- 3 “Hyper Reps” for the lower back (that means maximum positive and maximum negative effort)
- 3 “Double Negatives” on a horizontal plane (equivalent to a back to back chest press/seated row)
- 3 “Double Negatives” on a vertical plane (equivalent to a back to back pull down/overhead press)
I did not do anything direct for my legs this workout since Keith Norris put me through the most intense leg workout of my life on Monday (which included, as a finishing touch, 3 leg press “hyper reps” on an older, horizontal plane CZT machine).
That leg workout alone left me sprawled out on the floor for a solid 30 minutes – something that’s never happened to me before my entire life. It has also left my legs “tender”, all the way through today (Friday). They are literally still “soft to the touch” – impressive on Keith’s part and humbling to my own.
Couple random thoughts …
1. I’ve used these machines before under the supervision of Drew Baye. They remain as intense now as they were then. They (perhaps obviously if you watch the videos), have undergone significant improvements since the models I used with Drew.
2. “Intense” is an understatement in the context I have used it above, unless you yourself have used the machines. The CZT machines, by leaps and bounds, allow for the most intense workout possible.
3. With the above stated, I think these machines also place the most responsibility on the user, when compared to any other piece of exercise equipment currently available. Even with a trainer supervising (the machines are setup in such a way that they can be used solo), and even with the computer tracking your strength numerically, these machines place more emphasis on mental effort than anything else I have ever used or even heard of.
4. In case it’s not abundantly clear at this point, the workout intensity these machines allow for, is much greater than it appears on camera (even with a guy like Keith Norris training, which you can see below).
If you ever had any doubts about the potential of a low volume, safe, high intensity approach to strength training, I would be shocked if Keith’s physique didn’t put those to rest. He is even more impressive to observe in person than on video.
It’s mentioned in the videos already, but I’ll repeat it for the sake of getting it to sink in – these machines, in my opinion, are the machines of “the future”. CZT machines are more efficient (and of higher quality) than other motorized machines, and more effective than traditional weight based machines – even those of Nautilus and MedX.
If I had consistent access to them, you would see me use them almost exclusively. My personal preferences as of right now would make me lean to workout that looked something like …
- Leg Press (horizontal plane machine)
- Chest Press (vertical plane machine)
- Pulldown (vertical plane machine)
- Lower Back (core machine)
And not much else (granted, I haven’t tried everything on these machines, but from what I have done, that’s what I would select for my workout).
The format I would start off with would be negative only repetitions instead of hyper reps or double negatives (I have not tried positive only). Out of the three styles I have tried, those, for reasons I cannot fully explain, seemed the most intense.
I have heard of some clues though.
One is that the negative portion of a rep produces more micro-trauma than the positive portion (Drew Baye). The other is that the negative portion of a rep requires less oxygen than the positive (Mark Alexander).
While not necessarily “natural”, I believe these two factors in tandem, allow for an incredible degree of fatigue in the muscles. Combined with a lot of patience for recovery and a disregard for metabolic condition resulting from strength training, I think there is a lot of potential in negative only training on these machines.
To Mark Alexander, Keith Norris, and Skyler Tanner of Efficient Exercise for volunteering their time, effort, and facilities to satisfy my curiosity and month long build up of training angst (before arriving in Austin I had not worked out for a clean 30 days).
If you live in Austin and are not training with these guys, you are missing out. And if you live in Central Florida, keep an eye on Drew Baye as I hear he is supposed to be getting one of these in the not too distant future.
ps- Don’t be surprised if you see some of these men speaking at The 21 Convention some day.