The Colorado Experiment was led at Colorado State University, in the Department of Physical Education, under the supervision of the Director of Exercise Physiology Lab., Dr. Elliott Plese, in May of 1973. The Experiment was meant to demonstrate that the growth of muscular mass is strongly related to the intensity of exercise.
The Colorado Experiment’s author had the idea that a great amount of training is not necessary to produce strength and that the so called ‘negative work’ is in fact one of the most important elements which increases strength and muscle-mass. The negative work refers to unusual contractions used to increase muscle strength.
The author stated a special diet is not required as long as the current diet is balanced, and that the use of steroids must be avoided, in light of the results of repeated tests on animals. The same author insisted upon the fact that only by the use of full range, rotary form, automatically variable and direct resistance movements, the maximum possible increase in strength and muscular-mass is possible.
Full range resistance refers to a complete series of movements against resistance, being very important that the starting position to be of full muscular extension and the finishing position to be of full muscular contraction. Rotary form resistance means that the body part involved in the exercise and the resistance element should rotate on a common axis. Automatically variable resistance is absolutely necessary due to the fact that, in time, movement produces changes in strength. Consequently, the resistance varies in proportion to the changes produced. Direct resistance refers to the resistance imposed by the body-part moved by the muscles being exercised.
The Colorado Experiment proved that conventional exercises do not have the same result as the ones above, because of the lack of flexibility and the small number of movements involved in the exercise. Using the unconventional exercises, two subjects were chosen for the experiment – Casey Viator and Arthur Jones. The periods of experiment began in May, 1, 1973, for both of them and ended in May, 29, 1973 for Casey and in May, 23, 1973 for Arthur Jones. The results were different for the two: Casey Viator gained in muscular mass 63.21 pounds, while Arthur Jones only accumulated 15.44 pounds.
The Colorado Experiment demonstrated that you do not need a large amount of training, but it is important that you train at high-intensity, and that you repeat the right exercises.