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Misrepresentation of Slow Burn Training

by Fred Hahn on March 23, 2011

The above article titled Muscular Contraction with Measured Movement is from a March 1962 issue of Strength and Health magazine. The article was written by the late Bob Hoffman, founder of the infamous York Barbell Company. The men and women who made up the York company and the enthusiasts who followed their regimens were and still are considered among the “heart and soul” of modern body building and athletics.

In the article, slow repetition training is discussed as a powerfully productive method of building strength, muscle and athletic ability. And what is the MC MM repetition tempo? 10 seconds to lift, 10 seconds to lower using about half the weight one usually uses in their training. That’s pretty slow.

“For some time those who train at the York Barbell Club gym have included this system of training. We have always been great believers in including a fair share of slow movements in any body building course.”

It goes on to discuss how powerful a protocol MC MM is and how a world famous swimming coach considers it to be the best of all the strength and conditioning protocols. Take a look-see:

MCMM blowup

That’s a pretty powerful endorsement for slow rep training from a top athletic coach wouldn’t you say? And if he didn’t think it was so beneficial, why would he say it? That this was said 40+ years ago makes no difference. Many power athletes today still use and sing the praises of the training methods of the lifters of yesteryear.

There are many people today who say things like “If slow rep, HIT training was/is so good, how come no coach’s or athletes use it?” Well they did and they still do. If you’re one of the many people who question the efficacy of slow tempo training, let’s dispense with this sort of talk from now on, agreed? It worked then and it works now.

I bring this article to the surface to illuminate an issue that often arises when I hear people talk about slow rep, high intensity training. It seems that, regardless of their schooling, their experience, their kindly and friendly persona’s, many people disseminate misinformation about slow rep, HIT training. These same people are, interestingly enough, very careful when discussing other forms of exercise. But when it comes to slow rep, HIT training, they feel that it is perfectly fine to say whatever it is they wish to say about it – facts and history be damned. And that’s a shame.

I listened to Robb Wolf and his partner Greg Everett discuss Slow Burn training on his recent podcast. Before I say more about this, let me say that I like Robb Wolf’s work and having met him on one occasion, I like Robb as well. He’s a knowledgeable, fit as a fiddle dude who has much to contribute to the fitness arena. My knowledge of nutrition pales in comparison to his (or should I say paleos in comparison) and his book The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet is indeed worth reading. So let me say again, I like Robb, I think his work is very good, I’d enjoy having a beer with him (drat – we are both gluten intolerant – a glass of wine then) and have done my fair share of promoting him.

Said yet another way so that none of you come away after reading this post thinking otherwise – I like Robb and respect his work.

After listening to their podcast, I realized that Robb and Greg Everett’s depiction of what Slow Burn is and what it can do for you is unfortunately fraught with several factual problems, a smidge or two of  illogic and a dash of undeserved disdain.

Someone wrote in a question asking them about Slow Burn training. Greg reads the letter aloud to his listeners and as he reads it, associates Slow Burn with me by mentioning my name. At first Greg gets my name right but then immediately pretends as if he suddenly doesn’t know that I wrote the book at all. He says “This is the Fred Hahn or Frank Hahn or Gary Hahn or someone Hahn…” Wassup wit dat?

Now, why after getting my name right would Greg pretend not to know that Slow Burn was written by me when he obviously does know? Are we to believe that he had no idea I was the author of the book and just took a random guess at a name and, out of every name possible to choose from, just happened to choose the name Fred as his first guess?

Robb Wolf knows that The Slow Burn Fitness Revolution was written by me and my co-authors Drs. Mike and MaryDan Eades. So why didn’t Robb correct Greg by saying something to the effect of “Hey Greg man, it’s Fred Hahn and Drs. Eades who wrote the book?” Why not take the time to get our names right? I mean, it’s basic fact checking not to mention professional courtesy to your peers. Can you imagine how strange it would be if I blogged on Robb’s book and said something like “The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf, or Greg Wolf or Dan Wolf or somebody Wolf…”

I’m just sayin’…and trying to illuminate in saying this how perfectly cool people somehow allow themselves to act oddly when discussing slow rep training. No hard feelings now.

