Posts Tagged ‘strength endurance’

Creative Commons Licensed Image

Creative Commons Licensed Image

If you had a leaky faucet and a plumber came out and announced they were done when they’d only fixed 35% of the leak, you’d be mad!

If you went to the operating room for an appendectomy and they only took out 35% of your problematic appendix, you’d still be sick!

If you opened your pay stub and found you’d only received 35% of the money you thought you had earned, you’d be pretty steamed!

When you expect 100% effectiveness but learn later you’re only being 35% effective, you suddenly realize something has to change…

That’s precisely the point Dr. Schwartz was trying to make about “panaerobic” exercise whether you’re talking about “HeavyHands“, “IsoTonoMetrics” or “LongStrength” Bodyweight exercises.

When you’re trying to get the best overall results from aerobic exercise but only exercise your LEGS, you’re only operating at 35% effectiveness.

Why? The legs ARE powerful aerobic “drivers” to be sure, but they only comprise about 35% of the body’s whole muscle mass.

The person who is able to harness both the LEGS and UPPER BODY MUSCLES (the other 65% of the body’s muscle structure) in their exercise will be able to generate far more work, process far more oxygen, burn more calories, maintain more lean muscle mass, and do so with less “perceived exertion” than the person trying to accomplish the same thing using their legs alone.

Many exercise systems target the “whole body” in one way or another, but Panaerobics are unique in their self-conscious attempt to harness all four limbs (or as much muscle mass as possible) simultaneously during exercise! In Panaerobics while any particular move may emphasize various sectors of the body at a given time… such as a “pump and walk” which tents to emphasize the biceps and shoulders along with the muscles used to walk … there are no “Panaerobic Isolation Exercises”. Users are encouraged to “spread out” their activity so that a “pump and walk” routine becomes increasingly mixed with other elements to engage more and different muscle groups… like the “Duck Walk” which activates the front of the thigh (the quadriceps) much more effectively than ordinary walking while swinging the HeavyHands high to activate a different set of shoulder and upper back muscles while processing even more oxygen than ordinary walking could ever hope to!

HeavyHands DuckWalk

HeavyHands DuckWalk

In Panaerobics, even small – seemingly insignificant changes – can make all the difference in the world for aerobic effectiveness and muscle activation. Those who “carry” weights at their sides while walking receive almost no benefit. Those who move the weights to hip level (“Level 1”) begin to receive some benefit. Moving the weights to shoulder height (“Level 2”) begins to produce a strong cardio-respiratory response while moving the weights to head height or above (“Level 3” or more) produces the utmost in cardiac response during exercise.

In the same way, small weights lifted high while walking  can produce as much or more actual “work” than lifting heavier weights more slowly!

As Dr. Schwartz’ books testify, dozens (if not hundreds) of possible movements are available to exercise as close to 100% of the body’s musculature as possible in a given workout!

By creeping forward at a snail’s pace while performing the “Swing and Sway” with HeavyHands, Dr. Schwartz estimated he could burn over 1,900 calories per mile! That’s a far cry from the traditional expectation that the average person burns about 100 calories per mile! Panaerobics “change the game” and create new opportunities for fitness and for fun while exercising.

Oddly enough, even doing lower body movements while doing what are otherwise called “dynamic tension” or “self-resistance” movements can have profound panaerobic results that can provide more aerobic training than running while building upper body strength! Like the hand movements with weights, the higher the arms move upward under tension while the lower body moves, the greater the aerobic benefit along with the strength benefit for the upper body.

One type of movement that was not stressed by Dr. Schwartz so much while discussing Heavyhands actions were Circumferential and Figure 8 movements. The first refers mainly to torso and body twisting during movements to stimulate the abdomen (obliques) encouraging the arm movements to “wrap around” the body. That term can also apply as the arms move in circular patterns behind or in front of the head while bending from  the waist from the 10 to 2 position on the face of a clock … or even more deeply perhaps.



Figure 8’s refer primarily to the pattern of the “handtrail” created by the “handclasp”. Moving the locked hands in a Figure 8 pattern allow more muscles to be engaged than simply a straight movement which travels either vertically or horizontally. Depending on the weight though, light HeavyHands can be used in Figure 8 patterns as Dr. Schwartz is often depicted as doing in his books!

