I'd guess that it's based on strict tempo reps, so time for eccentric, pause, concentric, pause. Jungledoc,
Yes, it is based on the tempo, maintaining "Time Under Tension".
Super Slow Protocol
It's Super Slow Protocol, just repackaged as "The 4 Step Rep". Thus, Bowflex simply ripped off Super Slow Procol and tatooed there name on it.
Bowflex is a company that famous for unethical practice. More on that to come later in the post.
Super Slow Protocol mandates that constant tension is kept on the muscle during the entire rep. No resting at the top lockout position or at the bottom of the rep.
Bench Press Example:
1) Don't lockout the weight at the top.
2) Don't let the bar rest on the chest.
"Time Under Tension"
A majory factor with building muscle mass is maintaining stress on muscle, the amount of "Time Under Tension" the muscle is under.
Some people make a big issue of tempo, sometimes specifying how many seconds each of the 4 steps should take,
Right again. The "4 Step Rep" breaks each rep down into 4 parts.
By The Numbers
The numbers denoted how long it takes during each phase.
Ian King (to my knowledge) was the first to give each phase a number.
Thus, in the "4 Step Rep" it might be written as 10/2/6/2
Bench Press Example:
1) 10--The First Number. It represents how much time it takes to lower the weight.
Thus, 10 seconds to lower the weight.
3) 2--Second Number. This number represents the amount of time it take to stop the downward motion of the bar and turn it around off the chest...a non-stop movment, NO resting on the chest.
4) 6--Third Number. This means it will take you 6 seconds to push the weight back up.
4) 2--The Fourth Number. Top Non-Lockout Position
It will take you 2 seconds to stop the upward movement at the top in each rep and then turn it around to lower the weight
Add It Up
2 + 10 + 2 + 6 = 20
That means during each rep, the muscle is under constant tension for 20 seconds.
Perform 3 reps with constant Non-Stop tension...
20 seconds per rep X 3 reps = 60 seconds of Non-Stop constant tension on the muscle.
Shutting Off Blood Flow
Placing the muscle under constant tension has been utilized by bodybuiders forever.
A contracted muscle restricts blood flow to the muscle. Once the contraction stops, the dammed up blood floods the muscle...providing a hormonal muscle building effect.
Super Slow is another form of "Occlusion/Kaatsu Training".
Other Occlusion Methods
1) Turniquet. Moderately applying a tourniquet to your leg or arm and then performing an exercise. Moderately means, do NOT make the tourniquet toooooo tight.
Kenny's Tourniquet Tightness Scale
With in 30-60 seconds you consider sticking a gun in your mouth. This means it is tooo tight.
You legs or arms tingle. After 1-2 minutes you chant in tongues.
This is ok but the longer the trouniquet is on, the more you think putting a gun in your mouth is a really not just a good idea, it a Great Idea.
Uncomfortable but something you can live with. You think, "Wow, this is tight."
You don't know a tourniquet is on. This is not tight enough.
Yes, applying a tourniquet sounds insane (that was my first thought, as well). However, research indicates it works. http://www.abcbodybuilding.com/ABCocclusionpaper.pdf
I have/am using this in my training. The pump is unreal. There is definitely something to this.
2) Isometric Constant Tension
"Anabolic Pump" by David Barr (which I have posted before) goes into this.
Blood flow is shut off to the muscle by performing an isomtric. Once the isometric is stopped, the "undammed" blood floods the muscle.
Enhance Blood Flow
To really flood the muscle with blood, immediately after the isometric perform a light high rep set with a similar type exercise.
Doing so, floods the muscle with even more blood flow.
3) Non-Stop Tension
This method has been peformed by bodybuilders forever. It means you maintain constant tension on the muscle throughout the entire movement.
NO resting the bar on your chest in the bench press. NO lockinhg the weight out at the top.
It is Super Slow without the Slow movement.
It may or may not be from bowflex, the makers of the extremely expensive, but nice variable dumbbells you describe. If you got them cheap, pretty nice.Bowflex Poor Quality
I sold Bowflex in a retail store for a number of years along with the original adjustable dumbbell, Power Block.
The adjustment on the Bowflex handle would break. It was just a question of when.
The good news is the handles did have a warranty on them.
The bad new is...
Getting Bowflex to replace the handles took forever.
Bowflex (part of Nautilus) Won "The Worst Service Award" four straight years in "Gear Trends" magazine. Gear Trends is a retail magazine that did surveys for the fitness industry.
As "Gear Trends" magazine stated, Bowflex/Nautilus blew the competition away in the "Worst Service" catagory...not a catagory you want to win.
Power Block Dumbbells
Great dumbbell, great service, great company.
often emphasizing more time spent in eccentric than many of us are inclined to do. How you perform the eccentric phase is dependent on what you are trying to accomplish.
I may be missing a bet, but that's too much detail for me to think of. I can't even keep track of rest time. Heck, I lose track of my rep count without help.Attention Deficit Disorder
How can we trust a physician who cannot heal himself? lol
"Did I do 9 reps or 10?"...I know that feeling.
"Time Under Tension" = Reps
The amount of "Time Under Tension" is similar to performing the number of reps.
The amount of time the muscle is placed under tension determine the results you produce: Strength, Hypertrophy/Bodybuilding, or Endurance.
Low Reps/Low Time Under Tension = Strength
Time Under Tension 20 seconds or less per set.
Moderate Reps/Moderate Time Under Tension = Hypertrophy/Bodybuilding
Time Under Tension 20-40 seconds per set.
High Reps/High Time Under Tension = Endurance Training
Reps 12 plus
Time Under Tension 40 seconds plus.
You don't need to know the exact amount of time ("Time Under Tension") the muscle is under.
Just maintain an awareness of which ball park your are in: Strength Ball Park, Hypertrophy Ball Park, Endurance Ball Park.