Friday, January 2, 2015



       WHY?  WHEN?  HOW?

WHEN?The SuperSlow program began when its developer, Ken Hutchins of Orlando, Fla., led a program investigating the effects of resistance training on older women with osteoporosis. "These women were so weak we were afraid for their safety," Hutchins recalls.Even before then, Hutchins had toyed with the idea of slow exercise before, only to lose interest. But low weight combined with slow movements seemed like the perfect program for these women: Following it, the women made dramatic gains in strength.


Wayne L. Westcott, PhD, fitness research director at the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, Mass., heard of the program and staged two informal studies in 1993 and 1999. In each, about 75 people trained with the SuperSlow program -- for 8 and 10 weeks, respectively. Those doing SuperSlow in both groups experienced a greater than 50% gain in strength. In fact, the results were so difficult to believe that Westcott had them verified at Virginia Tech.According to Hutchins, the key to SuperSlow is to never let the muscle rest -- to remove the element of momentum from each exercise, making the muscles do the work instead of capitalizing on the tendency of a weight in motion to stay in motion. Muscles are worked beyond the shaky phase to the point of failure, when the person is physically unable to perform one more repetition.


It is a "Killer Workout"The people in Westcott's study did 12-13 exercises. The comparison group did 10 repetitions of each exercise, pulling the weight up and lowering it over a period of the usual 2 seconds in each direction. The other half did five repetitions, but lifted slowly, 10 seconds on the upstroke and 4 seconds on the way back down. (Hutchins and others recommend 10 seconds each way.) That's 20 seconds of muscle contraction for each repetition instead of 4 seconds. Multiply that by five repetitions and 12 exercises, and you have a killer workout, Westcott says. Despite the fact that the technique started with elderly ladies, it is intensive and tough, Westcott says. (It also requires machinery in good working condition to minimize friction, which "unloads" the muscle.) But the uniqueness of super slow workouts doesn’t stop there. Rather than doing multiple sets for each body part, super slow training typically involves just one long set for each exercise, and each set is performed until your muscles are completely fatigued.


Does Super Slow Training Work?The idea behind super slow training is that by decreasing the speed of movement, you can create more tension in your muscles. Theoretically, the more fatigued muscle will respond by growing, thus making you stronger and potentially boosting your metabolism.Super slow weight training is a new and growing phenomenon in Western United States. However it is not a new concept in the Eastern U.S.Super slow weight training originated in 1984, at the University of Florida. A physician approached an employee of Nautilus to find a way of helping six patients who had osteoporosis. He believed that strengthening the women’s’ back muscles would help reduce their pain. Ken Hutchens, the Nautilus employee, developed a routine on Nautilus equipment for the women, using a 12-second extension and 10-second contraction, using the heaviest weight they could handle. They were only to do six to 10 repetitions, at which time the muscles would reach failure. The women worked out for a relatively short period twice a week. At the end of six months their physician evaluated the women. He found that not only did the women have less pain; the bone density had actually increased. They had increased their muscle mass and their osteoporosis had diminished. 

Benefits of super slow weight training

A recent study by the American Medical Association showed that the benefits of super slow weight training are that it:

  • Increases metabolism•        
  • Builds muscle strength and lowers body fat       
  • Strengthens heart and improves heart rate        
  • Lowers blood sugars, even reversing diabetes       
  • Strengthens bones, even reversing osteoporosis       
  • Retains strength in old age thereby reducing the risk of falls and broken bones.
  • Improves joint movement increasing mobility       
  • Increases the body’s ability to regulate its internal temperature        
  • Improves balance       
  • Improves sleep patterns        
  • Creates endorphins, which makes you feel better and reduces the risk of depression        
  • Lowers your cholesterol LDL/HDL ratio        
  • Reduces symptoms of arthritis        
  • Reduces lower back pain 


How muscles work

Muscles are made up of multiple fibers. When the nervous system calls on the muscles to work, it only calls on the number of fibers needed. Muscle fibers work on an ‘all or nothing’ basis. As a fiber tires, it drops out of use and an inactive one steps in to take its place. Once rested, the fiber returns to action. 

When the effort is greater, two few are rested to complete the work so more reserve fibers are called to action. When all the normal fibers fail, only the reserve fibers are working. The development of these reserve fibers increases the muscle strength. At a cellular level, super slow weight training builds more efficient use of glucose in the cells. 

Glucose is the energy for cells. This is important, as people age there is a greater tendency toward diabetes. It is not uncommon to completely reverse diabetes in those using the super slow weight training protocol.The average body generally loses 30% of muscle mass between the ages of 25 and 50. Another 30% is lost between the ages of 50 and 70, and yet another 30% between the ages of 70 and 80. This is why it is common to see very old people stooped. They simply have lost their back muscles. In tandem with loss of muscle is the loss of bone density. 

