speed? For doing 10 exercises? Or did you just make this routine up in your head using your experience and know how as your guide knowing that specific scientific research to support your specific routines is not needed to create a sound RT program.

    In previous comments a while back you shift the goal posts and resort to suggesting, for example, that our claim that low back pain is relieved by RT is unsubstantiated because LB pain isn’t always caused by lack of strength and that LB pain is multi-factorial. While it is true that LB pain is multi-factorial, this doesn’t change the fact that RT can and is shown in research to significantly reduce LB pain. I already sent you several links in support of RT for LB pain. I never said muscle weakness was the ONLY cause.

    You said:

    “Additionally, where is the research to support the superiority of a “slow-burn” type of strength training compared to other speeds of strength training? With that said how can you say that a “slow-burn” type of strength training will end back pain?”

    As I said above, research indicates that strength training can alleviate lower back pain. There is no reason to believe that Slow Burn training would be the only form of RT that would NOT alleviate back pain and good reason to believe that it would be the best way to go about RT if you had LB pain as the slow speed with the same or lighter weight load is less forceful and therefore less dangerous.

    You state that Stuart McGill states:

    “His claim about safety is not buttressed with evidence or at least no evidence was supplied. Taking these muscles to failure would be highly inappropriate for many back pain sufferers.”

    First, since we know that F=ma, if the mass used in an exercise is the same or less and the acceleration is less, the force will be less. Therefore training in a slower fashion when training the muscles of the lower back will be safer. Since McGill admits that RT and increasing strength is indeed a means to end back pain for many, how would you go about instructing someone in a low back/core exercise? What would you say to them? How would you instruct them? Gofast? Explode into the weights?

    We train LB patients at Serious Strength doing lumbar extension and rotation to failure and have for years with nothing but fantastic results. Go back and read the literature linked from the University of Florida Center for Exercise Science.

    McGill clearly has no experience training people to failure if he indeed made this statement. And where is the evidence to support this statement or any other statement that McGill made? Did you demand proof from him as you would and do from me or because he’s a world famous expert in back disorders (who finds my work questionable), you didn’t ask him for it? I doubt you asked him, as anything anyone says that is anti Slow Burn will undoubtedly be taken at face value by you.

    Then you go on to quote a plethora of other people who claim nothing works better than anything else for low back pain, so on and so forth as if to suggest that the studies that do show that direct strengthening helps back pain is questionable. Who knows if these people have read the relevant literature? Perhaps these people are clueless as to the research by UFCES.

    You quote one study as saying:

    “Of the remaining eight low quality trials, six found no statistically significant or clinically important differences between exercise therapy and usual care or no treatment; the results of two trials were unclear.”

    Jeff – they are NOT discussing specific and direct strengthening of the lumbar spine in this paper. Don’t you know that? They are more than likely talking about walking or gardening or some other form of low level physical activity they call exercise.

    Same goes for this paper:

    “In 43 trials including 3907 individuals with chronic low-back pain, 33 exercise groups had non-exercise comparisons. These trials provide strong evidence that exercise therapy is at least as effective as other conservative interventions, and conflicting evidence that exercise therapy is more effective than other treatments for chronic low-back pain.”

    C’mon Jeff, get with it. Talk about grasping at straws.

    And Dr. Siff’s OPINION is noted.

    As for the superiority of slow rep speeds, I already mentioned (somewhere in the vastness of these responses) the Westcott studies – 2 done in the early 1990’s, one in 2001 which all indicate that a slower rep speed when compared to a fast rep speed (10/4 vs. 2/4) where the set times were nearly identical, produced twice the strength and twice the lean mass gains. The data of the first 2 studies appeared, among other places, in an issue of Master Trainer Newsletter Vol. 9 No. 4 1999. Effects of Regular and Slow Speed Training on Muscle Strength, Wayne L. Westcott, Rita La Rousa Loud, Erin Cleggett, Scott Glover.

    If you don’t like these papers, fine. But no one is purposefully trying to dupe anyone. That is what the 3 studies showed. The data is the data as they say. And these are the ones we used. So refrain from saying we were trying to dupe anyone on this issue.

    Somewhere in this mess you also questioned my assertion that 2, 30 minute SB sessions could produce the benefits I mentioned. Here is the abstract from the Carpinelli, Winett meta that not only indicates the this is true, but that RT has profound benefits. This came out before SB was published:

    Potential health-related benefits of resistance training.
    Winett RA, Carpinelli RN.

    Center for Research in Health Behavior, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061-0436, USA. rswinett@vt.edu

    “Public health guidelines primarily focus on…However, research demonstrates that resistance exercise training has profound effects on the musculoskeletal system, contributes to the maintenance of functional abilities, and prevents osteoporosis, sarcopenia, lower-back pain, and other disabilities. More recent seminal research demonstrates that resistance training may positively affect risk factors such as insulin resistance, resting metabolic rate, glucose metabolism, blood pressure, body fat, and gastrointestinal transit time, which are associated with diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Research also indicates that virtually all the benefits of resistance training are likely to be obtained in two 15- to 20-min training sessions a week. Sensible resistance training involves precise controlled movements for each major muscle group and does not require the use of very heavy resistance…”

    Does this sound like basic Slow Burn RT to you? It sure does to me.

    Here are some questions for you. Just answer yes or no. According to research:

    Can resistance training improve joint mobility/flexibility?

    Can resistance training improve aerobic capacity and endurance?

    Can resistance training increase bone mineral density in adults and children?

    Can resistance training improve body composition?

    Can resistance training be performed twice a week for maximal benefits?

    Can resistance training improve lower back pain?

    Would resistance training, using the same or lighter weight load and performed in a slow rep tempo (say 10 up 10 down) be safer than performing reps with a fast or explosive rep tempo?

    Does not the preponderance of evidence suggest that single sets are as effective as multiple sets of the same exercise?

    What does research say regarding the effectiveness of the concentric vs. the eccentric portion of a repetition? Which stimulates greater hypertrophy and strength?

    Do people need to stretch and does stretching change the elastic properties of muscle?

    Does stretching decrease risk of athletic injury?

    That’s enough for now I think. Can you put it all together at this point and come up with another hypothesis about Slow Burn? Science is important, but sometimes you have to put pieces of scientific data together and when you do so logically, you can come up with legitimate recommendations that are supported in science.

    FE: You state in your book that low carb diets are the way to go – that research indicates that they are the most healthful and best for fat loss (and I agree). Well, are you so sure that this is true for everyone across the board? Do you have enough data to support the claim that a low carb diet is universally (save for those who may be ill in some way) the best diet for everyone? Well, no – you absolutely don’t have this hard scientific data – but you don’t need to have it as human beings are human beings and no human being would do better on a diet of 90% carbs. We CAN in fact safely say that a low carb diet is better than any high carb diet for health even though we have not tested every possible high and low carb diet.

    BTW, in your book on page 139 you err RE increased BMR. You are only considering the added muscle not the totality of the trained muscles. Here is an article (with references) by Dr. Wayne Westcott you might enjoy reading.

    http://bit.ly/giE14k

    There is some new research coming from Wayne State University that supports this.

    Also in your book on pages 169 – 171 you do not cite a single reference for any of the exercise recommendations you provide and there are no recommendations for rep tempo or degree of effort. Why? Not important? I think it is. Should people just go to the gym lift weights and go home as you state in your video review about my book? How one should specifically go about their training program is unimportant to you I suppose. Well it’s not unimportant to me.

    You also state that advanced trainees should look to appendix C for other exercise info in your book. Appendix C contains no such additional exercise info.

    I’m curious – have you ever done a true Slow Burn workout? Not a typical light weight, super slow workout, but a SB workout? Do you have experience using it or training people using it?

    Though I may not have covered every single point you brought up, at this point I think I’ve said enough. I have real work to do. Since I wrote the book, there has been more research to support our position on the non need for stretching, the aerobic benefits of slow resistance training, and more. I find it gratifying that years ago, we were able to look at a lot of research, read between the lines, couple it with practical experience, and write a book that offers people a huge amount of physical benefit for very little time invested.

    I might as well give a reference for some of the above right? These same researchers have since performed more research on the subject.

    SuperSlow or Hypertrophy Resistance Training: do they affect skeletal muscle mass and strength differently?

    Foditsch E.E.1, A. Obermayer 1, P. Steinbacher 1, W. Stoiber1, J.R. Haslett1, S. Ring-Dimitriou2 and A.M. Sänger1
    1Department of Organismic Biology, Vascular and Muscle Research, University of Salzburg, Austria
    2Department of Sport Science and Kinesiology, University of Salzburg, Austria

    Introduction:

    One of the most conspicuous physiological changes of the human aging process is the progressive decline of muscle mass, strength and quality in combination with lower resistance to muscle fatigue. This change is termed sarcopenia (Doherty 2003, Macaluso & De Vito 2004, Edström & Ulfhake 2005, Marzetti & Leeuwenburgh 2006). Between the ages of 20 and 80, the loss of human skeletal muscle mass is approximately 20 – 30% (Carmeli et al. 2002, Edström & Ulfhake 2005). Causes for the loss of skeletal muscle power consist in a combination of muscle atrophy (loss and selective atrophy of fast type II fibers) and a reduced synthesis of muscle proteins such as myosin heavy chain. Moreover changes in muscle quality such as a fibre switch from fast twitch to slow twitch fibres can be observed (Welle et al. 1993, Larsson & Ansved 1995). Intracellular changes and altered biochemical mechanisms may not be overlooked. A reduction in the number and function of mitochondria (Greenlund & Nair 2003) and alterations in enzyme activities and impaired glucose metabolism leads to a reduced energy production in aged muscles which results in a lower muscle power, fatigability and reduced physical activity (Welle et al. 1993, Carmeli et al. 2002, Greenlund & Nair 2003). All these losses of the skeletal muscle system contribute to altered patterns of activity and have important implications for functional mobility and disability which can lead to falls and fractures in older humans (Doherty 2003).
    This study now is part of a larger study examining the influence of different modes of physical activity on age-related changes of the musculoskeletal system in middle-aged women. Here, two strength- training methods (Hypertrophy and SuperSlow Resistance Training) are employed to test, if a specific training for older adults can reduce or reverse the patterns of sarcopenia and lower the risk of falls and fractures as well as lead to a higher quality of life in old age and furthermore, to increase our understanding on the age-related degenerative processes in the skeletal muscle system.

