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Static Contraction Training

Static Contraction Training


Static Contraction Training - Maximum Overload in Minimal Time! Static contraction training is a unique a form of strength training that maximizes muscle growth, and strength gains, while dramatically reducing the "amount" and "length" of your exercise routine. Static contraction training, instead of focusing on amount of exercise and frequency, emphasizes intensity of the workout session. This is done by working with weights that are far in excess of what you would use during a traditional strength training workout routine. We will explain more below. n order to understand the theory behind static contraction training, you must first understand how muscle!s work, and what causes muscles to grow. "ach muscle in your body contains a #ariety of fibers. Without going into detail for our purposes, each fiber type becomes in#ol#ed in physical acti#ity at different le#els of stress. n other words, if the physical requirements of a particular acti#ity are #ery light, only certain muscle fibers of the in#ol#ed in muscle group may be needed to complete that acti#ity. f the physical demands are more strenuous, the muscle may require the in#ol#ement of an additional group of muscle fibers. f the physical demands are #ery strenuous, the muscle may require in#ol#ement of all muscle fibers simultaneously. n other words, the muscle fibers in each muscle are recruited into acti#ity based on the amount of and for required to complete the acti#ity. $uscles get bigger when the body senses, through messages sent to the brain, that your body is unable to handle the load currently being placed against it. When the body determines that it needs to be stronger to complete a particular acti#ity in the future, it signals the growth of additional muscle. %nce additional muscle growth has taken place, the body is able to handle an increased load when the stimulating acti#ity is resumed again. What static contraction training does is to signal the body through intense acti#ity that additional muscle growth is necessary. &nd, it does this in a way that is #ery different from traditional strength training methodology. $ost of us ha#e been taught to workout with the weight with which they are capable of performing '()* repetitions, and to increase the weight when you can do more than )* repetitions. +ou then continue to work with the new weight until you can do more than )* repetitions with that weight. n this traditional approach to weight training, those first )) repetitions are for the most part simply a preparation for the final repetition which should be #ery difficult to complete. That is the one that signals the brain that you need to be stronger the next time. This form of weight training, while it works, takes much more time to generate the same results that can be achie#ed through static contraction training, and here!s why. nstead of trying to take a muscle group to failure through the use of repetitions, static contraction training teaches us to simply hold the maximum weight we can handle , sometric exercise-, in our strongest range of motion for a particular mo#ement, for a maximum of .()/ seconds, and not to perform any repetitions with that weight. 0or example, if you normally bench press )./ pounds, you might actually workout with as much as 1// lbs., but instead of attempting to perform repetitions, you would simply hold that weight at the strongest point in the range of motion for the bench press, which would be approximately two to 1 in. before you are able to lock your elbows. 2olding that weight in position for fi#e to )/ seconds is all that is required in order to stimulate the brain that additional muscle growth is necessary. & static contraction training workout in#ol#es only fi#e exercises per workout. Typically, you perform your fi#e exercises in less than what amounts to a minute, not including the
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Static Contraction Training

