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Slow-Burn Workout | Why Is It Better For Getting Stronger?

Like many of us, I used to believe that fast-reps weight training was the way to go to get stronger. But then I heard of the slow-burn workout method. It is a unique yet highly effective strength technique to achieve maximum results in less time.

In this article, discover the power of slow-burn strength training, exploring what it is, the science behind it, its remarkable benefits, and how you can add it to your fitness regimen. Let’s uncover the surprising science-backed truth about getting stronger faster!

Medical disclosure: The Fit Yourself Barre content is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of a physician. You should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.

Why Is A Slow-Burn Workout Better For Getting Stronger?

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In short, a slow-burn workout builds muscle strength faster than any other traditional resistance training. One of the key benefits of exercising slowly is that your body has to engage more muscle fibers in order to support the longer duration of muscle contractions.

Plus, when doing slow weight-lifting, your muscles become better at using oxygen. As a result, you put less stress on your heart and it becomes easier for you to exercise.

Check Out 16 Remarkable Benefits Of A Slow Rep Workout

  • Gain maximum strength in less time
  • Increase your metabolism
  • Improve your mental health
  • Boost your energy and activity
  • Boost your heart health
  • Grow your bone density
  • Raise your “good” HDL cholesterol
  • Lower your blood pressure
  • Regulate your blood sugar
  • Protect your joints and increase their flexibility
  • Increase your muscular endurance
  • Prevent injuries
  • Relieve your back, and neck pain
  • Burn unhealthy abdominal fat
  • Burn more calories steadily
  • Increase lean muscle

What Is A Slow-Burn Exercise?

Slow-burn fitness is a form of exercising that adopts a controlled approach to all lifting, lowering, pulling, and pushing movements. In fact, what makes lifting slow unique is each repetition takes 10 to 20 seconds to exhaust all three types of muscle fibers. You work on one muscle group at a time until you feel the burn, unable to do one more repetition. Then, you target the next muscle group.

Let’s dig deeper into the science behind the super-slow workout

The science behind slow-burn training focuses on how long your muscles stay tensed. It is called the time under tension principle. Instead of doing lots of repetitions quickly, the key is to slow down the tempo and maintain a constant tension throughout each movement. In this way, you maximize your strength growth by engaging your muscles for a longer time.

Gradually contracting your muscles triggers a flood of cellular reactions. It activates both the slow-twitch and fast-twitch muscle fibers. This process stimulates protein synthesis, increasing muscle development and endurance.

Read the related article “Why do muscles shake after a workout? Is it really a good thing?

Studies show that not only does slow-motion strength training lead to “dramatic gains in strength” but it also gives the most benefits in the least amount of time. And all this even with low weights and less repetitions.

Further studies conclude that super-slow training is “an effective method for middle-aged and older adults to increase strength.” Slow-paced repetitions resulted in about a greater 50% gain in strength for both men and women than regular speed movement.

How To Add It To Your Fitness Regimen

Just slow down your motion! It is as simple as that. It is a matter of a few simple adjustments that aren’t time-consuming. The good news is that to get results, you only need to perform slow-controlled exercises once to twice a week at most!

Also, to promote a full-body workout, consider doing compound movements. Squats, deadlifts, and lunges target several muscle groups simultaneously.

Read the related article “Why are compound exercises so important?”

Remember that it is important to pay attention to your body’s alignment. In this way, you minimize your risk of injury. Prioritizing proper technique and form is crucial when you exercise in a steady manner.

You can progressively challenge yourself by using heavier weights. You can also do more repetitions when you start feeling too comfortable.

Is The Slow-Burn Technique Easier To Perform?

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No, it isn’t easier to exercise slowly. It is a super intense and tough workout to lift steadily. You may find it too challenging or even too boring… For these reasons, I slow train just once a week, thinking of how it dramatically improves my strength! It is worth my time though. To even help me through the challenge, I picture the super slow sloths climbing trees and how strong they are… 🙂

Should You Stop Other Forms Of Workouts?

No, consider the slow-burn method as a complement to your existing training routine. The more you experiment with different types of workouts, the better.

Plus, recent studies revealed how vigorous short bouts of daily physical activity (VILPA) are also super effective in protecting your heart.

Read the related article “New VILPA results: How can 1-min physical activity bouts prolong your life!”

Bottom Line: Does It Matter How Fast You Lift?

