Slowing the tempo of repetitions can have the effect of putting the muscle under tension for a longer period. But, does super slow training produce super fast gains? That is what Dhimant Indrayan tried to answer.
Dhimant Indrayan is the creator of House of Hypertrophy. He is not a fitness coach or a fitness influencer, but rather a lover of bodybuilding that decided to make videos regarding scientific research and fitness.
The question he tried to answer was: Does super slow training produce super fast gains? Check out his analysis below.
Does Super Slow Training Produce Super Fast Gains?
The super slow training Indrayan looks into is specifically one that takes 10 seconds to lift and 4-10 seconds to lower when performing reps. It is important to take a look at how super slow reps function for hypertrophy purposes and strength development.
At first glance, a study by Westcott et. al showed that a group of men and women who did super slow training experienced roughly 50% more strength gains versus the regular group. However, Indrayan has another study to counter those findings.
The study mentioned above used untrained people and both groups did different strength tests in terms of reps number and tempos used. If you want to know the strength produced, it is imperative to see how much a person’s one-rep max has evolved after training with a super slow tempo compared to someone who trained in regular fashion.
Another study did just that, however, it was only 14 untrained women in that scientific group. After 10 weeks, the regular group experienced greater gains in the one-rep max for 8 exercises (leg press, leg curl, leg extension, lat pulldown, bench press, row, triceps extension, and biceps curl).
Therefore, according to this study, does super slow training produce super fast gains when we look only for strength gains? The answer is no.
Similarly, a study conducted by Schueke et al. did a study on slow-tempo training and regular training looking into hypertrophy gains. A group of 19 untrained women did leg presses, squats and leg extensions for 6 weeks.
In the end, the growth of fast and slow-twitch fibres from the vastus lateralis (part of the quads) was greater for the regular group. So, again, does super slow training produce super fast gains if we look at hypertrophy development? According to this study, the answer is also no.
Indrayan goes on to explain also why proponents of super slow tempo training say it is beneficial for strength and hypertrophy gains.
As with any scientific studies, one must look into the limitations of it before jumping to conclusions. In all three studies mentioned above, the subjects were untrained people and the gains could very well be related to that – it is easier to gain muscle and see development if the person is a complete beginner in the gym.
If you want to see a more detailed answer from Indrayan on the question “does super slow training produce super fast gains,” then click on the video below.