I am stuck with 1 week of little exercise due to reservist. Hence, I haven’t been blogging. The time at reservist however, allowed me to continue to read a book which I stopped long ago- 4Hour Body. In this book, Tim Ferriss introduces new workout techniques that can help to minimise time spent on training and maximise strength gain and growth.
In his book, one of the methods he employed was Occam’s Prescriptions 5/5 cadence. Basically, instead of doing traditional lifting, 10 X 5 sets to stimulate muscle growth, you jump straight to where it counts: when you reach failure. In this kind of workout, one uses an appropriate set of weights (70% of max 5 reps) and lift at a cadence of 10 sec. 5 sec up, and 5 sec down. Lift till you reach failure.
Why reaching failure matters? In the book, it says that it is really only those last agonizing seconds where your muscles can’t do any more, are the ones that trigger your body to say, “Hey we need to build more freakin muscle!” Flip the switch for your hormones to kick in and stimulate growth.
Tried this at home today and these are the weights used:
Shoulder press 30kg
Bent over row 35kg
My shoulders went into failure pretty quickly. At about 4 reps, sometimes I found it hard to lift the next one. Bent over rows on the other hand, I felt that I should have used more weight. Nonetheless, the 5 sec cadence was quite challenging and eliminated a lot of momentum used for lifting. Hence, most of the lifting is done by the muscles.
I shall experiment with this technique more.