In this episode of the Super Strength Show, Fredrik Correa takes us on his journey to becoming the co-Founder of Exxentric, a company that develops innovative, science based training equipment and methods for strength and conditioning. During this interview, Fredrik teaches you how to get faster gains in strength, speed, and size, using the kBox.
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[00:00:18] RT: What’s up strength maniacs? And thanks for tuning in. I’m pleased to welcome today’s guest, Fredrik Correa. Fredrik studied Sport Science at the Swedish School of Sports and Health Science in Stockholm, with a focus on ice hockey. He has worked as a hockey coach for 15 years in different hockey clubs, including the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation. Further studies in physiology and several projects in exercise physiology at the Karolinska Institute, led him to medical studies at Karolinska and he graduated in 2006 and has worked as a physician since. That’s right people, the doctor’s in the house!
Fredrik is now an MD, has a Bachelor of Science in Sports, and is the co-founder of exxentric.com, a company that develops innovative, science based training equipment and methods for strength and conditioning, including the kBox, used by performance coaches, personal trainers, and physiotherapists worldwide since 2011. You can connect with Fredrik by visiting his website at exxentric.com. That’s E-x-x-e-n-t-r-i-c.com. We’ll have that linked on the show notes page.
[00:01:24] RT: Fredrik, welcome to the show. It’s an absolute pleasure to have you here. Really looking forward to talking to you. There’s some very interesting things you guys got going on. How about you tell us a little bit more about yourself.
[00:01:34] FC: Yeah hi Ray, thanks for the intro.
[00:01:36] RT: No problem at all.
[00:01:37] FC: Yes, we’re going to talk about flywheel training, of course, and just from the beginning I was a coach and that’s how I got involved with this flywheel training stuff. I saw this problem, I worked with junior, junior players in a select team – they were pretty high level – 17, 18 years old. And working with a select team you get new juniors every year who try to make the team and you have a cut off. And then you work with the team during the year. After two years they go up to the next team.
We saw this problem because we selected good players that were big and strong and good hockey players, but they weren’t really drilled from the smaller teams that they came from. They weren’t really drilled in the training around playing ice hockey. So we had to spend a lot of time developing their skills and technique in the Olympic lifts and even basic lifts. We spent a lot of time with that and meanwhile, I have studied at the university of Sport and Health Sciences and went to Karolinska to study deeper into physiology. And there I worked with a group that had developed resistance training devices using flywheels, much like traditional weight stack devices like leg extension, and leg curls, and stuff like that. And they were looking at training in space.
So I thought, “Okay, you got these devices with this nice resistance. Why can’t we do something with a more free range of motion more similar to free weights?” And from that I got together with a trainer colleague of mine and he was a study buddy at the university of Health and Sport Sciences; His name is Mårten Fredriksson. So I brought him to the lab and we were working in the same club as well. So we started thinking around that. That eventually led to what is basically the kBox today – a device where you can do, a multi-exercise device where you have more freedom and you can do lifts more similar to free weights than a regular fixed device, open chain device.
[00:04:12] RT: Which is extremely interesting, and it’s the reason we got you come on the show today because I came across this interview to prior guest, Tanner Gears – great guy. And he mentioned this device, and it just sounded very interesting to me, and when I looked into it a little bit more, I saw that it could potentially have some real applications and real benefits for those of us who are in the strength training world. Even those of us who are really into it hardcore, whether it’s looking to put on mass or develop strength, and potentially develop that strength quickly. And we’re gonna get into that in a moment here, and talk a little bit more about “What is flywheel training? What is the history of it?”
So let’s kind of take the step by step. What I would like to do is just ask you quickly, do you got a success quote for us? Something, a motto of some sort that you apply in your training, your work, your studies and life and if you could maybe share that with us. Give us a bit of a sneak peek in the mind of Fredrik Correa and how that all, you know, what’s all operating back there.
[00:05:08] FC: [Laughs] Yeah sure. One motto I have, I think about, is “The chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link.” To me that means not only that you have to be as good as you can be, you can’t only just focus on your strength. You have to work on your weaknesses as well, and I think that also brings out that it’s spotting weakness or finding weakness, receiving negative feedback, it’s not a bad thing. It’s a thing that can make you better. So even if you’re working in an office, or if you’re working on your strength, or you’re working to be an athlete, or you’re being a coach; I think that’s a good motto, at least for me, and how I look at things I’m doing to be better at what I’m doing.
[00:06:01] RT: Yeah definitely completely agree with you. And that saying, I think you’d be speaking directly to Louie Simmons’ heart, which is, “Gotta always shore up those weaknesses and keep building up on them so you can keep moving up your PR.” So that’s something he lives by; powerlifting legend.
Alright, so how about we just kind of go a bit into the history of flywheel training. The kBox, you were saying that some of this flywheel device was being used for devices, like traditional weightlifting machines – leg extensions and things. They replaced the weight stack with this flywheel device, and the reason was that they were gonna use it in space. And when you say space, you mean like NASA space, the moon right?
[00:06:39] FC: Yeah exactly.
[00:06:40] RT: We’re talking “out there”. And this sounds like it’s something that was just invented, but there’s actually more backstory to it than that, correct? If you wouldn’t mind sharing a bit about that.
[00:06:49] FC: Yeah, so I met this group in 2000 and they’ve been on it since 1994. They published their first paper with their first device, it was a leg extension. It was kind of like a leg press actually. Since ’94 and up to 2000 when I met them, they’ve developed a couple of units and it was more for research. They sold a couple of units, but it wasn’t really commercial that way. But there were a couple of units out there, so that was what I would like to say the “modern flywheel resistance training”, but when you look back and I did that and I took a quite deep look when I wrote an article for a site here last year. Actually, the first publication with a physiological study where they used flywheel as resistance was a study out of Denmark, the University of Copenhagen in 1924 – it’s almost a 100 years old.
[00:08:07] RT: That’s really interesting because the barbell was invented, more or less, pretty close to that time.
[00:08:13] FC: Yeah. I have that paper. It’s actually amazing what they could do 100 years ago. But they used it for, they measured strength in contraction of biceps curl – flexor strength – and they used a flywheel for resistance. They actually built that from the idea of another guy in their lab, his name was August Krogh. He actually received the Nobel Prize for other studies, but he used flywheel in the bike like 10 years before that. Since then, flywheel’s been around, all around, everywhere since then. In mechanics it’s used in cores and it’s used in a lot of mechanical structures to store energy because the flywheel, you need a force, you need energy to start rotating it. And when it’s rotating it contains this amount of rotational energy and then you can use it.
For example, if you break a car, you can use the energy in your movement to accelerate the flywheel and when you press the gas button you can use that energy that’s being stored in the acceleration.
[00:09:32] RT: Is it built off of, does it involve like centripetal forces?
[00:09:38] FC: Not really. I think it’s the physics law that is the Law of Inertia. And that states that all bodies that will resist rotation. So for example a flywheel is not dependent on gravity. If you think about it, if you have a flywheel that’s sitting on a shaft and you’re rotating it, if you cut it in half you’ll see that half of the flywheel will be going down and the other half will be going up.
[00:10:08] RT: Right, right.
[00:10:09] FC: Exactly like a bicycle wheel. So it’s actually gravity independent so you’re not really moving any mass against gravity.
[00:10:17] RT: Okay.
[00:10:18] FC: And so the energy, so all bodies – the formulas are different for different bodies, but the flywheel that we use, we use like a plate that has it’s own formula. So you can calculate pretty exact, how much energy you are putting into the flywheel and so on. So flywheel’s been around. So in ’94 with that first study and they also really focused on space. I think they even had it in the title, if I remember correctly, that for a novel device to use in space. And that had been their focus under those years to counteract atrophy in space. So they were looking very much at hypertrophy, of course, in their studies.
[00:11:13] RT: Right. So Fredrik, just to be clear, the flywheel provides a resistance independent of gravity. So if you were using a weight stack or free weights in space, well there’s no gravity so you’re not going to feel anything. And astronauts, because they’re in, basically, a gravity-free environment they have severe muscle atrophy, bone density loss very quickly. Just imagine somebody who has a cast on their arm or their leg or something, they don’t use it, it atrophies. Well that’s happening more or less in space, and then some because again, there is no resistance, there is no gravity that you’re having to work against. And if you try to lift anything weight-wise, traditional free-weight machine, anything that relies on gravity, not gonna work!