Moving on…

At ~41:58 into the program, Greg immediately seems to poo-poo Slow Burn training. He states that the guy who wrote in to ask about Slow Burn was already using a protocol of training (using kettle bells and body weight exercise along with a paleo diet) to gain muscle and lose weight. He said that his current regimen was working well for him and, since it was working well for him, Greg chides him by saying why bother to do anything else then. “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” Greg implies.

Well, the guy wrote in to ask specifically about Slow Burn training did he not? Maybe he wants to find something that might work even better than what he is currently doing. Why belittle his question by acting like the question is not even worth asking?

Greg then says (intentionally or not but ultimately making light of the guy’s question): “That’s the problem with the internet. There’s so much freaking information out there.”

Jesus wept. That’s the problem with the internet? That’s the entire point of the internet. And again, why make light of the man’s question – just answer it. And if you can’t answer it because you don’t know anything about it, skip it. Again, let me be clear here – had the guy wrote in asking about virtually any other type of training I will bet you dimes to doughnuts that Greg and Robb would not have said what they did. Has the guy asked about periodization training or Olympic lifting or cross fit training they would NOT have suggested that they guy should stick to what he was already doing. They more than likely would have given the guy a solid description of those types of training regimens.

But slow rep Slow Burn training? Why bother.

And I wonder what makes Greg think that Slow Burn is some weird and obscure internet exercise system that the guy found lurking deep within the bowels of cyberspace? It happens to be one of Random Houses best-selling fitness books with nearly 100,000 books in print that has been translated into three languages and a fourth on the way.

Prior to this part of the podcast and seconds after this statement, Robb says that one of the problems with any training program is that after a time you get used to it and need to change it. (Personally I don’t buy this idea at all.)

At 43:30 into the podcast he quotes the famous power lifter Louis Simmons as saying: “Everything works but nothing works forever.” Well if that’s the case, then why did Greg imply that the guy who wrote in asking about Slow Burn should stick to what he was already doing since it was working?  Which is it gentlemen? And this is really funny on many fronts because how often do you hear these guys say “Ya gotta stick to the basics man – squat, bench and dead.” So nothing works forever BUT we should always stick to the basics.

To be fair, towards the end of the Slow Burn part of the podcast Robb does say that you should use a protocol that works until the bitter end. But why wait? Why run a protocol of training into the ground before trying something new?

My old Buick Rendezvous was a good car. It worked very well. It worked very well until the day I traded it in. No complaints really. But my new Honda Odyssey blows it away. Should I have waited until the Rendezvous was a wreck before I switched? Of course not. As soon as I realized that there was something else out there that I could drive and was that much better and safer, I grabbed it. It would have been a real hoot to hear the dealer say “Why do you want to drive a better car when the one your driving is good enough?”

Robb then states that he likes Slow Burn and calls it (and I) “super cool” (which is nice) and that the Slow Burn protocol is a way to “maintain some muscle mass and some strength.” Just maintain? It’s as if he thinks that this type of training cannot build significant strength and muscle mass. But they must know that it can. So why state it in this way? Why not be more positive about it? Why be so oddly reserved and aloof when talking about it? I’m not saying they should sing its praises mind you but why say that is will only “maintain” strength?

To me it seems that they are being needlessly cautious about promoting slow rep training so as not to seem as if they are actually promoting it for fear – OK not fear per se – but for caution that the “big dudes” out there who are into power and explosive lifting might take issue to their thumbs up to slow rep training. I’m guessing here because if you know anything about slow rep training, you know that it is not only a very grueling and intense form of exercise, but produces fantastic results.

And it is true that many hardcore power lifters and people of their ilk make fun of slow rep training. Most of these people have never once experienced this type of training in their lives. The few that have experienced it, no longer make fun of it. Big Drew Israel a.k.a “The Human Wall” comes to mind. (Big Drew is second from the left in the picture below. Drew is a great guy.)