I vote for the yes!! A slow-burn workout not only makes you stronger but does so faster than fast-rep activity. The power of slow movement lies in the deliberate, controlled intensity that challenges your every muscle fiber twitch.

Surely, slow-motion exercise requires extreme focus, determination, and patience, yet it delivers remarkable benefits and maximizes your efforts in less time! So why not give it a try once a week?

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  1. Dave Sweney says:

    This is the first time I have read about the slow-burn technique for gaining strength and after reading through your article, I have to say I am impressed and I am convinced that this is worth a try. Over the years, you get set in a certain routine, and as you get older that may not be the most effective means to maintaining your strength and fitness. 

    It seems that at its core, the slow burn workout comes down to extending each repetition of a series of exercises to attain maximum muscle fiber exhaustion from time under tension prior to moving on to the next exercise. At the end of a workout, you have put your body through a much more rigorous routine and will benefit long-term from this change.  

    When you practice this approach, it activates the body cell’s protein synthesis, thereby muscle regeneration and growth plus enhanced stamina to boot. All desirable outcomes, especially for an older person like myself (I am 67), since these beneficial effects can be achieved using fewer repetitions. I have bookmarked this post. Valuable information and I want to show it to my gym buddies. Thanks!  

    1. Anne-Caroline says:

      Hello Dave, so glad you bookmarked this post and enjoyed it so much! Yes, many don’t know about the slow-burn exercising technique. It is worth sharing around! 🙂

      You may be interested in reading This Is Why Your Brain Doesn’t Want To Work Out !

  2. Liam Tremblay says:

    Here, we learn how to get stronger with the power of slow-burn strength training. In fact, a slow-burn workout builds muscle strength faster than any other traditional resistance training. An increase in your metabolism, growth of your bone density, and an increase of your muscular endurance are some awesome benefits of a slow rep workout. Super-slow training is an effective method for middle-aged and older people. At first, you may find it boring and hard, but doing it once a week and seeing how it dramatically improves my strength is all worth it!

  3. JohnT says:

    I must admit, I’ve been working on staying strong as I hit 63, and this slow-burn workout concept is intriguing. Back in the day, it was all about lifting weights quickly to build strength, but this method seems different. The idea of engaging more muscle fibres with slower, controlled movements makes sense. I like that it’s easier on the heart and provides other health benefits. I could certainly use some help with my bone density and joint flexibility.

    What’s got me curious is the time under tension principle – it makes sense that extending the time your muscles stay tense could lead to muscle growth. Plus, it’s reassuring to know that even with lower weights, this approach can still bring about significant strength gains.

    I’d appreciate more info on specific exercises that work well with this technique and how to make sure I’m doing them correctly to avoid injuries. Also, how does it compare to more traditional strength training in terms of muscle development? This might be the push I need to change up my routine and try something new to stay strong as I age.

    1. Anne-Caroline says:

      Hi John, thanks for your comment. Of course, you do get stronger also with other more traditional strength training but what makes the slow-burn workout approach unique is that you get stronger faster and target every muscle fiber twitch!

      You may be interested in reading Bone Mass | How 10 Jumps A Day Will Keep Your Bones Strong!

  4. Yusuf says:

    Thank you for this great guide Anne-Caroline.

    Strength training is a big part of my routine, and I am actively looking for ways to improve my training and, in turn, the results I see.

    From personal experience, I noticed that time under tension is a game changer. Around a year ago, I used to only be able to do 20 pushups if I slow down and feel the burn, as opposed to around 40 if I use a regular pace.

    Since then, I have done a lot of pushup training and I can now do more than 60 pushups in one go, but I wonder how many slow, controlled pushups I can do. I should try it sometime soon.

    Apart from that, I have also been doing some weight training with light dumbbells, but with high repetitions, and I definitely agree that it can yield results as good as (if not better) than doing a few reps with heavy weights, provided that the time under tension factor is considered.

    The only problem is that slow and controlled repetitions take a very long time, so the workout becomes boring and it’s tough to stick to and be consistent with. Reading that once or twice a week is enough to see results is motivating, I guess I can push myself through the boredom once a week.

    1. Anne-Caroline says:

      Hi Yusuf! I think it is really worth it to do it only once a week! I have been doing the slow rep workout and I do feel the burn! Thank you for your helpful comment and for sharing your experience. Appreciate it.

      You may be interested in reading Why is barre fitness so good for men?

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