[00:12:00] FC: Yeah exactly. They’ve been looking at this problem for ages because they realized that pretty fast when they started with going up in space. They realized pretty fast that when astronauts came down, they had a loss of bone minerals and muscles. It’s the same in earth levels, if you’ll just be lying in your bed, you will atrophy pretty fast. But this is more obvious in space because there’s no postural muscles, you don’t use your muscles basically at all. So it’s much worse. And then as you said, it’s very fast in the beginning of their – one or two weeks in “microgravity” as they call it – it’s huge losses in strength and muscle mass. And then it levels off a bit, like basically what would happen to you if you stopped training now and you have big losses in the beginning, and after a while it would kind of…
[00:13:06] RT: Level off.
[00:13:07] FC: …level off, yeah.
[00:13:08] RT: Yeah, yeah exactly. You know it’s interesting, this makes me think of – I was saying that this was created around the same time as the plate-loaded barbell actually, roughly. And it makes me think of gas-powered combustion engine cars, vehicles, and electric powered cars. Again, same idea, they were both kind of created around the same time and here were are, what’s old is new again. But taking another look at it, now that we have probably a greater understanding of the human body and the benefits of what flywheel training can do for the human body, I think we’re starting to realize, “Oh wow, there’s a lot more to this than what we thought originally.” Would you agree with that?
[00:13:46] FC: Yeah sure, and I think it’s – yeah the technology’s been around and it’s more of a, first you have to find concepts of how to use it, you know, it’s a new type of resistance to people so we have to find out how to use it, what exercises can you do? You know, set rep schemes and everything. And you educate people it. Then you’re gonna try it, and then you’re gonna find your own way. Like, “This works for me.” There’s a lot of different concepts out there around traditional weight-dependent training. It’s not like everybody’s lifting barbells or following the same programs. So yeah of course.
But that’s what I like to work on; meet people, talk to them and see what problems do they have in their training, what problems do they seem to – what problem do they want to solve using the flywheel and what are their aims. And try to work together with them, and I learn in the process and that’s why I think that’s fun, meeting a lot of people in different sports, working with different athletes with different problems and see, “Okay, how can you use the flywheel to benefit? Are you like a national sprinter or it is rehabilitation? Is it for injured athletes?” Basically everybody that wants to build strength can use it so you can imagine, we see a lot of people using it.
[00:15:28] RT: Okay, let’s get into some of those details Fredrik. So you came across flywheel technology, you saw them using it in more traditional type of equipment, and then you said, “How can we go about creating this device in a manner which allows us to use it more along the lines of free weights?” So what happened at that point? And how about we get into some of the benefits that it has for some of the people that have been using it already, some of the real world results.
[00:15:55] FC: Yeah. It’s basically a box that you’re standing on and the flywheel is attached to a shaft. And around the shaft there’s a cord, and you can change how long you want the cord or the belt, how long you want it to be. So that’s your end point and when you reach that point, when you pull out the cord and reach that end point, all the energy in the flywheel that you have accumulated in the concentric pace, the flywheel will continue turning and pull you down with the same amount of energy. And then you have to decelerate the flywheel. So it’s a kind of closed system, so that’s how it works.
[00:16:43] RT: It’s kind of like, would you say, similar to a yo-yo in a way?
[00:16:47] FC: Yeah exactly. It’s basically the same.
[00:16:49] RT: And for all of us that are really into yo-yo’s, you know that when you kinda throw the yo-yo down – my terminology for yo-yo’s is not the greatest, but anyway – when you kind of drop it down and then it reaches the end of the cord and go to pull it up, it’s only a tiny little object that weighs just couple grams, and you can really feel that resistance as you kind of pull it back up and it starts to pull the cord back, or the rope back, and the little thread or whatever – the string. So just imagine that, but we’re talking many, many multiples of that with this device here.
And this is not a large device by the way, just if people are wondering, it’s like – I don’t even know if it’s the size of maybe like a suitcase, maybe even smaller than a suitcase, about that size?
[00:17:33] FC: No it’s a bit bigger. We use the metric system, so it’s one meter and half a meter. So the footprint is half a square meter then.
[00:17:43] RT: Yeah, three and half – three point three by three point three. You said a meter by half a meter, is that was you said?
[00:17:50] FC: Yeah.
[00:17:51] RT: Yeah so, you know, three point three by I dunno, one point seven. Yeah, something like that! [Both laugh]
[00:17:59] FC: You can say, when you talk feet you can say anything, I will say “yes”!
[00:18:04] RT: [Laughs] Yeah so I mean but at the end it is not very large. I mean we’re talking a yard by half a yard almost. It’s just really not much to it.
[00:18:10] FC: Yeah.
[00:18:11] RT: Okay, so you guys put this thing together. So go ahead.
[00:18:14] FC: Yeah, and I also wanna take a minute to explain, you know, it’s difficult. A lot of people will maybe go to our site and watch the videos and so, and it’s very difficult to – you have to really try this of course to get the feeling for it. But the flywheel is has what we call this “variable resistance”, so it means the harder you pull, the harder it will be. It would seem like it resists more and you would build a lot more energy. So people asking, often to me when I demo it, they ask. And then I tell them, “Maybe I show them,” and then they go to try it. And then they say, “Okay, but how heavy is this?” Not heavy at all! It depends on how hard you pull.
[00:19:01] RT: Yeah exactly.
[00:19:02] FC: And people have difficulty to wrap their head around that. So I try to, and it’s even harder to explain like this is people aren’t able to try it.
[00:19:15] RT: We’ll have videos on the page, on the show notes page, that’ll highlight some of this. But yes, at the end of the day, you really need to kind of use it.
[00:19:23] FC: Yeah. How I usually like to describe it, to get the feeling for how the inertia works, is that if you imagine if you put your hand in the bathtub filled with water, and you keeping your fingers together and you’re standing still. You’re not doing anything at all. There’s no load on your hand, there’s no effort for you. But as soon as you start to move your hand back and forth, from left to right in the water, there will be a resistance. The water will resist your movements. So if you’re going slow, there’ll be not very hard work, but if you were going fast or at maximal speed, it would be pretty hard.
And then imagine that the intensity is the speed that I move in my hand, that’s the intensity. And the inertia is actually the size of my hand. If you imagine that I would put on like a baseball glove or something that would increase the area on my hand, I would still be able to move pretty slow in water, and it wouldn’t be very hard work. But if I was trying to go all out, it would be very hard. And it’s basically the same with inertia. So on the kBox you can put a lighter flywheel or use one flywheel and you can go all out and it could be pretty demanding, but it will be a fast movement. But it will be maximal for that, you will have maximal force development at that speed.
[00:20:49] RT: Very safe maximum force development at speed. That’s something important to point out, right?
[00:20:55] FC: Yeah exactly because you’re not lifting off the floor and there’s less impact and everything, if you compare it for example to squat jumps or something.
[00:21:05] RT: Yeah, and just to be clear; usually – cause I’ve seen this set up slightly different ways – but normally you stand on top of the box, and the cord comes out from the top of the box and there’s a handle attached to it – you have a couple different handles that you can use. And this handle can be very low, so I mean you can get right down into absolute bottom position of whatever movement you’re doing and you can start the movement from there, again, whatever it may be. So just to kind of give people an idea, in way it’s kind of like you’re starting a lawnmower in a way. You’re pulling on that cord, and you can do various exercises. A lot of the traditional exercises – curls, and presses, and clings, and high pulls.
You can also do squatting movements where you guys have harness, and that is really interesting. But there’s some even more advanced stuff that I would like to get into, but first, how about we take a break and we’ll be right back and again, I mean there’s some things that I think can lead to very quick gains that I would love to get into with you. There’s some methods that you can use, and ways, which are very difficult to do with free weights or traditional type of exercise equipment, and this is where – at least in my opinion – the kBox really shines, and I’d love to get your feedback.
So when we come back, we’ll get that from the good doctor here. He’ll tell us exactly how this is all working and what it can do for you. So hold on to your hats, be right back. Fredrik Correa from exxentric.com.
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[00:23:34] RT: Alright, we’re back with our guest, Fredrik Correa from exxentric.com, kBox is the device that he’s invented with his partner in crime I guess and we are talking about flywheel training – kBox – and just it’s application in sports, strength and conditioning.
Fredrik, I’m wondering if you could share with us a real world application, we were kind of getting into that prior to the break, if we could kind of elaborate on that. And there are some advanced movements you can do with this that I think, where it really outshines other exercise devices. So go ahead, floor is yours.