time it takes for you to set up the machines, and short breaks between exercises. know this sounds rather extraordinary, and may be causing many of you to think that it sounds too good to be true. thought the same thing when first heard about static contraction training. &s a result, or was for cynical too. 3ut, because the routine had been recommended to me by someone with whom was #ery familiar, and for whom ha#e a great deal of respect, was willing to in#estigate further and tried for myself. +ou can find out more about my own personal experience, and the results that ha#e accomplished by referring to my personal workout routine located on this web site. To make a long story short, am a firm belie#er in static contraction training after participating in this routine for only 4/ days. ha#e seen dramatic impro#ement in both my strength, muscle size, any dramatic reduction in the amount of time spend attempting to get results. Practice5 $aximum o#erload Static contraction training is designed to deli#er the maximum possible o#erload to each targeted muscle or muscle group. This goal is accomplished by using what are known as "strong range partials". 6sing your strongest range of motion means operating ,in most exercises- in the last inches of your reach. This is the range where you can handle the most weight and are least susceptible to in7ury. While the most important steps in beginning a static contraction training workout routine is to determine your "sweet spot". This is the maximum weight that you are capable of handling in each of the exercises that you will perform in the routine. t sounds simple enough, but for those of us who ha#e engaged in traditional strength training routines, it can takes in getting used to. The reason is that you will be surprised at how much weight you can actually handle in your strongest range of motion. t will be dramatically higher than what you are used to working out with. 0or example, as was trying to find my sweet spot, started out working with 8// lbs. on the leg press machine. realized right away the weight was much to light for static contraction training. raised the weight to .// lbs. and that was still to light. raised the weight to 4// lbs. and began to find that was reaching my sweet spot. added '. lbs. more and that was a weight with which could only perform a )/ seconds hold before failure. That became my sweet spot for the leg press machine. +ou will need to find your sweet spot for each of the exercises that will be performed in the routine, and it may take you a workout or two to figure that out. %nce you ha#e identified your sweet spot, the next most important consideration is "progressi#e o#erload". This simply means making sure that you are making progress in each workout by either being able to handle more weight, or being able to hold the last weight for a longer period of time. f you are working out at the highest intensity possible you should see impro#ement in either your hold time or your weight or both, each time you workout. The Basic Workout Routine5 The basic Static 9ontraction Training workout routine consists of )/ exercises. +ou perform . of the exercises in one session, and the other . in a separate session. 2ere!s what it looks like5 $ondays5 Workout :outine & )- Shoulders *- Trapezius
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Static Contraction Training

1- Triceps 8- 3iceps .- &bdominals Thursdays5 Workout :outine 3 )- ;ower 3ack *- 9hest 1- 6pper 3ack 8- ;egs .- 9al#es 2ow to perform the exercises n static contraction training you will merely be holding the weight , sometric exercise- at approximately * to 8 inches before completion of the lifting motion. 0or most exercises, this is the strongest range of motion for that exercise. +ou will need the assistance of the spotter to mo#e the weight in that position since it is unlikely that you will be able to lifted by yourself, especially if your working with a weight is appropriate for this exercise routine. +our goal is to hold the weight for a minimum of fi#e seconds and a maximum of )/ seconds. f you can hold the weight for longer than )/ seconds, you should increase the weight on your next workout. 3eginners should workout performing one set for their first six workouts. ntermediate trainers should do one to three cents per exercise, depending on how you respond to multiple sets. What we mean by that is if the weight with which you are working allows you to perform three sets holding a minimum of )/ seconds each, you are probably better off to do three sets but also to raise the weight for your next #isit. &d#anced trainees should perform three to fi#e set per exercise. Intensit versus !uration %ne thing that is important to remember about strength training is the high intensity training cannot be sustained for long periods of time. n other words, you can either workout at a high intensity, or you can workout for a long duration, but you can!t do both. Take the example of a sprinter and a distance runner. The sprinter is engaged in a high intensity acti#ity, because sprinting is #ery strenous when done correctly. 3y default, that acti#ity is relati#ely short li#ed because no one can sustain a sprint for #ery long. & long distance runner, on the other hand, works at a much lower energy le#el starting out, and therefore can sustain it for a much longer duration. Static 9ontraction Training when done correctly, simulates the situation of the sprinter by getting maximum intensity out of the workout, which by definition makes the workouts brief. So, if you are able to sustain longer workouts, you are probably not working at the appropriate intensity le#el. "re#uenc o$ Workouts
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Static Contraction Training

&lso related to the insensity<duration principle is the principle of workout frequency. &s the intensity of your workouts increases, your body will require more time to reco#er, and that is why the frequency of workouts is dramatically decreased in the Static 9ontraction Training routine. 0or the first six or so workouts, you should be working out no more than * times per week, and then after that, you should be switching to once per week, assuming you are working out at the proper intensity le#el. This is a must on this workout as your body must be gi#en adequate time to reco#er &=> grow between workouts. <<<(((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((<<<

Training With Precision

6nderstand what we are trying to do here? Try this experiment next workout? ,This is an article wrote for ronman magazine many years ago. +ou can see how the principles logically led to the de#elopment of Static 9ontraction Training a few years later.-