    Methods:

    Nineteen healthy women, aged 45 – 55, participated in this training study. The subjects followed the activities of daily life with no athletic history. All women underwent a thorough interview and a physical fitness testing prior to the first training unit. Maximum oxygen uptake (VOmax), maximum muscle force and muscle mass of the M. vastus lateralis were assessed to facilitate grouping, optimal training regiment and determination of the dominant leg. The subjects of the present study were assigned to either common Hypertrophy (HTR) or SuperSlow Training (SST). The training period lasted 12 weeks with 3 training sessions per week with focuse on the M. vastus lateralis. A training session lasted 50 min. with 5 min. warm up at the beginning. Both strength training groups performed the same exercises (multi-joint and single joint exercises). The HTR group had a repetition maximum of 60-80% with 3-5x 12-15 repetitions. The SST group had the same repetition maximum with only 1x 4-8 repetitions. Muscle biopsy samples were taken before (A) and after (E) the 12 – wk training period from the superficial region of M. vastus lateralis (approximately mid – shaft) of the non – dominant leg by means of a percutaneous needle biopsy (3 mm, Bergström technique). Samples were chemically fixated in 2.5% glutaraldehyde, postfixed in 1% OsO4 (3h at RT), dehydrated in a series of ethanols and embedded in Epon 812 epoxy resin. Semithin sections (1-1.5 µm) were stained with azure II-methylene blue and digitally photographed through a Reichert Polyvar microscope. Relative volumes of muscle, connective and adipose tissue and blood vessels were assessed by point counting stereology using a square lattice test system (Weibel 1979). Ultrathin sections (70-90 nm) were mounted on 75 – mesh copper grids, contrasted with 0.5% uranyl acetate and 3% lead citrate in a “Leica EM stain” autostainer and viewed in a Zeiss EM-910 transmission electron microscope.
    Four fibres (two of each fibre type, I and IID) were photographed. Classification of fibre types was carried out using characteristics such as muscle fibre seize, capillary supply, amount of lipid droplets visible in low magnification and amount of mainly subsarcolemmal mitochondria in high magnified details.
    42 micrographs (unbiased sampling, evenly distributed both at subsarcolemmally as well as more centrally located sites) were sampled for each fibre type. Volume densities of myofibrils, mitochondria, lipid droplets, glycogen granula, sarcotubular system and capillarization were determined stereologically as described above.
    With regard to the above mentioned variables differences due to the training interventions (HTR vs. SST) were analyzed using a paired t-test and considered significant at P  0.05.

    Results:
    Light microscopical results show that women having a smaller baseline ratio of muscle tissue exhibit a significantly better response to both training interventions. Connective and adipose tissue as well as blood vessels did not differ significantly.
    With respect to training mode the SuperSlow method positively affects muscle mass at the expense of connective and adipose tissue to a greater extent than the hypertrophy method (Table I).
    On intracellular level the analysis of the various cell components demonstrates the following (Table II and III):
    The myofibrillar content of type I muscle fibres declines with both modes of resistance training (thereby to a greater extent with the SuperSlow regime) whereas it levels off in type IID fibres (with even a light increase with the SuperSlow mode). Both fibre types significantly increase their mitochondrial content and with it their aerobic capacity. In type I fibres this is mainly due to both a highly significant increase of the intermyofibrillar mitochondria and the hypertrophy mode of resistance training. In type IID fibres both subpopulations of mitochondria contribute to the overall increase of the mitochondrial amount. Furthermore, this training effect on mitochondria may point to a fibre shift towards type IIA. The energy source in the form of lipid droplets significantly decreases in type I fibres (mainly due to the hypertrophy mode of training), indicating the utilisation of another energy source than lipid such as glycogen to meet the aerobic synthesis of ATP. With both training regimes as a whole the lipid content in type IID muscle fibres is unaffected. However, with the SuperSlow mode there is a slight increase of this energy source indicating its further usage for energy production and positive influence on the lipid metabolism. Once again, this too may be seen as an indication of fibre transformation. With respect to glycogen as alternative fuel and bearing in mind the issue of quantitative analyses with the presented method, an increase mainly with the hypertrophy regime may be observed. Together with the former the hypertrophy regime seems to bank mainly on glycogen as an energy source. Finally, due to the SuperSlow regime the sarcotubular system increases in type I and decreases in type IID fibres, indicating a fibre shift toward IIA.

    In conclusion the SuperSlow mode appears to be more effective than the common hypertrophy resistance mode in:

    i) replacing connective and adipose tissue by muscle tissue
    ii) maintaining muscular strength (myofibrillar content slightly increased in type IID fibres, moderate decline in type I fibres)
    iii) increasing the aerobic capacity in both the type I and type IID fibres (subsarcolemmal mitochondria increased in both fibre types)
    iv) positively affecting the lipid metabolism (even and slight increase of lipid in type I and type IID muscle fibres, respectively).

    The SuperSlow method of resistance training appears to be an effective approach for the everyday use being a save exercise intervention to increase aerobic capacity without suffering the loss of muscle strength thus reducing the risks of falls and injury and significantly contributing to a better quality of life in older age.

    References
    CARMELI E., R. COLEMAN & A. Z. REZNICK (2002): The biochemistry of aging muscle. Experimental Gerontology. 37: 477-489.
    DOHERTY T. J. (2003): Aging and sarcopenia. J Appl Physiol. 95: 1717-1727.
    EDSTRÖM E. & B. ULFHAKE (2005): Sarcopenia is not due to lack regenerative drive in senescent skeletal muscle. Aging Cell. 4: 65-77.
    GREENLUND L. J. S. & K. S. NAIR (2002): Sarcopenia-consequences, mechanisms, and potential therapies. Mechanisms of Ageing and Development. 124: 287-299.
    LARSSON L. & T. ANSVED (1995): Effects of ageing on the motor unit. Prog.Neurobiol. 45: 397-458.
    MACALUSO A. & G. DE VITO (2004): Muscle strength, power and adaptations to resistance training in older people. Eur J Appl Physiol. 91: 450-472.
    WEIBEL E. R., G. S. KISTLER & N. F. SCHERLE (1966): Practical stereological methods for morphometric cytology. J Cell Biol. 30: 23-38.
    WELLE S., C. THORNTON, R. JOZEFOURICZ & M. STATT (1993): Myofibrillar protein synthesis in young and old men. Am.J.Physiol. 264: E693-E698.

    • Jeff Thiboutot M.S. says:

      Fred, more red herrings. But I’ll bite. First, I am assuming you are referring to the recent post by Anthony at his blog called Fred Hahn’s “Slow Burn” Debunked, which he states “I could go on…and on, and on, but Matt and Jeff have already done a sterling job of debunking the ridiculous claims in Slow Burn.” Which he links to the two reviews we did of your book and the post we did about your WebMD stands for Web Mindless Drivel. He concludes the post by saying;

      A Note to Matt and Jeff:
      Fellas, I love the review but…I have a bone to pick with you guys. You need to do something about your claim that SPEED is “the only weight loss book worth reading!”
      Aaaaayyyyyy…….lol
      At the very least, you should change it to “one of only two weight loss books worth reading!”… [there is a smiley face in the post, but it did not post here]
      Cheers,
      Anthony.

      Fred, nice job in making another misleading statement. Anyway, did you notice the lol, which stand for laugh-out-load and the smiley face. He was joking around. Also, I have had some personal communication with Anthony through e-mail and he reiterated that he was joking.

      I have to say I find it very amusing that you are trying to use what Anthony Colpo has to say to support your statements, which in fact it doesn’t. But, my point is that you seem to have very little respect for the research and writing that Anthony has done. In fact your recent post is pretty clear about your views of him.

      Anthony Colpo Insults Again
      by FRED HAHN on JANUARY 19, 2011
      Anthony Colpo, the vitriolic Australian personal trainer and author of a pretty decent book The Great Cholesterol Con is at it once again…
      As well as an older post;
      Colpo Continues His Nonsense
      by FRED HAHN on FEBRUARY 5, 2008

      You can’t quit let yourself say that his book, The Great Cholesterol Con is good, when you know that may of the “big players” involved with the cholesterol/saturated fat and heart disease debate think it is very good. I would love to know why you only think it is a “decent book”. This clearly has nothing to do with our discussion of your book, but I am just following your lead. On second thought, I really don’t want to know what you think about his book.

      Finally, we are not evading the question about our subtitle. The fact is it has nothing to do with what you said in your book. But, we will actually have a post about our subtitle in the next few days. Read that and get back to us. In the meantime, even though our subtitle is hyperbolic, which we did on purpose (again read the post on it), we are not at all hyperbolic when it comes to the information we present in our book. There is a big difference. If you would have only had some hyperbolic info on the cover (front and back), like “Slow Burn gives great results in just 30 minutes a week” and then, in the book, stuck to the evidence and did not make a plethora of incorrect or misleading and unsupported claims then we would not have given it a poor review to begin with and that would not have lead, due to comments by you and others, to us going back and doing an in-depth review of your book and finding many problems with the content.

    • Jeff Thiboutot M.S. says:

      Fred, if I could suggest something. If you are going to try to prove Matt and I wrong and give evidence for the many bold statements you made in your book then maybe you could put into a single document that follows how the information was presented in your book, as you know this is how Matt and I went through your book. It seems like a logical, orderly way to go through it. When you have put together whatever you feel is your best reply for our statements then I will be glad to make it a post. I will publish it exactly how you write it, although Matt and I will likely have a few comments about it that we will present at the beginning or end. I think this would be the best way for everyone to be able to compare what we wrote and what your reply is. Just a suggestion, you obviously have no obligation to do this, but you have put some time into many comments already, why not make it clear so that Matt and I and others can make an educated decision on who is likely right or not.

      Also, I will respond to the additional aspects of this comment in the next day or two.

    • Jeff Thiboutot M.S. says:

      Fred stated;

      McGill clearly has no experience training people to failure if he indeed made this statement. And where is the evidence to support this statement or any other statement that McGill made? Did you demand proof from him as you would and do from me or because he’s a world famous expert in back disorders (who finds my work questionable), you didn’t ask him for it? I doubt you asked him, as anything anyone says that is anti Slow Burn will undoubtedly be taken at face value by you.
      Then you go on to quote a plethora of other people who claim nothing works better than anything else for low back pain, so on and so forth as if to suggest that the studies that do show that direct strengthening helps back pain is questionable. Who knows if these people have read the relevant literature? Perhaps these people are clueless as to the research by UFCES.(emphasis added)

      Fred I need to address this.

