I thought I’d share a bit about how I work out, since I do a system that I love. I have been doing it for the last 8 years, and it's really do-able by anyone.
This is a system of weight-training that was recommended to me by my meditation teacher. Its called The Power of 10 and it's based on an earlier method called Superslow. I sometimes jokingly call this, 'Western Yoga', because it is a system of weight-training that is done very slowly and mindfully, with attention to posture, breathing and movement, just like in yoga.
I'll confess, this method is... a little boring. But it's intense, effective, and the best part is: I'm in and out of the gym in 30 minutes. So it's great for people who are doing this for health reasons and don't want to live at the gym. I work out once or twice a week, and on the other days I do yoga or run (or dance, or...).
Superslow was discovered while working with older women with osteoporosis. They slowed down the workout to reduce the impact on bones…and surprise…they found they got better results in less time. Cool, yes?
Then along came Adam Zickerman, and he packaged it up in a more simplified form, and called it, "The Power of 10", for it's ten second extensions, and ten second contractions.
The Power of 10 has three parts: exercise, nutrition, and rest. And while they all matter, here I'm going to talk about just the exercise part - because, truth is, you don't need to read the book. I'm going to teach you the essentials right in this blog post :-).
So we do 5-6 exercises of about 90 seconds each. Which totals about 20 min of slow-mo weight training. And that's enough - which you'll see if you watch the video below. We use heavy weights, and we favour machines (at least at first) because you’re less likely to hurt yourself on a machine, as it’s more controlled. So it’s a brief, but very intense workout. Personally, I like that it's short, because...its hard. You don't want to be working out like this all day. In fact, you can't. Because you will select your weights so that by the end of 90 sec of that exercise, you are hitting 'muscle failure', which means, you can't do anymore.
So I’m in and out of the gym in 30 min…a bit longer if I want to do more, or if I'm working up the courage to flirt with the girl at the counter...
So I do that workout once or twice a week, (depending how busy my life is, how well I'm sleeping, etc), and then the other 5-6 days a week I do yoga everyday, or a run, or meditation, or all the above! And of course, I make time to cook and eat more, which definitely increases when you are weight-training. (Personally, I do yoga in my home, because: 1) no distractions, 2) I keep it short, about 20 mins, and 3) no travelling anywhere!)
Watch as they put identical twins through the paces
So we work-out once or twice a week using this system, and that’s enough to gain muscle and definition - but women don’t get huge because they have less testosterone, I'm told.
But at first, you’ll want to workout twice a week, because after the first work-out, you will be sore. And the best cure for that is another work-out! So it’s wise to workout twice a week for the first 2 or three weeks…then go to once a week if you want.
So that’s how it’s done…by the book. The book, "The Power of 10", also gives a great overview of nutrition, and shows how to use the different weight machines, plus gives a nice bodyweight work-out, using just your body. I won't go that into that here, but I will say that the bodyweight workout is solid, and simple. I've done it many times, and it's great for getting past the excuse that you, 'Don't have time to go to the gym'. Everyone can find 20 minutes at home.
There are 3 important points to Exercising the Power of 10 way:
1) Posture - we keep good posture throughout the exercise.
2) Breathing - we breathe deeply and continuously throughout.
3) The Movement itself - 10 sec contraction and 10 sec extension. At first, you'll need a watch or a friend to help you get the timing down. It's very slow.
A last point is to use machines, at least at first, since the movement is more controlled, and you're less likely to injure yourself.
And that's why I call it "Western Yoga"! Because, like yoga, you are combining posture, breathing, and mindfulness. And ten sec contraction/extensions is SLOW. If you do it, you'll notice that what you are doing is very different from what everyone else in the gym is doing.
So this is the "Weight-bearing Meditation". It turns the gym into a more meditative time, a more mind-body-integrative practice then the usual work-out. And you get great rewards for a very short time invested: You’ll have more energy, sleep deeper, boost your metabolism…healthy glow, and gain muscle/definition.
But for me, I keep doing this program because it's doable. It’s so doable that I’ve been doing it for 8 years now almost weekly. I couldn't stick with a program before this, I was demanding too much of myself: 30 min of cardio, 15 min stretching, etc...But now, I'm hooked. There's nothing like the deep relaxation that follows working out hard. It's blissful. Once a week, I literally burn up all my tension, and keep my pythons in shape ;-) (that's my biceps I'm talking about).
I figure, we don't always get what we want in life, but we can always work to become more how we want to be: Peace. Happiness. Calm. Vitality. And one way I do that is in the gym, with the Power of 10.
ps Adam's book is really funny. If you're thinking about it, I'd buy it for that reason alone.
pps if you don't meditate yet, I HIGHLY recommend it. See my post on meditation, below.
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Hi, I'm Donovan Giraud. I'm a health coach, meditator and visionary, and I'm on a mission to help people heal themselves and evolve our world.