Ken Hutchins' analysis is not just book theory; it is based on real experience training many, many thousands of subjects over a span of decades. He trained everyone from amateur and professional level athletes and bodybuilders to little old ladies with osteoporosis and also a great many genetically normal/average folks. He assisted Arthur Jones and Ellington Darden at Nautilus Sports Medical Industries where he first refined the Superslow method during a 5 years long clinical trial, the Nautilus Osteoporosis Study at The University of Florida Medical School in Gainesville (the study is mentioned in chapter 8 of the 1990 edition of "The Nautilus Book" by Ellington Darden, a book I highly recommend for beginning HIT practitioners). Hutchins' writing is as dry and clinical as one would expect to find in any textbook about medicine or engineering. It is also filled with rich insight into the intellectual processes and long history of carefully controlled experiments at Nautilus (and later Hutchins' own facilities) that brought Ken Hutchins to his current level of knowledge. His understanding of anatomy, biology, physics, engineering, psychology, history and sociology are all put to good use in this book and should enthrall any reader that possesses solid critical-thinking skills. Understanding the arguments for a distinction of "Exercise vs. Recreation", "The First Definition of Exercise" and "Requirements for Functional Ability" are crucial for everyone that cares even the slightest about the subject of human health, fitness, longevity or quality of life. These are not trivial matters.
Around 1900, Tasmanian-born Australian professional reciter and theatrical producer Frederick Alexander developed a novel methodology to harmonize full-body functional movements. As a child, Alexander suffered respiratory ailments, leading to the initial purpose of developing the method – to normalize his personal voice function in order to materialize a stage performance dream. In 1902, Alexander established the Sydney Dramatic and Operatic Conservatorium and in 1904, moved to London to spread his teaching method. During the first years, Alexander focused on teaching ‘full chest breathing’ techniques mainly to stage artists and people with breathing pathologies.19 Staring J. Frederick Matthias Alexander 1869-1955. The Origins and History of the Alexander Technique. A medical historical analysis of F.M. Alexander’s life, work, technique, and writings. Nijmegen: Radboud Universiteit; 2005. [Google Scholar] However, he soon discovered that retrieving the natural ‘conscious control’ via mindful postures and movements resulted in benefits not only for the vocal health and performance but also the health and performance of the whole body and mind.20 Alexander FM. Man's supreme inheritance. London: Methuen; 1910. [Google Scholar] This holistic evolvement transformed the newly formed ‘Alexander Technique’ into a general remedy and preventative tool suitable for all populations. Alexander explained in his 1910 book ‘Man’s Supreme Inheritance:’20 Alexander FM. Man's supreme inheritance. London: Methuen; 1910. [Google Scholar]
Exclusion criteria included major diseases or conditions such as severe heart disease, uncontrolled hypertension, obesity, osteoarticular pathology, and neurological disease. Criteria were evaluated on the basis of clinical history, resting ECG, and physical examination. Participants maintained their lifestyles and were instructed not to take part in any other physical programs throughout the study. At the time of the initial design, the study consisted of a 12-week randomized controlled trial with a frequency of 3 times a week, 36 sessions in all, ending with a new assessment of their wellness and the potential persistence of the results on functional/physical capacities.