Homeschooling; Education From The Inside Out

This morning, I came across two parents on a local group, “Practical Homeschooling” who are basically trading in the State-based, outside-in, approach to education by attempting to coerce their children into “focusing” on what they want them to do, rather than allowing them to unfold naturally out of their own desires.   Here are those comments and my response to one of them (please enlarge on your desktop … sorry it’s so small):

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In order to explain my stance further, let me take you back a little in time.  My son, Jordan, was born two months premature over 20 years ago.  After a delayed MMR vaccine, at 15 months, he regressed, losing all speech and eye contact and also began suffering chronic constipation issues so severe he was hospitalized seven times; once he was even put under general anaesthetic to remove the impacted stool manually.  I made a vow that if Jordan was ever cured of his ills, I’d write a book about it illuminating what it was that had resolved his sufferings.  That book is entitled, The Path To Cure; The Whole Art Of Healing.

It is about the system of medicine that I now practice. When Jordan started to unwrap himself, through Heilkunst medicine, he first attained the milestone of using the bathroom on his own; and then he subsequently achieved the milestone of saying “I love you!”.  I realized that I’d been gifted with a second chance, a chance to re-do motherhood in a whole different fashion.

He was delayed in speech and cognitive processing and I sought out an environment to try and preserve his delicate immune system as he fired up his mental and emotional grid.  The fanning of embers is a delicate operation, too much wind and the little flame is extinguished; not enough air and the flame is also extinguished. Allopathic, conventional school, for Jordan, meant further labels of ADHD and autism, constant add-in therapies for speech, cognitive development, and movement in order to get the help he needed to make the sound “shhh,” solve problems without tantrums, and learning how to keep his feet on the floor when drawing so that the trees in his pictures could form their own roots too.  It was a form of ‘management’, at best; healative, but not curative.

I needed to bide our time while the Heilkunst process was unfolding. It was exhausting.  Jordan became like a pet project while his baby sister flourished naturally, behind the scenes, unvaccinated and perfect in everybody’s eyes. All the focus remained on “Project Jordan” while the little village we’d created worked with him tirelessly to make him a “real boy” based on stats, mid-lines, and scores that were created by non-autistic-living authorities.  I watched Jordan stutter, literally and figuratively, the flame sputtering, and then the lights all seemed to go out.  He just wanted to be with me, not a myriad of therapists, and I just wanted to be with him too, his mother bear.

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I was afraid that I would not be enough for him; I brought him home anyway.  He came to work with me at my office as wholistic college registrar everyday; I drew, painted, read, and played with him on his terms every lunch hour and break.  It was very rewarding and also very demanding.  Jordan was a fount of endless questions; a seemingly unquenchable desire simply to know.

I ignored spelling mistakes, the speech issues, and the cognitive challenges and focused wholly and solely on what he loved.  I let him drive the curriculum, on his terms, both day and evening.  He was thriving and I was sputtering with exhaustion trying to hold down two full-time jobs with not an ounce of support.  As a result, my marriage to his father came apart at the seams. When we later moved to a farm, I held an annual “Camp On The Farm” day camp for kids of Waldorf and homeschooling families.

The following year, we enrolled Jordan in the Waldorf school where they united with me and the philosophy of allowing him to dictate the pace in a wholistic environment.  Their maxim was the same as mine; learning from the inside out. In partnership with Waldorf pedagogy and the local homeschool association, Jordan unpacked himself over 2 decades, naturally, while backing off false authorities; only learning what he loved and only when he wanted to know it.  If he suspected that I, or his father, demanded something specific from him, he only just rebelled.  I had to find another way; always another way with him.

As he got better, and his health was restored, I also had to take the focus off of him and find my own path for myself. Jordan demanded a mentor, not a false authority breathing down his neck, trying to get his lips up to say “shhh” on some arbitrary schedule. This was a very successful model until we ran out of Waldorf school rope at the end of grade 8.

High school presented a disaster when we moved to a close-knit farming community in a small town, in a mostly rural setting.   The cliques did not include a new boy from 2 provinces away. By this time, Jordan had advanced so much in his academic ability that he held an average of 99% in math the whole year in grade 10, tutoring almost the entire class during lunch hour and breaks.  He stated that this just didn’t seem right, as he was not being paid to be a teacher; he wasn’t even getting dental benefits! His words, not mine.

