Slow Lifting (4 of 4): Results
Read Part 1 for more context on what slow lifting is and why you might want to use this exercise protocol. Read Part 2 for how to lift slowly during your weight training workouts. Read Part 3 for ideas on how to eat to support muscle repair and burning fat.
Read the Primary Nutrition Changes section below for the high-level adjustments I made to my eating habits to support Slow Lifting. Read the Eating Protocol Details for more specifics and an example protein shake. Read the Sample Meal Plan for a day in the life of my stomach.
These are the results from when I started the Slow Lifting program through five weeks later. I planned to capture results after five weeks, but a three-week cold through the experiment for a loop. I continued to measure at about the same weight, body fat, and lifting amounts even when I lifted every four to seven days due to sickness/life.
These measurements were taken on 12-30-2016.
- Weight – 186 lbs
- Body Fat 10.8%
- Waist – 33 inches
- Hips – 40 inches
- Neck – 15 inches
- Mid biceps – 13 inches each
- Mid thigh – 22 inches each
- Squat – 185 lbs
- Incline Bench Press – 155 lbs
- Barbell Row – 95 lbs
- Deadlift – 145 lbs
- Overhead Press – 95 lbs
- Pull Up – Bodyweight
Five Weeks Later
These measurements were taken on 02-03-2017.
- Weight – 184 lbs (-2 lbs)
- Body Fat 9.2% (-1.6%)
- Waist – 32 inches (-1 in)
- Hips – 39 inches (-1 in)
- Neck – 15 inches (Same)
- Mid biceps – 13 inches each (Same)
- Mid thigh – 23.25 inches each (+1.25 in)
- Squat – 215 lbs (+30 lbs)
- Incline Bench Press – 165 lbs (+10 lbs)
- Barbell Row – 115 lbs (+20 lbs)
- Deadlift – 195 lbs (+50 lbs)
- Overhead Press – 115 lbs (+20 lbs)
- Pull Up – Bodyweight + 5 lbs (+5 lbs)
These results are excellent for five weeks of training. Body fat, weight, waist, and hip measurements went down, while all my lifts and thigh measurements went up. For a lanky lad like me, I don’t expect that I’d continue on this positive trajectory much longer without program variations. I struggled mightily with moving weight slowly as I increased weight after these five weeks. That doesn’t detract from these results, but I want to set proper expectations given how strong the upward trajectory is here. For my massively muscular friends, you might maintain an upward trajectory longer with more muscle density to move weight slowly.
If you watched me fail on the Slow Squat video in Part 2 , you’ll also see that the speed of my counting likely sped up as I increased weights. Based on the thigh measurements going up and the exercises getting easier each week, I’m confident my strength increased but likely not as much as measured in the results if I’d maintained a five-second up and five-second down standard rep count as prescribed. Speeding up your reps is hard to avoid as you increase weights unless you put a clock directly in front of you when lifting or have a spotter count. I’ve now lowered my weights back to my starting baseline and am performing the program again with slower rep counts, holding my ego at bay from worrying too much about the amount of weight on the bar going up each week. Again, I feel major stimulation of my muscles even with these lighter weights in only two minutes of work per exercise.
The lessons learned from these results from me are:
- Slow Lifting is excellent for strength maintenance for anyone with good starting strength.
- The Slow Lifting Eating Protocol is excellent for burning fat and maintaining muscle.
- Use a clock to count the speed of your reps. Optionally, set a noise to sound every five or ten seconds at the halfway mark or completion of each rep.
- Increase weights only when you complete the prescribed reps from Part 2 with a ten-second rep count. Keep your ego in check.
Who should use this program?
- Fit individuals, who want to increase or maintain strength in the minimum time
- Athletes, who want a change-up workout for 4-8 weeks to let their body recover while maintaining strength
- Out-of-shape individuals with good lifting technique and mobility, who want to increase strength quickly
Who should avoid this program?
- Out-of-shape individuals who haven’t mastered basic lifting technique for these exercises or have injuries or mobility issues
- Fit individuals or Athletes, who want to maximize their strength gains and are willing to invest significant time and effort in a high volume of training
If you haven’t already, read Part 1 for what slow lifting is, Part 2 for how I exercised, and Part 3 for how I ate to support muscle growth and burning fat.
The difference between who you are and who you want to be is what you do. – Bill Phillips
Do yourself a favor. Try Slow Lifting.