      So you are saying that McGill is not an expert in low back health/function and he is not aware of, or does not understand the research on training the low back to momentary muscular failure? The evidence for McGill statement is the fact he has published many papers on the topic and written an authoritative book on the subject. Are you also suggesting that Dr. McGill did not say what we said he said? Wow! Additionally, we did not rely on just his expert opinion to support our statements. We also quote other published papers on the subject. Additionally, anyone who states “but far and away the most crucial factor in the development of most low back pain is a loss of muscle mass and strength” (p.68), regardless of there overall training recommendations would get the same rebuttal. It was not necessarily about slow strength training. However, you do compound the problem by then saying that “there is no safer or more effective method [slow burn] for preventing or resolving this pervasive disorder” (p.70) If this was true then why wouldn’t a low back expert like Dr. McGill agree with this statement and recommend this type of training in his in-depth book on the subject? Does he not want to tell people what works the best?

      Why did you put OPINION in all caps when replying to the statement we referenced by Dr.Siff? Do you not like what he says?

  16. Fred Hahn says:

    The one issue that I will freely admit I am having trouble supporting is our statement of “up to a 5 fold increase in mitochondria.” So this may in fact be incorrect. To tell you the truth I’m not sure where we got this number at this point. I spoke to Dr. Eades and he said that he is certain that he would not have made this statement if it was not supported in research but he freely admits he may have erred.

    To err is human.

    But to accuse people of fraud, when there is no proof of such, is libel. James Krieger did the same thing to Gary Taubes.

    It is best to approach discovered errors in the works of others with tact and poise rather than accusation and vitriol. Why not assume the person made a mistake first?

    • Jeff Thiboutot M.S. says:

      Fred,

      A few mistakes I have no problem with. In fact, many mistakes that the author freely admits to, when the evidence is clear that errors where made is fine also. But pages and pages of incorrect or misleading and unsubstantiated claims along with the denial of clear and well-substantiated facts that points out these errors is another story. Fraud, are you insinuating that what we have presented is fraud? Here is the definition, so we all know what I think you are suggesting.

      Fraud [frɔːd] (from Thefreedictionary.com)
      1. deliberate deception, trickery, or cheating intended to gain an advantage
      2. an act or instance of such deception
      3. something false or spurious his explanation was a fraud
      4. Informal a person who acts in a false or deceitful way

      You think we have done the above things? We have not given any PROOF for our statements? You must be kidding.

      Also, your statement about James Krieger is also uncalled for. Why bring him into our discussion about the validity of the claims made in your book? Also, if you are going to make a statement like that, you should give some context and give a link to what you are referring to so that people can go see what you are talking about and see if he was in fact committing fraud. I am assuming you are talking about his piece on insulin, Insulin…an Undeserved Bad Reputation, at http://weightology.net/weightologyweekly/?page_id=319 ? To be clear, I do not think that his piece on Insulin is fraudulent. But, because of your lack of context, I am only guessing as to what you are specifically referring to. Would you please comment with the specific instance that James has apparently perpetrated fraud against Gary.

      Regarding the mitochondria aspect; you admit, that you might be wrong. Why not say that you are wrong about this one? Additionally, you have commented on the mitochondria aspect quite a bit, all of it with the gist that you were correct about your statement and we were wrong about our assessment of it. Will you admit that you were incorrect about your statements in the book, which you were mostly referring to mitochondrial density (within the cell, per muscle cell), which does not change, and that the only reference you have used to show an increase in total mitochondria was about 40%, or less than a ½ fold increase, which is nowhere near a 500% or 5 fold increase. I get it that you could have made an error. Shit happens. But, you alluded to “studies”, which is plural, so there had to be more than one. So you are unable to find any of them that were used to support this statement. That is just weird to me. Matt and I have every reference we used in hard copy (I have a bit of an organization problem, and have them in specific folders in my file cabinet) and on a hard drive, so I am 99.95% sure that in 5 minutes Matt or I could find any of the about 200 references we used for our book.

  17. Fred Hahn says:

    You also said:

    “We cover the hypertrophy thing in the review, but Fred, please tell me and everyone else how much muscle mass can a typical person gain from doing a 30 minute Slow Burn workout 1 time a week.”

    First I recommended two weekly training sessions for most people. In our book there is some confusion as we do say once a week in a few instances and 2 sessions a week or even three in other places. This should have been cleaned up to say 30 minutes, twice a week everywhere in the book. All books have errors.

    Your question is difficult to answer (and from the tone I detect quite dismissive) because you did not specify a time frame. From our records at Serious Strength the typical client who eats well will build anywhere from a few pounds of lean mass to as much as 20 (one man) after a few weeks of training. We use a bio-impedance device as well as measurements to determine this.

    “Also, many people are trying to lose weight (fat, I don’t want you to think I don’t know the difference), so how much muscle mass will the typical person gain during a fat loss program while doing the Slow Burn workout 1 time a week? I will give you a hint, very little or none.”

    Really? Well you’re wrong. As you know (I hope) unless you are using MRI imaging you cannot know for sure if a person is gaining muscle. Now, you can clearly see it on lean people and use the BI device to measure changes in body water which it is pretty good at detecting. However, a few things muck up the measurements of lean tissue gains – one being the low carb diet we suggest people adopt.

    As you know, water is lost after the first few weeks of going on a LC diet (in some cases huge amounts) and so it appears as if people lose lean mass after a month of training. But of course they haven’t. It’s like sucking water out of a steak – the total protein is the same only now there is less water.

    Some obese people carry more lean mass then they really need so it is possible for an obese person to lose lean mass when losing fat even when strength training.

    Perhaps most important to gaining lean mass while losing fat mass is caloric intake. We do not ask people to count calories or decrease their caloric intake on a fat loss program. Fat loss is a hormonal game, not a numbers game.

    Lowering calories below BMR is a mistake that a lot of trainers make – even LC trainers – when trying to get people lean and muscular. We suggest to our clients to eat the correct amount of protein, making sure to not eat very lean proteins, and non starchy vegetables only to their hearts content. Those that listen and follow these recc’s lose fat and build lean mass very well training 1-2X per week.

    “But, I would be glad to read the research, pre 2003, that shows that a single 30 minute Slow Burn type of workout is going to make a real world difference in the amount of muscle mass a person has. Please show me the evidence for this.”

    Again, research is not the only thing that determines truth. As you are aware, research is good and wonderful to have but research is not always the be all and end all of evidence. I don’t know of any research where subjects ate an ad libitum, LC diet and did HIT 1X a week. Be nice to see it however.

    And unless you have your head in the sand, you should know that there are a plethora of books, websites, etc. that promote infrequent HIT for best (meaning most efficient and at least as productive) gains in muscle mass.

    I am a fairly good example of how well a middle aged man can develop himself on such a program. I have no particular special genetic attributes. If I and my clients can do it, so can anyone else training as little as 30 minutes a week.

    I’m quite surprised that you have not spent any time experiencing what brief and infrequent HIT training can do.

  18. Jason Whitmore says:

    Fred Says
    “Jason – you are rude individual who is not worth responding to except to say you have no idea what you are talking about. You embarrass yourself. Here’s a word of advice: Keep a lid on your vitriol and know the facts before you behave in such a manner”

    Stating facts Fred..is not rude…calling you out on your absurd claims Fred…is not rude…pointing out that you are in fact in poor shape, and are telling people lies, so you can benefit financially from them…is not rude…it’s reality Fred.

    What is rude Fred…is you absolute lack of dignity, your continual and complete evasion of the questions…but most sadly, your total dogmatic belief in something that has absolutley no truth in it…which you are happy to feed to anyone who will listen.

    As for my lack of knowledge Fred…well I train in a gym owned by a 6 times Mr Olympia, who with the help of many other professional athletes (including 2 multiple world boxing champions and bodybuilders), sparked a huge desire in me to ‘always do my homework’…and I have been doing that for many years. I train and eat for health Fred…I’m not trying to compete as a bodybuilder or specific sport, but I’m in a damn site better shape than you’re ever going to achieve…and it took hard work and sacrifice… in the gym, and at the dinner table.
    So when you make absurd claims about your slow burn system being the best training method out there…then post pictures of yourself looking anything but impressive…followed by you throwing your toys out of your pram because people questioned you…well maybe it’s just me…but I think that’s rude…Fred.

    Fred also said…”Keep a lid on your vitriol and know the facts before you behave in such a manner”

    Honestly Fred…offering me advice on the facts, or vitriolic outbursts…seriously…you should get a helmet…I think you hit your head

  19. Jason Whitmore says:

    Fred says
    “The one issue that I will freely admit I am having trouble supporting is our statement of “up to a 5 fold increase in mitochondria.” So this may in fact be incorrect. To tell you the truth I’m not sure where we got this number at this point. I spoke to Dr. Eades and he said that he is certain that he would not have made this statement if it was not supported in research but he freely admits he may have erred.

    Kudos Fred!! you’re actually excepting the truth…The truth is here…long live the truth…truth for President!!
    You got your research from Michael Eades…oh dear…does anything sum up this entire pitiful tirade more beautifully than that single elegant fact…

  20. Fred Hahn says:

    First, I’m am not trying to prove you wrong per se.

    Your assertion that we purposefully made stuff up to hoodwink people is just too over the top Jeff. The more I think about it, the more I realize how much time I’ve wasted with all this if that’s your attitude.

    I brought up the Krieger piece (its easy to find just Google Krieger Taubes) because what he did to Gary Taubes – found some mistakes in his book and rather than contacting him personally to ask what the discrepancies were all about – accused Gary publicly of purposefully trying to scam people. This is exactly what you did to us. You feel you found mistakes in our book and rather than contact us personally to discuss them, publicly trashed our book and our characters. That’s what you did.

    This back and forth stuff is now becoming just too time consuming Jeff. Believe what you want. It really makes little difference to me at this point.

    I’ve placed information on this site, sent you some info privately and at this point I need to move on. It’s pointless to continue since no matter what I send or say seems to change your perception or attitude.

    You don’t like our book. Fine. You think we actually wrote a book to purposefully hoodwink people into buying it. Fine. My advice – don’t do what you did to us to too many more people or your reputation in this business will not be one you’d prefer.

    Think before you accuse others or, accuse away, make fun of people, etc., and join the ranks of the Anthony Colpo’s, James Whitmore’s etc., of the world. Your choice. Being “right” is not all that it’s cracked up to be. Being friendly and courteous means a lot more to people.