The question remains… are you settling for a 35% solution when you could workout out much more effectively by engaging as much muscle as possible by performing Panaerobics?

Strongman Alexander Zass was known for specializing in Isometric Exercise

Strongman Alexander Zass was known for specializing in Isometric Exercise

Was Dr. Schwartz a fan of Isometrics? Good question. Some say a definitive “no”. Even his “isometric like” exercises were “isotonic”!

The answer is probably more nuanced in reality.

On the sidebar of page 164 of  “HeavyHands:The Ultimate Exercise” Dr. Schwartz discusses isometrics.

He finished the sidebar by noting that at the time of publication, the opinions of physicians had changed regarding the usefulness of isometrics. Before that, some felt that isometric exercise dangerously increased blood pressure and was useless as an exercise protocol.



If you’re familiar with Charles Atlas or other self-resistance exercise systems (sometimes called “Dynamic Self Resistance” or “DSR”) Dr. Schwartz’ IsoTonoMetrics may still seem baffling to you. Don’t worry, many people are similarly baffled at first!

Look at it this way, if you’re familiar with a variety of self-resistance exercises already, you’re half way there!

The difference between a classic dynamic self-resistance exercise and an “IsoTonoMetric” is that in addition to the basic self-resistance movement other movements are added to

A. Activate all four limbs
B. Involve as much muscle as possible
C. To build strength and endurance simultaneously

Ok so let’s get more specific and turn a classic dynamic self-resistance exercise into an “IsoTonoMetric”!


handclasps2 Recently on an internet forum, someone expressed doubt that Dr. Schwartz had promoted any other exercise protocol besides “HeavyHands”… especially one requiring NO EQUIPMENT! Why? Dr. Schwartz is known as the “HeavyHands” man! Unlike some fitness gurus who are “one trick ponies” it seems, Dr. Schwartz was too interested in learning new things and actually helping people even if it meant advocating a fitness method that worked without equipment! Working out without equipment was simply a logical extension of his findings while studying the impact of HeavyHands. As such, it was to be embraced on its own merits even though he never suggested that anyone STOP doing “HeavyHands”. They fit perfectly together in his mind.


 Charles Atlas performing a “Dynamic Tension Exercise” Image Courtesy © Charles Atlas, LTD

In a recent post the way in which Leonard Schwartz’ “IsoTonoMetrics” related to Charles Atlas and Dynamic Tension was mentioned.

Since then, some new information has come to light from Dr. Schwartz’ “Fitness Method” patent that is worth sharing on this topic, especially if people want to understand the inner dynamics of Schwartz’ “IsoTonoMetrics” and practice it for themselves.

Remember that in Schwartz’ IsoTonoMetrics, the hands are clasped or otherwise pushing together or pulling apart in various ranges of motion to activate different upper body muscles.

Bends, knee dips, torso twists, steps, head and neck rotations, various dance like moves, lunges, posture changes, body positions and toe raises are used to create a “whole body” aerobic exercise.


Double Ski Poling

Double Ski Poling

To be honest, this blog has made fun of people who undersell the required amount of WORK actually required to get verifiable results from any exercise program… like the fellow who talked about “10 Minute Workouts” and quoted a scientific paper that noted that FIFTEEN “10 Minute workouts” per week were in order! You can see that here! 

Dr. Schwartz, though, wanted to develop exercise systems convenient enough, fun enough, and “accessible” enough to people just “crawling off the couch” would WANT to work out, even if it were just for a few minutes at a time! He mentions just that much in his patent filings and other places.

The truth is that workouts as short as THREE MINUTES could have a beneficial cardiovascular effect! 

They simply were not meant to be the “entire workout plan” … but part of a larger program as we’ll see…


Image courtesy

Image courtesy

The title “Panaerobic Walking” is a bit misleading. After all, “HeavyHands” was by Dr. Schwartz’ definition “panaerobic”, i.e. seeking to mobilize as much muscle tissue as possible to process oxygen by using all four limbs simultaneously in a series of “inefficient” motions (i.e. motions unnecessary to accomplish the basic tasks of walking, jogging or running).

Still, the term “Panaerobic Walking” or “Strength Endurance Walking” may be useful to describe an adaptation of “Heavyhands” or “Panaerobics” some users (like the curator of this blog) enjoy using. Here’s the blog curator’s personal experience: