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  • Bulletproof Body-opinions? Experiences?

    Came across their article on fitness after being linked to the bulletproof coffee recipe. Interesting concept-slow movements, only five exercises.
    Bulletproof Body ™
    My question-anyone have experience with this? I wonder about 1)only working out once a week 2)using machines-I've pretty much shunned them since going Primal and 3)no mention of sprinting.
    Thoughts?

  • #2
    They should be performed using machines since reaching muscular failure under free weights is dangerous.

    I stopped reading right there.

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    • #3
      This is based on Body by Science (BBS) -- lots of other threads on BBS. I started about a month ago, and I'm impressed so far.

      The idea is to to complete failure with very slow movements --easier said than done, and dong it with a good machine is safer for things like leg presses/squats.

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      • #4
        It's body by science, not health by science. You can look healthy-ish because of hypertrophy, but that does not make you healthier, or even necessarily fit.
        Crohn's, doing SCD

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        • #5
          They should be performed using machines since reaching muscular failure under free weights is dangerous.

          I stopped reading right there.
          Are you saying muscular failure under free weights is safe, or that there's no point to reaching muscular failure?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by mike_h View Post
            Are you saying muscular failure under free weights is safe, or that there's no point to reaching muscular failure?
            I'm saying the author is essentially saying free weights are dangerous and thus only machines should be used, which suggests to me the author's advice on training should be ignored.

            To answer your question, failure with free weights has a purpose, if your training calls for it. Whether it's safe depends on the lifter.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by quikky View Post
              I'm saying the author is essentially saying free weights are dangerous and thus only machines should be used, which suggests to me the author's advice on training should be ignored.

              To answer your question, failure with free weights has a purpose, if your training calls for it. Whether it's safe depends on the lifter.
              You have to really try this once to appreciate it. It is a very different approach. I'm a big fan of free weight and even prefer dumbbells over barbells for many things. However, I found it much effective to kill my muscles with machines using the the very slow reps - 10-20 sec is very long. This is especially true with something like chest flys where the resistance varies radically through the full motion. Using cables provides a more uniform load which is ideal when you want smooth motion. I haven't used Nautilus in many years, but I think that that type of uniform resistance would be ideal.

              I was dong everything in my home gym, but decided to only do leg presses safely with a machine. I really love squats, but it was impossible to go to failure with my simple rack and no spotter.

              I'm considering some kind of hybrid approach where I do BBS once a week and insert a more traditional free weight routine in each week after five days of recovery from BBS.

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              • #8
                I'm saying the author is essentially saying free weights are dangerous and thus only machines should be used
                That's a very black and white view. Doug McGuff (Body By Science), where this info seems to be adapted from has spoken about equipment with a bit more nuance. He's not opposed to free weights in many cases and certainly doesn't say they are outright dangerous. I'd much rather have my muscles fail under a chest press machine than a bench press.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by miata View Post
                  You have to really try this once to appreciate it. It is a very different approach. I'm a big fan of free weight and even prefer dumbbells over barbells for many things. However, I found it much effective to kill my muscles with machines using the the very slow reps - 10-20 sec is very long. This is especially true with something like chest flys where the resistance varies radically through the full motion. Using cables provides a more uniform load which is ideal when you want smooth motion. I haven't used Nautilus in many years, but I think that that type of uniform resistance would be ideal.

                  I was dong everything in my home gym, but decided to only do leg presses safely with a machine. I really love squats, but it was impossible to go to failure with my simple rack and no spotter.

                  I'm considering some kind of hybrid approach where I do BBS once a week and insert a more traditional free weight routine in each week after five days of recovery from BBS.
                  I am not sure what you're trying to do when you say "effective to kill my muscles". I don't judge a training plan based on whether it "kills" my muscles, I judge it by its effectiveness in making me stronger.

                  You can get a power rack with safeties for ~$250, cheaper than a year of gym membership.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mike_h View Post
                    That's a very black and white view. Doug McGuff (Body By Science), where this info seems to be adapted from has spoken about equipment with a bit more nuance. He's not opposed to free weights in many cases and certainly doesn't say they are outright dangerous. I'd much rather have my muscles fail under a chest press machine than a bench press.
                    Why would your muscles fail in a bench press, or any other free weight exercise? If you use some common sense and educate yourself on proper form, I don't see how that is realistically possible. I don't know how you train, but I know exactly what I am capable of and how much to push myself to make progress. I don't just randomly slap an extra 50lb on the bar when I bench. When I know I am doing a heavy set, I never do it without a spotter. I don't see how within this framework my muscles can suddenly give out and drop the bar.