    • Jeff Thiboutot M.S. says:

      Fred,

      Somebody has to be right or at least more right than the other person.

      Matt and I did not bring up your reasoning for writing what you wrote, you did. I did not initiate the “hoodwink” statement, you did. You asked me to give my opinion; here is what I said last time.

      I am not a mind reader, so I don’t know what your intention was. What I really BELIEVE is that a lot of the information you and the Eades presented in your book is incorrect, misleading, and unsubstantiated. So yes, I would say that you are trying to hoodwink (cause someone to believe an untruth) people in believing that Slow Burn is better than other HIT type strength training and that it does things that it likely can’t do.

      So yes, based on the definition of hoodwink, and what we feel were egregious errors in the book, then it is certainly possible that you hoodwinked people, intentionally or unintentionally. Also, we never said that Slow Burn was worthless. I think you keep missing the point. Our contention is that there where many statements made in your book that were incorrect or misleading and unsupported. Please point out where we said that a super slow type strength training (SB) is worthless. Again, our beef is with the information presented in your book, I don’t care what your intention was or what was going through your mind when you wrote it. It is likely you had good intentions, but as the old adage goes, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”. Again, we never said that you are a bad trainer or a bad person, what we said, which we feel is based on quality evidence, is that there are many problems with the information you presented in your book.

      Are you saying that there should be no publicly available bad reviews of books, movies, restaurants or anything else? If so, you better inform a lot of people about this change in policy.

      What if Matt and I would had reviewed one of Dr. Ornish’s books and found that it was full of incorrect or misleading and unsupported claims, i.e., crap; should we not post that review on our blog? What about a bad review for The Weight Loss Secret They Don’t What You to Know About by Kevin Trudeau due to the same problems? Would you be upset then? What about “The China Study”-A Formal Analysis and Response by Denise Minger? This was a great review. She feels, based on a thorough analysis of the China Study data, that there seems to be some big misinterpretations and some omissions from the material presented by the authors of the book. Was that a bad thing for her to do? Was she being mean spirited? I certainly don’t think she was. When you put stuff out there; books, articles, etc., people will respond, sometimes they say nice things other times they say things you don’t want to hear. Matt and I have gotten some of each for our book. The thing is, in your case, we didn’t just say it was a crappy book, just because we felt like saying something unpleasant about your book. We said we didn’t like it for specific reasons. Shit, we wrote about 25 pages detailing our concerns with the book.

      Here is the thing, our clients and people who value our opinion want to know what to spend their resources (money, time) on when it comes to health, fitness, weight management, etc. That is what we write about on our blog. We cover a range of topics and we evaluate/critique all kinds of things. Sometimes we like them and sometimes we don’t. The thing is we give solid reasons (we think so) why we feel the way we do.

      Finally, since your first post, or one of the first few, you had stated that you are not going to spend much time on this. Yet, it seems you have spent a lot of time on this. The thing is much of it has been on extraneous stuff. To me, if you think we have erred, then simply pony up the evidence for the statements you made in the book. That would end the debate. Why not, like I mentioned in a recent comment just put together a clear, logical and well-supported rebuttal to what we have presented? I will post it, verbatim, on our blog. You have been debating this for many years, not to mention you wrote the book that alluded to studies for this or that, so to me it seems that a few hours and you would have a nice rebuttal that would clearly show that Matt and I are wrong in our assessment of your book. Also, the reason we have not changed our minds is that you have not presented evidence that would warrant the change.

      One last thing.

      Think before you accuse others or, accuse away, make fun of people, etc., and join the ranks of the Anthony Colpo’s, James Whitmore’s etc., of the world. Your choice. Being “right” is not all that it’s cracked up to be. Being friendly and courteous means a lot more to people.

      Being right IS a good thing. There is absolutely nothing wrong with trying to be right. I have not spent a whole shit load of time and money on educating myself over the past 15 years to figure out what is not right. Now there certainly is a lot of grey area, but there are things that are more likely to be right than other things. So it is our responsibility as “experts” to present the best possible information based on the best information that is currently available. Not usually easy, but that’s our job. Yes, being friendly and courteous is also important and keeping a well-mannered decorum is generally a good thing. However, there are times when a bit a sarcasm and some edgy wording or a bit of slang are sometimes necessary to make a point, give back what was given (some people prefer to take the high road) and in the context of a blog, make the information a bit more enjoyable to read. What I think people really respect is honesty and integrity.

  21. Fred Hahn says:

    James said:

    “I train and eat for health Fred…I’m not trying to compete as a bodybuilder or specific sport, but I’m in a damn site better shape than you’re ever going to achieve…and it took hard work and sacrifice… in the gym, and at the dinner table.”

    OK, OK, what the heck I’ll bite – ahem – Let’s see your pix James. Since you are “a damn site better shape than me” (whatever that means exactly) prove it.

    You might have just put up a link to your photos in that rant of yours and gotten it over with.

    You also said:

    “You got your research from Michael Eades…oh dear…does anything sum up this entire pitiful tirade more beautifully than that single elegant fact…”

    You realize, don’t you, that the way you phrased your sentence has you admitting that the tirade is your own? I agree – it is pitiful.

    Let me help you understand. We both did investigative homework in looking for scientific research to support our position. In case you hadn’t noticed, we wrote the book together. Since Dr. Eades has better access to research papers being a physician, he often was able to come up with the papers we used more often than I was. It’s called “co-authorship.”

    Odd that I had to explain that to you. It appears that the body builders and boxers you train with were unable to teach you this.

    So, let’s see the pix Jason. I had the guts to show mine.

  22. Luann says:

    Just popped back in to see if there was anything more on this thread.

    Sorry, Jeff and Matt, that you were derided for my comment. Fred, you need to read a little closer.

    You said: (That you would be me not Jeff or Matt)

    “Mitochondria don’t burn fat–again misleading and inaccurate. The mitochondria are where the citric acid cycle occurs and ATP (adenosine triphosphate) is synthesized. Mitochondria are powerhouses, yes, but it is where chemical energy contained in nutrients (fat, carbohydrates and protein) is captured and stored through the synthesis of ATP. Does putting it in quotation marks absolve you of the inaccuracy? Let me take a leap here and posit that one of your explanations will be generalizing for an audience who isn’t interested in scientific evidence, or information for that matter, about mitochondria.”

    Here is what we said:

    “The more furnaces per muscle cell, the more fat you can burn during your exercise. The more muscle you build, the more furnaces you need to fuel them. The more furnaces you create, the more fat you’ll burn.

    Again, Fred, generalization and inaccuracy. It is not just fat that is “burned” by the mitochondria but whatever nutrient that was broken down and is in the blood stream being delivered to the mitochondria in the cells. It is misleading to say that “the more furnaces you create the more fat you’ll burn.” A more accurate statement: the more furnaces you create the more energy/calories you will burn, whether ingested or stored.

    I stated:

    “Why reference scientific studies, however incomplete, if your audience isn’t always interested in scientific evidence? In my opinion you need to decide whether you want to generalize or be scientific.”

    You stated:

    “Opinion noted. Thus far very few of the 80,000 + people who have bough the book have sent me hate/disappointment mail. In fact quite the opposite is true. “

    Thanks Fred, for noting my opinion—again my opinion not Jeff or Matt’s. You missed the point, Fred. I was not saying that a scientific approach is better than a more pedestrian approach in writing, in fact many people don’t want to plow through a more scientific piece, I am saying that you need to pick a style and stay with it.

    To use your own terminology – ahem – you need to know a little more about your target before you start throwing stones. That would be me not Jeff or Matt’s and, yes, I am mixing my metaphors.

    You stated:

    “When the time comes that you get to write a book for a major publishing house like Random House/Broadway. . .”

    I have not published a book for the popular press, but I have published peer-reviewed journal articles, a book chapter, and have collaborated on academic textbooks and online resources–have you? And I have worked with both Random House, Inc. Academic Resources and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, not for popular publications, but rather academic textbooks. Yes, there can always be errors, but both publishing houses held us to a very high standard before they would put their name on our work. If you think I am being inaccurate I can send you my CV (curriculum vitae) if you would like.

    Jason, I hope you don’t mind if I jump on a comment Fred made to you.

    “Let me help you understand. We both did investigative homework in looking for scientific research to support our position. In case you hadn’t noticed, we wrote the book together. Since Dr. Eades has better access to research papers being a physician, he often was able to come up with the papers we used more often than I was. It’s called “co-authorship.”

    Dr. Eades does not have any better access to research papers in the United States, regardless of being a physician, than any other person in the United States. If you mean by “better access” that he (I am assuming it is not Mary) subscribes to certain journals or had a subscription to certain full-text databases for which you would have to pay for articles, I will concede that, but it doesn’t mean you don’t have access. I know there are several stellar university libraries in New York City in which you can go read and photocopy articles for less than paying for a subscription.

    I will end with thank you, Fred, for answering my question about the bicep curl and thank you for the book Bill DeSimone’s book reference.

    Luann

  23. Fred Hahn says:

    Here is one paper I neglected to mention that has in it much of the research I used to formulate my position stand for Slow Burn:

    http://www.asep.org/files/Smith.pdf

    As I mentioned previously, you have to be able to put pieces of data together in order to formulate ideas that have yet to be “proven” in research but by inference tell us a lot.

    FE: If a 10/4 rep tempo produces better benefits than a 2/4, so long as the set time is approximately the same (as they all were in the Westcott studies), we can say that the longer, slower positive was the deciding factor since the negative tempo was exactly the same.

    If a 4/10 rep tempo shows superior benefits to a 10/4 (and it did in the Westcott studies), then we know that the slower NEGATIVE was the deciding factor since in the first instance, we learned that the slower positive was the deciding factor.

    It is then safe to assume that, given the same set time to failure, a 10/10 rep tempo would be superior to them all.

    Anyhow, I thought I’d toss this into the fray FWIW.

    And, BTW, a half fold increase in total mitochondria is in keeping with the statement up to a five fold increase in mitochondria. However, I am still trying to find out what we read that made us use that particular statement.

    • Jeff Thiboutot M.S. says:

      Thanks for posting that paper. I actually read it a few weeks ago, I thought it was a good paper. Now that it is posted hopefully other people will read it also.
      Fred, which studies by Wescott did the following “If a 4/10 rep tempo shows superior benefits to a 10/4 (and it did in the Westcott studies)”
      I have the paper on the two studies that did the 10/4 vs 2/1/4 tempos (J Sports Med Phys Fitness, 2001), but I do not have a Westcott study that compared the above tempos. Please let me know which one those are.
      I have already commented many times on the mitochondria aspect, so I wont go into it again.

