I just had a workout with personal trainer and fitness expert, Fred Hahn. After a workout that quickly taught me that I had a lot to learn about exercise and strength training, Fred and I had a nice low-carbohydrate dinner at a Manhattan restaurant and shared ideas.
I had heard about Fred's "slow-burn" concept in past, but made little of it. I then met Fred on Jimmy Moore's low-carb cruise this past year, where I gave a talk on how carbohydrate-reduced diets reduce small LDL particles. Fred provided a group demonstration on his slow-burn techniques. I watched the demonstration, even tried it a few times back home in the gym, but never really applied them, losing patience most of the time and just going back to my usual routine.
Well, Fred showed me today how to do his slow-burn. In a nutshell, it is the slow, methodical use of weight resistance until the muscle is exhausted. It involves slow movement--e.g., 5 seconds for a lat pulldown from top to bottom--repeated until exhaustion using a weight that allows, perhaps, 6 repetitions over a 60-second effort.
I've been strength training since I was a teenager. I've seen lots of bad training techniques, injuries, and hocum when it comes to how to use resistance training techniques. But I believe that Fred Hahn's slow-burn technique really provides something unique that I hadn't experienced before.
For one, the burn is nothing like I've felt before. Two, there appears to be nearly zero risk for injury, since the usual momentum-driven, herky-jerky motion often employed with weight machines is entirely gone. Three, if what Fred is seeing is true--enhanced visceral (abdominal) fat loss, reduced blood glucose, increased HDL, decreased LDL/total cholesterol--then there's something really interesting going on here.
I also discovered that Fred is no ordinary personal trainer. He has insights into metabolism that I found truly impressive. After all, he's been hanging around with Mike Eades, who's a pretty sharp guy. What Mike Eades is to metabolic insights is what Fred Hahn is to exercise physiology.
I'm going to take Fred's slow burn training insights home with me. I'll let you know how it goes. Some aspects I'd like to explore: Will strength, muscle mass, and blood sugar responses change?
Fred Hahn's latest book, adapting slow burn techniques for kids.