is eccentric exercise all you really do??
  • AprilApril
    Posts: 1

    Hi Jonathan,

    You and your wife have beautiful bodies, do you really only do 10 minutes of eccentric exercise (like in your books) once a week? (in addition to eating Sanely of course) And no extra cardio? I don't usually have comprehension issues, it's just hard to believe. (no offense) I love your books.



  • @April – Welcome and thank you! My weekly exercise routine consists of going to the gym on Saturday and doing one eccentric exercise for my legs, back, chest, shoulders, and abdominals. I then do about 15 minutes of yoga inspired stretching. My wife and I try to take a 30minute walk per week.

    Note: I do not do this because I’m lazy, I do this because it is physically impossible for me to do additional eccentric or interval training, and research suggests that traditional cardio isn’t particularly helpful for health or fitness relative to the alternatives (aka staying active, eccentric training, intervals, SANE eating, etc.).

    For what it’s worth, I used to be a trainer, exercised 10+ times per week, weighed 200lbs and had a 34” waist. I was surprised and delighted to find that ten years later, by exercising less, but smarter, and eating SANEly, I’ve maintained my lean tissue (aka I still weigh 200lbs), but have lost additional body fat and have a 31.5” waist.

    Have a wonderful weekend and thank you again for your support and kind words.
  • I'm curious about this too. Wouldn't a person still need to do things like yoga, pilates and walking to help sculpt their body? 
  • metcfpmetcfp
    Posts: 771
    The good news is you don't have to be Jonathan Bailor to see results from the SSoS exercise routine.  It works.  If you hit your deep 2b muscle tissue with the 4 core exercises, you will not be capable of lifting more for a week.  You did not target abs, but you worked them just by remaining stable while working one arm or leg.  The intervals on the bike, mid-week are enough.  You get cardio benefit from the intervals as well as the eccentric training.  I am seeing cuts in my shoulders/arms that just were never there before, despite traditional weight training.  Finally, I just got told by my tailor, that perfectly fine suits cannot be altered enough to fit my SSoS reformed body, since the pockets on the pants would come together.  Consider the gym time you will save to be a bonus.
  • byobgbyobg
    Posts: 360

    I've started noticing when I get up out of bed or off the couch that I actually have abdominals.  Sure, they're still hiding under a layer of excess me, but they exist.  (I can't wait to meet them in person!)  This is without having done any specific ab-working excersises - mostly just legs and shoulders, in fact.


    There was an eye-opening study Jonathan referenced in SSoS where (if I'm remembering it right), one group of subjects exercised just their legs, while another group exercised just their arms (and other groups did other variations that I don't quite remember, so I won't muddy the waters... :-))  What they found was that the leg-only group built more ARM muscle than the arms-only group.  That's cool.

  • deMuralistdeMuralist
    Posts: 756
    I suspect that the yoga would be helpful for flexibility, and pilates and walking for enjoyment ( if you like that kind of thing). 
  • @jonathanbailor- what eccentric abdominal exercise do you recommend? I would like to add one to my 4 basic eccentric exercises. Thanks!
  • Yes, I'd also like to know about the abdominal exercise you do.  Additionally, is it ok to perform the eccentric exercises every 5 or 6 days?  I've found that my body aches are gone by day 5 to 6.
  • I find that the eccentric pull-ups are working my abdominals just as much.
  • @ellielmt.........I agree. I also crunch my abs forcefully on the way down.  I have a psychological hang up that if I don't pull abs inward that I will build bulk outward which is not my objective.  Ditto for eccentric one legged squat.

    Another good eccentric ab workout is the slanted bench with an extension to hold the legs in place.

    Of course, we are all waiting for @JB's reply!
  • @srwelton – Happy to help…however, I really struggle at explaining exercises via the written word, would you be willing to give me a couple of weeks to put a quick video together? In the meantime, this may help:

    @mainespud – Yes…just be sure you’ve increased quality as much as possible before increasing quantity.

  • YoJimboYoJimbo
    Posts: 405
    Certainly glad folks can see such fantastic results with just one-day-a-week training, given the proper intensity. I certainly didn't feel like hitting weights more than once a week when I first did all-eccentric exercises either, although I experimented with more, no doubt like many of you :-).  I do think the body adapts somewhat to ANY exercise protocol, however, which means some MAY (emphasis on "may") be able to do a different type of workout later in the week - i.e.,  a much less strenuous one, say...higher-rep mostly-concentric reps. Legs are a big muscle group, however, so if somebody is doing BOTH eccentric leg presses/squats and some HIIT, working the legs with weights twice a week is probably too much. But upper body areas may recover more rapidly.