2a#e you e#er seen this guy training at the gym@ 2e walks o#er to the dumbbell rack, pulls off a couple, without noting the exact weight, does a dozen or so reps ( without actually counting ( then sets them down 7ust when its getting difficult to continue. 2e does another set or two the same way then puts the weights back on the rack. =ext he looks around for a piece of equipment that is not in use, anything will do, and sticks in the selector pin of the weight stack around the halfway mark of the stack. 2e bangs out twenty or so reps with the unknown weight, rests a bit, then does another set. 2e uses the same method of exercise throughout his entire workout, then heads for the change room. This guy is positi#ely doomed to failureA either by undertraining, o#ertraining or otherwise spinning his wheels until he gi#es up due to lack of progress. f he!s really unlucky he!ll spend a couple of thousand bucks on nutritional supplements thinking they will pro#ide the gains his training will not deli#er. f he is like most people he!ll quit training within a few months, if he!s really tough minded he!ll train this way for years and chalk up his lack of progress to being a "hardgainer." The really sad fact is, this is how most people train? The same used to be true in aerobics. Thirty years ago people would perform exercises like 7umping 7acks, twists with a pole or, my personal fa#orite, lie on their backs and pedal their legs in the air. They had no idea how long to perform these exercises, how to control the intensity of them or how to measure progress. &ll exercises, no matter how silly, were #iewed as about equally beneficial. said this was true ( because something happened that changed e#erything. >r. Benneth 9ooper wrote a book called "&erobics". The main benefit of his book was it ga#e precision to cardio#ascular training. Suddenly, there were clear physiological ob7ecti#es such as reaching the "aerobic threshold" and "age ad7usted target heart rates" to be achie#ed and maintained for specified times. =ow the relati#e effecti#eness of different workouts could actually be measured. &nd guess what@ =ot all workouts were equally producti#e. ;ying on your back pedaling was a 7oke compared to cross(country skiing and running. Crecision is what made cardio#ascular training a more perfect science 7ust as precision makes medicine, engineering and space exploration more perfect sciences. t!s what naturally happens to any science as time goes by and rational people try to impro#e the accuracy of their results. What can be done to gi#e strength training more precision@ Well, for a start, we can examine the two physiological requisites in#ol#ed in getting your body to increase its muscle size and strength. 0irstly, the muscles must be worked and that work must in#ol#e
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Static Contraction Training

a high intensity of muscular o#erload. That!s why lifting weights builds new muscle, it creates a lot of o#erload per unit of time. Secondly, the muscular o#erload must be progressi#e from workout to workout. f it isn!t progressi#e there is no reason for your body to grow more muscle. tDs the progression of o#erload that keeps triggering new growth. 2ow high is high intensity@ &rthur Eones, the creator of =autilus exercise equipment, defined intensity as "the percentage of momentary muscular effort being exerted." This definition has stood unimpro#ed for o#er twenty years. While basically correct, this strikes me as both #ague and sub7ecti#e on Eones! part. & percentage is measured on a scale of ) to )//, so the question is how do you know what )//F of your effort is@ +ou can!t, it!s logically impossible. There is always the possibility that a person could ha#e lifted more weight were it not for some unknown impediment or missing moti#ation. &lso, )//F of your effort is irrele#ant since when you are reco#ering from pneumonia, for example, your )//F effort will be quite insufficient to trigger muscle growth anyway. "#en when you are tired from lack of sleep or from o#ertraining )//F of your effort is meaningless since it will be too low an intensity to trigger growth. Without an absolute standard for )//F what does ./F of effort mean@ To compound this problem is the inherent #agueness of momentary. 2ow momentary@ & millisecond@ & second@ )8 seconds@ Why wallow in all that #agueness@ There is a far better way to measure intensity. $uscular effort by intensity of lifting, like light, sound and heat, to name a few, can be precisely measured. Scientists measure the intensity of light, sound and heat by ob7ecti#e standards such as lumens, decibels and calories. Why not use the same precision when measuring the intensity of muscular output@ Why used "percei#ed" effort when we can use absolute effort@ Why use "momentary" when we can use seconds and minutes@ &ccording to the laws of Chysics, the intensity of lifting is simply the amount of weight lifted per unit of timeA measured in a unit call the Cower 0actor ,if distance were included we could use 2orsepower or Watts as units-. ;ift *// pounds )/ times in one minute and you ha#e a Cower 0actor of *,/// pounds per minute. That is the intensity of your lifting. Want to increase the intensity@ ;ift more pounds per minute. =ot "percei#ed" pounds or "possible" pounds but real, ob7ecti#e pounds. =ot for "moments" but for real, ob7ecti#e minutes. 6sing this absolute standard you can measure the intensity of your muscular output to disco#er that )//F of your effort can #ary immensely. Speaking for myself, once foolishly ate a bag of peanut $G$!s before a workout and quickly disco#ered that )//F of my effort ,momentary and otherwise- was about H/F of my known capability. "xercising to momentary muscular failure with a bag of $G$!s under my belt was meaningless, and a waste of time, e#en though it met &rthur Eones! definition of high intensity. dentifying poor workout performance because of a bonehead mo#e like eating $G$!s 7ust before a workout is easy, but more subtle stresses like o#ertraining, lack of concentration, lack of sleep, personal or work(related stress and a host of other factors can and will rob you of intensity. Without an ob7ecti#e measurement of that intensity you!ll ne#er know the whole truth regarding the two most important factors of your trainingA high intensity and progressi#e o#erload. The precision inherent in this measurement puts many of bodybuilding!s #ague intangibles right on graph paper where they can be analyzed. %b7ecti#e measurements lead to ob7ecti#ely #erifiable progress, or lack thereof, and pro#ide a means to compare the relati#e efficiency of training systems. 2igh intensity and progressi#e o#erload, the two indispensable conditions of muscular hypertrophy, can be measured mathematically. =ow, 7ust as in aerobics, specific ob7ecti#es and goals, measured in all(important intensity and progressi#e o#erload, can be set and achie#ed. &nd, importantly, the #arious strength training and bodybuilding "systems" can be accurately and fairly measured to
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Static Contraction Training