Drew was one of the largest and strongest of Dr. Ken Leistner’s “students” back in the 90’s. After a series of injuries sustained from the kinds of training methods that are usually described as functional and power driven, Drew turned to slow rep training and found it to be not only extremely useful but made him stronger than ever and did not diminish his athletic ability. Quite the contrary.

Robb also stated in his podcast that my co-author Dr. Mike Eades had advocated fast twitch oriented, explosive type training in his book The Protein Power Life Plan and asked Dr. Eades why he took an about face from recommending this type of training. Robb said that Dr. Eades explained to him that he did so because he just doesn’t like working out and that Slow Burn preserves his muscle mass and keeps up his golf game.” But this is not exactly why Dr. Eades dispensed with his recommendation for explosive type training in favor of Slow Burn. He dispensed with it because after reading the scientific literature he realized that slow rep training was superior – just like the oldetime York strength enthusiasts experienced.

All due respect given, Robb is not correct in his implication that exercises causing fast or explosive movements are necessarily using fast the twitch muscle fibers.

Fast and slow twitch refer to the “fatiguability” of muscle fibers, not the speed with which they contract. Regardless of the movement speed, if a set of an exercise is taken to momentary muscular failure where no further concentric (lifting) work is possible all of the available fibers – slow to fast – are recruited.  Even the world famous physiologist Vladimir Zatsiorsky states this in his book Science and Practice of Strength Training.

So just because you toss a medicine ball around quickly this does not mean that your fast twitch fibers are firing. For this to happen, the medicine ball would have to be so heavy that you couldn’t toss it fast if you tried or of you kept tossing it until you could barely lift it.

You do not need to train in a fast or in an explosive (potentially unsafe) manner in order to recruit the fast twitch fibers which are the fibers most responsible for increasing strength and muscle mass. You simply need to continue the contraction until total fatigue occurs using a weight load that renders failure in no more than about 120 seconds.

Towards the end of the podcast Greg inadvertently puts a few words in Robb’s mouth by stating that Slow Burn might indeed build some muscle mass and strength, but will contribute nothing to athleticism. This is a huge error and goes completely against reality. Let’s stop and think about this for just a sec. But before we do, let’s take another close up view of the MC MM article:

MCMM athleticism

And if you recall, the champion swim coach quoted in the Hoffman article felt that MC MM was the superior method above all for improving athleticism. The past can teach us much.

So, what is “‘athleticism?” And what for that matter is an “athlete?” As I see it, an athlete is a human being that engages in athletics. Athleticism is the act of being athletic. Athleticism therefore requires the contraction of muscles so that the body moves through time and space.  To suggest that making an athlete stronger and more muscular regardless of how one does it (either with slow reps or isometric contractions) will not contribute to enhanced athleticism is, IMHO, to not understand what athleticism is.

Then Greg says that if you like athleticism he can’t imagine being put through the “misery” of Slow Burn training. Well, Slow Burn training is designed to improve upon your existing strength and muscle mass so that you can go out in the world and do whatever it is you choose to do that you enjoy doing better. And yes, Slow Burn is intense. But any form of exercise that improves upon your existing state of physical conditioning is uncomfortable and challenging and may be looked at as miserable. Many if not most of my clients refer to Slow Burn as such – perhaps not as miserable, but rather as challenging and exhilarating. Many write in that is has changed their lives.

The fact is that you do not NEED to do all sorts of potentially dangerous types of exercises like Olympic lifting, plyometrics, or Cross Fit training in order to come away with a stronger, leaner and more powerful body. The notion that you do is a bunch of horse-hockey that certain people (not necessarily Robb and Greg mind you) who are addicted to exercising would have you believe.  While these forms of exercise can absolutely be fun to engage in much in the same way that snow boarding over moguls can be great fun, don’t you believe for a second that they are necessary to perform in order to be “atheltic.” You need strong and enduring muscles to be athletic. And you don’t want to damage yourself in the process of becoming stronger to be more athletic. Capeesh?