  24. Fred Hahn says:

    Luann -

    I’m confused – are you suggesting that if you have more total mitochondria you won’t burn more fat? Could you explain that?

    And please, please refrain from using the word “misleading.” Is it misleading to say weight lifting builds muscle when sometimes it doesn’t? What we said is true about mitochondria upping fat burning. Our book was not intended as a physiology text book – not even close.

    And BTW, the more fat you eat the more mitochondria you’ll generate too. (Betcha you didn’t know that.)

    “I have not published a book for the popular press, but I have published peer-reviewed journal articles, a book chapter, and have collaborated on academic textbooks and online resources–have you? And I have worked with both Random House, Inc. Academic Resources and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, not for popular publications, but rather academic textbooks. Yes, there can always be errors, but both publishing houses held us to a very high standard before they would put their name on our work. If you think I am being inaccurate I can send you my CV (curriculum vitae) if you would like.”

    Yes I have for a soon to be published research study on slow speed weight training at Farleigh Dickenson University as well as with Dr. Kevin Fontaine for a research grant for John’s Hopkins and other writings. And no, I don’t need your CV. I believe you. Academic work is always held to a higher standard and should be.

    “Dr. Eades does not have any better access to research papers in the United States, regardless of being a physician, than any other person in the United States. If you mean by “better access” that he (I am assuming it is not Mary) subscribes to certain journals or had a subscription to certain full-text databases for which you would have to pay for articles, I will concede that, but it doesn’t mean you don’t have access. I know there are several stellar university libraries in New York City in which you can go read and photocopy articles for less than paying for a subscription.”

    He had better access, at that time, than I did to the literature. Sorry you didn’t get that was what I meant. Why should I spend the time going to libraries when he had full access to virtually everything we needed? That was the point. That’s all. Please do not read more into it than that.

    And you’re welcome for the info. If you have more questions, feel free to email me at FHahn@seriousstrength.com.

  25. Fred Hahn says:

    “‘Fred, which studies by Wescott did the following “If a 4/10 rep tempo shows superior benefits to a 10/4 (and it did in the Westcott studies)”
    I have the paper on the two studies that did the 10/4 vs 2/1/4 tempos (J Sports Med Phys Fitness, 2001), but I do not have a Westcott study that compared the above tempos. Please let me know which one those are.”

    I thought I referenced that paper already. I’m getting very confused here.

    Westoctt performed the small study at the SS YMCA. 22 subj. All experienced trainees. 12 machines, 2X a week for 6 weeks.

    It was written up in the IDEA Personal Trainer Newsletter in 1995. I don’t think it was published. I’ll have to ask Wayne.

    5 Groups:

    Standard training (2/4) with a trainer
    Breakdown standard training with trainer
    Assisted positive standard training with trainer
    Slow positive (10 secs up, 4 down) w/trainer
    Slow negative (4 secs up, 10 down) w/trainer

    The group that got the best results was the Slow negative subjects (+26 pounds) followed by:

    slow positive (+22 pounds)
    assisted positive standard speed 2/4 (+17)
    breakdown sets standard speed (+15)
    standard training (+12)

    I believe that he replicated these results in a later, larger study but I’m not 100% positive about that.

  26. Fred Hahn says:

    Yes I know I am wasting more time. I got re-suckered back in.

    “Here is the thing, our clients and people who value our opinion want to know what to spend their resources (money, time) on when it comes to health, fitness, weight management, etc. That is what we write about on our blog. We cover a range of topics and we evaluate/critique all kinds of things. Sometimes we like them and sometimes we don’t. The thing is we give solid reasons (we think so) why we feel the way we do.”

    Then you do your readership a great disservice by trashing our book. Thousands of people have benefited from our book. I receive letters every month telling me it has saved their lives. Because we may have gotten a couple of facts wrong you felt the need to trash the entire book?

    I wonder – what RT book WOULD you suggest your readers read and follow? And have you written a thorough review for that book, whatever it is, checking its resources to see if what the author(s) recommends is grounded in scientific evidence? Your book has a very scarce RT program outline. You even recommend lunges – one of the worst exercises for the knees in an attempt to strengthen the legs and hips. You also advocate multiple sets (1-3) per exercise. Why? There is virtually zero evidence that multiple sets of the same exercise are superior to single sets.

    And I have given you more than enough evidence to support our stance. Sure, we may have erred a bit here and there. Trivial compared to the vast benefits one will obtain if one adopts a low carbohydrate diet and adds 1-2 slow tempo, high intensity resistance training sessions into their lives.

    The preponderance of evidence is on our side.

    And I ask again, how would you recommend the typical person train to maximize their strength, muscle/lean mass and loss of body fat? And whatever your reccs are, are they supported in the scientific literature?

  27. Fred Hahn says:

    “Matt and I did not bring up your reasoning for writing what you wrote, you did. I did not initiate the “hoodwink” statement, you did. You asked me to give my opinion; here is what I said last time….So yes, I would say that you are trying to hoodwink (cause someone to believe an untruth) people in believing that Slow Burn is better than other HIT type strength training and that it does things that it likely can’t do.”

    What it likely can’t do? Listen to yourself Jeff. What do you make of this:

    “The rest of the paragraph rambles on in some sort of “Slow Burn will rule the world” style rant.”

    What prompted this statement? And I see you changed your book promo tag line from “The only weight loss book worth reading!” to “A complete how-to manual for quick and permanent fat loss.” Better. But “quick?” Are you trying to hoodwink people? Why didn’t you say “slow and gradual fat loss.”

    What’s the difference between saying the words outright or implying them? You meant/implied we were lying and trying to hoodwink people all along. When I brought this to light, you freely admitted (see above) you thought we were purposefully trying to hoodwink people. Clearly, you implied dishonesty in your critique, when intellectual incompetence, time-pressure and the limitations of 3 fallible human beings who have and continue to help thousands of people the world over become stronger and healthier would be more reasonable explanations.

    Your own work would be more compelling and would certainly be taken more seriously if you left your presumption of our motives in tone and in print – something you know nothing about of course – out of it. It’s as though you’re dedicated not just to proving that you’re smarter than we are or more right, but that you’re morally superior as well. The first ambition is ruined by the second.

    “To me, if you think we have erred, then simply pony up the evidence for the statements you made in the book. That would end the debate.”

    This is not a debate. I have provided evidence. You just need to look at the evidence more closely and think more deeply about what I’ve presented. Put the pieces together. Look around the bend more. Or don’t.

    And you still have not explained why you make up lies about what we said in the book.You were hell bent from the get to do discredit us. There’s a “throwing stones while living in glass houses” problem here. In other words, had I time and motive, I could easily do to your work what you have attempted to do to ours and I could do it without the kind of tricks you’re trying to play on your readers.

  28. Fred Hahn says:

    Also, you said:

    “Thanks for posting that paper. I actually read it a few weeks ago, I thought it was a good paper.”

    You are referring to the Smith-Low paper I recently posted correct?

    In this paper as you can see the preponderance of the evidence when we wrote
    SB indicated that the best way to make physical improvements via RT (strength, hypertrophy, endurance, power, etc.) is:

    Single sets to failure
    Slow rep tempo
    1-2 sessions a week – at most 3.

    This is in keeping with the Winett/Carpinelli meta I posted here as well.

    We both know that aerobic exercise is virtually worthless for fat loss. Assuming a healthy hormone panel, if one adopts a low carb diet, excess body fat is taken care of in a slow and gradual fashion.

    So why is our book “a piece of crap” again? Because we said “an up to 5 fold increase in mitochondria” when we should have said instead “a significant increase in mitochondria?”

    It bothers you that we were so forthright in our declarations that Slow Burn is the best way to train. But as you can see, research shows that it is the best way to train.

    Again let me ask you – what would be a better way to train? our book is sparse in its R reccs. Please list here for your readers your recommendations for a RT program that would be superior to SB.

    Thanks.

  29. Luann says:

    Sorry, Fred, if I was confusing with my statement. Yes, the more mitochondria you have the more fat they will burn, but they also burn more protein and more carbohydrates. Also if the glucose available in the blood stream is from what you have ingested (coming from all the macronutrients), that will be burned first before the body calls on the reserves of fat in the adipose tissue.

    I do understand that you are not writing a physiology textbook, but in writing a book with scientific concepts for the popular press in some ways you have a greater burden to ensure that concepts are simple enough to be understood for the general public but are not over simplified to be misleading. In many ways it is easier to write to an audience who are your peers rather that an uninformed audience, hence the reason I asked for everyone to define the acronyms. I will not abandon the word misleading, despite your request. I am not doing this to be adversarial, rather from personal experience. What sent me down this rabbit-hole was a comment my friends made after reading the Eades’ books and following your blog: “by removing all insulin from the bloodstream fat is released from the cells and flushed away.” Yipes, not even close to what happens in the body and they preach this with evangelic zeal. Keeping insulin in balance yes, but removing all of it from the bloodstream is call diabetes.

    Bethcha I do, LOL! Fat is denser, as far as a nutrient, and also creates more free radicals, but betcha you know that! In my personal experience, a high percentage of fat in my diet turns me from human to goose in 3.5 seconds. OK, hyperbole, but too much fat in my diet makes my body really mad! Don’t get me wrong, I eat fat, but just make sure it stays at a level that it doesn’t turn me into a goose. I understand the theory, but in my personal experience it doesn’t work. If it works for you embrace it, but if it does not then you need to keep searching, or at least keep tinkering. Unfortunately not a concept my friends understand either. They assure me that I could eat all the fat in the world as long as I don’t have any carbohydrates. The danger of preaching truth with a capital T–no one way works for everyone.

    I totally concede the point of access to the literature. What I reacted to, and I admit that it was a knee-jerk reaction, was access versus better access to information. Yep, it was the teacher in me when I have heard, way too many times, I can’t get any information. We all have access but whoever can get access quicker wins in this case, especially when one has multiple deadlines.

    Thank you for your email address. I enjoy lively dialogs and will not clog up Jeff and Matt’s blog any further.

  30. Fred Hahn says:

    “‘Sorry, Fred, if I was confusing with my statement. Yes, the more mitochondria you have the more fat they will burn, but they also burn more protein and more carbohydrates. Also if the glucose available in the blood stream is from what you have ingested (coming from all the macronutrients), that will be burned first before the body calls on the reserves of fat in the adipose tissue.”