    All this boils down to muscle-recovery rates, which is a difficult subject to pin down. The variables are many- such as, eccentrics obviously require much more recovery time than typical "bodybuilding" protocols...which tend toward higher-rep, lighter weights. The post-exercise trauma is obviously different between these two options as well. Then there's a possibility of eccentric reps chased by some higher-rep exercises in the same workout,  which I've also experimented with and have no definite conclusions about, lol.  Everybody also has unique individual recovery ability, which confounds any definite advice on workout frequency. A lot of this is simply personal experimentation. If you're sore all week after your eccentrics don't try to be a gym-rat, seems to be the consensus here. lol.    
  • @JonathanBailor I must say I was thinking on similar lines as the questions in this thread.
    The chart in book (pg 98, end of Chapter 26; also in Quick Start Guide pg 17) "How to Achieve Your Fat Loss Goal" lists -
    How to become Fit, How to become Hot, How to become a Fitness Model. And while the nutrition part changes for each of these. The exercise part remains the same - "Exercise less - smarter"?!

    Can that be true? Shouldn't I expect to change my exercise regimen a bit for these significantly different levels? Also, what if my goal is to increase muscle mass and not fat loss, do I do things differently then?

    Any insight you can provide would be helpful.

    The sections in Chapter 27 (pg 206-207) were helpful. The information about GDF-8, myostatin did help, since it clarifies that building large muscles is mostly controlled by our genetics. Now that I have given up my Rocky Balboa dreams I am still wondering, within the allowance of my genetics, how can I follow SSOS to pack as much muscle as I can.
  • @avisin – Great question and please forgive me for not being able to give as robust of an answer as I’d like to (I’m quite time crunched at the moment). I hope these discombobulated thoughts are of at least some use:

    • The difference between a fitness model and a non-fitness model is 95% genetics and diet.
    • Building muscle is startlingly simple (exercise), but achieving fitness model levels of body fat (single digits for men, low teens for women) while not burning muscle is disappointingly complex (fitness model type dieting). 
    • We need to train to stimulate muscle development and then not train again until the development we stimulated stops. This take a long time. Think about a scab healing. Growing new tissue is a slow process…The question then is how to most effectively and safely stimulate development and how much rest is needed after. My research suggests this is done most effectively and safely via a single eccentric workout per week (assume we reach complete eccentric muscular failure). 
    • We will not develop more muscle tissue than our genetics allow no matter what we do (barring drug use)…so more exercise is not necessarily better…in fact, it’s most often counterproductive. Remember, muscle development and hormonal healing take place “after” we exercise, not while we’re exercising. 
    • Think of potent exercise like potent medication…some can be amazingly good, more is terribly dangerous and ineffective. 
    • What you eat is at least 90% of how you look and feel and that’s why the guidelines in SSoS “downplay” exercise. There’s a lot of money to be made making exercise seem complex. It’s not…unless you are training to compete at a world-class level. 
    • There is *not* a secret exercise routine that fitness professionals do that make them look the way they look. They do have unique genetics and the do have very very very precise and “strange” diets (and some take some very illegal drugs). 
    • All this said, I’d highly recommend spending time going 100% SANE before spending any time complicating exercise…especially since over exercising (which is amazingly easy to do if you exercise with high-quality) can stunt muscle development, cause injury and illness, and compromise exercise quality (as exercise quality and quantity are inversely related…aka the more you can exercise the less any of your exercise is doing to your body). 
    • There are a lot of great resources that speak to these concepts in much greater depth that you may enjoy. Here’s some of them: 
    • Brawn/Beyond Brawn
    • Heavy Duty
    • Slow Burn
    • Body by Science
    • The Big 5 Workout
    • The Big 3 Workout
    • Max Contraction Training
    • High-intensity Training
    Again, my apologies for not being able to provide a better reply at the moment…but I do hope this is somewhat helpful. And just anecdotally, for my personal experience with “exercising more” check out this blog post by my doctor:  

    Yours in SANEity and eccentricity :)

  • JB, 

    What worked best for you when you lost the final inch or two off your waist?

    Thanks again for all you do.  
  • It does a lot!

    For reference, this is what I've been doing as of lately.