Jordan again came home and remained there during his adolescent years working part-time in our clinic, filing and doing lots of odd jobs requiring a myriad of skills.  He was a further help when he got his driver’s licence.  Jordan fell further in love with the martial art, Aikido, and then later joined a trampoline acrobatic club which also took his love of Parkour (free-running) to a whole other level of prowess.  He and his buddy, Eric, ran a club for Parkour enthusiasts in our local village, helping other young boys to defy gravity and fly through the air.  Little did we know that this red thread would become the cornerstone of Jordan’s work as a young man today.

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At 18, Jordan decided to train as a Bowen Practitioner, a hands-on soft tissue modality requiring much of the same skills as a Registered Massage Therapist or Chiropractor. He graduated at the top of his class for which all of his more senior fellow students admired him.  He also became a manager and mentor at the largest trampoline acrobatic centre in a large urban centre.  He tells me that at almost 21 that he’s never been happier; this gives me great joy.

He let me know one day, that he always felt a little unsure of himself, that people might not think him capable because he was homeschooled.  What he’s realized since is that his problem solving abilities and inner resourcefulness are off the charts; explaining why they’ve made him a full manager in less than 9 months at the acrobatic club.  He’s jumped four levels in the hierarchy in a few short months to manage a staff of almost 20!

My daughter, Adie, has been mostly home educated as well.  I never interfered with her pursuit of self-knowledge. She would engage with tutors on-line for Greek, in exchange for teaching them English.  She’d buy bristol board at the dollar store, crafting elaborate maps of middle earth, or just seeming to randomly do a pictorial comparative analysis between Greek and Roman gods, all entirely out of her own volition.  She’s read 1,ooo page tomes in 5 days, year after year, eating through books like she was half starved.  I often wondered if I’d have to get a second job, just to keep her in books!

She would draw horses for hours; again, totally self taught and highly motivated.  She taught herself how to play the piano and earned her own money to buy a keyboard to practice on.  Adie also rode horses competitively, training in dressage, stadium jumping, and cross country.  She even worked with the Canadian Olympic team one summer as a groom (aka barn slave) at Spruce Meadows in Calgary, with riders from all over the world.

Like her brother Jordan, Adie also just seems to innately know who she is and I completely trust her capacity to unfold her own desire program, naturally and with ease.  No coercion or interference is necessary from me as she is totally self-governing and motivated.  I was a little concerned when she applied to art college at 16 and was required to write the university level entrance exam in both math and English.  I sweated over the math, thinking back in the recesses of my mind that we’d never covered any math; it just never came up in her pursuit of the arts.  I need not have worried as she hired her own tutor the week prior to the examination, again, entirely on her own, and got 100% on the English exam and a 98% on the math.  After a few short months at the college, they refer to her as a ceramics protege.

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My hope is that I’ve helped to foster life-long learning for both of my children.  They watched me struggle through a four year medical degree in Heilkunst medicine and also a post graduate study in advanced therapeutics in the same.  My husband, Jeff Korentayer, and their step-dad, also shared the same pursuits as I did, fostering a culture of self-fulfillment through knowledge.  Jeff has gone on to do a double PhD.

We never travelled very much, or took many vacations, but we took our own self-education very seriously.  We also housed other Spanish-speaking international students from around the world over several years, exposing the kids to other cultures, languages, and a sense of a global community of knowledge-seekers. Perhaps now you will see why I responded the way I did in the post back at the beginning of this article.

I feel deeply that it is our job as parents and mentors to tease, lovingly and gently, an individual’s innate desires to know to the surface.  If you’re nervous about trusting this God-imbued wisdom downloaded in your own child and their capacity to self-teach, then study everything that John Taylor Gatto ever wrote.  Read Alfie Kohn and the Colfax’s book about educating their boys while building their house in the middle of nowhere in the mountains of California.

Read The Teenage Liberation Handbook and allow your kids to unfold naturally, gracefully, while having complete trust and faith in their inner process.  I’m also here if you need a coach. I promise you that it will be the most awe inspiring journey you will ever have the pleasure of going on with another human being.  Find inspiring individual mentors for your kids that speak to their specific, individual interests and perhaps you will find that along the way, you’ve also become one yourself.

Impressions Of A Latent Athlete

A week before Christmas of just this last year, I went to get my home-schooled son a gym membership to supplement his Aikido training. He had some personal goals for cardio and weight training and because the weather was proving so extreme here in the Maritimes, his usual running routine was proving treacherous on slippery sidewalks. We live in a extremely hilly community so you’re up or down hills in any direction you go from our home.

When we were given the tour of this enormous facility, I could feel all my resistances going up with the feeling that folks just felt like rats in a maze of treadmills. On the perimeter of the facility were two phenomenal rooms, one for RPM (used to be called Spin) classes with about 50 stationary bikes facing a stage and another hardwood floored studio with mirrors that looked like it could accommodate about 300 ballerinas with their partners. When I asked what this room was for, I was told that a variety of weight resistance classes were taught from Body Flow (Pilates/Yoga) to Body Pump (Step/Barbell) and Body Attack (I still fear what this class is about).

After my son and I left with information in hand, I slept on a niggling curiosity for a couple of nights. While I’d mostly done a walking/hiking routine in combination with Yamuna Ball Rolling (a type of movement/core strength training done with balls) and Fred Hahn’s Slow Burn, I wanted to change it up after 6 years as my motivation with my same routine had been ebbing for some time. I also wanted a jolt with something less comfortable for my 49 year old physicality. I’m a giddy up kind of gal!

I joined the gym and started a routine of 2 days of 55 minutes of RPM class and another 60 minutes, twice per week of Body Flow. I’ve not looked back as I love it! And up until recently, I didn’t really know why. The first 2-3 weeks were bloody painful. Sitting on that narrow, grey plastic seat was like mounting a wide metal razor blade. Even though I brought a towel folded four times, my sitz bones screamed in protest competing with my lungs and quads for virginal fitness purchase.

The yoga-based stretching and pilates was hilarious as I’m about as coordinated as a Rhino on roller skates. The muscle groups being asked to “plank-pose” for what seemed like hours were more rebellious than a teenager asked to go to the principal’s office on a Friday afternoon. The moment I lifted my belly off the ground, my breath stopped in abject shock! I was really wondering what I’d gotten myself into and was in awe of the other women who could stand tall while grabbing their foot to stretch it out, fully extended 90 degrees from their sides. My tiny dancer looked like a grunting, floundering polar bear during a drunken brawl in an earthquake.

As a former competitive swimmer who’d held records for breaststroke in my early teens, this new regime was totally demoralizing. Even though I told myself to, “suck-it-up-you-middle-aged-buttercup,” I was truly hurting at a profoundly deep level. Thankfully my son was studying Bowen and so between his rolling of my muscles, and the daily hot epsom salts baths, by week three, I was off my bike seat for “standing climbs” and sitting back down without my eyes filling with tears. Also, my tiny dancer was only dealing with minor inebriation on a mostly stable fault line.

The coolest part is that in just over 4 months, I’ve gone from 42% body fat to 29%. I’m also standing taller, feeling stronger in my body and noticing that I have a ton more energy, bearing the stress of spending hours in a chair serving clients, researching, thinking or writing a whole lot less stressful. The only thing is that I am really, really, really hungry. As long as I plan my 6 baby meals stocked with protein, veggies, nuts, cheese and fruit (I’m a High Oxidating “B” Blood Type with some Thyroid/Adrenal stress) I do alright without waking for a “feeding” in the middle of the night.

My hubby, Jeff, is so well disciplined with his Slow Burn weight resistance training on Mondays as well as 3 days of peak eight running or Couch to 5K regime that I often admire his Calc Carb. tenacity. He’s an O blood type with some thyroid issues that he manages well by methodically Eating Right For His Type. My Sulphur personality hates routine of any sort and I thrive on change, never satisfied for long with the same ol’, same ol’.

I’m not wholly sure where this is going to take me, but for now, I’m loving it. The Instructors have been warm and encouraging and I enjoy their sense of humor. One of the Body Flow Instructors is also an Accountant while the other a retired Nursery School teacher that keeps calling us her “team”!  I’m thinking that possibly because I spend most of my time instructing others with regards to the principles of Heilkunst Medicine, that I’m loving that the running shoe is on the other foot for at least 4 hours of each week.

When my new friend, Brad, puts on the Billy Idol track, and tells me I’ve hit the peak on my bike (I haven’t the heart to tell him that it never actually goes anywhere) yelling “Go!”  I race like an enthusiastic kid over the imaginary top like I’m in the south of France with a winery full of luscious, tantalizing B blood type fare on the other side. For now, I’m loving my renewed strength and tenacity and the fact that I’m at play for this time every week letting someone else lead me in the physical game of life for awhile.

(Note:  All class terms above are trademarks of GoodLife.)