[00:24:12] FC: Exactly. And if you do a traditional concentric-eccentric movement with the flywheel device like the kBox, there is some benefits already there. Like for example, the variable resistance. So the variable resistance means that in the concentric phase, the resistance is variable so the lever is not important in the motion. So that means that you will always be loaded very high through all the range of motion, not like when using a dumbbell for example, it will be heaviest when it is further out from the body or from the lever rotation point. So this means you’ll have a smooth, high load during all the range of motion and this is very beneficial.
When they compared the leg extension to a traditional weight-stacking device, you see that you get a lot more strength gains and hypertrophy. And you can see that you get strengthened all over the range of motion. I think that’s a very big benefit when it comes to performance ability and also that you, for example in the studies that I mentioned there, you see that you work all of the portions of the quadriceps. That’s the benefit of the variable resistance. And also, as you mentioned, it’s very ergonomic; You use a harness and it’s smooth, controlled movements so it’s very safe and that means that you can load pretty much max, if you like, in a safe way.
[00:25:52] RT: Right. And just to be clear, the harness can be used for squatting type movements – I’m sure probably other movements as well.
[00:25:58] FC: Yeah exactly. You know, split squats and lunges and people do all sorts of stuff.
[00:26:02] RT: But you can also use just like a handle, almost like a short bar to do like barbell curls, right?
[00:26:07] FC: Yeah exactly. You can use your own grips. We wanna develop stuff that isn’t around, so we wanna make new stuff and make – we don’t have the intention to do things that are already out there. So we’re not doing all the handles and grips, but we made a short bar and a grip because they’re very light and that’s the difference from the traditional ones that you see in the gym. Because we don’t wanna have anything, as little as possible of your energy, going to waste – friction or working against gravity. So we want all your energy in the concentric phase to go really go into the flywheel.
[00:26:50] RT: Okay Fredrik, if you don’t mind, can I just kind of just see if I can understand this clearly. So just, you’re talking about variable resistance on the concentric phase, and that’s lifting. Concentric is when you actually raise the bar, lift the bar, right.
[00:27:03] FC: Exactly.
[00:27:03] RT: You’re saying that there’s variable resistance and your muscle is being worked throughout a full range of motion with, would you say, maximum resistance throughout the full range of motion? Could you say it like that?
[00:27:15] FC: Yeah, it depends how hard. But if you go 100%, you will work all 100% all through the motion and when you lift the bar you will have, at one point, you will have a limit. You will have one point in the motion when you lift something that’s dependent on gravity, for example a bar where the bar feels it’s the heaviest. And for example if you do a bicep curl, it will be when the bar is straight up from your body.
[00:27:45] RT: Yeah so okay, yeah that’s another thing. What you’re saying there is barbells are predicated, you know, the resistance that you feel from them depends on gravity, obviously the pull of gravity.
[00:27:57] FC: Yeah, then you actually have a momentum around your elbow with the levers and so it will be pretty easy. There’s a pretty low momentum at the bottom, so it would be pretty easy to get the bar moving, but when it’s straight out from the body it will feel as heavy.
[00:28:18] RT: Yeah when your arm’s bent at a 90 degree angle, that range within so many degrees, that’s where you’re really feeling the resistance of barbell, that’s where gravity is really pulling you.
[00:28:26] FC: Yeah so the weight that you have to pick if you wanna do for example 10 maximum reps or something, would be actually so you can come past that point. And after that, at a higher angle it will be easier again. So that would be – and you don’t have that with the flywheel because the variable resistance, the lever’s not interesting at all, it doesn’t matter. So you can pull maximum all through the exercise.
[00:28:54] RT: You’re making me think of Arthur Jones and Nautilus equipment and what he was trying to do, it’s exactly that variable resistance, which – just to make things clear here Fredrik because I think this is really interesting – when we lift a barbell, we’re limited to the amount of weight we can lift by our weak point. That’s if you’re not cheating the weight up. So for example, for curling – and it’s not just limited to a barbell, like any basic free weight, right? But let’s just say you’re curling a barbell because it’s a pretty simple example, when your arms are bent at the 90 degree point – so that’s you mean by the barbell is directly out in front of you.
[00:29:27] FC: Yeah, yeah exactly.
[00:29:28] RT: There’s a certain range of motion within that, maybe I don’t know exact numbers, but you know, 10, 20 degrees, 30 degrees of movement right around there where you really feel the pull of gravity. You really feel the weight. But then, because of the way the body works and the way of pull of gravity, when you get past the point or just before that area, you don’t really feel much in the way of, the weight isn’t very heavy. It’s just like, again, you get through the sticking point. Cause that’s what we’re talking about. We’re talking about the sticking point in a way, of a lot of exercises – there’s probably various reasons what causes sticking points, but one of them is probably “this is where you feel gravity the most”. Leverage and levers, and just a lot of other things that probably come into play here. But anyway.
[00:30:10] FC: Yeah.
[00:30:10] RT: Yeah so essentially, what happens is you fatigue the muscle in that range but outside of that range your muscle is capable of lifting much, much more. So in that range you could lift 100 pounds, the kind of 90 degree bent, when your arm’s bent at a 90 degree angle when you’re curling a weight. Right around that range, let’s say you limit it to about 100 pounds for let’s say, 10 reps. But the reality is, you could probably lift 130, 140, 150 prior to that, and right after that spot. So your muscle is fatigued within that short range of motion, but it actually still has more into it.
So the range of motion, the movement, the rep isn’t as efficient as it could be. It hasn’t taxed the muscle throughout it’s full range of motion. And that’s one thing that the kBox does, which results in a more efficient rep, it more thoroughly works the muscle through a greater range of motion, which in a way means you are getting – you’re working the muscle harder, which means you should be getting gains quicker. You’re taxing it better, and therefore that leads to quicker gains both in size and strength. Would that be correct?
[00:31:15] FC: Yeah, exactly. So yeah, so the strength gains are always specific. You know, specific to the velocity you’re moving and the range you’re moving. If you’re moving in a certain range you will get strength gains in that range and that sticking point is where you will get the most gains when you are working with traditional weights. And here you get, you know, working all through the range of motion and I think that is one of the biggest reasons that you get such bigger strength gains and also faster.
[00:31:49] RT: With less work, right?
[00:31:51] FC: Yeah, yeah.
[00:31:53] RT: With less, would you say, less overall volume of training?
[00:31:56] FC: Well I would like to see some volume matched studies before, but yeah I think it’s really efficient.
[00:32:04] RT: Okay, alright. Fair enough.
[00:32:06] FC: So then we’re just talking about the concentric-eccentric work. I mean you pull and you resist and so like we say, one-to-one. You have the same eccentric load as you have the concentric load, but the beauty of flywheel is that you store this energy and you can use it in many different ways. You can use it to overload the eccentric phase, and there’s a bunch of methods to do that.
For example, one easy way to do is if you pull the bar up you work all through the range of motion in the concentric phase, and when you reach the top of the list you fall through and let the flywheel pull you down without resisting it. And when you reach, for example the bottom of the eccentric phase you try to decelerate it but then you have to do that in a much shorter time, much shorter period of time. But the concentric energy that you produce must match, you must match it in the eccentric phase. And when you do that in a shorter period of time, you have to exert a much higher force to be able to decelerate the flywheel and, so to speak, create the same amount of energy or else it will be pulling you down through the floor.
And that’s a pretty easy way. We call that delayed eccentric action. You delay the eccentric action, and that’s very far from a bar. It always, if you loaded 100 pounds it will be 100 pounds where you, whatever you do with it, it’s 100 pounds. If you don’t go out and drop it from the roof or something, but here it’s pretty easy to get an eccentric overload. So for example if you want to overload your deep portion of the squat, you will pull all through the concentric phase and then it pull you down without resisting. And when you come deeper into the eccentric phase, you just resist, and then you have to resist real hard. That’s one way to do it.
[00:34:11] RT: Yeah because you have to absorb that energy in a shorter range, a shorter distance. So you have to put out much more force to stop it within that shorter range. So okay, interesting.
[00:34:23] FC: And so there’s other methods, for example in upper body movements it’s pretty easy. You can maybe start a bicep curl for example, it’s a good demo exercise – everybody knows it. If you start the movement with a half squat, so you start with a little bend in your knees and you start with extending your legs then you will put some motion into the flywheel and some energy. Then you do the curl, and when you reach the top position, you can only use the arms in the eccentric phase.
