Time Used Wisely

It only takes a moment to learn the benefits of slow-cadence workouts.

When Barbara Robinson had a routine bone density test a few years ago, the results indicated some loss. She was surprised – and concerned.

Barbara built bone density using the 20 Minutes to Fitness slow-cadence strengthening system.

“I considered myself physically fit,” says the 77-year-old from Sarasota. “I walk a couple of miles several times a week and I play golf. I thought that was enough.”

Then she saw an ad for 20 Minutes to Fitness in Lakewood Ranch and thought, This sounds almost too good to be true, Barbara recalls. “I had a meeting with one of the trainers and we talked about the program. I decided to try it because it seemed ideal for what I was concerned about.”

The type of training used at 20 Minutes to Fitness is referred to as slow-cadence training, and there’s plenty of science behind it.

In this training, weights are lifted in a series of ultra-slow movements, with the targeted muscles doing all the work with each repetition. Specialized equipment (designed for use in physical therapy) with a patented double-stacking weight system is used, with each repetition lasting 20 seconds.

This combination of slow movements and specialized equipment eliminates the benefits of gravity and momentum, so the muscles have to do all the work. Therefore, in just a few minutes on each piece of equipment, the muscle group being worked reaches peak performance.

And that’s the point.

As muscle fatigue is achieved, the body recovers over a period of three to six days. During this recovery period, a series of physiological changes takes place that supercharges the body to burn fat and rebuild muscle.

“Participants get the maximum benefit with just one 20-minute workout per week,” assures Angela Begin, part-owner of 20 Minutes to Fitness.

Rebuild Bone

The slow-cadence strengthening system helps control arthritis, fight symptoms of diabetes, improve memory function, build strength, reduce back pain and more.

It is especially useful for those at risk for osteoporosis, a condition in which bones become more porous and susceptible to fractures – particularly in the hip, spine and wrist.

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, more than 52 million Americans are afflicted with this silent disease, and studies suggest that about half of the women and up to a quarter of the men 50 and older will break a bone due to osteoporosis.

However, slow-cadence training helps combat the onset of osteoporosis and can even reverse bone loss.

“Nearly two dozen cross-sectional and longitudinal studies have shown a direct and positive relationship between the effects of resistance training and bone density,” according to the National Institutes of Health.

“The workout goes down deep into the muscle fiber,” Angela educates. “The fast twitch fibers pull on the bone, and this increases the production of osteoblasts (bone-forming cells), which increases bone density.”

Barbara is proof that it works.

“When I had my bone density scan last year, I was elated because I had improvement in my neck area and significant improvement in my hip area,” she raves.

Angela recalls that Barbara came in very skeptical at first, “as most of our clients do.”

“However, after training at 20 Minutes to Fitness for two years, she had an 11 percent increase in bone density, which is significant,” Angela says. “Usually, doctors are happy with 4 percent.”

Barbara, who works part time for the Baltimore Orioles during spring training, informs that her goal was to not have any more bone loss.

“An overall feeling of wellness came with building my strength” – Barbara

“I was pleasantly surprised that not only had I accomplished that, but I had improvement,” she proclaims. “The slow-cadence weight movement really works!”

In addition to building back bone density, Barbara says she is stronger and feels better all around.

“An overall feeling of wellness came with building my strength,” she says. “I’m not a big person – about 5 feet, 120 pounds – and right now with the leg press I’m moving 300 pounds.”

She also added about 30 yards of distance to her golf swing, “an unexpected plus.”

One-on-One Encouragement

In addition to being an effective, quick and relatively sweatless workout, slow-cadence training is appropriate for all fitness levels and ages, from teenagers to octogenarians.

“No one is too old, too young, too in or out of shape to benefit from this program,” Angela asserts.

Trainers “challenge people at their fitness levels,” she continues. “We can start as low as 20 pounds. It depends on the person and how strong they are when they come in. But we’re going to challenge them at their level and continue challenging them.”

With a commitment of less than a half-hour once a week, the 20 Minutes to Fitness workout is shorter than traditional workouts. And with a fitness professional at your side the entire time, it’s also much safer.

“You have a coach with you keeping you safe, making sure that you’re doing things properly, staying in perfect form on safe, specialized equipment,” Angela notes.

Barbara joined gyms in the past but “did not use the weight equipment because, frankly, I was concerned about hurting myself,” she admits. At 20 Minutes to Fitness, “there is a trainer with me every moment to make sure that I’m doing it correctly and that my posture is correct, so I don’t hurt myself.”

In addition, 20 Minutes to Fitness offers a complimentary orientation, and there are no annual contracts or membership fees.

“Come in and learn a little bit about this unique system, learn the science and try it out,” Angela encourages. “There’s no obligation to continue, and it’s a great way to make an educated decision about whether or not this will work for you.”

Barbara is not only pleased that she has improved her bone density, strength and overall well-being through her weekly workouts at 20 Minutes to Fitness, but she is also impressed with the staff and her experience there.

“They’re encouraging. They’re pleasant,” she enthuses. “Sometimes, I amaze myself. As we’re training, I find that I can do more than I thought I could. I can do that one more rep when I thought I was finished. The overall facility and the staff have been wonderful.”

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