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MAF Strength Training includes MAF Slow Weights

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You may know Dr. Philip Maffetone from his heart rate-based training called either the Maffetone Method or just MAF. His theory, in short, is to go slow to get fast. He just came out with a new book called Get Strong: The Natural, No-Sweat, Whole-Body Approach to Stronger Muscles and Bones, which aims at keeping as much gas in your tank as possible while still transforming your sedentary body with very little pain or suffering.

MAF Strength Training includes MAF Slow Weights

Get Strong: The Natural, No-Sweat, Whole-Body Approach to Stronger Muscles and Bones by Dr. Philip Maffetone

Since I read Don Fitch's deceptively easy Get Fit, Get Fierce with Kettlebell Swings ebook I have focused more on doing a moderate amount of functional fitness over the course of the day rather than maxing out killing myself at the gym by doing focused workouts. Recently, Dr. Philip Maffetone published a book, titled Get Strong: The Natural, No-Sweat, Whole-Body Approach to Stronger Muscles and Bones, that mixes slow rowing, slow running, slow jogging, and Don Fitch's kettlebell swing method and mixes in a little bit of Pavel Tsatsouline's Kettlebell Simple & Sinister method into an extremely sustainable functional fitness routine that can add easy strength, fitness, bone density, and health without ever needing to go to the gym, but on workout kit, or even change your shoes.

Here are some savory, tasty, excerpts from the book that will give you an excellent insight into the book. The thesis is this: when we humans were originally fit, it was because we were active all throughout the day, not sedentary and not just for an hour. In order to become functionally and actually fitter, you can do it, starting today, without much inconvenience at all. Here's the workout, in a nutshell:

  1. Pull yourself away from your work, the couch, the TV, your computer, the kitchen, the television, or the espresso machine
  2. Find something heavy (or use your body weight) and lift it up from the floor to chest-high
  3. Include your full body, including as much of a squat as you can endure, and do it slowly and with purpose
  4. Be sure to use proper form, including a straight back and chin up, and feet flat, and bend at the knees.
  5. Lower the heavy thing (a barbell, kettlebell, or dumbbell) down from your chest and to the floor with controlled motion
  6. Repeat six times
  7. Go back to your work, the couch, the TV, your computer, the kitchen, the television, or the espresso machine
  8. Repeat periodically across the entire day, interspersing the lifting with pushups (regular or assisted) and squats
  9. Do as often as you like but be sure to use a challenging weight and to not do more than one set of six repetitions per individual session.
Q: I'm curious in your review of slow weights you mentioned incorporating push ups, but I didn't see that anywhere in the Get Strong book.  Where did you get that from? 
A: I just assumed that any type of exercises that breaks apart your sedentary workday such as squats or pushups or burpies can be added to the list of things like dead lifts, etc. I don't think one needs to have a gym worth of stuff to make the system work. Not just weight but body weight as well. So, according to that assumption, I assume that if pushups are good enough for every military on the planet, it's good enough to add. "Drop and give me twenty!"
If you don't believe me, please read how casually and easily the author takes this challenge. 
“As I write this, my muscles and bones are getting stronger. That’s because I’m strength training. In between sentences or paragraphs, while pacing around the room thinking about the next topic, or waiting for the espresso machine, I’m getting in a workout. It may not resemble one most people recognize, but this simple, quick, and easy routine is more than powerful enough to not only develop stronger muscles and bones, but also benefits the ligaments, tendons, fascia, cartilage, joints and other body structures.”

Don't worry. People have skeptical about Dr. Philip Maffetone's strategies forever. How can you become a faster runner by following MAF? It doesn't make sense. Don't run any faster than the pace associated with 180bpm minus your age? It doesn't make sense. And yet, the Maffetone Method has changed many lives and people are completely devoted—if not completely fanatic—over MAF.

Just remember that, as a human race, we would walk and bend and climb and squat and jog and then run and lift and pry and press things all day long, be it as a Serengeti hunter or just in my grandfather's world, working in a factory, or even living the life of an Amazon, FedEx, UPS, or USPS delivery woman or warehouse worker. The MAF Strength Training method is simple: emulate that physical life as often and possible without ever waking up stiff and sore or ever needing to struggle through lactic acid or post-gym muscle soreness. Look how elegantly the author integrates it into his life:

“After pushing the button on the espresso maker, I go to the corner of my office and lift a barbell chest-high, and perform an easy squat, going down only as far as my body is willing to go at that moment. I may do five more squats, and after placing the weight back down, I go grab my espresso and get back to writing. I may lift later on my way to get a glass of water, or between phone calls. By the end of a typical day or week the amount of strength training may have exceeded that done by most people who go to the gym for their traditional two-to three per-week sessions. And unlike most of those gym workouts, I have improved both muscle and bone strength throughout my body in a significant way without fatigue, soreness, pain or sweat. I call this particular workout MAF Slow Weights, and devote an entire chapter in this book to it. Performing this same routine when I can, over the course of a day and week, will stimulate significant full-body muscle and bone strength. This book is about why this type of simple and easy strength training works so well — and it gives you other options and knowledge to do it successfully.”

