In my last post, I shared an article I’d written in January 2014, after just a few weeks of training on Rev5 (not yet known as Rev5 then!).
I thought you’d like to read my update 6 months later:
An update on my Big Five Training – 20/06/2014
Earlier this year, I wrote about my experiences with a new type of workout, called the Big Five.
Well it’s been 6 months since then, and I’ve been visiting Windsor religiously each week for my 15 minutes of training, so I thought it might be time to give you an update.
I don’t know if you remember what the workout entails, but in case you don’t here it is in a nutshell:
The Big Five Workout
It’s a form of resistance training you do for just 15 minutes a week, in a 1-1 setting with a trainer. Because the gym is cooled, and the session is so short, you don’t sweat, so no need to shower, and you don’t even need to change into gym clothes or trainers. You just go in as you are, exercise and leave!
The benefits are quite astounding (and thoroughly researched) – firstly the ongoing gain in muscle strength, which I’ll come to in a minute, secondly the knock on effect of building muscle strength, i.e. the conditioning of the rest of the body, and particularly organs like the heart, which have to adapt. This type of training is also unique in the way it taps muscle fibres and depletes glycogen stores in a way an ordinary gym session wouldn’t. This makes it particularly good for improving insulin sensitivity and particularly beneficial in conditions like diabetes, or insulin resistance.
In fact, it has been shown to increase glucose uptake in the cells by 23 percent after only four months.
As we get older, we naturally lose muscle – around 5% every 10 years from age 30 onwards! This gradual and insidious process undermines our general health (metabolism, bone strength, cardiovascular health, and more) so that when we get to age 60, 70 or 80, suddenly the degeneration becomes noticeable. One day you find yourself struggling to get out of your chair! This is why it’s so important to maintain, and if possible even increase your muscle strength as early as possible.
Each time you do a Big Five workout, all of your statistics get noted down, as well as your blood pressure before and after exercise. So would you like to know my stats after 7 months of training?
Compound Row: an extra 76Kg
Torso Pull Down: increased by 102Kg
Shoulder Press: an additional 54Kg
Chest Press: 50Kg extra
Leg Press (the most impressive): 174Kg more
And they keep increasing, although more slowly now, as you can imagine! You’ll notice the blood pressure and pulse measurements before and after exercise as well, and these have consistently decreased.
Of course in everyday life, I’m not lifting heavy weights, but the impact it’s had is that I feel stronger and ‘more upright’, lighter when I walk up stairs and any lifting or physical exertion just feels more effortless than before. And it would be interesting to see a ‘Sliding Doors’ scenario at age 60 or 70 – how different would the ‘me’ who’s been doing the Big Five be from the ‘me’ who hadn’t?!