The Soloflex Story
Soloflex revolutioned the home fitness industry with the introduction of the Soloflex Muscle Machine in 1978.
Weightlifting is like anything else: it takes a little knowledge and time to do it properly and see real results. However, you will probably be surprised how quickly you start to feel and look better as a result of properly lifting weights.
No matter who you are, it’s necessary to begin a weightlifting program with very light resistance. This will help ensure correct execution, no delayed soreness, and little chance of injury.
In your first couple weeks lifting weights, your objective is learning, not muscular development. The changes that take place in your body early on are not in the muscle but in the nervous system. You develop the neuromuscular pathways (coordination) necessary to perform each exercise correctly and more efficiently. This is what enables you to increase the resistance in the first several weeks until the actual physiological changes take place.
When you start your workout program, only do 5-6 repetitions with a light weight. Doing more reps can bring on fatigue and the possibility of soreness or injury. This low number of reps will also allow you to do more exercises, which is beneficial in the beginning. When that workout is repeated on a subsequent day, the resistance should be used for 2-3 more repetitions if there was no delayed soreness from the previous session. If there was soreness, the original number of repetitions should be repeated.
If you see that the weight used is far below your capabilities after several sessions, you can increase the amount of weight used in every workout until the correct level is reached. Also, you should continue to increase the number of repetitions up to 15-20.
Rest assured, at these early stages you will achieve the same muscle development regardless of the type of program you use (high repetitions-low resistance, high resistance-low repetitions, or anywhere in between). How long this continues depends upon the individual, but there is a limit (usually 6-12 weeks).
Acquiring the ability to do 15-20 repetitions and remaining on this level by adding more resistance when you exceed 20 repetitions usually takes two or more months. This is especially true if you are attempting a total body workout. During this time it is unnecessary to do more than one set. For beginners, doing one set provides the same results as doing two or three.
As a result of this easy, basic program, you will have increased strength, muscle mass and muscular endurance. When you reach this point, you must then train specifically for the physical quality you desire.
If you desire greater strength and/or muscle mass, you will have to gradually reduce the number of repetitions while increasing the resistance and number of sets. If you want to enhance fat burning, toning, and overall muscular endurance you should increase the number of repetitions to 20-25 for one exhaustive set. Your body should experience no difficulty in these transitions and you will see immediate and impressive gains.
If you are going to work multiple muscle groups with heavier weights, we generally recommend you work your larger muscles (chest, back, quadriceps, buttocks, hamstrings) before working your smaller muscles (biceps, triceps, calves). This allows your biggest muscles to get a full workout, before the smaller (often supporting) muscles have been fatigued.
1. Always wear non-skid shoes while using your Soloflex®.
2. When removing the weightstraps after a pulldown exercise, be sure to support the barbell arm with one hand.
3. While performing frontal squats, place your heels securely on the stabilizer.
4. We recommend that the owner explain and supervise use of the equipment to persons unfamiliar with the unit.
5. Do not attach any electrical wires, wiring or lights to the Soloflex® unit, and do not place the Soloflex® unit over electrical wires or electrical outlets.
6. Failure to assemble or use the Soloflex®, or its attachments, according to directions provided may cause the user an injury for which the company assumes no responsibility.
7. Small children should not play on the Soloflex®, or play around it when it’s in use. Remove the barbell arm, leg extension and butterfly when not in use.
Never sacrifice form for weight increases. Doing so will not only invite injury and retard your progress, it will also diminish your ability to isolate the muscle group you are training.
Concentrate on slowly lowering the weight (3 seconds) on each and every repetition that you perform. This lengthening of the muscle under stress (or eccentric phase of the contraction) is responsible for a large part of the strength and lean tissue development you are striving for. Further, performing each exercise in this controlled fashion will also minimize unnecessary stress to joints and connective tissue. So be sure to “Slow-Down”, it’s not only a good idea – it’s the weightlifting law.
Focus on “squeezing” or “flexing” (forcefully contracting) the muscle group you are training at the end of the concentric phase. For example, on a bicep curl, when you lift or “curl” the weight from your thighs to your shoulders you would voluntarily “flex” your biceps for two seconds at the top of the range of motion. After this peak contraction you would slowly lower the weight through the eccentric phase back to your starting position. Incorporating a peak contraction on each repetition will add to the static strength, shape and definition of your muscles. Understandably, certain exercises will lend themselves to strong peak contractions whereas others, like the bench press, will not. Just be sure to take advantage of those exercises that do if you want to “peak your physique”.
Maximum Muscle Development
Achieving maximum muscle growth can best be accomplished by: (1) training with maximum intensity (pushing to total muscular failure after a warm up set), (2) applying progressive overload (striving to increase the resistance each week), (3) permitting muscle learning to take place (training each muscle group only once per week – for the first six to eight weeks – until you’ve trained muscles sufficiently to work them twice in one week) and (4) incorporating the resistance training techniques discussed earlier; proper form, slow eccentric contractions and peak contractions.