determine the intensity of o#erload they deli#er to indi#idual muscles, their rate of progression, and their ability to a#oid and compensate for o#ertraining. The effect of nutritional supplements can be measured the same way Ietting back to our man in the gym, now you can see how blindly he is operating. This guy is a ship with no rudder doing figure eights in the open sea. 2e doesn!t know his intensity from his last workout, where it is today or where it should be next workout. n order to measure the intensity of his muscular o#erload he needs to keep track of the exact amount of weight that he is lifting and the exact amount of time it takes him to lift it (( remember, that!s a law of Chysics. 2e knows neither. To ensure he is creating progressi#e o#erload he must engineer his next workout in such a way that his intensity increases. This requires knowing the inter(relationship of the weight on the bar, the number of times he can lift it and the time it takes him to do it. %perating blindly he doesn!t ha#e a prayer of making consistent progress. 2e might as well lie on his back and pedal in the air Try this experiment on your next workout5 pick one exercise, say the 3ench Cress, and time exactly how long it takes you to complete the exercise from the first rep of the first set to the last rep of the last set. 0or example, suppose that you performed 8 sets of )/ reps all with *// pounds. "ach set took 8. seconds to complete and you rested 4/ seconds between sets. That!s a total time of 14/ seconds or 4 minutes. n that 4 minutes you lifted *// pounds a total of 8/ times ,8 sets of )/- producing a total weight lifted of ',/// pounds. The intensity of your lifting was ),111 pounds per minute. That!s a precise measurement =ow you!#e got a benchmark of your performance. +ou know you are capable of benching ),111 pounds per minute, so if you want to make progress you need to increase that number. f you come back to the gym too soon the number won!t increase because your body didnDt ha#e time to reco#er and grow. Beep coming back to the gym too soon and that number will actually decrease because of the energy debt created by chronic o#ertraining. Think about that ( when you are o#ertraining you can work out with ")//F of momentary muscular effort being exerted" and yet you will not be able to bench ),111 pounds per minute. "#en though at the end of your last set you went to total muscular failure, you were "pumped," and you "felt the burn." +ou met Eones! definition of high intensity yet you ha#e zero chance of making progress because you are operating at an output that is less than what you already ha#e identified as your capability. =o progressi#e o#erload, no progress. Ceriod. 3ut once you ha#e precise benchmarks of your muscular ability in e#ery exercise you can immediately determine whether or not you are making real, ob7ecti#e, measurable progress or 7ust spinning your wheels. That!s how itDs done in aerobic training, thanks to Benneth 9ooper, and now the same is true of strength training. Train Smart? <<<((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((<<<