Bones become brittle as people age, unless they use strength-building exercises. The most effective strength building exercise is super slow weight training. Super slow weight training is not done with free weights. The movement must be constrained so that the proper muscles are worked and there is no injury. Using weight machines constrains the movement so that the muscles are worked properly and there is less likelihood of injury. 

Also, performing each movement at such a very slow speed, an individual can stop the movement if there is discomfort, before an injury occurs. Although super slow weight training can be performed by an individual alone, it is very important to start with a trainer, who has been certified in super slow weight training. This ensures the proper machine settings are made, and that the client performs the exercise properly. 

While cardio exercise is important, it is less important with slow weight training. This is because the heart only knows the exerciser is working hard. It does not differentiate between the super slow weight training and other exercises that exercise the heart. 

To top it off, super slow weight training takes less than half-an-hour per session, reducing the time in the gym. It can be done in street clothes, so people who are in a hurry can get in-and-out quickly. This leaves time to do the other activities, such as bicycling, running, or walking, for pleasure… not exercise. 

In the Central Massachusetts Area there is a facility with a trainer expert in the super slow weight training. 

Here is the address:YMCA of Central MA.766 Main st.Worcester, Ma 01601Phone: 508-755-6101

Herfel Torres is and has been a dedicated athlete & always in the pursuit of a healthier lifestyle. With a background of competitive cycling, judo (from childhood to making the college team 4 times) and gymnastics (college team 3 times/ one of them as assistant coach) is an example of Super Slow training.From recovery patient, practitioner to trainer, Super Slow has and it is the main focus of his everyday training. 

He is available for personal training sessions at the 
YMCA Central Community Branch
Located in 766 Main St. Worcester, MA. 01610For more info please call 508-755-6101

Friday, November 14, 2014



  • It burns a lot of calories. Believe it or not, if you have an average weight you’ll burn up to 600 calories per hour!
  • It relieves stress. Listen to music, bike in the forests, or just go wherever you like to go. Exercise relieves stress! Get all zen on your bike!
  • Get toned legs. Of course, biking is a good cardio exercise, but you will absolutely feel your legs when you go for a bike ride! And biking is a lot better for your knees and joints.
  • Explore your neighbourhood. You can go anywhere on your bike. Go to places you can’t go with a car, or  that are too far away to walk to. Just have fun finding a nice biking route!
  • It boosts creativity. You’ll think more deepy when you exercise. So if you don’t know what to do for a certain project, job or whatever it might be, jump on the bike and maybe you’ll find the perfect solution! 
  • It increases your flexibility. Don’t forget to stretch before you go biking. You’ll get more flexible every day!
  • Beat illness! Regular exercise is even better than eating healthy. It is even proven that people who exercise regularly are 50% less sick than the people who sit all day.
  • Save the planet. Twenty bicycles can be parked in the same space as one car. It takes about 5% of the materials and energy used to make a car to build a bike, and a bike produces zero air pollution.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

10 winning behaviors of champions:

10 winning behaviors of champions:

1. Champions remember that success is a decision, not a gift.
They decide what they want and, even more importantly, why they want it. To quote a wise friend, "Look deep inside yourself and find out what your passion really is." Yes, you might be worried about failing (or even just not being able to remove your wet suit), but face those fears. Champions try.
We should all have an ambitious, yet realistic, vision that inspires and excites us.

2. Champions document and communicate their goals.
Tell your friends, make it your screen saver or stick Post-it Notes everywhere. And set intermediate goals along the way, celebrating when you reach them!

3. Champions make choices.
Mediocrity is a choice. Excellence is a choice. Seeking excellence in every part of your life is a conscious decision -- so I would urge you all to do your best at whatever you do, whether it's walking the dog, loading the dishwasher, running or listening to a friend in need.
(Keep in mind that excessive doughnut consumption is probably something we should all choose not to excel at.)

4. Champions have a plan.
Reaching the finish line of any race requires a focused, detailed strategy. As an athlete I arm myself with information -- about different training methods, nutrition, my competitors, race courses, how to avoid chafing. You name it, I've read about and (in the case of Vaseline) applied it, and then have used the info to devise my training program.

5. Champions tackle their weaknesses and strengths.
They view training holistically; swim/bike/run sessions are not more or less important than nutrition, strength training, muscle massages, relaxation and life balance.

6. Champions lean on others.
A champion knows he or she is not an island. It was hard for me, as a fiercely independent person, to depend on others, but I couldn't have achieved what I did without support.
The word "competitor" is taken from a Latin root meaning to "seek together" -- with help I learned to dig deeper and discover reserves I never knew existed.

