21 October 2012 - Leveling Up by Slowing Waaaaay Down!
Wow! Squats just about killed me today. Yes, I did half the reps I did last time, but I also added eight seconds to each rep, so that I was taking fully 24 seconds for each. (The metronome is absolutely indispensible for this. I basically did "three bars up and three bars down.") I was hurting by the time I got to the fifth, and burning like fury on that seventh! I needed to do this because 14 is really too many reps to be doing, when using this method, but I have no other way to level-up on Squats without risking breaking another Total Gym. Same with Curls, of which I did 12 last time. This time, I added two counts up and two down, to go from 12-second to 16-second reps (which I probably should have been doing all along). We'll coin a new term here and call that a "time-up" instead of level-up.
Now, it is true that I was doing the Squats for somewhat less total time than before -- 3/4 of that total time, to be exact (1/2 number of reps X 150% time per rep = 75% total time) -- but I would note that a greater proportion of that total time was spent in the rep, at full effort, as opposed to the few seconds taken to reverse each rep at the top, where the legs are near fully extended and resistance is necessarily at it's lowest.
On everything else, I added five pounds, except for Dips, which got an additional ten. I should also note that the bar weighs five pounds, so I really added ten pounds to Flies as well. (The bar does not matter for the sake of comparison on anything else, because I've been using it with those sets -- adding five or ten pounds is adding five or ten pounds. But with Flies, I had not been using even the bar, so the net gain there is ten pounds. Yes, I'm obsessed with the math!)