With weights, this wouldn’t work with weights because you would say that I would be, you know, we call that cheating. With flywheel it doesn’t really matter because thanks to the variable resistance, even if I’m pulling with the legs, if I pull after I’ve extended the legs it doesn’t matter if the flywheel already has started spinning. If I pull all out with my arms, it will still be 100%.
[00:35:25] RT: Right, right, right, yeah.
[00:35:28] FC: So the resistance just, it’s variable. So the harder I pull, the harder it will be. So it doesn’t matter if you use the legs in the bottom.
[00:35:38] RT: Okay so, just to be clear; the legs will get the flywheel going…
[00:35:42] FC: Yes
[00:35:43] RT: …and then you kind get it moving at a certain – you apply a certain amount of, would you say force – I wanna make sure I’m not messing up with the terminology here – with your legs? And I’m just going to, guys, gonna try to explain this in a way that hopefully the way that I’m explaining it to myself will work for everybody else here.
Okay so essentially, think of doing a cheat curl; you use your legs to kind of kick up the weight, and normally you can curl 100 pounds, cheat curl you can throw up 150 pounds. But the problem is, gravity and all of that other stuff comes into play and by using your legs you kinda cheat the weight up, you kind of nullify the force of gravity to a point and you’re not really doing much work with your arms cause your legs already created the momentum to get the bar going up. And what you’re saying is the flywheel, no that’s not what happens. What happens is your legs get moving at a certain amount of speed and then your arms only add to it, to that speed. But your arms are also working and feeling that resistance. So you’re not cheating gravity, cause gravity does not come in play here.
[00:36:46] FC: And so you still get a really highly loaded concentric phase, up to 100%
[00:36:51] RT: Exactly and now what happens is you have basically brought up a weight – gee how can I explain this to make it sound right? You basically have cheated a weight up, in traditional barbell talk, while still working your muscles; your arms, your legs, like everything’s being worked if your actually applying full force to this. But the real interesting thing is, on top of this is, now when the eccentric happens – the negative phase when you’re lowering the bar – now what’s happening is you are resisting. If you just use your arms to resist the flywheel there pulling the cord back, pulling the bar back down, you’re now resisting the amount of force produced by both your legs and your arms.
So it’s like it’s like a more efficient cheat curl in a way, right? Kind of I guess? It’s the only way I can really think about it at this point because everything is still working very hard. There’s no, “I’m cheating the weight up, my arms aren’t really working on the way up,” and then, “Now I’m just resting on the way down. And at certain points on the way down I feel the resistance more than others because again, the way gravity is pulling on the bar.” No, no, no. This is, “I’m cheating the weight up, but everything’s working very hard, and now I gotta resist a weight that I couldn’t lift up with just my arms and that’s now making the negative very, you know, much, much more difficult.
It’s working through the full range of motion because it’s variable resistance, and now – I think this is an important point to make. And again, I keep thinking about Nautilus and Arthur Jones cause he talked about a lot of this stuff. You’re actually stronger in the negative phase of the lift when you are on the positive – the lifting phase, correct?
[00:38:24] FC: Yeah. Yeah but you know, it depends from muscle to muscle. So we round it up to about 30% strong in the eccentric phase.
[00:38:32] RT: And that’s an important point to make, because normally you’re only lowering as much as you can lift. That’s one of the benefits of a cheat curl, I mean there’s a couple reason. A cheat curl, I keep using that example – Arnold loved cheat curls, barbell cheat curls. And one of the reasons was, it allowed him to get past the sticking point. And he said, “You had to do it correctly and you had to do just enough cheating to get it through that point where it’s really tough to lift the bar because you’re beyond the point that you could normally lift in that range. And now there’s enough weight on the bar that it’s actually providing a decent workout in the ranges where it normally feels lighter because it’s a heavier weight.
And then what he does is, he applies, he really resists it on the way down. So now he’s lowering more than he could normally lift and you can actually lower more than you can lift, normally, right? About 30%, as Fredrik just said, on average. So we’re really getting to the point where you’re working the muscle extremely hard, and you’re fatiguing it in every which way you could almost be fatigued; through full range of motion, and potentially do this little trick he’s talking about. Do this method where you are resisting more weight on the way down than what you were lifting on the way up.
To me it’s very interesting. It opens up doors for a lot of interesting techniques and for gaining strength very rapidly because my understanding is, when you really fatigue the muscle through a full range of motion, variable resistance, when you really challenge it with negatives, which you gotta be careful with because they really tax you. That in turn can result, if done properly with a very rapid gains in strength and size, would you agree with that?
[00:40:06] FC: Yeah absolutely. And you have to remember, this cheat curl on the flywheel, you will still have a pretty long concentric phase, not like you’re cheating it up. When you cheat it up with a dumbbell or something then it’s really the concentric phase is basically non-existent and that you focus only on the eccentric phase. Here you have the concentric-eccentric stretch shortening in pretty slow, controlled, really heavy movements so it’s really working you all through the range of motion, both ways. So it’s really different.
So you can of course do the same things in the squats. There I think is really big benefits. For example, I’ve seen, we see – I read everything about eccentric training that I can find. And you find a lot of funny things on the Internet, and I really like the people that are writing about the eccentric training and how important it is and so on. But always when you come down to the practical session, “This is how you do it,” it always makes me laugh a bit because there’s these really complicated ways to do that.
For example, if you’re gonna do a squat or something they put it on the rack, you load of the bar and then you do the eccentric phase down and you put it up on the safety pins and then you climb out under the bar and then you drop off some weights. And then you’re back in under and lift it up and secure it and out again, and on with the weights. Or using spotters, you know, it’s very slow movement. And here, for example, if you were using a bar in a rack you can use it to pull with the arms on the way up and then you use your legs on the way down.
You can do really fast movements here with really fast eccentrics and if you know about the force velocity curve, you can actually – you’re not dependent on speed in the eccentric phase. The muscle is actually better to produce higher force at higher speeds in the eccentric phase. And that’s the opposite from the concentric phase where the faster the movement goes in the concentric phase, lifting phase, the muscles are not able to produce as much force at the maximum with a very slow movement. But that’s not the case in the eccentric phase, so that fast eccentrics really produces a lot of energy. I think you can get a lot of gains here.
[00:42:48] RT: Yeah yeah, and not something that you’re probably going to do very safely with a barbell on your back, right?
[00:42:54] FC: No not really. I think it’s basically impossible to do really fast eccentrics. At least coupled, for example with the flywheel device with the cables you can do like 12 coupled overloaded squats for example.
[00:43:10] RT: And just to be clear, we’re talking about all of these like kind of advanced type of movements and really overloading the muscles. Is this all done in a safe environment? Like I mean you said at one point the machine will pull you through the floor, what is the chance to actually have something like that happen, injure yourself on the kBox? How does that all work?
[00:43:30] FC: I would say it’s safe. If you look at what we compare against, I think it’s really safe. But of course you can overload, but you’re not really carrying any weight. Any time in the concentric phase, on the way up, you can always start pulling. For example, if you were doing a curl or a squat or anything and you feel, “Okay, that doesn’t feel too good in my hip,” then you can stop, you unload it. The flywheel will continue turning, and after a while all the cord will be out and then will start to retract cord and then you can, you know, it will lose some momentum with friction and everything and then you will just, you know.
[00:44:14] RT: Even if you’ve got the harness on and you’re connected to it by the harness? Like I mean with the bar you can just drop the bar I guess. But if you’ve got the harness on, how would that work?
[00:44:21] FC: It’s actually very easy. If you stop on the way up, you will be directly unloaded and you can just unhook the harness from the kBox in worst case. If you’re using a bar or a grip you can just drop it really.
[00:44:38] RT: Okay, okay. Because this thing’s not gonna, I just wanna make sure that none of us have visions of being caught like you’re jacket gets caught in a car door and it like takes off with you, right? And it’s dragging you along and you’re saying that’s not the case. Even with the harness, if you start pulling up, the cord starts to be extracted from the unit. Then if you just stopped, the unit will keep spinning and then you have time to kind of unhook yourself.
[00:45:04] FC: Yeah I was talking about on the way up, for example if you’re on the middle of the concentric phase you can always, you can stop pulling and then there won’t be anymore acceleration.
[00:45:14] RT: Now what about on the way down?
[00:45:16] FC: But, of course. If you pull all the way up then you have a lot of momentum and a lot of energy in the flywheel. So then you have to decelerate it of course. But if you created energy by yourself, you can always in the concentric-eccentric motion, you can always – you are so much stronger, so it’s really no problem to decelerate the weight.