How to Stay Healthy on Cafeteria Food (and other nutritionally-trying circumstances)

Whether you are a student dependent on cafeteria food, or are otherwise displaced from your home and usual regimen, such as during travel, maintaining your healthy diet can become quite a challenge. When someone has put in good effort to consciously improve their diet, and put their life on a new program, sooner or later, they face their first challenge of how to deal with a less than optimal situation of food available in an unusual context.

While “cafeteria food” has improved in some ways over the years, it is certainly not representative of the model diet I recommend to my patients. The nature of feeding a large group of people is that the lowest common denominators of convenience, familiarity, and price are the driving force behind the menu design, and preparation methods. Also, issues of keeping the cost down will play in, both from the point of view of the cafeteria, as well as from the budget-conscious needs of students. This generally means a lower quality of ingredients, which include the use of canned or frozen or otherwise artificially preserved foods, along with faster cooking methods, including a ubiquitous use of microwave ovens.

A few general points to consider, and adapt to your particular situation:

  • When you have little to no control over the food available to you, be sure to take care of the other aspects of your health as best you can. This includes exercise (see P.A.C.E. and Slow Burn), sleep, proper hydration.
  • There is nothing better for proper hydration than pure water, and the more you can leave behind sugary or caffeinated drinks, the better. Even fruit juices are too concentrated in sweetness, and not a good regular part of your diet.
  • The less control you have over your diet, and other aspects of your environment, the more important it is to do everything which you do to maintain a healthy state of mind. The impact of toxins or stress are greatly mitigated by a healthy immune system, which is made up both of physical as well as emotional factors.
  • Know which dietary typologies are the best for you, so that you can make the best possible choices within the available parameters. Some do better when their diet is carb-dominant, while others with a protein-dominant.
  • Supplement your diet, if you can, with a whole greens powder, which is a great way to take in a ton of nutrition in a very small package.
  • Celebrate if the cafeteria has even a half-decent salad bar — although it is not likely to be organic, this opens up much more freedom for you to offset a less-than-optimal main course with a  side dish much better than fries.
  • Choose the items which are prepared with healthier methods, such as baking or broiling instead of frying.
  • If you are conscious of maintaining a low-grain diet, try to find options where the bread can be left aside, such as ordering a burger without the bun. When available, stick to the more natural sugars (cafeterias will often have pieces of fruit available), rather than the dessert counter.
  • If it is possible, ask the kitchen to heat up your meal in an oven or stove top, rather than a microwave. This one is highly dependent on the resources and willingness of the staff.

What’s in Your Remedy Kit for Labour Day Weekend?

We’re approaching Labour Day, which many people consider to be the last long weekend of the summer. People tend to try to pack a lot in to this weekend, whether the last time up to the cottage, or other forms of “weekend warrior”, or just plain partying.

Here are some of the remedies which you may find useful to have with you this weekend:

  • Arnica – for any strains or sprains you may suffer in a sporting or recreational accident, or merely for “overdoing” it, and pushing yourself too hard.
  • Nux Vomica – for the other kind of overdoing it, and you end up with a hangover to deal with the morning after.
  • Walnut (Bach Flower Remedy) – to help with all aspects of the transition back into another school year. Getting the kids ready for the first day of school, and keeping your composure while the entire house routine is turned upside down in preparation.
  • Natrum Muriaticum – If you are acutely feeling the emotional “loss” of the summer, and aren’t feeling ready to let it go yet.
  • Hornbeam (Bach Flower Remedy) – If Tuesday morning comes, and you’re having a really hard time responding to the call of the alarm clock, this can help put a little mental focus and energy into your morning.

What else would you carry with you in your remedy kit this weekend?

Laying the Groundwork for Nutrition

This blog is part of a series; its original title was Heilkunst Basics : Graduating From Elementary School Level

Congratulations! If you’ve incorporated all of the basic suggestions from grade one to six in this series, then you have completed the Heilkunst elementary school curriculum, and are ready to graduate on to Heilkunst high school. You may recall that there are three fundamental jurisdictions (Regimen, Medicine, and Education), and the elementary level of our analogy relates primarily to the area of regimen.

While it is conceptually true that you must get your regimen in order before tackling the medicine realm, at a practical level, most of my patient’s health issues have enough complexity to warrant the judicious mixture of two or more jurisdictions at the same time. It remains true, however, that the more of regimen which a patient is ignoring, the less effective will be the application of anything from the higher jurisdictions of medicine and education.

