If you're having a tough time scheduling a work out, you're not alone. Surveys show less than half the U.S. hits the gym enough to meet government guidelines of 30 minutes a day, five days a week. But what if you could take care of a week's worth of workouts in just one shot?
Kids, school, work, dinner, homework. At what time do you squeeze in a workout?
One group of people head to the gym just once a week for one hour and don't feel one bit of guilt. Their secret -- an exercise plan hatched in this strength science lab at the University of Florida.
It's based on eccentric or negative resistance training. It takes advantage of the fact the body can lower weights that are too heavy to lift.
"When you lower a weight the energy that you're lowering the weight from actually goes into the muscle."
The machines use sensors that add weight when you lower the bar, then remove weight when you lift. That's double the workout in half the time. It's how Olympic champion skier bode miller trains.
"The stretching of the muscle by this particular level of weight is a strong stimulus of growth and repair," says Dr. Michael Mac Millan.
It pushes muscles to the limit in as few reps as possible. Then you rest over the next week. Studies show it increases flexibility and can be used as a rehab option for people with tendinitis and hamstring injuries. Father of two, Bryan Conrad, lost fat and gained control of his diabetes.
"Feels like it really maximizes the intensity of the workout. With two little kids at home, i don't have a lot of extra time," says Conrad.
While these machines require the assistance of an exercise professional, anyone can incorporate eccentric training into their workout. When you lift weights with both arms, lower the same amount of weight using only one arm.
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