The moral of this long-winded blog is, if you are going to write or talk about something you know nothing about, rather than making stuff up about it, just skip it. If you think you do know something about it, make sure you have your facts straight by doing a little homework. Praise your audience and answer their questions as fully and as responsibly as you can. Refrain from red herrings and other logical fallacies as best as possible. Give full credit where credit is due.

Doing it this way is better for everybody involved and brings us all closer together.

Happy spring!

I've been involved in exercise ever since I became a member of The Charles Atlas Club when I was 10 years old. In 1998, I founded and established Serious Strength on the Upper West Side of NYC. My clients include kids, seniors (and everyone in between), top CEOs, celebrities, bestselling authors, journalists and TV personalities.
my book. my Gym.

in Health/Fitness,strength training · 50 comments


Sean Preuss March 23, 2011 at 10:52 PM

This is upsetting, Fred. We had a nice meeting with Robb at Art’s lecture. I do listen to his podcast fairly often and thought his words had more credibility. This makes me think Robb is offering his expertise into areas that he knows little about. Slow training actually increases fiber recruitment (including fast twitch) and strength increases athletic performance in general, no matter how that strength is attained.

Mark March 24, 2011 at 3:38 AM

I think your response to their podcast comes across as needlessly defensive (ok, so some dude didn’t get your name right and Robb “failed” to correct him…I dunno, maybe in the world of many different podcasts and topics, it didn’t seem necessary to get the name right or maybe Robb thought that in all of Greg’s variations of your name that he HAD got it right at one point. It’s called benefit of doubt. There are many potential reasons why they didn’t get your name exactly right.).

I listened to the podcast and didn’t feel they really trashed slow training at all. Of COURSE they are biased AGAINST slow training so you should be pretty jazzed that they treated it fairly in the first case. These guys are from the CrossFit mold of exercise, just about the exact opposite of slow training.

For the record, I slow train 1x every 7-10 days and do a metabolic CrossFit type workout 1x week or so for fun, so I’m not some anti-slowburn person and I enjoy your work and writing but sometimes you come off as overly defensive.


Fred Hahn March 24, 2011 at 5:56 AM

Was my post overly defensive? Maybe. But it’s my blog.

And it’s not just about getting a name right. It’s much larger than that. Like I implied in my post, I wouldn’t DREAM of talking about someone else like that – I’d be mortified if I got the SPELLING of a person’s name wrong let alone tossed around someone’s name as if it didn’t matter a jot.

And I never said they trashed slow training. I said they got their facts screwed.

You’re suggesting that I should be jazzed they didn’t trash slow training? Really? That’s a very interesting thing to say there Marc.

My point was if you are going to talk about a subject, get your facts right. If you are not going to take the time to do that, don’t bother talking about it. But if you are going to anyway, certainly don’t belittle people in the process – especially people you called upon to help you support your work. That is just f’d up.

And I have nothing against cross fit training any more than I have something against archery or bowling or badminton. I said in the end of my blog post that making yourself stronger carries over to things like cross fit.

Fred Hahn March 24, 2011 at 6:07 AM

Sean – I still think Robb’s work and information is credible. I think the man knows his nutritional stuff big time. And I think he probably knows a hell of a lot about training. But as I said in my post or tried to say for some reason or other when people with no experience with slow rep training start talking about it they somehow become altered and misrepresent the style of training along with the people who promote it.

Again, can you imagine yourself blogging about say, Dr. William Kraemer, the physiologist who supports and promotes periodization training and saying something like “As for periodized training, Dr. William Kraemer or is it Joesph Kraemer or Sheldon Kraemer or somebody Kraemer…” No – of course you couldn’t! You would only say something like that on purpose in order to belittle that person which of course winds up belittling yourself.

I’m not looking for an apology mind you – not at all. I’m only asking that people get their facts straight.

Fred Hahn March 24, 2011 at 6:29 AM

Marc you were right. I’ve altered the blog to better reflect my thoughts and feelings on the matter.

sumoman March 24, 2011 at 7:21 AM

Fred, you ask why Bob Hoffman would say that slow 10 second training is effective. You are presumably unaware that Hoffman was big into selling his power racks and during that period flooded his magazines with Isometric Contraction, etc.