7. Champions accept change.
If you risk nothing, then you risk everything. For me, it wasn't simply about winning -- it was about being the best I could be. That meant being prepared to assess, adapt, evolve and even take calculated risks. This might include trying a new coach, a new training location or a new technique.
"If you always do what you've always done, you'll get what you always got." That doesn't mean blindly adopting every new innovation -- sometimes simple, time-honored techniques are best -- but the key is to avoid getting permanently stuck in a rut.

8. Champions prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
In an ideal world, everything goes as planned. But that's a utopia.
I have sunk in the swim, had bike failures, catapulted over crash barriers and relieved my GI tract in bushes. It's these mishaps and mistakes that help us learn and grow. They help us become slightly wiser, slightly stronger, slightly bolder and much more determined.

9. Champions keep things in perspective.
Win, lose or sink, triathlon shouldn't define you. Your emotions should never be solely wedded to a specific outcome. 

10. Champions stay positive.

There are occasions when even the most cup-overflowing individuals get down in the dumps -- but an ability to trade "I can't," for "I can," to believe in yourself and all that you are is what makes true champions.

Monday, July 1, 2013

More Shifting..The Lost Art

Because is something I still see, even in the people that say "I know how to ride"

1. Know Your Numbers

On the handlebars of a 21-speed bike (the most typical), you'll see a left-side shift lever with the numbers 1, 2 and 3, and a right-side shift lever with 1 through 7. The lever on the left controls the three chainrings on your front derailleur, and drastically change how easy or hard it is to pedal. The lever on the right controls the cluster of chainrings on your back derailleur and helps you make slight adjustments to your ride.

2. Use The Right Combos

"If you're climbing a steep hill, opt for lower gears?the 1 on the left side combined with 1 to 4 on the right,? says Joanne Thompson, owner and manager of Bike Station Aptos in Aptos, California. "If pedaling feels way too easy, switch to a higher gear?the 3 on the left side combined with 4 to 7 on the right?to help you go faster.? For everyday flat-road riding, she recommends sticking with the middle gear (the 2) on your left-side shifter and using the full range of gears on your right to fine-tune.

3. Shift Early, Shift Often

"Anticipate the road ahead and shift gears before a hill, just like you would in a manual-transmission car,? says Thompson. (Make sure to ease into gears, because if you make huge jumps?like clicking from the 1 on your left-hand shifter to the 3?your chain might slip off your bike.) "There's no such thing as shifting too often, so frequently change gears to find a cadence that's not too hard or easy,? she says. "Soon you'll be able to do it without thinking.?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Group Riding Tips

Keep these tips in mind the next time you go out to ride with a group.
Be cautious of cars approaching from behind. The riders on the back have the responsibility of letting other riders know if cars are approaching. If there's not enough room to ride two-abreast, they should shout out to the group to go single file: "Car, single up!"

The key to an efficient pace line is to maintain speed. Fluctuations in speed quickly sap a group's energy just like when you're on your own doing a time trial. Try to maintain a constant, high speed.

Stay relaxed and don't grip the handlebars too tight. The famous French cyclist Bernard Hinault used to say, "You should still be able to play the piano when riding." When you're tight and stiff your front wheel will go wherever your head turns. Look right and your bike will go right. But if you're relaxed you can look right and still hold a straight line. Holding a line is very important within the context of a group as each member is reliant upon the other members to maintain safety.

Keep your head up. Watch for upcoming obstacles: cars, potholes, rocks, other riders, etc.

Pull off into the wind as others may be overlapping your wheel to the draft side.

Don't throw your bike back as you get out of the saddle. Stand up into the bike and bring the bike forward.

Go easy on the brakes and anticipate pace changes. Try to reduce the accordion or "yo-yo" effect as much as possible.

Recovery is key in a group rotation. Finding the right draft position and staying tight and close have a cumulative effect over time. Riders who know how to make use of the group will save enormous amounts of energy.

Individuals riding as a group can cover distances much faster than one individual and save energy at the same time, as long as the group works well together and safety remains the number one concern.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

12 health benefits from cycling

Cycling is good for health. For one, it reduces death risks. In Denmark, a 15-year study associates cycling with a 40% reduction in mortality for both sexes over all ages (Archives of Internal Medicine, 2000).

Basically, a person who cycles as a commuter consistently can expect, according to a report released in a 1986 issue of the American Journal of Public Health, to live longer than those who don’t.
Cycling can also give you a high fitness level. The average daily cyclist has the fitness level of someone 10 years younger.
Cycling is good for your overall health in the following ways:

1. REDUCES weight when done regularly. Cycling increases calorie consumption and raises the metabolic rate, which can help to lose weight.

2. IMPROVES control of blood pressure by 10/8 mmHg in patients with hypertension (Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology, 1995).

3. LOWERS resting heart rate. A high resting heart rate has been linked to increased death from cardiovascular disease and increased risk of sudden death after a heart attack in healthy individuals.