    Well all the more reason to adopt a low carb diet! :) But here you said it yourself – the more mitochondria you have the more fat you burn. This was the point. The rest of it is unimportant to the lay person.

    “I do understand that you are not writing a physiology textbook, but in writing a book with scientific concepts for the popular press in some ways you have a greater burden to ensure that concepts are simple enough to be understood for the general public but are not over simplified to be misleading.”

    We are not misleading anyone in anyway and certainly not in anyway that is harmful. If we erred on the mito/AMPK issue a bit, fine. this can happen. But there is no need to pretend there is a huge conspiracy theory here.

    “In many ways it is easier to write to an audience who are your peers rather that an uninformed audience, hence the reason I asked for everyone to define the acronyms.”

    Your opinion is taken.

    “I will not abandon the word misleading, despite your request. I am not doing this to be adversarial, rather from personal experience.”

    OK

    “What sent me down this rabbit-hole was a comment my friends made after reading the Eades’ books and following your blog: “by removing all insulin from the bloodstream fat is released from the cells and flushed away.” Yipes, not even close to what happens in the body and they preach this with evangelic zeal. Keeping insulin in balance yes, but removing all of it from the bloodstream is call diabetes.”

    Where was this written? If you are quoting them exactly which seems unlikely, what they meant was that the less circulating insulin you have, the better since fat cannot be liberated from the fat cells if insulin levels are high. Why you call how they write “evangelical zeal” is your personal interpretation. I never got that from their work.

    “Bethcha I do, LOL! Fat is denser, as far as a nutrient, and also creates more free radicals, but betcha you know that!”

    Love to see the proof of that.

    “In my personal experience, a high percentage of fat in my diet turns me from human to goose in 3.5 seconds. OK, hyperbole, but too much fat in my diet makes my body really mad! Don’t get me wrong, I eat fat, but just make sure it stays at a level that it doesn’t turn me into a goose. I understand the theory, but in my personal experience it doesn’t work. If it works for you embrace it, but if it does not then you need to keep searching, or at least keep tinkering. Unfortunately not a concept my friends understand either. They assure me that I could eat all the fat in the world as long as I don’t have any carbohydrates. The danger of preaching truth with a capital T–no one way works for everyone.”

    Well I have no way of knowing what you eat so I can’t comment further. Most people lie about and cheat on their diets. But you are wrong when you say no one way works for everyone. As an example, a low carbohydrate diet is the go-to diet for ALL diabetics.

    “I totally concede the point of access to the literature. What I reacted to, and I admit that it was a knee-jerk reaction, was access versus better access to information. Yep, it was the teacher in me when I have heard, way too many times, I can’t get any information. We all have access but whoever can get access quicker wins in this case, especially when one has multiple deadlines.”

    Right. And Drs. Eades are FAR more knowledgeable than I WRT metabolism and bariatric medicine. SO I defaulted to their expertise on more than one occasion.

    “Thank you for your email address. I enjoy lively dialogs and will not clog up Jeff and Matt’s blog any further.”

    Take care Luann.

  31. Fred Hahn says:

    “Fred I need to address this. So you are saying that McGill is not an expert in low back health/function and he is not aware of, or does not understand the research on training the low back to momentary muscular failure? The evidence for McGill statement is the fact he has published many papers on the topic and written an authoritative book on the subject.”

    McGill is certainly considered an expert in lumbar spine rehab. And he certainly is very knowledgeable about the anatomy and physiology of the spine. But being an “expert” doesn’t mean that all of what you say is correct. I own and have read his book Low Back Disorders and a lot of what he says in it appears to be quite good and solid. However, there is a lot he says that is wrong.

    FE: On page 9 and 10 under “Ill advised Rehabilitation Recommendations” he states that strengthening the muscles of the torso/back is not predictive of future lower back troubles but that increasing muscular endurance is protective. “Why then do many therapeutic programs” MCGill writes, “continue to emphasize strength and neglect endurance.”

    Increasing the strength of the back also increases the endurance of the back. You cannot train for endurance separately from strength. Why doesn’t he know this? Perhaps McGill doesn’t really know or understand how to strengthen the back muscles very well. Since he does not mention MedX strengthening devices or any of the low back research by the University of Florida Center for Exercise Science, and considering the types of exercises he recommends in the back of his book, it would seem that his expertise in this area is somewhat lacking.

    Further on page 226, McGill shows a picture of a woman lying on a table with her torso hanging off the edge face down, torso parallel to the floor, with her feet strapped in place. He calls this a “back extensor test.” When the torso fatigues and lowers past the horizontal position is what determines failure of the lumbar muscles. But this is more of a hip extensor test than a lumbar extensor test. The research done by the UFCES has shown this repeatedly.

    And there’s more.

    “Are you also suggesting that Dr. McGill did not say what we said he said? Wow!”

    Not at all. I’m sure he did say what you said he said since he is not very expert at strength training. And he’s wrong. Especially about training muscles to failure if in fact that is what he said. But now that you bring it up again, I think you misheard him. In his book he isn’t talking about training to muscle failure in an exercise, he is talking about performing an activity to failure of the structures e.g., vertebral fracture or ligament avulsion.

    “Additionally, we did not rely on just his expert opinion to support our statements. We also quote other published papers on the subject.”

    Yes I saw and I commented that those papers were not discussing direct strengthening of the lumbar spine.

    “Additionally, anyone who states “but far and away the most crucial factor in the development of most low back pain is a loss of muscle mass and strength” (p.68), regardless of there overall training recommendations would get the same rebuttal. It was not necessarily about slow strength training.”

    Here is one paper of many which suggests that muscle weakness is a primary cause of low back pain:

    Clinical Radiology
    February 2000 Volume 55, Number 2
    Kader DF, Wardlaw D, Smith FW
    Department of Radiology, Woodend Hospital
    Aberdeen, United Kingdom

    Study Outcomes & Clinical Relevance: This study found multifidi muscle atrophy in 80% of
    patients with low back pain. Interestingly, clinical research using MedX to rehabilitate lumbar
    spine dysfunction boasts nearly an 80% success rate. Perhaps these figures are coincidentally
    similar. It is, however, tempting to speculate that the widespread multifidi muscle atrophy in this
    study and the targeted multifidi training afforded by MedX explain in part the widespread success
    of MedX therapy across diagnoses. That is, it is possible that various spinal pathologies share at
    least one common symptom generator: multifidi dysfunction. Thus, addressing this dysfunction
    should improve a majority of low back pain patients owing to their common trait of aberrant
    multifidi function. From these data, it can be argued that most patients with lumbar pain should
    receive physical therapy directed at reconditioning the multifidi.

    Here is a link that will give you several hours of homework to do:

    http://bcbackinstitute.com/List_of_MedX_Published_Research.pdf

    “However, you do compound the problem by then saying that “there is no safer or more effective method [slow burn] for preventing or resolving this pervasive disorder” (p.70)”

    Thus far I have shown that weak muscles are a major cause of low back pain. Given what we know about strengthening muscle, how then would YOU go about strengthening the muscles of the torso (which will result in greater endurance BTW)? A fast rep speed or a slow rep speed using the same or perhaps less weight?

    I ask you to explain to your readers what protocol of muscle strengthening would be safer than using Slow Burn. I’m very interested to learn how you would do it.

    “If this was true then why wouldn’t a low back expert like Dr. McGill agree with this statement and recommend this type of training in his in-depth book on the subject? Does he not want to tell people what works the best?”

    First I have no idea what you told him. And it beats me. Why does Dr. Ornish – a cardiologist – say that vegetarian/vegan, extremely low fat diets are the most healthful way to eat? Why does the ADA recommend that diabetics eat ~35 grams of carbs per meal? Why does the ACSM continue to recommend multiples sets for advanced trainees? Why do thousands of registered dietitians claim that saturated fats clog your arteries?

    “Why did you put OPINION in all caps when replying to the statement we referenced by Dr.Siff? Do you not like what he says?”

    No I’m emphasizing that Dr. Siff’s statement is an OPINION and not a fact.

  32. kissmuth says:

    I will have to read it several times again.

    The linked sretching article happens to be something I can really use just about now. Many thanks for the thought and leg work you put in

  33. Fred Hahn says:

    I’d like to address the BMD issue. In your review, you guys said:

    “It is looks good that a high-intensity, full-body strength training workout, with a relatively high load, about 70-80% of 1RM, done 2 to 3 times a week is one of the best methods for maintain or increasing bone density. However, the evidence for high-impact activities also looks good. There is also the recent research that BMD may not be the best clinical endpoint for determining bone health, instead overall bone strength might be the better endpoint. With that said, please explain how you could conclude that “Without reservation we can say that a properly performed regular total-body strength-training regimen such as Slow Burn Fitness Revolution brings about bigger and better sustained bone-density gains in women and men of all ages – even those in their eighties and nineties – than any other form of exercise”? Seriously, unless these extensive review papers and a number of papers on the topic are trying to hide something there is no evidence to substantiate your claims. It seems, to us, that you are not representing the facts honestly.”

    This paragraph is a contradiction.

    You state:

    “It is looks good that a high-intensity, full-body strength training workout, with a relatively high load, about 70-80% of 1RM, done 2 to 3 times a week is one of the best methods for maintain or increasing bone density.”

    True, and that is what Slow Burn is.

    You then say:

    “However, the evidence for high-impact activities also looks good.”

    First, high impact activities are dangerous. So it would not be wise to put grandma or anyone else for that matter into a plyometrics class for the sole purpose of increasing BMD now would it? And even if the evidence looks good for HI activity, it isn’t BETTER. So it’s a moot point. Why bring it up? Walking around on the planet Jupiter might even be better but we aren’t going to recommend people do that either.

    You then say:

    “There is also the recent research that BMD may not be the best clinical endpoint for determining bone health, instead overall bone strength might be the better endpoint.”

    Totally beside the point. And “MAY” not be the best clinical endpoint did you say? Well, until it IS known that bone density isn’t the best determinant of bone health we’ll have to stick with what we know.

    And bone density is strongly associated with bone strength, it just doesn’t measure it. The only way to measure bone strength is to see how much force it takes to break a bone. I don’t think we’ll be doing that to people anytime soon. But if you make your current level of bone density greater, the bones will be stronger than they were before.