[00:45:39] RT: Okay. So basically what you’re saying is, you are capable of doing more high risk type of training, overspeed type of eccentrics and eccentrics at a resistance that’s much greater than what you can do concentrically. You can do these more, either “impractical” or “higher risk” activities in a safe environment, more or less, with the kBox is what you’re saying. It basically eliminates a lot of the hassles and potential risks associated with doing these types of things with traditional weight equipment.
[00:46:11] FC: Yeah. I think so, absolutely. But of course you have to get a feeling for it, what type of – you have to have good form and everything and get to know the device and how it responds when you pull harder. So of course, I would say that it’s much safer yes.
[00:46:30] RT: Okay. Now in terms of benefits of doing this type of training, how have you seen it help athletes and strength athletes, people looking to put on muscle mass, athletes who are looking to perform better in the field, or the ring, or the court, whatever it may be – can you kind of provide us with some information on that. And also, maybe give us a bit or an idea of how would you incorporate this into your normal training? You’re not saying, “Get rid of barbells and traditional weight equipment and just strictly train with the kBox,” are you?
[00:47:00] FC: No absolutely not. And that’s where we start with the hockey juniors, we work these basic programs using barbell and basic lifts and also some Olympic training and bodyweight training and conditioning. So we saw this as a complement and I think still it is. I use bars and I do a lot of types of training myself, a lot of bodyweight training. I think it should be used as another tool, another tool in the toolbox. For some athletes who are in some situations it might be the only tool that you need in that section.
For example, you get a shoulder injury or something or you break your arm or something, then you can use the kBox and that would be a very difficult to do, maybe squats and stuff, with a bar. So we have a lot of athletes of course, like handball press they break their hands and fingers all the time. And they’re very happy using the kBox of course and in the competitive season they can work pretty hard with their injuries. Our strongest base have been in the sports performance section. It’s everything from sprinters and basketball players, swimmers, skiers, all kinds of athletes really.
And I would say that they’re maybe using it, they’re all using it differently I would say. But I think the thing that connects them is that they have these games and they get stronger, faster, they can work pretty hard and they get results. And we see a lot of results on the performance side. You can get almost, not everyday, but often I get feedback from users that say, “Okay I increased my vertical like five inches here and four weeks. It’s great.” That kind of feedbacks.
[00:49:08] RT: Yeah, which is serious. Yeah you’ve been telling me some actual basketball players, I don’t remember if they were university or juniors, I don’t remember right now. But at any rate, these are athletes who actually play the sport. They’re not just someone who came off of a couch, right? And our “trained athletes”, they were using the kBox, and you told me, within a very short period of time, they added 10 or 15 centimetres to their vertical I think it was?
[00:49:31] FC: Yeah. The guy that worked with him, he told me, I think he said 15 centimetres, but when I tell the story I say 10 because 15, it’s so much.
[00:49:44] RT: Yeah 15 is six inches, that’s half a foot! I mean that’s….
[00:49:47] FC: Yeah, and that was in four weeks kBox training with the guy on the national level that was a basketball player I think, yeah. So and this is ridiculous. So I say 10 centimetres to be on the safe side. I just got the, the other day I got the same feedback from a guy working on the kBox. He was working on his vertical for a year doing a lot of stuff, and now he had a kBox for three weeks, and he increased I think it was five or six centimetres in three weeks, only using the kBox. That’s the only training he’s been doing during those three weeks.
[00:50:25] RT: Three weeks he added two-three inches to his vertical, you know, five-six centimetres. So you’re under-promising and over-delivering. So there is a marketer inside of you. I like that, I like that! Okay so..
[00:50:39] FC: And I think that’s a lot of thanks to the eccentric load, the eccentric portion of the training and the eccentric training has some very interesting effects on the muscle, both in performance and in the physiology and the structure of the muscle in terms of hypertrophy and mass.
[00:51:03] RT: Yeah I’d like to just point something out here, you and I talked about through email, and I think it’s very important. You had said that one of the frustrations that you had when you were training someone – I think it was junior hockey players – is that you had them for four years, and during those four years they came in, they didn’t really know how to properly lift, they didn’t know the proper techniques, and when it came to performing exercises to improve their performance, more time was spent on teaching them the technique and proper form, as opposed to getting them to do the work correctly at the proper intensity levels to actually get the benefits.
So by the time the four years were over, they’ve improved from training with you, but you really believe that it could have been much greater if they would’ve came in there knowing how to properly train from the get go. And one of the beauties with the kBox is you can get people doing a lot of the “more advanced” compound lifts and Olympic-type lifts and what not, and get them training very hard on it, very quickly with like a very short learning curve, very low chance of getting injured, and therefore you’re getting right into – you’re on the gain train right away. I mean they’re making gains very quickly now as opposed to after a year, two-three years of learning how to do a cling or a squat correctly.
[00:52:15] FC: Yeah. Yeah you can basically pick anybody from the street and you can start doing squats with them and load them max from the start basically. And if I was working as a personal trainer or something, it would be perfect to bring them in and teach them the technique on the bar and I move them over to the kBox and then really work them out.
[00:52:35] RT: Right. Good point.
[00:52:37] FC: And after three-four weeks, they would have some serious gains, strength. And as their technique moves on we can move over more to the bar and then we can work from there. And so I think it’s pretty easy. You can basically start first session to really load up.
[00:52:56] RT: Exactly. And I mean again, being intelligent. You don’t wanna hurt anybody if they’re doing training. But what you’re saying is, they can get up to speed so quickly now with this device and really get the benefits of training. I mean that was kind of the selling point of machines for a long time, like you know, exercise machines. Is that it “took out” the learning curve, right? For the most part. But there are limitations with machines and what not, and the beauty with the kBox is you are moving in manner very similar, if not identical to free weights, right? And compound movement and you’re on your feet and doing things, I mean that in and of itself has a great benefit.
That’s why free weight training is so effective – with barbells and dumbbells and what not – standing up on your feet as Brook Kubic says, “Train on your feet”. Again, the beauty with the kBox is that it, I don’t wanna say it eliminates and I don’t think you wanna say that either, but it just drastically reduces the learning curve and you’re now making gains. We’re not just trying to figure this out now, no, no, no. We’re now actually making gains at this point, we’re able to really train the person with the proper level of intensity, safely, get very good results.
Another thing that you and I talked about, which will be really interesting is, imagine if some type of a facility of some sort had a couple of these boxes and was running people through them. You told me that there’s one professional team – I don’t remember if it was basketball, football – but they have this unit set up and I mean they run 10-20 guys through them and it’s just an insane, effective, very fast workouts.
[00:54:25] FC: Yeah exactly. You don’t have to switch any weights or stuff. So we had a soccer team here in Stockholm that used it very much. They bring it out in the field and they combine, they do like high speed squats and they just disconnect from the kBox when they’re finished and go out. They’re in the middle of the field, so maybe start doing some drills, one-on-one drills – so sprinting drills. So they can start combing moving the gym out in the field. We have all kinds of swimmers, there’s also a study with swimmers, they use it for post-activation potentiation. You can basically bring it to the pool. Skiers can bring it to the top and do some post activation potentiation before they race.
[00:55:19] RT: And what is that, post activation potentiation? What is that?
[00:55:23] FC: Yeah it’s a show on it’s on, but it’s [Both laugh] not really my, you know, I’m not an expert at that. But it’s basically that you, if you do really – if you do some heavy lifts before a performance action, you can really get a potentiation in your performance. And in that swim study, they did it, it was last year they – like you do on the kBox – they did lunges and they did a traditional warm up before the swimming. They had three groups, one did a traditional warm up, only aerobic warm up. And one group did lunges with a barbell, and the third group did lunges like you would do on the kBox.
And then they measured the speed – they rested for a couple of minutes and then there was the start. And then they measured the velocity in the start and also how fast they reach five, 10, 15 metres in the water. So compared the weights, those who did lunges with weights, they had an 18% increase in horizontal velocity in their kick off in the start compared to the “warm up only”. And the flywheel group, they had 38% increase in horizontal speed in their start. If you’re swimming for 50 metres and get a 38% increase in your horizontal velocity in the start, you can realize that after 50 metres, you have gained some serious distance towards the others. So that’s an example of post potentiation activation, how we can improve performance.
[00:57:10] RT: I think it’s similar to, you know, powerlifters will probably be very familiar with the idea of super maximal lifting I believe. So doing like a very, very, very heavy partial squat at the top range of the motion and then from there going straight into your regular full range of motion squats and you can also do something similar where you lift a very heavy, very close to your max, weight. Let’s say in a deadlift, for double or triples, and then you lighten your load and go to your speed reps and it will feel much lighter because you’ve kind of excited the nervous system and turned everything on, right?
