Press "Enter" to skip to content

JONES: My physician’s prescription: more muscle

Aloha Doug,

I have recently been diagnosed with a metabolic issue which, though concerning, is treatable. My doctor recommends I focus on gaining and maintaining muscle mass, something that is already a challenge for most guys as we advance in years. Do you have any suggestions for the best way to build muscular size and strength without overly stressing my metabolic systems?

— S.R. in Lihue

There are many reasons for you to have hope for your health, and I am wishing you the very best of success.

Your question is actually perfect for the continuation of my series on the eminence of Eccentrics, as there is no better counter of aging in existence. If you’re looking for the fountain of youth, this is it. And, although I do not have all of your specific details, this approach to exercise is probably exactly what the doctor ordered.

Let’s begin by looking at the man in our respective and reflective mirrors. By age 80, only half of our original skeletal muscle mass typically remains, one of the most significant physical consequences of aging. This progressive age-induced loss of muscle mass (termed sarcopenia) begins in people as young as age 25. Strength declines as much as 15 percent per decade (ages 60-80) and by about 30 percent per decade thereafter.

This typical reduction in lean muscle mass is also one of the most preventable. The best way to postpone or reverse age-induced loss of muscle mass is through strength training; moreover, the absolute best way to train for muscular tone, size, and strength is via the implementation of Eccentrics.

Lengthening muscle by slowly lowering weight is a true panacea, safely providing greater muscular force and overload which, in turn, delivers the best anti-aging and anti-sarcopenic effects. Eccentrics is the ultimate training technique for individuals, who are physically unable to work hard.

For populations of people limited by disease, traditional strength training programs are often contraindicated and can even be downright dangerous. Lifting weights, the hardest part of weight lifting, is an extremely metabolically-demanding activity and creates a tremendous need for oxygen − exchange via the lungs, delivery via the heart and blood vessels, and absorption via the tissues.

Displacing weight vertically, against gravity, is tough work; unfortunately, this portion of the strength training motion doesn’t offer a commensurate return on investment. In other words, lifting a weight is not only hard work, but hardly works.

Because of the inherent intensity of the weight lifting motion, the majority of patient rehabilitation programs (regardless of cardiac, pulmonary, or metabolic disease) tend to focus primarily, or exclusively, on aerobic-type “cardio” exercises. Unfortunately, this is not enough.

Although walking, for instance, improves walking, it doesn’t do much to improve lifting — a weight, a box, a child, or whatever. The demand for oxygen by the heart is different for strength than it is for stamina, so it is vital to train the body for both.

However, training for strength by lifting weights may be unsafe and ill-advised. So, is there a simple solution? Of course — it’s weight lowering to the rescue.

Slowly lowering weights, the crux of Eccentrics, takes considerably less metabolic effort and energy than lifting weights. It feels easier and truly is easier, both physiologically and psychologically. Granted, Eccentrics is plenty hard on your muscles, but it is easy on your heart, lungs, and systemic systems.

Although Eccentrics produces the highest muscle-lengthening “contraction” forces within a muscle, it does so with a substantially reduced demand for oxygen; in fact, lowering a given weight uses up to seven times less oxygen than lifting that same weight. You can take heart and breathe easy. Just as it’s a lot easier to walk down a hill versus up, it is also a lot easier to lower a dumbbell versus lift? Right?

Since less energy is required and less oxygen is utilized, Eccentrics is a godsend for those with compromised circulatory, respiratory or metabolic systems. Though proper medical supervision is still paramount, huge segments of the population can finally effectively train their muscles without excessively taxing their heart, lungs, or energy reserves.

Without question, there is no better safe and productive modality of strength training for people battling heart disease, pulmonary diseases or even cancer. Eccentrics builds strength without system strain.

Lowering weight actually dissociates and uncouples the muscular forces of strength training from their demand for oxygen. Due to Eccentrics’ minimal cardiac demand, it is the only viable muscle-sculpting tool for those with limited oxygen or metabolic capacities. It just so happens that the only tool in the bag is also the safest, sharpest and strongest. Just ask your doctor.

— Doug


Doug Jones earned his Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Maryland and has served professionals and personalities as a concierge fitness trainer for decades. As a resident of Kaua‘i and Connecticut, he has helped millions of people learn the secrets of fitness and fat loss, both online and in person. To submit your questions, or for more information, call (808) 652-6453 or visit
Source: The Garden Island

Be First to Comment

    Leave a Reply