Taking It Super Slow


Over the years I have been aware of the existence of SuperSlow protocol derivations used by some IFBB Pro Bodybuilders. The latest incarnation of these derivations has popped up in the latest issue of Flex magazine (even though the magazines description of its use is quite a bit different from the videos that I have seen online of these same bodybuilders employing it said protocol). Below, I will summarize my understanding of how the technique is being used by the aforementioned bodybuilders. My summary is based less on the Flex magazine article itself, and more on the videos I’ve seen online, as well as a conversation with one of the bodybuilders in this circle.

On The RenEx Inner Circle website, I will explore this topic in greater detail and add my suggestions for a hybrid protocol that can be used in a conventional setting. I think that my suggestions will add to the efficacy of the suggestions in Flex. In the current piece I merely want to present a brief introduction and a few thoughts.

Flex mag

The easiest way to translate these bodybuilders use of the protocol is to reference The SuperSlow or RenEx technical manual and read Ken Hutchins’s description of timed breakdowns therein.

From what I can derive, these bodybuilders start off by performing 3 SuperSlow reps. I believe this amount is on the edge of what any of these guys will be able to concentrate effectively, given their paradigm and orthodox bodybuilding equipment/environment (example: 45 degree Hack squat machines).

Following their best attempt at 3 SuperSlow reps, they break from a SuperSlow cadence and begin performing their more orthodox 1/1 rhythmic repetitions (which is what you would commonly observe them perform).

In practice they do not desire, nor is it likely that they are capable of in that environment, working toward any thorough inroad. Rather they extend their sets by speeding up, using momentum and employing pre-stretch. Note that within this paradigm bodybuilders don’t attempt to render their musculature momentarily incapable with one single set of exercise, but rather stop short in order to be able to perform multiple sets in order to derive an accumulative effect.

When working within the RenEx system there is a different give and take. We are opting to take the musculature as far as it can go within a set, which allows for very little, if any, repeated attempts. I do believe to a great extent, that equipment will largely dictate ideal protocol for said circumstance.

Within the context of RenEx and its early iterations, we discovered that breakdowns offered no additional benefits. Much less in terms of work was possible as equipment and methodology became more refined. Instead, we pursued inroad technique that would render the musculature incapable of either timed or traditional breakdowns. Furthermore, the development of thorough inroad technique rendered one incapable of pre-stretch. We now believe that with our environment and protocol, that both Pre-Stretch and Timed Breakdowns are unnecessary, undesirable, and impossible.

Please do view this within context as our model calls for the intent to inroad the targeted musculature in a minimum amount of time. Their model calls for avoiding efficient inroad in order to prolong the exercise session and achieve multiple assaults. One could even say that their objective is in direct opposition to ours; to make the workout as long as reasonably possible.Either way there is always a give and take, and while I do have some potentially valuable insights for any camp who is trying use a SuperSlow type protocol to improve the quality, concentration, control and stimulation of their training, I think the audience for such insights could simply be this: those who are looking to perform better and further refine the qualitative aspects of their exercise practice. This is a subject I really want to expand on going into the year 2015 after I get past the Pro Mr. Universe Contest late this year.

See you over on The RenEx Inner Circle for further discussion. Comments here will remain closed.

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