[00:57:44] FC: Yeah, exactly. And that concept is called “PAP” or post activation potentiation. So a lot of stuff around there.
[00:57:51] RT: A good buddy of mine, Josh Bryan, one of the best strength trainers – strength and conditioning coaches around, he loves that technique. He gets real good results out of it.
Okay so just a couple thing I wanna point out here, and I mean to me it almost sounds like I’m a salesman for this, but it really is just – I saw some of the things that this thing can do and I kinda opened up my eyes, kinda got me a little excited here in way. I get really enthusiastic about it. Something that you said, which we kinda just briefly went over, which is you don’t need to change the weights.
So you can just run a whole group of people through this device without any weight change and essentially, again, going back to that idea of a bucket or bathtub full of water. You put your hand in it and you kind of move it side to side with a closed hand, and the harder you push the more resistance you’ll feel. Well, you push as hard as you can, you’re gonna feel it real quick. Well it doesn’t matter how weak or strong you are, it’s gonna have the same effect on you, right? So we could have 10 different people do the same thing with a bucket of water, and they’ll all feel like, “Oh my gosh this is a lot of resistance.” Well the flywheel, it’s the same kind of idea.
[00:58:54] FC: Yeah exactly.
[00:58:55] RT: I get on it, I can only pull with 100 pounds of force, and it’s really making me work. Somebody else gets on and he can pull with 150 pounds of force, and he’s feeling it, it’s giving him maximum contraction over the complete range of motion. So that is very interesting as well. But then, what really got my eyes open was the whole concept of, again, the really interesting way to work the negatives and what not. You can do things like two legs squat up, and then a single leg squat down. So now you are lifting – again I’m just gonna give free weight examples – you’re applying as much force that would lift, let’s say 200 pounds, with both legs. And now you throw one leg back onto a bench or something, and now you’re resisting that with one leg, right? And you’re doing it in a very safe manner. So you’re overloading the negative in a way that is very beneficial.
And then the other method you talked about, cause I was trying to think, “How would I do this with a bench? If I wanna work on my bench and really use this eccentric overload principle, how would I do that?” And then you told me very simply, which is something you’ve already shared during this interview; you go through full range of motion and you’ve applied, let’s say 200 pounds of force through a full range of motion. Well normally, on the way down, you have the full range of motion to slow down that 200 pounds of force on the way down. Well as opposed to resisting right from the top all the way down, you only start to resist when you get, let’s say, a third of the way down into the negatives. So now you have a shorter range of motion to resist that amount of force, that amount of weight. And that is a method of applying more force, more weight I guess, to do a heavier negative.
And another thing that was interesting is, a lot of guys that are into a lot of strength and conditioning work here, I mean especially powerlifter but even some bodybuilders will do this, will use bands, will use chains on the bar for a few reasons. One of them is to apply variable resistance. So as the bar is raised, you feel more resistance. And the other thing is, it allows you to be very explosive without the risk of hyper-extending a joint, if it’s set up correctly. And because this device applies variable resistance to you, it will do the same thing. So as hard as you push, it’s gonna resist against you. Imagine doing that for four, six, eight weeks – whatever it may be – any one of these techniques, and then going back to standard barbell work or free weight work, bar weight.
And I dunno, I would love to see what would happen with somebody who actually applied this. Because you were mentioning to me that there’s not a lot of people in the strength and conditioning type of world – or actually I shouldn’t say strength and conditioning. But like strength sports, like that kind of world, haven’t really had a chance to really put this to use. You have a lot of people in the athletic world, lot of trainers and strength and conditioning coaches who have used it there as you’ve described. But when it comes to pure powerlifting or Strongman, or things of that nature, maybe even pure bodybuilding, you haven’t seen a lot of people because – and listen to me go off a million miles an hour here.
That’s the other thing that I thought was interesting, is that the reps were so efficient that you could thoroughly work that muscle, and I have a feeling you could probably do so and get a similar result with fewer sets that somebody would require a multiple of those sets with probably a free weight. Because again, it is more thoroughly working that muscle throughout the entire range of motion.
[01:02:15] FC: Another benefit of the variable resistance there, as a comment you mentioned using bars, using bands, and chains and everything. You can always, you always load up the bar with the traditional weight. You have the same bar all through the set, all the reps are the same. When you’re working, if you do a 10 reps max on the kBox for example, any exercise, it doesn’t matter.
But then if you go all out in the first rep it would basically be a one repetition maximum. And then you come down and you start rep number two. Then you will be half fatigued a bit of course because you’ve done everything you’ve got in the first repetition. So you will be a little bit weaker in the second repetition. So it will then actually be a drop set. But every single repetition is basically a one repetition max of what you can perform…
[01:03:07] RT: In that moment, for that rep.
[01:03:09] FC: …in that moment. And at rep 10 you will be pretty fatigued if you have gone all out, of course, but it would be still working maximal. And you can do that in a very short period of time with consecutive repetitions. So it’s really taxing of course, but I think it’s very efficient and you really load the muscles in a way that you can’t really do that with weights because you have to shift weight so fast and it’s very unpractical. And I think this could be a good boost for anybody, even if you’re for example, a powerlifter. I think they could benefit from that.
[01:03:45] RT: Well…
[01:03:46] FC: As a part of their training. Of course powerlifting, we discussed this over email a bit, but powerlifting is a bit different because they really train the things that they’re competing. And so it’s very sport specific. Basically all others are using strength training and bars for being better at the sport, for example, in sports performance. But powerlifters are a bit special, but I think even those can…
[01:04:13] RT: [Laughs] A bit special!
[01:04:14] FC: Yeah. So I think even those could, they could gain from shifting up and get some different stimulus in their training.
[01:04:23] RT: Oh yeah. Yeah definitely. I would agree with that. And I think a lot guys out there who are top of their game, whether they’re coaches or competitors, will agree with you on that.
Just to be clear here, I think there are ways to connect this to a barbell so it’s very sport specific to powerlifting, right? Or Olympic weightlifting. I don’t know exactly how it would work with Olympic weightlifting considering the technique involves a certain – obviously you have to be extremely quick, and you do not want to slow down that technique cause then it doesn’t usually tend to have that carryover. It’s kind of like martial arts, kicking and punching with weights on your ankles and wrists – that really doesn’t really carry over to the real world. But anyway!
Something that I think is really interesting is, I think you can get away with attaching to the barbells. This is gonna require some experimentation in one form or another, but I really do see a lot of potential here. You talked about how every rep is, if you want it to be – again it depends on how hard you’re pulling on it obviously – is you could be your maximum for that given moment. So Arnold is, you know, he’s famous for knowing it’s the last two-three reps, the last rep. You gotta push through the pain barrier, that’s where the champions are made. And everybody knows that, right? It’s those last few reps that you gotta push through, that’s taking you beyond what you’ve done before, and that’s where you kind of grow, right? Whether it’s to complete failure or kind of close to failure, either way, that’s kind of what helps you grow. A lot of people know that that’s a stimulus that a lot of us are going after.
With this device, you are getting to that point much quicker. You don’t have to do 10, 15, whatever reps to get to the point where it’s challenging for you because again, like you said, normally the first so many reps are really easy. They’re not a big deal, no effort. I shouldn’t say no effort, but they’re not really taxing. It’s not like it’s something new that you haven’t done before. Where as with this device, if you chose to when you’re ready and you’re warmed up for you working set, you can right from the get go, hit those really hard reps that you really gotta push through, as opposed to having to go through three quarters of a set to get to that point.
[01:06:23] FC: Exactly. And so as you said, you can go 100% and then it will be 100%. You can also go 50%. You can use warm up and you can basically do that on the same flywheel as you’re going to train on later on. So you can either go 50% and it would be a bit slower of course, you will warm up and then you can start working out. And you can go 100% or 80% or yeah.
[01:06:48] RT: Yeah, very, very interesting I gotta tell you Fredrik. I’d love to be the guinea pig or this one, I gotta tell you that. Cause this is just, no it just sounds so interesting. I think of Louie Simmons and how he brought bands into the world of strength training and he really popularized chains. I don’t know if he was the one who, no there’s people before who I believe used chain work. But at any rate, I mean he – probably everyone would agree – that he’s the one who really made that popular here. Chains and bands and stuff like that. So I find it’s interesting when you can see different devices out there and think, “Hmm, how can I apply that, different pieces of equipment, to what I’m doing and see if I can maybe get some extra benefit out of it?”
