left Xtraordinary Living At Its Best: What's the limit?

Monday, February 27, 2006

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What's the limit?

If you listened to our second podcast episode titled "Why do you want to get fit?" you already know that my approach to fitness is to do as little as I can so I can live my Xtraordinary life. Currently I play baseball, golf, snowboarding, and I recently started road biking. So my fitness program is designed to help me participate in those activities and perform at a level that is satisfactory to me while minimizing soreness and injuries. One of the elements of my program is a weight training method called SuperSlow® . I live in San Diego and I have been working out with one of the first SuperSlow® licensed facilities in the area The Perfect Workout for over 5 years. The reason this method works for me is that the sessions are very intense but short (only 12-15 minutes) & the results are measurable.

The basic premise of the program is that every exercise you do, you do it until you reach "failure" - that is total muscle fatigue. Simply put, you go until your muscles have reached their limit and you can go no further. The amount of time it takes to reach failure is somewhere between 1-2 minutes per exercise. As you get stronger, the time you can go until you reach failure increases. Once the time moves closer to the upper range, you increase the amount of weight you lift and your time comes down. So unfortunately, it never gets any easier.

Getting stronger is not even in my list of goals for working out. At this stage in my life, I'm more concerned with NOT getting weaker that I am with getting stronger. And yet, I love numbers and I'm very competitive. Part of what keeps me interested and motivated is looking at the numbers (time & weight.) So every time I finish my workout I look at my numbers for the session. How did I do vs. the last time I did that particular routine? Did I beat my time? Is this a new personal record?

The fact is that I set a new personal record quite often. Which leads me to ask "What's my limit?" You see, my rational mind tells me that there has to be a limit. And yet, I've yet to find what it is for me. Maybe the only way I will find out what my limit WAS is after I've done my last workout. Until then I'll just have to keep on wondering...


Marshall said...

I recently read a criticism of superslow , as well as the superslow zone you might be interested in. I'm not saying draw any conclusions from it, but just food for thought.

Rick Itzkowich said...


Appreciate your comment and reference material. Very interesting. As the book Freakanomics points out, be skeptical of any research out there since they all have their biases. I'm sure that this arena is no different. What I do know, is that when in doubt, I go with my experience. And my endorsement of this method has more to do with my personal experience and the results than with any research.