4. IMPROVES HDL (good)/ LDL (bad) cholesterol ratio. If the ratio of LDL to HDL is too high, that means your blood is being loaded with cholesterol faster than the HDL cholesterol can remove it, which means excess cholesterol is building up inside the tissues and arteries. Eventually hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), which causes most heart attacks, takes place.

5. PREVENTS heart disease. Regular cycling halves the chance of suffering from heart disease, one of the top 3 killer diseases in Malaysia. A study reported a 50% reduction in fatal and non-fatal heart disease in civil servants who cycled over 20 miles/week.

6. BENEFITS cardiovascular health. Cycling also reduces the risk of stroke (a major killer in Malaysia) and coronary heart disease. In a study, regular exercise on a static cycle machine in patients with heart failure improves cardiac function (Lancet, 1990).

7. REDUCES diabetes. Exercise has been to shown to lead to a reduction in the rate of diabetes mellitus. In patients with diabetes mellitus, regular exercise leads to an improvement in control of blood sugar and can
help to prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes mellitus.

8. REDUCES cancer. Physical activity has been shown to be associated with reduced rates of cancer (eg: bowel cancer, and possibly also breast cancer) (European Journal of Epidemiology, 2000).

9. REDUCES cholecystectomy (surgical removal of the gallbladder) rates in women (New England Journal of Medicine, 1999).

10. REDUCES anxiety, depression and stress (Preventive Medicine, 1988).

11. TRAINS respiratory muscles (Report of the Royal College of Physicians, London; 1991).

12. IMPROVES muscle strength. Cycling is a non-weight bearing activity and regular cycling leads to improved muscle strength and improved mobility and coordination (Allot & Lomax and the Policy Studies Institute, 1998).

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Guidelines to successful group rides

One of the best parts of bicycling is stumbling upon a community of people who enjoy the simple pleasure of throwing a leg over a bike—and then doing that together. That’s right, I’m talking about group rides. Whether you’re riding the road in a peloton of your friends or storming the single track with a small army, group rides can easily be the best part of your week.

Or they can be the most challenging.

Getting a group of people together with varying skills and fitness levels creates a prime environment for good intentions to get in the way of good times. To avoid that fate, follow these tips to ensure everyone—whether they’re newbies or have been riding since the days of Biopace—has a great time on the next group ride.

1. Break up into groups.
Wanting to ride together in the name of inclusiveness is so nice and well-meaning, but it’s also the easiest way to screw up a group ride. When riders of varying skill and fitness stay together, no one ends up with the experience they were hoping for. Faster riders spend most of the ride waiting on slower folk, and then they often bolt before new riders can catch their breath.

Slower riders hate feeling like they’re making people wait. Even when the fast riders insist they don’t mind, they will never be able to convince novice riders. By breaking into groups, riders get to ride with (and learn from) their peers without pressure to wait, or more importantly, the pressure to keep up.

2. Create a “No One Gets Left Behind” group.
By promising not to ditch any of the riders on a group ride, you create a welcoming and engaging space. This brings an influx of new riders, which delivers a constant stream of fresh faces and new energy.

3. Learn by teaching.
The ideal person to lead the “No One Gets Left Behind” group isn’t the most skilled rider. It’s someone who recently joined the group. When ride leaders can relate stories of how far they’ve come in the past year and talk about when they, too, had trouble remembering which brake was which, it makes new riders feel comfortable and demonstrates how far a little practice can go. It gives new riders the opportunity to say, “If I keep practicing, in a year I can be where they are.”

4. Choose your route wisely.The best tool in your toolbag is the power to adapt (well, that and a patch kit). Choosing rides that are easy to navigate, have bail-out points, and can accommodate an unexpectedly large turnout will give you plenty of options if a wrench is thrown into your plans.

5. Bring extra everything.It only takes one experience to realize that one person bonking, running out of water, or getting a flat tire can affect the entire group. While it’s every person’s responsibility to come prepared, having a bonus snack or tube can mean the difference between a short ride with a quick break or a long after-dark adventure home.

6. Build in a buffer.If you say the ride starts at 9AM, you’ll get two groups of riders – those who are chomping at the bit to ride at 9AM and those who are just rolling into the parking lot at 9AM. Instead, advertise that the ride meets at 8:45AM and leaves promptly at 9:00AM.

7. Go beyond the simple group ride.Bikes are fun. Themes are fun. Themed bike rides are definitely fun. Don’t be afraid to create a singlespeed ride or a ride for families with kids. You can throw together early morning weekend jaunts for parents who have limited time or let the hammerheads have a ride of their own where if you can’t keep up, you’re getting dropped. There’s grey-haired rides, singles rides, and rides where the pace starts slow and tapers back from there.