    And BMD is what we were discussing in SB. You are confusing or are confused by the two terms. Increasing BMD increases bone strength but it still doesn’t mean your bones are strong or as strong as they should or could be. Still, increasing BMD is an important goal for those who need it.

    You struggle so hard to discredit what we said in SB. This sort of straining at the facts makes your bias and sole desire to discredit our work quite transparent.

    You conclude by saying:

    “With that said, please explain how you could conclude that “Without reservation we can say that a properly performed regular total-body strength-training regimen such as Slow Burn Fitness Revolution brings about bigger and better sustained bone-density gains in women and men of all ages – even those in their eighties and nineties – than any other form of exercise”?

    We can say this without reservation because that’s what the research indicates. Allow me to repeat the first sentence in your conclusive paragraph:

    “It is looks good that a high-intensity, full-body strength training workout, with a relatively high load, about 70-80% of 1RM, done 2 to 3 times a week is one of the best methods for maintain or increasing bone density.”

    I’d like to remind you and your readers that Slow Burn is a high intensity, full body strength training workout using a relatively high load at about 70-80% 1RM done 1-3 times a week.

    And we have MANY client DEXA scans to prove it.

  34. Fred Hahn says:

    As for Dr. Mell Siff’s remarks:

    “Here’s what the late Dr. Siff had to say on the subject. He states “There is no evidence that subjects with low back pain possess particularly weak muscles, except when they have been kept off work for prolonged periods.” (p.90)”

    OPINION which as you can see is invalidated by the facts:

    http://bcbackinstitute.com/List_of_MedX_Published_Research.pdf

    “He goes on to say “For instance, numerous articles (many from Spine Journal) have concluded that the incidence of back pain and its ultimate resolution do not show any consistently significant correlation between abdominal strength and training of any of the abdominal muscles” (p.90).”

    Agreed. It has to do with the strength of the back muscles.

    And if you read Mel Siff’s ideas on training, they are diametrically opposed to McGill’s. Siff advocated depth jumps and other compressive activities – something McGill is entirely against. I have not real ALL of his stuff but it appears to me he is not very wise in his recommendations for low back training.

    FWIW, I do like a lot of what Siff had to say about exercise. He was a staunch advocate of resistance training.

    In fact, here is an article he wrote on fitness myths.

    http://www.aerobicexercisefitness.net/facts-and-fallacies-of-fitness-by-mel-siff-intro.html

    “Facts And Fallacies Of Fitness By Mel Siff Intro

    Toe-touching is dangerous. Squats damage your knees. Never hold your breath during exercise. Aerobic training is essential for cardiac health.”

    If you read his work, you’ll see that he feels that resistance training provides all the cardiovascular benefits required for health and fitness. Of course when we said this you said: “You have done the field of exercise physiology and athletic performance a huge disservice.”

  35. Jason Whitmore says:

    Fred said
    Let me help you understand. We both did investigative homework in looking for scientific research to support our position. In case you hadn’t noticed, we wrote the book together. Since Dr. Eades has better access to research papers being a physician, he often was able to come up with the papers we used more often than I was. It’s called “co-authorship.”

    No Fred, you don’t do your homework, and neither does Eades…explaining why your books are full of lies and inaccurate and ridiculous claims…which was the reason your book was slated in the first place. You have still not answered any of the original questions, produced a single clinical study to substantiate your bizarre statements , and the research you so stubbornly defended at the beginning of this…you are now saying maybe wrong!

    On top of all of that…you now want to see me in my pants! I use a mirror, scales and a detailed diary to track my progress Fred…you may want to try it…let’s face it you certainly aren’t spending your time on training or research…it’ll give you something better to do than embarrassing yourself on forums like this.

    Luann…thanks for pointing out to Fred that he and Eades do not have better access to the available scientific material…they are public and available to anyone…and if it were only them that had access to this material…why do they continually misrepresent the truth?

  36. Fred Hahn says:

    My friend Jason – you’re back. Nice to hear from you again. I see, however, that you have not yet provided any evidence of your being in shape or, as you suggested, in much better shape than I. I think I know why…

    Let’s see what you have to say today:

    “No Fred, you don’t do your homework, and neither does Eades…explaining why your books are full of lies and inaccurate and ridiculous claims…which was the reason your book was slated in the first place. You have still not answered any of the original questions, produced a single clinical study to substantiate your bizarre statements , and the research you so stubbornly defended at the beginning of this…you are now saying maybe wrong!”

    The reason my book was “slated” in the first place? Slated?? What are you saying here? Did you mean to say “written?” And apparently you have not read my comments. I have placed numerous papers here for all to see and read.

    “On top of all of that…you now want to see me in my pants! I use a mirror, scales and a detailed diary to track my progress Fred…you may want to try it…let’s face it you certainly aren’t spending your time on training or research…it’ll give you something better to do than embarrassing yourself on forums like this.”

    Yes I would prefer that your pants stay on thank you. An arm shot would suffice. Let’s see how your training and record keeping have benefited you. What’s the problem? If your methods are so wonderful, you should be proud to list for us all how you train and what the training has done for you.

    “Luann…thanks for pointing out to Fred that he and Eades do not have better access to the available scientific material…they are public and available to anyone…and if it were only them that had access to this material…why do they continually misrepresent the truth?”

    Jason that is not what Luann was pointing out. Do you read the other comments here or do you come here just blurt your bull?

  37. Jason Whitmore says:

    Wow Fred…your level of deflection is reaching an all time high. I know this will be hard to believe Fred, but I don’t take pictures of myself…and I never have done…this s=is what a mirror is for, you seem to find this unusal…but why would I do that…unless I was selling a book, or felt the need to have my ego stroked by strangers on the internet. I find it a little creepy that my picture could by banded around freely to unsavoury characters to use it for their own devices. But, to be sporting Fred, I will take, and post some pictures for you Fred…and I’ll wear what ever mens or womens underwear that YOU choose…no questions asked. You just have to do this for me;

    1. Provide controlled clinical trial results, qualifying the claims you made in your book…those would be the claims pointed out in detail, at the beginning of the very well put together disembowelment of your book by Matt & Jeff…you do remember them don’t you Fred…if not I can repost them for you.

    2. Explain to everyone why, in this entire post, you have continually evaded the original questions posed by Matt & Jeff, and have simply just aired your opinion, whilst also claiming you have scientific research that proves what you claimed is true.

    Sound like a fair deal Fred…you answer the questions, and back it up with actual scientific facts…I will dress up in any manner you wish, and show you a physique and conditioning that is superior to yours.

    I’ll wait with bated breadth.

  38. Fred Hahn says:

    “Wow Fred…your level of deflection is reaching an all time high. I know this will be hard to believe Fred, but I don’t take pictures of myself…and I never have done…this s=is what a mirror is for, you seem to find this unusal…but why would I do that…unless I was selling a book, or felt the need to have my ego stroked by strangers on the internet. I find it a little creepy that my picture could by banded around freely to unsavoury characters to use it for their own devices. But, to be sporting Fred, I will take, and post some pictures for you Fred…and I’ll wear what ever mens or womens underwear that YOU choose…no questions asked. You just have to do this for me;”

    You wear women’s clothing? Well, OK. To each his own. Sorry but I’m not into that. But I do respect your choice to express your inner feminine side that is longing to come out. Everyone’s needs are different.

    “1. Provide controlled clinical trial results, qualifying the claims you made in your book…those would be the claims pointed out in detail, at the beginning of the very well put together disembowelment of your book by Matt & Jeff…you do remember them don’t you Fred…if not I can repost them for you.”

    I have. You don’t read the comments in full. EX: Here is one for back and neck pain and the role of direct strengthening:

    http://bcbackinstitute.com/List_of_MedX_Published_Research.pdf

    On training 2X a week for 15 minutes each session, the benefits of resistance training and note the mention of PRECISE controlled movements and the non-need for heavy resistances:

    Potential health-related benefits of resistance training.
    Winett RA, Carpinelli RN.

    Center for Research in Health Behavior, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061-0436, USA. rswinett@vt.edu

    Abstract
    Public health guidelines primarily focus on the promotion of physical activity and steady-state aerobic exercise, which enhances cardiorespiratory fitness and has some impact on body composition. However, research demonstrates that resistance exercise training has profound effects on the musculoskeletal system, contributes to the maintenance of functional abilities, and prevents osteoporosis, sarcopenia, lower-back pain, and other disabilities. More recent seminal research demonstrates that resistance training may positively affect risk factors such as insulin resistance, resting metabolic rate, glucose metabolism, blood pressure, body fat, and gastrointestinal transit time, which are associated with diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Research also indicates that virtually all the benefits of resistance training are likely to be obtained in two 15- to 20-min training sessions a week. Sensible resistance training involves precise controlled movements for each major muscle group and does not require the use of very heavy resistance.

    “2. Explain to everyone why, in this entire post, you have continually evaded the original questions posed by Matt & Jeff, and have simply just aired your opinion, whilst also claiming you have scientific research that proves what you claimed is true.”

    I haven’t evaded anything at all. I’ve supported everything they have challenged save for the errors in AMPK and mitochondria. It appears we somehow over stated these affects. Still the fact remains that training 1-3 times a week delivers the goods and that RT does indeed increase mitochondria and muscle endurance to a marked degree. So while we did get some facts askew, the fundamental benefits we stated in our book that can be derived from our recommendations remain intact. IOW, if you do commit to a regimen of Slow Burn training and low carb eating, you will indeed experience what we stated you will.

    Your problem is don’t read the comments in full and seem to be incapable of thinking any deeper than the surface. You come here solely to lambast and spew vitriol at me, not to learn and grow.

    “Sound like a fair deal Fred…you answer the questions, and back it up with actual scientific facts…I will dress up in any manner you wish, and show you a physique and conditioning that is superior to yours.”

    Your outfit choice is your own. And rather than continue with this back and forth nonsense, “put up or shut up” as they say.

    I’ll wait with bated breadth.

  39. Jason Whitmore says:

    Fred says;

    I haven’t evaded anything at all. I’ve supported everything they have challenged save for the errors in AMPK and mitochondria. It appears we somehow over stated these affects. Still the fact remains that training 1-3 times a week delivers the goods and that RT does indeed increase mitochondria and muscle endurance to a marked degree. So while we did get some facts askew, the fundamental benefits we stated in our book that can be derived from our recommendations remain intact. IOW, if you do commit to a regimen of Slow Burn training and low carb eating, you will indeed experience what we stated you will.