I know when Louie – I think the story was, Dave Tate said when they went to go to some type of an expo of some sort to go pick up some of these bands, I think Dave Tate was like, “Rubber bands? The heck you talking about? What are gonna do with these things?” And it turned out to be some of the most productive tools that they’ve ever added to their training. I see that this could potentially have a similar benefit and it’s interesting because it benefits people of all levels, all skill sets, all strength levels of conditioning. I think you’ve got something really interesting on your hands and I really appreciate you coming on the show here to share this with us.
[01:08:04] FC: Yeah, I really hope so too. And I hope your listeners are getting interested and maybe give it a try and I think there’s a good solid science background to this. There’s studies been made showing really interesting results in both performance and in the muscle and also in rehabilitation. So I think you have to try it and you have to fit it into your program in some way and I think there’s a lot of benefits.
[01:08:33] RT: Yeah, actually Fredrik, if you wouldn’t mind maybe if you could provide us access to those studies and reports, we could maybe have links to those in the show notes page and people can go take a look at them. We have a lot of trainers who listen to this show who would probably love to see more of this and a lot of coaches and what not. Already in my mind I already have a couple names in my mind that I see them wanting to know more about this. And we also have a lot of competitors that are always looking for an edge.
So yeah, if you could provide that that would be fantastic.
[01:09:00] FC: Yeah, sure. no Problem.
[01:09:02] RT: Okay. So with that being said here, we’re pretty much at the end of the show. Really appreciate you sticking with us here. This is kind of a special addition in a way, to a certain degree. Just kind of really a free-flowing format. So I appreciate you striking with us Fredrik, throughout this.
Can you tell us, where can we find out more about you?
[01:09:17] FC: Yeah, as you mentioned, the site; exxentric.com, with double X – exxentric.com. We have some links to different segments, performance sport, rehabilitation, and some links to video and you also have access to contact if you wanna contact with us. Or if you just wanna go with direct contact with me if you have any questions about what we said today, you can just contact me on Twitter or something or drop an email. That’s the type of contact we really like.
[01:09:55] RT: Yeah, definitely. That’s no problem at all. You also have a little gift for listeners to the show, I believe, don’t you?
[01:10:02] FC: Yeah exactly. We said that within a month after this show, if you get a promotion code, it’s The Super Strength Show, and you get 10% off if you wanna order equipment from us.
[01:10:17] RT: And how do they actually use that?
[01:10:19] FC: Yeah they can just contact us, because certainly if you’re based in the U.S you can just contact our U.S company and you can find it all through the website. Or just contact us here and we’ll direct you to the right person. So just drop us an email and tell us if you’re interested and what you want.
[01:10:40] RT: Okay, so just to be clear. It’s Super Strength Show, correct? – is the coupon?
[01:10:46] FC: Yep.
[01:10:47] RT: Okay it’s 10%, you can contact either you through the website. So exxentric.com, that’s E-x-x-e-n-t-r-i-c – exxentric.com. Also there’s, I believe it’s your brother, correct? Andreas, and he’s the senior vice president, and he’s head of kind of USA, correct?
[01:11:07] FC: Yes.
[01:11:08] RT: Okay so, people, I mean guys, if this interests you, I mean I would definitely take a look at this. This to me seems just absolutely fascinating. You have a lot of pro-teams already using this, correct?
[01:11:16] FC: Yes.
[01:11:17] RT: Yeah, yeah. And this is stuff that’s been around for a while guys, and you’ve kind of brought it into the 21st century in a format that can really be used by us to get some amazing gains and I mean it’s fascinating that I’ve just heard about his and it’s been around for a while. I’m really happy that Tanner mentioned it during the show, so…
[01:11:37] FC: We’re growing really fast in the U.S now. We only entered U.S this year, and it’s going really fast. We’ve been focusing on Europe and Sweden in the beginning of course, and flywheel training has been a known concept in Europe for quite some time, for 10-15 years. But really happening lot’s of stuff in the U.S right now.
[01:12:02] RT: You Europeans tend to sometimes have some stuff that we just don’t have here, for whatever reason. And we gotta kinda discover it all the time, which is funny because you guys are kinda looking over at us going, “Well, I mean what are you talking about? We’ve been using this for 10, 20, 30 years. What took you so long to get to the party?” [Laughs]
[01:12:20] FC: Yeah that’s really strange. You’d think at these times with the Internet that everything should spread like wildfire all over the world, but you know, people are conservative and you have your routines and you know what works for you and you know what you have, but no what you will get. So I think there’s always like a resistance in the system.
[01:12:40] RT: Oh yeah, I would say so.
[01:12:41] FC: People are like reluctant to change.
[01:12:44] RT: Yeah, especially if what you’re doing is working. If it’s working for them, definitely, but there always should be room fro experimentation and new things because you never ever know man. You never know. And this to me, I truly believe that this has some serious potential, so I commend you and congratulate you for bringing this device out and sharing it with the rest of us. Wish you a lot of success and you’re obviously already having a lot of great success.
So you and your brother are running this, other, it’s fantastic seeing people kind of pull something together like this and make something out of it and it actually benefits those who get into it and purpose it and use it. So I think that’s fantastic.
Fredrik, do you have some parting advice for us before we end the show?
[01:13:28] FC: Yeah, not really. Just that you try to find the flywheel device near you and give it a go. I think you’ll like it.
[01:13:40] RT: There you go. Alright, fair enough. That’s the doctor’s orders right there.
Okay guys, so real simple, superstrengthshow.com. You just put in Fredrik’s name, and it’s F-r-e-d-r-i-k and Correa, C-o-r-r-e-a. And for those of you wondering how in the world does somebody have that last name who has a Swedish accent, and is a blonde Swede – how does that work? You told me that your mother’s actually from Argentina, correct?
[01:14:07] FC: [Laughs] Yes, that’s correct.
[01:14:09] RT: There you go. And it’s interesting because I was kind of teasing him a little bit. His brother – you know I’m only going by a very small photos I’ve seen online – looks like he’s from Argentina or “Latin” I should say. A little closer to the Mediterranean than he is. Although, yes I know, Argentina is not in the Mediterranean, but you guys get what I’m saying right? He’s got the darker complexion and the darker hair. He’s got the year-round tan, right?
[01:14:27] FC: Yeah, exactly.
[01:14:28] RT: I can relate to that! [Laughs] Anyway guys, superstrengthshow.com, put in his name, you’ll get the show notes pages, you can re-listen to the interview, you can download it. We also have links to the various podcasting platforms that were on. Definitely take advantage of that. Sign up, we’ll have the podcast come directly to you, which is always nice cause it makes like easy. We deliver, right? I mean hey, that’s fantastic. Real easy, make it easy for ya. You never miss an episode that way.
Also, we have a lot of bonuses on the page. We have, as we mentioned, we’re gonna include links to various content studies, reports, we’ll have all that stuff on there. We will also have some videos from exxentric.com and from Fredrik’s team that will give you a better understanding of how all of this works because trying to describe it without actually seeing it is one thing, and using it I think is ultimately what people need to do to really get a thorough understanding of how this works.
And the cool thing is, you told me that it seems like people are constantly finding new ways to use it. And that’s real interesting too so I think that’s pretty cool. You had one of your customers, you told me, one of you clients created – what was the name of the movement that he created, where it was like a technique to use? I think he was a rower possibly? What was that Fredrik?
[01:15:39] FC: I don’t remember what you’re referring to.
[01:15:42] RT: Yeah it was the way he would lift, you’d use your legs, you’d lift the weight up. And then you’d bring it down, and then you only let it go half way and what not. And it sounded like a very advanced type of technique.
[01:15:52] FC: Yeah exactly, yeah exactly. We call it, we have a short for it. We call it the CLAC, it’s Concentric Loaded Acceleration Cycles. But basically that you accelerate with the legs for example in the upper body movement, and you decelerate only with the primary muscle that you wanna work. And then turn into maximum contraction and then you have a small resting phase in the second eccentric phase, and then you start from the bottom, pulling with the legs. And that get’s very dynamic, overloaded repetitions with max or super-max intensity for – it’s very dynamic and it’s very taxing.
And it was an American rower that invented the method for us. We brought him over, he came over here to Sweden just to try the device and then he got one and he went back to the states and after a week he sent us those videos and we discussed. So it’s actually, it’s an American invention. [Laughs]
[01:16:52] RT: Yeah, that’s good old American ingenuity right there. What was his name?