He got his big time lifters (like Bill March) to promote the routines to sell the power rack. However his lifters didn’t use the routines as implied. As with all principles, like isometrics and slow training, they had their place but there was no such thing as a philosophy based on slow training, isometic training, muscle contraction, etc. – that was simply a publicity stunt to sell racks.

I think you will find information on Joe Roark’s site.

I should also point out that you yourself created slowburn because you felt that 10 seconds up and 10 seconds down superslow was ineffective.

Fred Hahn March 24, 2011 at 7:32 AM

Read the article Juan and stop trying to qualify it. You can make up excuses for anything.

I suppose by your estimation the kettlebell, barbell and dumbbell when invented was sold as a publicity stunt too.


Yes Juan, every type of training except for slow tempo training is valid. You’re bias is so transparent it’s laughable.

All in good fun right my good man?

sumoman March 24, 2011 at 7:38 AM

Fred, I’m merely relating what iron history buffs already know, i.e. that Hoffman promoted these training principles to sell his rack, whilst his lifters didn’t actually use the principles in the manner that his magazines suggested.

I’m not sure why you should think that it is my interpretation, it is what the history buffs say, you might want to contact Joe Roark or Brooks Kubik on the subject.

sumoman March 24, 2011 at 7:39 AM

Also I never said that slow training doesn’t work – I said that it was used as a principle not as a methodology of training or as an entire philosophy.

Rebecca Latham March 24, 2011 at 8:58 AM

Hi, Fred! Great blog post, and it just makes me want to get started with Slow Burn that much faster!

At the moment, I am suffering from a torn shoulder that happened when I – you guessed it – lifted a heavy weight too quickly. I have been in physical therapy since mid-December, with no improvement, and I see a surgeon on April 4th to see if I need surgery.

Two questions:

1. Do you suggest that I go ahead and get started with the Slow Burn now and just skip anything that hurts my shoulder, or should I just put off the whole thing until after surgery?

2. Once I start in earnest, where do I go from the workout in the book? Do you just keep doing that same workout over and over, or do you start any other workout, but just do it slow, the way you teach?

Thanks, Fred! And for the record, I did not see you being too picky or defensive in your blog post above.


Fred Hahn March 24, 2011 at 9:47 AM

Juan you’re mistaken. They did indeed use these principles. That’s like saying no one who bought Nautilus machines used the Nautilus principles. Bubkis.

You have a penchant for nay saying anything I write Juan. But thanks for reading!

sumoman March 24, 2011 at 10:40 AM

Fred, you appear not be reading my post at all!!!

I said that they did not use slow training as a philosophy or methodology, they used it as a principle just like somebody might to supersets.

In fact Hoffman tried to force them to continue using the principles but they didn’t – I should also add that much of their gains during this period was due to Hoffman’s new wonder drug of steroids, this wasn’t something he highlighted.

Fred Hahn March 24, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Juan where are you getting this information from? Can you provide a link?

Again you can nay say all you like.

sumoman March 24, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Fred, somebody posted the information over at P&B – unfortunately I can remember the link, may be it was on this site somewhere;

I should point out that I am not naysaying your ability as a coach to regular people who want to reverse the effects of sedentary living – I have no doubt that you would be far better than me and indeed better than many in dispensing advice and coaching.

Fred Hahn March 24, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Thank you Juan. But all people are “regular” people of course.

Fred Hahn March 24, 2011 at 1:14 PM

Rebecca – thanks for reading!

You said:

“Two questions:
1. Do you suggest that I go ahead and get started with the Slow Burn now and just skip anything that hurts my shoulder, or should I just put off the whole thing until after surgery?”

Hard to say – I’d say yes. Start training and avoid direct shoulder work for that shoulder. Training your lower body and core hard can have carry over effects to the upper body.

“”2. Once I start in earnest, where do I go from the workout in the book? Do you just keep doing that same workout over and over, or do you start any other workout, but just do it slow, the way you teach?”‘

Once the home workout is a cinch, hit the weights in the gym or buy some free weights and safety rack and ~200 pounds of weights. Let me know and I’ll be happy to help.