    Meal 1 - 1/2 of S-Shake (1 lb spinach, 2 heaps whey protein, 4 strawberries, 1 cup kale leaves, 2 sticks celery, 2 scoops milled flax seed)
    Meal 2 - 1 cup Cottage cheese, Cabot cheese (full-fat, 2 oz), maybe some turkey
    Meal 3 - Slow-roasted pork OR chicken breast OR turkey, Salad (3 cups spinach, 1 tomato, 6 olives, oil/vinegar/sometimes FF feta cheese)
    Meal 4 - Second half of S-Shake (ingredients are total).  Also usually between meal 3 and 4 I have a cup of FF Dreek Yogurt w/ Milled Flax seed (YUMMY stuff)
    Meal 5 - Piece of fish OR Spaghetti Squash (+1!) OR Rotisserie Chicken or the like
    Meal 6 - Can't lie, usually some more cheese :)

    So, yes, I notice I'm a little heavy on the cheese (which I'm laying off until I pass the CPA exam... down to my last serving).  I also notice you spread your NSV (non-starchy veggies) over each serving, whereas I will get 6 - 10 servings a bit more concentrated.  I have no problem with the protein, either.  

    The weight loss is slow (exercise is just totally out of the question until I get the exam passed...) but the health benefits are wonderful.  For the first time in my life I get great sleep.

    Also, I've been trying green tea supplements.  I tried the green tea suggestion... but it really didn't work for me.  

    But anyway, +8 to JB for finding Spaghetti Squash!  Love that SANE stuff.  
  • @srwelton - As promised, here's the video...releasing first here because you and the rest of this support group are so awesome :) Seriously, this has got to be one of the most "flame-free" forums on the web. Thanks everyone :)

    PS The coccyx is a bone not a muscle...I misspoke :)
  • Videos are like a thousand pictures which are like a million words.  Going to try this one out!

    Shoulders back, chest out, key things.  I note with lots of these exercises if they are done right, watch out.  If they aren't done right, they can be silly.

    I really get these things wrong, so this video is great.  I just tried it twice and realized I got the shoulders & chest mixed up (and had to even re-write this post :))
  • JAmmarJAmmar
    Posts: 23
    Thanks for making the video showing the ab exercise.  I also appreciate how you clear up the misinformation that is out there about getting 6 pack abs from exercises when what we really want to do is reveal our abs, they are just hiding behind body fat :-).  But aside from the vanity factor - I think this is a great exercise for strengthening our bodies because it is so important to have a strong core just for our health and happiness - tp prevent back pain, etc.

    Thank you!
  • @SANEPizza & @JAmmar - My pleasure. Thank you for your kind words. 
  • avisinavisin
    Posts: 12
    @JonathanBailor - thank you so much for responding to my earlier question about exercising smarter. All the tips and pointers are really helpful. I'll try to read some of the resources you pointed out. The ab video is also very helpful. I had tried the eccentric ab exercise suggested in your link and that seemed to work wonderfully for me. (Link I'll see if I stick to that or try your variation. I'm sure either one is going to leave me hurting :-)
  • thank you so much for responding to my earlier question about exercising smarter. All the tips and pointers are really helpful.
    collapse;width:734pt"> [url=]Anaheim Hills fitness center[/url]
  • I Like this topic!!!
  • Great information-not sure if I read the answer to a question I have. I'm just starting to get SANE. (I love having to say that) lol
    I might be reading in extreme here and but -would continuing my tennis and bike rides be deterimental to my progress? I haven't started any SANE exercises but my boyfriend and I loved doing outdoor activities together and for some reason I'm like a scared cat now-I'm guessing I can continue these as it would seem unreasonable to not have that joy or time together.

    Could someone please offer their insight or interpretation? I'm sure I'm being too "all or nothing" here.

    Thank you!
  • popcornpopcorn
    Posts: 856
    eccentric exercises are a series of deep muscle stimulation that triggers a hormonal response in the muscle helping the body to burn fat for fuel. They are limited and specific.

    They are not intended to be the ONLY form of exercise one engages in.  If you like sports or other activities by all means do it. If one wants to train in a certain sport than that can happen as well. Training is necessary to develop the muscles and skill sets required to excel in a sport or activity.

    The difference is traditional weight training takes hours per day, traditional 'cardio' takes hours per day. eccentric exercises accomplish the metabolic change in a few minutes, they are hard, muscle shaping and specific.

    Be sure to read the chapters and podcasts regarding it.

  • @popcorn
    thank you so much for taking the time to respond!!! What you write makes sense and thanks for the clarification. :) 

  • @jonathan-Thank you. The thread you suggested does help-great information!! That makes total sense and I understand now.