Doug McGuff (Body by Science) Super Slow Weight Lifting Workout (Video)

Posted: Jul 10 2014

This is a short 12-15 minute workout, 6 exercises, 1 set to complete failure per exercise, 90-120 seconds per set with minimum rest between exercises and as slow as possible.  

This is based on Doug McGuff's recommended workout in his book, Body by Science (  

The concept is to perform one short intense workout per week, placing much greater emphasis on recovery. Doug suggests that it takes at least a week for muscles and the nervous system to fully recover and grow and working out more frequently than this will impair this process. 


  • Posted by Ben Law on August 25, 2014

    Hi Terry,

    I understand the principles of the workout but working out once a week is not for me as I enjoy going to the gym too much. I also personally found that my strength didn’t really improve that much and I didn’t gain a great deal of muscle. Maybe I wasn’t strict enough with it as I was doing it 2 to 3 times a week so probably not giving myself enough time to recover but, as I said, one workout a week is not for me.

    I’ve since started working out 4-6 times a week doing 5 sets of 5 of big compound strength and power exercises and have had much better results. Exercises include squats, deadlifts, horizontal push, horizontal pull, vertical push, vertical pull, core work and conditioning. These are split into an A and B workout which I alternate throughout the week. I’ve added a considerable amount of muscle and feel stronger and more athletic.

    I think the Doug McGuff workout has its merits but I believe it’s aimed at people who don’t really enjoy working out and don’t mind moderate gains for the minimal amount of effort.


  • Posted by Terry Davis on August 12, 2014

    Hi Ben…

    I just saw this clip on YouTube last week. Thanks for sharing your take on Doug McGuff’s “Body By Science” workout, and for incorporating dumbbells (though you’re able to use real heavy weight) into the workout.

    I’ve been looking for someone to post a BBS workout using just dumbbells so I can have something to follow as an example when I get set to train with BBS after softball’s done.

    I’d be interested in knowing your thoughts on the workout and how it helped or enhanced you.

    Thanks again!

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