Thanks, Fred! And for the record, I did not see you being too picky or defensive in your blog post above.

Stephanie O. March 24, 2011 at 3:57 PM


I heard the podcast and thought it was a weird way to handle it. It seems like it may have been better for them to just leave the question out.

That being said, I bought your book in December, have been using the technique for about 8 weeks. I have become so much stronger and my carpel tunnel symptoms and chronic low back pain are much improved and I could not be happier to ditch the boring treadmill/cardo sessions 3x’s a week.

I use a steep hill by my house to gauge my cardio fitness, and I can say that it has improved since I ditched the treadmill in favor of this method, and I am only hitting the gym once a week.

BTW, I read Rebecca Latham’s blog and that is how I found you, so I have her to thank for pointing me in this direction.

Fred Hahn March 24, 2011 at 4:09 PM

Hi Stephanie – So glad to hear the progress you’ve made with Slow Burn. Thank you for buying my book and giving the method a shot. Your so called cardio fitness should continue to improve as you get stronger and stronger and especially if you eat more healthy fats and less refined sugars.

Can you give me a link to Rebecca’s blog? Thanks!

Stephanie O. March 24, 2011 at 4:17 PM
Stephanie O. March 24, 2011 at 4:28 PM

She is very active on the Atkins forums and was also featured in the last Atkins book.

Seán March 24, 2011 at 8:44 PM

I got into Slow Burn in 07, and I have to admit it didn’t last long. I was training at home, and with the growing responsibilities of my life, it just fell away. I got back into it last October and lift once a week. I have to say that the gains have been tremendous. I am the strongest and fittest of my life (33 years). Now I know I am on the upswing, but it is plain to see (and feel) that the system works and does exactly what you say it does. I just lifted yesterday and noticed that I was a lot stronger than a year ago when I was kind of getting flabby. I also have incorporated a low carb diet that is essentially the same that you recommend. And, lo and behold, I am loosing the flab. The point is that there is prejudice out there that is not always based on data, but something else. Perhaps there is even innocent ignorance, but then we should just keep our mouths shut. Also I do not do any other weight lifting than once a week. I do train in martial arts 1-5 days a week, but this is not crazy stuff other people thing of, but slow tai chi style martial arts (read: safe and not strenuous). And yet my “athleticism” is improving!?! So my gains are probably 98% slow burn and low carb diet. I just wanted to give some more anecdotal evidence, and also commend you on your book which is highly accessible, and checks out at my library more than the beefcake books. And as for enduring the training, I can put up with some deep burn for about 35 minutes a week, and a day of fatigue once a week, as opposed to 3 or more days in the gym with the innumerable sets, and the super sweaty armpits and back, and the greater risk of injury. For me, the choice is simple.

Fred Hahn March 25, 2011 at 9:17 AM

Thanks for sharing that Sean. Much appreciated.

Rebecca Latham March 25, 2011 at 9:41 AM

Thanks for the advice, Fred!

Firebird March 25, 2011 at 7:20 PM

Rebecca, think you can’t tear a rotator cuff from doing Slowburn? Of course you can. You can tear a rotator cuff doing plenty of things. Hell, my aunt ruptured a disc by sneezing and coughing at the same time.

I lift heavy and have never torn a rotator cuff. Perhaps it was your form and not the amount of weight you were using…

sumoman March 26, 2011 at 7:58 AM

I’ve been lifting some 30 years including +1000 lb lifts, fast lifts, etc – never tore a rotator cuff.

Kevin O'Neall March 26, 2011 at 11:09 AM

I tore both rotators doing slow burn. Mainly because my form was way off. I was using an ab roller. A small tool that resembles a wheelbarrow wheel with handles attached to the axle. On my knees and grasping the handles I rolled forward til my arms were straight. That was the mistake. Taking 10 seconds to roll back to the starting point I felt something ‘give’ in one shoulder, then the other. Because it wasn’t painful I kept using it.