    Your problem is don’t read the comments in full and seem to be incapable of thinking any deeper than the surface. You come here solely to lambast and spew vitriol at me, not to learn and grow.

    reply
    I have read what you said Fred…and you have claimed many things that are not true…and you got them more than a liitle “askew”
    Your claims have been completely destroyed by the folks here…because they have read the research, and have provided you with it.

    What you don’t seem to understand Fred…is that this entire blog will be posted around the internet, and you are literally tightening the noose around your neck by not providing what has been asked for.

    “Put up or shut”…well I have your pictures Fred…and I have to say…I’m looking pretty good…just need you to post the controlled clinical trial results that confirm your claims…should take you a few seconds Fred…I’m sure you have them in a file.

    “You come here solely to lambast and spew vitriol at me, not to learn and grow”

    No Fred…truth is truth…not vitriol…and there’s nothing I can learn from you…I read the data, and I don’t write books that are full of lies

  40. Jason Whitmore says:

    So in conclusion Fred…you have been asked by everyone here, to provide the evidence to substantiate your claims in your book…and you have provided nothing but the following;

    your opinion
    a total lack of scientific data
    arguments that are nothing more than opinion
    deflection

    So Fred…back to the original questions…please provide Controlled Clinical Data, not your opinions, to verify your ridiculous claims…use any source available…just provide evidence.

    Or of course you could always “grow” and learn something…

    Or you could “put up or shut up”

  41. protandim says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K05Db4WGxXg&feature=related

    have you guys seen this vid…Power of 10 Adam Zickerman

  42. Rob Mitchell says:

    GREAT response. Am looking forward to actually reading your book. (The Slow Burn Fitness Revolution book sucked. I appreciated your frank, ‘Warning, this book is crap’ type of warning. Wish I had seen it before I read it.)

    I did want to make 1 critique though. There IS strong (SOLID, VALID) evidence for the creationist/intelligent design viewpoint, and there is also such evidence AGAINST evolution. Truth generally DOES face resistance when facing against an opposed AGENDA. Of course, you are welcome to your own beliefs and opinions, but please refrain from using those who oppose your specific ‘how we got here’ view as examples of those whom like to conveniently ignore the facts for this particular conversation topic. When ALL the facts & evidence are allowed onto the table (from BOTH sides), and people can have frank, open conversations, THEN is the time to have that conversation. Additionally, what’s true is true, whatever, however many people decide to believe about it. AKA, a mass of people believing something to be true, doesn’t make it so. If it did, the US’s health, fitness, and energy problems would be quite different. But that’s another topic altogether.

    That aside, great rebuttal. I’m not saying he didn’t raise any valid points, but he didn’t provide any evidence to prove his assertions. You did.

    • Jeff Thiboutot M.S. says:

      Rob,
      thanks for commenting. I would like to read the evidence for creationism/intelligent design and the evidence that shows that evolution, on the macro level, is false. I you have time you can send me an e-mail with the needed links, papers, etc that is solid, valid evidence for ID. my email is jeff@speedweightlossbook.com
      Thanks

  43. Rob Mitchell says:

    I’d also like to comment, “WOW!” How did you guys manage to find the time to type and source all that in just a few days time? I’m a fast typer but jeeze. That’s a lot of material to precisely put together with clear thought, book quotations, and references.

    Rob

  44. Rob Mitchell says:

    I think (after finally reading through ALL the comments and actual studies provided or linked to, by both sides) the main ‘problem’ Mr. Fred Hahn had was that he would take the various data sets for RT (resistance training) or ST (slow training) and broadly apply them – by mere similar links or relationships of causality – to fit to his “Slow Burn” methodology, whether that was what the actual clinical evidence DIRECTLY showed or suggested to be true or not. His graven error was instead of saying – both in his book & here – “after much research/going through these studies” (which SHOULD have been cited and listed) “and ‘reading between the lines,’ I have found in my own experience by putting into practice these things: yada yada yada yada ya.” “I’m still waiting on the studies to come out to show/prove this confirmatively, but…” “Studies with RT, ST, back muscle training, etc. have shown {this whatever RELATIONSHIP} to what I’ve said/discovered through my work with individuals at my gym.” “While I don’t yet have any DIRECT clinical evidence, it is my belief such and such.” “For these reasons I BELIEVE such and such to be true/to be the best modality for doing {fill in whatever} for a given time or effort invested.”

    He did state: “I find it gratifying that years ago, we were able to look at a lot of research, read between the lines, couple it with practical experience, and write a book that offers people a huge amount of physical benefit for very little time invested.”

    Basically, he misrepresented (or took out of context) what the data (cited both in the book and here) found or implied. That’s not to say that all of his CONCLUSIONS are inheritantly wrong, just that his conclusions are not what the actual data was tested for. He should have simply said, “These are my conclusions based on the data/citations I have read AND MY OWN PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH MY CLIENTS. For this reason, I use Slow Burn as my sole or primary training tool for reaching these stated benefits.” Not that it’s the best at everything. Not that everything else pales in comparison or is dangerous. But that SB provides the ideal list of benefits – in his PERSONAL experience training others – for what people are looking for. If he had stuck to that, and spent more time DISCUSSING his PERSONAL experiences with CLIENTS rather than at times BASHING opposing modalities, I seriously doubt this discussion would have even been necessary. Of course, anything in excess or done improperly (such weight-training, plyometrics, aerobics, etc) can be dangerous. Of course it can also be ineffective. Everything has a window of effectiveness, an optimal amount and time. It’s sad that, while SB may be in some instances (short cycles perhaps) an effective training modality, with the obvious slanting of data to hyping SB, it likely never will.

    • Jeff Thiboutot M.S. says:

      Rob,
      I think you did a great job of summing up what we presented and the main points we were trying to make. Thanks for taking the time to read what Matt and I have written and for writing an intelligent response to it.

  45. Steve Swanson says:

    WOW. This discussion really was a fantastic read. I found the “Slow Burn Fitness Revolution” at a used book sale yesterday and was itching to find some kind of discussion of its veracity — the lack of references make it seem pretty tough to believe. What I wish had been focused on more, though, was the claim that cardiovascular fitness is a myth; runners get faster due to strength increasing in their legs. Does this then indicate that the stronger-legged individuals are the faster ones? Because in my personal experience, runners who can barely squat 100lb but (though Fred Hahn will disagree) have cardiovascular endurance are 99% of the time miles faster over any distance than people who squat 400. Does a “Slow Burn” devotee become a faster runner without ever taking a step? Because that is what the book seemed to indicate to me.

  46. Mike says:

    I’ve more or less skimmed over these several posts and comments and I think this whole critique misses the forest for the trees. Stating that people should NOT read this workout book seems to imply that it is not only disingenuous but of less than average benefit to an individual seeking a compact workout routine.

    While all the scientific reasoning listed in the book may or may not be correct or based on incomplete information that isn’t really of much consequence to the target audience; the target audience being individuals that have difficulty including a workout routine into their lives. If I decide I can commit 30-90 minutes of my week to exercise what are the best options? That is the thrust of this book and while I have only skimmed these posts I haven’t read anything to refute this claim nor offer better alternatives within this context.

    All I see is nit-picking which seems to be a common theme on reviews posted to this blog.

  47. Steve Swanson says:

    Mike,

    Is it nitpicking to point out that Mr. Hahn’s claim that 30-60 minutes a week of exercise is sufficient is false? It seems almost dangerous to me that individuals without a strong background in physiology or exercise could read this book and damage their health by obliviously following its instruction. “Stop running? OK! LDL cholesterol is good for you?! 3 Baconators, please!” To give the general public erroneous information based upon pseudoscience is irresponsible and hazardous.

    -Steve

  48. Mike says:

    “Damage their health”?!? Are you serious? Doing a “Slow Burn” routine is going to damage someone’s health? Now I know you’re full of it.

    30-60 minutes a week is not sufficient? For who? A book that promotes, to otherwise inert individuals, low-impact high intensity training is a GOOD thing. (Forgive me if I don’t cite any studies for this claim)

    Nowhere in the book does he tell people to stop running. What he does say is that excessive running can be damaging to one’s body and cites the list of injuries on the Runners World website. The point he makes is if you don’t enjoy running but do it for health then there are alternatives that aren’t as damaging to the body. His point is not all that hard to understand… yet it seems to be so easily lost on you two.

    Furthermore he promotes the idea that one should do activities because they enjoy them, not because of health reasons. This is quite clearly spelled out in his discussion of the difference between exercise and play on page 11. Go back to school and take a reading comprehension class.

    I too wish he had cited more studies, but my biggest complaint about the book is the lack of an index. I’ve skimmed the book and cannot find anywhere where he says that “LDL cholesterol is good for you” or suggests eating “3 baconaters”. Also I cannot find anywhere in this ‘critique’ a prior mention of him making this claim about LDL. Unless you can give me a page number I’m going to call you a liar.

    A proper review would point out the pros and cons. The vitriol from this blog post is so thick I can’t come to any other conclusion than your sole goal is to shock and teardown. The fact that you had not one good thing to say about the book is the biggest give away.

    Fred’s biggest mistake is to not have heeded this age old advice: Don’t argue with idiots, they’ll bring you down to their level and then beat you with experience.

  49. Matt Schoeneberger says:

    Mike, Steve Swanson is not one of the authors of this site, so he was not involved in the original critique. I don’t know where you might have gotten that idea. I don’t think we mentioned anything about LDL in either of our posts.

    So, I don’t know who you’re calling a liar and frankly I don’t care because Jeff and I are very careful not to misrepresent information. It’s why we use direct quotations and references whenever possible.

  50. Steve Swanson says:

    I’m sorry about the LDL claim — I was just using it as a reductio ad absurdum argument. The point that I was trying to make was that the “Slow Burn” method is no substitute for cardiovascular exercise, and to take at face value Mr. Hahn’s claim that Slow Burn will provide “all the benefits you seek from an exercise regimen in only thirty minutes per week” would be detrimental to a person’s health. Much like a hypothetical diet book that purports LDL is healthy, Mr. Hahn’s erroneous and inflated claims are irresponsible. Does “Slow Burn” increase muscle mass and strength? Perhaps. Does it provide any cardiovascular benefits? Negligibly if at all.

  51. [...] or “little known fact”,  usually with NO quality evidence in support it (see Slow Burn, Skinny Bitches, and the Tone It Up girls for examples). We feel compelled to point this shit out [...]

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