                    At some point you have to accept the fact that if you don't want to be an out of shape slob and want good function out of your body, there is always some risk of injury regardless of how you train. What you have to consider is the risk of injury vs. just not doing anything.

                    The reason why I have this black and white view is because free weights have been proven effective in making millions of people very strong over the course of decades. Machines have proven good at generating profit for equipment manufacturers and gyms, and keeping people much weaker than they need to be. It just depends if the risk of injury from doing free weights with common sense and proper form is worth the significant strength you're not gaining by using machines.

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                    • #11
                      Strength training programs (e.g. 5x5) are often designed that you don't reach muscle failure. For those programs free weights make a lot more sense than machines. McGuff doesn't dispute this, and my own resistance work is also with free weights (without a spotter) with a load and reps I can manage without failing.

                      However if you are following a program that'll likely see your muscles fail then I don't think McGuff or Asprey are crazy to say machines are safer in that scenario. Theirs aren't pure strength programs, different goals, different modes.

                      I haven't read BBS, and I don't follow its program, but my understanding is that you're doing 50-90 seconds of time under load with as much resistance as possible. Even if you can no longer move the weight/machine, you keep applying force.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mike_h View Post
                        Strength training programs (e.g. 5x5) are often designed that you don't reach muscle failure. For those programs free weights make a lot more sense than machines. McGuff doesn't dispute this, and my own resistance work is also with free weights (without a spotter) with a load and reps I can manage without failing.

                        However if you are following a program that'll likely see your muscles fail then I don't think McGuff or Asprey are crazy to say machines are safer in that scenario. Theirs aren't pure strength programs, different goals, different modes.

                        I haven't read BBS, and I don't follow its program, but my understanding is that you're doing 50-90 seconds of time under load with as much resistance as possible. Even if you can no longer move the weight/machine, you keep applying force.
                        That's exactly how it works. The time after your muscles fail and you keep trying to move the weight, that's when you're inroading your muscles.

                        But BBS is difficult for mutiple reasons. I've tried BBS before and never saw results because 1) difficulty of timing myself accurately under TUL, 2) going to failure every workout, and 3) lack of habit-forming exercise mentality.

                        I then went to Stronglifts 5x5, learned how to move barbells, created an exercise habit, and continually progressed every workout. Although I have injuried myself a couple times, it was because of my ignorance on proper form where I should've been more careful with heavier weights. My gains have far outweighed my injuries, though, and my strength has skyrocketed over just one year. Went from 100lb squat to 250lb, and 135lb deadlift to 295. I don't think i would've seen better results from BBS even if I could get it right, but who knows.

                        Tim Ferriss does something similar with his 5-second cadence with barbells and that gave him great results as well. Perhaps there's something to be said about slow-reps, TUL, AND barbell training.
                        Primal since September, 2011
                        LeanGains IF
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                        Inner Gladiator

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                        • #13
                          I understand what he's saying to a certain extent. I don't necessarily think it IS safe to lift to fatigue if you don't have a spotter or aren't in a gym. There are plenty of things that can go wrong!

                          That isn't to say I think this program makes sense or will work well (although I do have a certain degree of respect for the Bulletproof Executive and I drink bulletproof coffee and use some of his recommended supplements). I think there are more advantages to using free weights with a range of motions and a range of different exercises.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by quikky View Post
                            I am not sure what you're trying to do when you say "effective to kill my muscles". I don't judge a training plan based on whether it "kills" my muscles, I judge it by its effectiveness in making me stronger.

                            You can get a power rack with safeties for ~$250, cheaper than a year of gym membership.
                            The idea behind BBS is that you push your muscle fibers to failure. The idea is to hit the slow twitch, the fast twitch and anything between. This way by the end of a set you don't have one type of fiber covering for the others, they are all worn down in the slow movement. You also hit the fibers hard through the entire movement. By the end of a set you are blowing out your lungs. I thing the key is the slow motion. With normal speed movements I am not breathing hard until the last two or three reps. With BBS I am breathing heavily after 30 seconds, really heavily after a minute and hyperventilating by the end.

                            I'm doing just fine with the machines at my company gym that cost me nothing. As far as results, I made more dramitic improvement in my cycling with three sets of leg presses over two weeks than I did with two months of previous squats. Sure I made improvements with squats, but felt like I had new cycling muscles after the slow motion leg presses.

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