Fred Hahn March 26, 2011 at 11:15 AM

Kevin if you tore both rotator cuffs doing slow burn exercises than you had better high tail it over to a good endocrinologist and an internist to check out your hormones and other internal health markers. To be that brittle is not a good sign Kevin – I am NOT joking! I train people WITH partially torn rotators using Slow Burn.

sumoman March 26, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Kevin, I understand that this can happen because a long duration movement means that some muscles will fatigue before others – in your case the rotator muscles presumably fatigued before the big lats, pecs, etc.

Fred Hahn March 26, 2011 at 1:27 PM

Juan – please. He was doing an ab crunch using an ab roller. If he tore his RC’s doing that, Kevin is suffering from a connective tissue disorder. Kevin – I am NOT joking about this! Go see someone!!

sumoman March 26, 2011 at 1:36 PM

Fred, I’d be willing to wager a small sum of $10 (payable via paypal) that Kevin is not suffering from a connective tissue disorder.

Paula March 26, 2011 at 2:05 PM

Dear Fred,

Robb Wolf and Greg Everett are obviously threatened big time by Slow Burn. That comes through loud and clear.

You should be honored. They fooled no one. Reminds me of Dr. Oz’s latest shenanigans when he had Gary Taubes on his show March 7. The Wiz was threatened big time and couldn’t come up with ENOUGH shenanigans to try and hide the light.

You and Gary have the truth. Those operating without full light (yet believing they ARE the full light) — when confronted with the real light, will do their best to not let it emerge, will obscure it to the very best of their ability (or so they think), as Wolf & Everett’s strange shenanigans demonstrate.

Going through some geneological papers yesterday I came upon a poem by a relative of mine, about 3 generations back. One stanza reads:

Dang! Went upstairs and couldn’t find it again in all the papers. But the gist of it is, If you attain success, you will have enemies. It was written kind of casually (as a taken-for-granted thing) in the midst of a poem about life…

I would definitely take Robb & Everett’s shenanigans as a compliment, and a big one. Had they been more mature and secure, they would have given you your due and been professional. But you are THE direct competition to their ideas, just as G.T. is direct competition to Dr. Oz.

No one was fooled by Dr. Oz’s shenanigans. Go to his website, type in taubes and read what is said in the comments. Ouch. Jimmy Moore said his site got a HUGE deluge of hits from people googling “Gary guy on Oz” etc. and from that they came upon Jimmy’s site (Jimmy interviewed Taubes shortly thereafter, plus Taubes wrote an “In the Land of Oz” essay in his own blog, etc…). Lots of people have hit on and will be hitting to YOUR site after Wolfe & Everett’s shenanigans. They will read this essay of yours; I must say, a most gentlemanly and illuminating essay.

Wolf and Everett did you a great favor.

It allowed you to:

(1) answer them (their insecurity about their method is obvious); and
(2) further the cause of Slow Burn.

Which can’t have made W. and E. happy; in fact, they WILL read your essay and these comments, and perhaps do a little “slow burn” themselves.

Fred Hahn March 26, 2011 at 6:25 PM

Thanks Paula!

Fred Hahn March 26, 2011 at 6:54 PM

Then Kevin is suffering from a delusion. Or Kevin is lying.

If doing an ab roller actually injured both his rotator cuffs – an exercise that doesn’t even involve the shoulders – then he has something wrong with his physiology.

sumoman March 27, 2011 at 5:59 AM

Fred, I think you are perhaps confused as to what an ab-roller is, this is an ab-roller;

The shoulders are prone to dislocation if the rotator cuffs tire – what happens is that the big lats and pecs then pull the shoulders out of joint.

Accusing someone of lying because you can’t accept what they say is not a pleasant characteristic – I don’t agree with much of your training practices but I have never accused you of lying, indeed the though never crossed my mind.

Fred Hahn March 27, 2011 at 10:12 AM

I didn’t say he lied Juan. I said he is either suffering from a delusion or is lying or has a connective tissue disorder.