The keywords associated with MAF Strength Training and MAF Slow Weights are: simple, safe, easy, effective, fast, and free:

“The MAF Strength Training method is simple, safe, easy, effective, fast and free (you might have to buy some weights, but look in your basement or ask a friend and you may find what you need). It’s a natural activity, developing strong muscles and bones similar to those conditioned through outdoor work, such as lifting and carrying logs or rocks, building a stone wall, or digging the garden. (I sometimes do that too.)” [...] “The art and science of MAF Strength Training is one of the simplest ways to build or preserve muscle and bone strength no matter your age. It requires little or no extra time. In fact, while I was thinking about how to write this paragraph I just did another single set of six simple squats.”

I have officially added Get Strong: The Natural, No-Sweat, Whole-Body Approach to Stronger Muscles and Bones to Don Fitch's deceptively easy Get Fit, Get Fierce with Kettlebell Swings and Kettlebell Simple & Sinister when it comes to getting and keeping my body strong, limber, functional, flexible, fit, and healthy while also keeping lots of gas in my tank. There's no reason to loathe working out. It doesn't need to put you out of commission for hours and days. And if you're not going for the bulk or training for a Marvel film, you really only need real strength and not show strength. My overview doesn't cover everything so you should check out the actual book. I am just taking what I want from it, but it can be a little more different exercises and warming up exercises, as you'll see below:

“MAF Strength Training includes various exercise options such as MAF Slow Weights and similar routines, and always includes an active warm-up and cool-down to leave you more flexible, all in a simple, easy and highly effective way that builds full body muscle and bone strength. It is without fatigue or pain, sometimes with almost no time commitment, even in the privacy of your home. Success starts with the first easy workout. That’s because you enlist the brain to contract more muscle fibers, improving strength. This approach mimics the natural activity of humans throughout their existence — but only small numbers of people do this natural work today, leaving the rest of the world to get weaker.”

And, I can also really recommend getting yourself into prime aerobic shape as well in addition to functional fitness and strong bones, it's essential to also have heart health and extreme stamina. Don't forget the first rule of Zombieland is cardio: "To escape a pursuing zombie you will need to out-run it, and this means being in good shape." Be sure to pick up a copy of The Maffetone Method: The Holistic, Low-Stress, No-Pain Way to Exceptional Fitness Kindle Edition by Philip Maffetone. Here's a sneak peek:

“MAF stands for maximum aerobic function. It’s a method I developed over the past 40+ years to help people manage their own health and fitness. The MAF Method incorporates physical activity, including strength training and aerobic conditioning, with natural food choices, and managing stress with the goal to improve fat-burning and reduce body fat. Benefits include increased energy and reduced risk of disease, along with all other health and fitness factors, including healthy aging. Improved brain function is another important benefit of this approach — each muscle fiber we train to contract also stimulates better brain function.”

Book Description

Our ancestors were physically active with strong muscles and bones. Today, most people on earth are no longer naturally active, or strong. Most of us can’t return to nature, so the next best thing is strength training that produces very similar natural muscle and bone strength. This is much easier than you think. In fact, just picking up a weight, standing and holding it, then placing it back down begins the process of getting stronger throughout the body. This simple approach, along with other strengthening options, if you want them, is what this book is about. My workout is part of my day. I don’t change clothes, wear special shoes, drive anywhere, pay a membership or even get sweaty. It’s simple: I don’t want to bulk up or enter any weightlifting competition — I just want to improve overall health and fitness by making my entire body stronger. The MAF Strength Training method is simple, safe, easy, effective, fast and free. It’s a natural activity, developing strong muscles and bones similar to those conditioned through outdoor work, such as lifting and carrying logs or rocks, building a stone wall, or digging the garden.

Our ancestors were physically active with strong muscles and bones. Today, most people on earth are no longer naturally active, or strong. Most of us can’t return to nature, so the next best thing is strength training that produces very similar natural muscle and bone strength. This is much easier than you think. In fact, just picking up a weight, standing and holding it, then placing it back down begins the process of getting stronger throughout the body. This simple approach, along with other strengthening options, if you want them, is what this book is about.My workout is part of my day. I don’t change clothes, wear special shoes, drive anywhere, pay a membership or even get sweaty. It’s simple: I don’t want to bulk up or enter any weightlifting competition — I just want to improve overall health and fitness by making my entire body stronger.The MAF Strength Training method is simple, safe, easy, effective, fast and free. It’s a natural activity, developing strong muscles and bones similar to those conditioned through outdoor work, such as lifting and carrying logs or rocks, building a stone wall, or digging the garden.

Dec 08, 2020 04:45 PM | Comments (0)
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