To summarize what we’ve covered so far:

  1. Grade One – Understanding the quantitative and qualitative aspects of nutrition — The difference between feeling full and feeling satisfied. Also, the use of sequential eating to optimize digestion and assimilation.
  2. Grade Two – Focussing on your unique nutritional typologies — Blood type diet; Glandular type diet; and Metabolic type diet.
  3. Grade Three – Some “health” foods aren’t very healthy after all : Soy, grains, and dairy.
  4. Grade Four – Unhooking from one of the biggest addictions – sugar!
  5. Grade Five – The basic protocols for detoxification – how to keep your system functioning optimally despite the toxins in your particular environment.
  6. Grade Six – Exploring even more individualized aspects of nutrition – we examined the concepts of nutrigenomic science of diet, as well as the purpose of challenging your system with tonic regimen.

There are more topics in between and around the basic curriculum that we explored above, but this is more than enough to establish a well-grounded regimen for you, and to prepare your system to fully benefit from the next level, which is therapeutic medicine.

Water and Recreation: Are You Having Fun Floating Your Boat?

This blog is part of a series; its original title was Heilkunst Basics : Senior Kindergarten

Once you’re getting a good rhythm with all your new habits you learned in Junior Kindergarten, you’ll probably feel ready to tackle your next lessons in Senior Kindergarten.

  • Water – while you learned about the importance of drinking enough (quantity) of water in Junior Kindergarten, now it’s time to learn something about the quality of the water you drink. This is topic with a number of factors and dimensions which can’t all fit into this article, but it is where we will start to address issues of water filtration (where needed), and how to assess the variety of quality available in terms of bottled water from different sources. The ideal form of water is one which naturally contains levity forces, and which has spontaneously bubbled up to the surface from an underground spring, without the need to be drilled or pumped up. As an example, Fiji Water fits into this category.
  • Recreation – This word is preferable to ‘exercise’ which most people think of as a 4-letter word. There are two aspects to recreation – one which involves a movement of the physical body, and the other which involves the application of the creative mind. The key to recreation is to find activities which are a pleasure for you to do, and that you won’t have a hard time to do on a regular basis. In terms of the physical side of recreation, the dual principles of “slow burn” contrasted with “PACE” or “Peak 8” are the ideal model to strive for. If your current routine involves a lot of couch time, then build up to this very slowly. On the creative side, it is important to understand the proper rhythm between activity and rest. True rest doesn’t mean to do nothing, or to “veg out”, but it is a sort of “active” rest, when the creative mind is engaged.

The Chthonic Realm : Arnica

Arnica is probably the most well known homeopathic remedy, and is used very frequently for day-to-day first aid situations, including bumps and bruises in children, as well as all forms of sports injuries, or even general states of exhaustion, particularly from over-exertion. It is also the primary remedy used to assist in the recovery from, and after-effects of heart attacks or strokes.

Aside from these common physical symptoms, Arnica is also one of the key remedies in the Chthonic Realm, and works at a level in parallel with Belladonna, as they both represent functional blockages of the physical body. Going into this deeper level of Arnica, we discover a fear of being penetrated, either literally or metaphorically. The first aid use of this remedy in cases of shock extends into this deeper theme, where we find individuals who either have an extreme aversion to physical touch, or with making emotional contact with others. This can emerge from a degree of armoring which has been created in order to keep anything or anyone from getting inside, and may sometimes manifest physically, particularly in women who have symptoms of pain upon intercourse, or a generalized aversion to contact. These are the victims of “the war of love”, who exist in a perpetual state of post-traumatic stress disorder.

At all levels, they may behave as solitary heroes, in a relentless pursuit of completing a job or project, and who keep pushing themselves beyond their limits as they can never concede to needing help, or surrendering to the impossibility of their task. Deep states of physical and/or mental exhaustion may often be the condition, in which someone in this state will be found.

Finding Your Love Function Within Exercise

Regimen, as you’ll know from my previous writings, is the foundation for all medicine and higher Heilkunst therapeutics. Everyone knows, at least to some degree, the importance that nutrition and exercise plays; however, many struggle with mustering up enough will power to implement some or all of what they know they need to do.
I often advise patients, when it comes to exercise, to find something that they enjoy doing — whether a team or solo sport, or a more informal activity such as walking their dog every day. People all too often get caught up in what they think they are ‘supposed’ to do for exercise, and completely lose touch with what actually gives them pleasure in the process.
This summer, my Allyson has put this principle into practice — she had been desiring to start biking again, and you should have seen how charged with excitement she became when she discovered a bike that she loved was for sale:


She’s been out on her bike every day since, and illustrating in true living colour the importance of connecting to what gives you enjoyment. The ‘rules’ and quantities of exercise place a distant second place after this all-important principle of enjoyment. Not to mention all the sports and athletic injuries which are the by-product of someone having pushed themselves way too hard towards an abstract goal, and being disconnected from their own inner experience of what it feels like to engage in the activity.
If you see Ally booting around town on her pink Schwinn, be sure to give her a wave and a smile, which many strangers are doing when they see her coming on her beautiful bike!