I know what an ab roller is. It does not involve the contraction of the rotator cuff muscles or the lats to any great degree. If what you said is true, people on my pullover machine would be popping RC’s’ left and right. So enough of this already now. I won’t respond further on this particular subject.

sumoman March 27, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Fred, is it okay to discuss the ab-roller exercise? I would be interested in your biomechanical analysis of how ‘It does not involve the contraction of the rotator cuff muscles or the lats to any great degree.’

Fred Hahn March 27, 2011 at 1:34 PM

Juan – name the rotator cuff muscles and their function. You should be able to do this easily. Go from there.

sumoman March 27, 2011 at 3:29 PM

Fred, the conclusion I come to is that rotator cuff muscles, lats and pecs are involved very heavily in the ab-wheel exercise;

sumoman March 28, 2011 at 12:59 PM

Fred, I had a go of the ab-wheel roller today and found it heavily engaged the rotator cuffs, lats, pecs, triceps.

Fred Hahn March 28, 2011 at 1:38 PM

Well be careful using it Juan! Lord knows that your entire shoulder girdle might explode from the mind boggling forces. You may be able to dead lift 1000 pounds and dumbbell press 115 pounds in a violent and explosive manner with no injuries but heaven have mercy doing an ab crunch using your body weight at a rep speed that is very slow might dislocate and amputate your entire upper torso! Caution!!

Fred Hahn March 28, 2011 at 1:57 PM

Juan that device is not the ab roller he was discussing – this is what Kevin is using:

Fred Hahn March 28, 2011 at 1:59 PM

Sorry – what I THOUGHT he was referring to.

Fred Hahn March 28, 2011 at 2:00 PM

So yes that device is certainly much more forceful on the rotators. I would nver suggest anyone use that piece of junk.

sumoman March 28, 2011 at 3:53 PM

That’s why I provided a video link to the ab-wheel Fred! Admittedly calling the ab-wheel an ab-roller could be confusing. Having done the exercise I rather liked the ab-wheel and will be using it more – I actually used a dumbell rod through my wheel-like 40 kg plate.

LB March 28, 2011 at 6:03 PM

Fred, do us a favor and just BAN Juan.

It is obvious he is a troll here and, a quick search shows, several other places.

sumoman March 29, 2011 at 5:42 AM

LB, you are an anonymous internet twit. I’d be interested in hearing the results of your internet search, I suspect you lift via the internet too.

Fred Hahn March 29, 2011 at 7:26 AM

sumoman/Juan – that’s enough of that please. There is no need for name calling. If you don’t like what someone says ignore it. i do not think you are a troll and thats what matters. But you can be quite “cheeky” and often beat a dead horse. So let’s put the brakes on the name calling and move on.

Kevin O'Neall March 29, 2011 at 11:50 AM

No, I was using that wheel the bald dude in Sumoman’s video is using. Visualise taking 10 seconds to roll forward but not letting your belly touch ground then taking 3 seconds to go the first inch when rolling back. Then visualise doing it til failure. I’m guessing my mistake was going all the way forward and hyperextending both shoulders. Years ago some guy mentioned ‘slow burn’ on a runner’s website. He described the ten seconds forward and ten seconds back so I tried it. At that point I’d never heard of Fred Hahn and hadn’t bought the book. Now that I have it, I can see what my mistakes were.

‘Rotator injury’ is what the orthopedic surgeon said. My complaint was not so much pain as whenever raising my arms in the “Hands Up!” position they click loudly. Radiographs showed mild DJD both shoulders. Maybe in my case there’s a genetic component as my dad has had multiple shoulder surgeries.


Fred Hahn March 29, 2011 at 12:55 PM

Right you went too far. But the speed was not the problem. Imagine rolling forward in half a second and reversing at the same speed. Far worse Kevin.

Roy J March 11, 2013 at 5:01 PM

Interesting post! I recently ordered your book off Amazon after listening to your interview with Jimmy Moore. In regards to speed, fast twitch etc. I have practiced Tai Chi off and on for years (20 or s0) The primary style you usually observe (big, open, slow, movements) is Yang style. The amazing thing is when you apply the techniques at combat speed it is lighting fast, even without training fast. So I would say the conclusion is that slow movements do have an athletic contribution.

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