[01:16:56] FC: Andy Baxter. He’s been the qualifier for the Olympics in rowing. Really, really nice guy.
[01:17:04] RT: Excellent. Excellent, excellent. So shout out to him. That’s fantastic. Guys, check it out man. Go to the show notes page. Go to the show notes page, as we mentioned – I’m kinda getting tongue twisted here – and check that out. A lot of good information there. Also have links to get ahold of you, don’t forget the bonus, the coupon there – The Super Strength Show for the 10% off. It’s good for a month after this is released. Take advantage of all the stuff guys. Fantastic stuff out there.
Reviews, five star reviews go a very long way for us. So if you could provide us with feedback on iTunes, especially Stitcher, it goes a long way for us. Those reviews really help us raise up in the rankings. Rise up, and then what that does is it makes it easier for us to bring fantastic guests like Fredrik here to share this great information because he’s all the way in Sweden man. So it’s kind of, at the time that we’re doing this, it’s kinda running late for him over there. And he’s a hard worker, so he doesn’t mind working.
But I mean look, people are taking time out of their day and we wanna make sure that it’s worth their time. And the way that they see that and judge it is, “What’s the quality of this show? What’s the interaction with the audience?” And you guys kick butt, so it just makes our life so much easier to bring you fantastic guests, and bring you fantastic information to share with you to help you guys achieve your goals and cut through all the BS that’s out there, alright? So if you could provide reviews, five star reviews especially, really go a long way.
Feedback, good, bad, or fugly; email@example.com. Let us know, is there anything you would like us to change, do more of, you name it. People you’d like to see on the show, anything whatsoever, send it over guys. Serious, good, bad, or fugly. I mean we love hearing it all, and we wanna hear it all. Don’t be shy, let it loose, and kinda let us know man. We appreciate all of it.
Also, while you’re on the page, don’t forget there is the daily tips, there’s the free report that we have there that teaches you how to maximize your strength while minimizing your risk for injury, which means more iron on the bar, more PR’s, more muscle on your frame, and all done in a safer manner. So you can’t beat that. Make sure you take advantage of that, alright?
And with that being said, Fredrik thank you so much. I really appreciate you coming on the show!
[01:19:09] FC: Thanks for having me!
[01:19:11] RT: No problem at all. Love to do it again, and I really look forward to seeing what happens here in the very near future with you guys.
[01:19:16] FC: Thank you. There’s a lot more to talk about, you know, about flywheel training so I’ll be happy to, if you wanna have me again, I’ll be there.
[01:19:23] RT: Yeah and I mean we really kept this, it was condensed and there is so much more we can get into, so I will definitely take you up on that offer. Thank you so much.
[01:19:30] FC: There’s a lot of science in eccentric training, and you know people discussing the DOMS stuff of flywheel trying and there’s a lot of things to discuss.
[01:19:39] RT: Yeah, no problem at all. We can definitely do that, and actually I look forward to doing it. So the DOMS, I would imagine – Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness could potentially be out of this world if you don’t apply this properly. [Laughs] Like crippling if you don’t do this right, so yeah we definitely gotta get you back on so we can talk about this.
Thank you so much Fredrik, and as always guys train smart, train hard, and talk to you on the next one.
More Specifically in this Episode
- Don’t just focus on your strengths, but your weaknesses as well.
- The History of Flywheel Training
- The Law of Inertia
- Variable Resistance: The harder you pull, the harder it will be.
- Safe Maximum Force Development
- Benefits of the kBox
- The kBox gives you a more efficient rep, and works the muscle through a greater range of motion.
- Delayed Eccentric Action
- You’re actually stronger in the negative phase of lifting than in the positive.
- The muscle is actually better at producing force at higher speeds in the eccentric phase.
- Being able to do more high-risk type training more safely with the kBox.
- The kBox drastically reduces the learning curve resulting to faster gains.
- Postactivation Potentiation
- Having the ability to go for those really hard reps right from the get go with the kBox.
- CLAC: Concentric Loaded Acceleration Cycles
About Fredrik Correa
Fredrik Correa studied Sports Science at the Swedish School of Sports and Health Science in Stockholm (GIH) with the focus on ice hockey. He has worked as an ice hockey coach for 15 years in different clubs including The Swedish Ice Hockey Federation.
Further studies in physiology and several projects in exercise physiology at The Karolinska Institute led him to medical studies at Karolinska and he graduated in 2006 and has worked as a physician since.
Fredrik is now a M.D, has a BSc in Sports, and is the co-Founder of Exxentric… a company that develops innovative, science based training equipment and methods for strength and conditioning, including the kBox, used by performance coaches, personal trainers and physiotherapists worldwide since 2011.
You can connect with Fredrik by visiting his website at Exxentric.com
Instant Strength: The one little trick that will instantly boost your strength by 10 lbs or more in your main lifts.
Training Resources Mentioned in this Episode
K-box – The kBox 3 is our premium device for flywheel training, based on long experience and academic research. Used successfully by Olympic athletes as well as rehabilitation patients and fitness clients. Click here to place an order
Exxentric would like to offer a 10% discount on total price to all Super Strength Show listeners that purchase within 30 days from the release of this episode. Reference promotion code “Super Strength Show” when making your order.
The key elements in flywheel resistance training is explained and demonstrated along with many exercises on the kBox. Georgy explains variable resistance, eccentric overload and more.
Swedish National Ski Team male juniors finishing off their 2 hour kBox leg workout with 2 sets of continuous deep squats for 45 seconds at maximal intensity.
Deadlift using the K-box
Connect With Fredrick Correa
Every person that we interview on The Super Strength Show has an opportunity to answer some extra questions that aren’t asked in the podcast. It’s a chance for our listeners to learn a little bit more about our guests and to get even more value from our show. Check out the answers that Fredrik Correa provided below!
Can you share one of your habits that contribute to your success in the gym? High intensity works for me and compensates for a rather low total volume.
What are your favourite exercises? Overloaded row and weighted chins.
What are your favourite muscle groups to train? Upper back for some reason.
What are your favourite pieces of equipment? kBox from Exxentric (obviously). Otherwise I stick to the barbell.
What is currently on your workout music playlist? Mixed hiphop and rock.
How do you psych up for a workout or set? Music.
What was one exercise or routine that gave you great gains in muscle mass and/or strength? Any of my kBox eccentric overload routines.
What’s your favourite way to speed up recovery between workouts? Tried whole body compression but think that was mostly placebo effect, did actually feel pretty good though.
What’s your favourite meal? Paella
What’s your favourite cheat meal and how often do you indulge? Kebab, couple of times a year.
What supplements do you feel work well for you? Don’t use regularly. Had great gains with creatine.
What do you do to relax? Play Xbox.
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The Super Strength Show is a fantastic resource for all things concerning strength, fitness, and life. The multitude of guests provides tons of information and perspectives that every listener will appreciate. If you’re serious about strength and the physical culture this is a resource that you just can’t pass up!
- Very glad I stumbled across this podcast!January 22, 2015 by rk102 from United States
Great info from big-time guests in the strength and conditioning world. Keep up the great work, Ray!
- Awesome showJanuary 13, 2015 by Bonjower from Canada
The Podcast is the best I’ve encountered in the fitness/bodybuilding sector. The host has a great ability to pull the pertinent information out of his guests. The topics are great and you seem to be able to get useful information out of every interview! Awesome podcast!!
- Do yourself a favour and subscribeJanuary 1, 2015 by GameOverBoss from Canada
The amount of info and resources in the SuperStrengthShow is just incredible. All of this coming from guests that are the best of the best in their fields. Great questions are asked to these guys and some really insightful answers given (along with a few laughs). I hate wasting time and i'm always looking to evolve and refine my training. This podcast has saved me hours of digging through the crazy crap on the internet to find valid info. It has also introduced me to things i would have never thought to look up. Really can’t recommend enough.
- Master SFGDecember 24, 2014 by X-Fab69 from Italy
Awesome Podcast! A whole lot of great and useful information provided by very accomplished athletes and coaches with an extended experience on the ground!
- Charles CDecember 22, 2014 by CharlieConnely from Canada
Very impressed with the quality guests that the Super Strength Show is interviewing. Loaded with with actionable and inspiring information. Great production quality and daily episodes!
- Well done RayDecember 19, 2014 by Matt McWilliams from United States
Wow…Super Strenght Show Podcast is flat out awesome. Good production quality. Easy to listen. Very impressed Ray. Keep bringing it.
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