Exercise for Your Upper Being : P.A.C.E. or Peak 8

Yesterday, I introduced a form of exercise which is ideal for your Nether Being (Slow Burn), and today I will introduce the counterpart for your Upper Being, called P.A.C.E. or Peak 8. Similar to the idea of Slow Burn, being a condensed and focussed form of exercise which delivers the essential benefits in a very short period of time, P.A.C.E or Peak 8 does the same for cardiovascular exercise.

 

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The underlying idea behind P.A.C.E or Peak 8 is similar, in terms of engaging in short bursts of high intensity activity, interspersed with rest periods. This form of alternating high and low levels of activity actually provides benefits which are not generally obtained from more typical longer endurance cardio exercises, which can even produce more detrimental effects than positive. As some have explained, our ancient physiology would not have been built for running for extended periods of time under normal circumstances, unless we were under a severe degree of stress, and running for our lives from a sabre-tooth tiger.

The form of Peak 8 prescribes a brief warm up period of about 3 minutes to start, and then 8 repetitions of the following pattern : 30 seconds of high intensity cardio, followed by 90 seconds of a resting pace. The exercise itself can be anything of your choice, depending on what you like, and what equipment or terrain you have access to. The key idea is to pick anything which you enjoy, which will get your heart and breathing rate up for a period of time.

This form of exercises is just about the only way of increasing your natural human growth hormone (HGH), which is critical for maintaining strength, and contributing to longevity. A lack of exercise during the adult years will contribute to a serious decline in this hormone.

Doing this a couple of times a week, as well as your Slow Burn routine about once per week will maximize all of the positive benefits from exercise you can get, and only takes about 90 minutes per week to do a sufficient amount of all of these exercises.

If you have been away from regular exercise for any length of time (or in fact, for most of your life!), then it is a good idea to work with a personal trainer for a period of time to help you get started at a pace and intensity which is appropriate for you, and which you can gain progressive “wins” from as you work up to a state of being more in shape, and ready to manage your fitness routine yourself.

Speaking from my own personal experience, I only started taking regular exercise seriously in the last few years, and it is truly amazing how much more energy and general feeling of health I have when I am in a regular exercise routine. It can be really hard to take the first step, but every step towards more regular exercise builds momentum, and it gets easier and easier as you go.

Exercise for Your Nether Being : Slow Burn

There are two basic forms of exercise which I recommend; one is a certain form of cardio-vascular exercise called PACE or Peak 8, and the other is a form of weight-bearing exercise called Slow Burn. The term ‘Slow Burn’ comes from a book of the same name by Fredrick hahn, and is a very specific approach to strength training which gets to the essence of what the benefits, without all the extra ‘packaging’, so to speak.

 

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In Slow Burn, a series of exercises are done which effectively target all of the different muscle groups in sequence. Leg lifts, and  arm curls will not be new to anyone who has worked out, but it is the form and technique of Slow Burn which makes it different — the basic idea for each of the different muscle group exercises is to work each muscle group with very slow movements, to the point of complete muscle fatigue, when you literally can’t move that muscle another inch. The amount of weight for each exercise is adjusted so that this point of total fatigue is reached between 3 and 4 repetitions, and between 60 and 90 seconds. A metronome set to 60 beats per minute (1 per second) is suggested, to count out the seconds, so that you can easily count 10 to 12 seconds for each movement on its way up, and then another 10 to 12 seconds as you’re returning back down. The goal is to achieve a slow, steady, and smooth movement, without any jerking, straining, or grunting as you go.

To complete the full set of the Slow Burn routine takes less than half an hour, and to achieve the maximum benefit, it is only necessary to do once every 7 to 10 days. Avoiding exercise with the “not enough time” excuse suddenly disappears in light of Slow Burn. It is also much safer than the conventional form of strength training, and is a more thorough workout, as it works through all 3 layers of muscle (fast twitch, medium twitch, and slow twitch), which regular weight exercises cannot do.