Today’s post is by a customer named David Dressler who was skeptical of Static Contraction and found his own way to test it on himself – including its effects on his weak-range strength.
Challenging Your Own Belief System
I want to “echo” and add something to what Greg Karr M.S., C.S.C.S., NSCA-CPT said in his article June 4, 2011 about Static Contraction Training.
For over 40 years I had been body-building with weights as heavy as I could possibly lift in the usual way for 3 sets of 5-8 reps 3 to 5 times a week. I was sore every day but lived under the then current dictum “no pain no gain”. I was pleased with my results but, of course, wanted to see what my ultimate limit was. It was at that point I encountered SCT.
I was skeptical. I did not want to try something that might cost me a lot of effort and actually lose strength or size in the process. What I read made sense, but I was still resistant. How could what I believed for over four decades–and which clearly worked–be improved in a fraction of the time? How could doing “half a rep” (working in the strong range) be of any value? Wouldn’t I lose strength in the “other half of the rep” (the weak range)? Would I have wasted four decades worth of sweat? That was the real issue: that I could be wrong all those years!
I decided to do an experiment. I would train only some body parts with SCT and continue to work the rest of my body in the usual way. That way, if SCT did not work, or if I got weaker and smaller, at least it would not happen to all my muscles at once. And, since SCT only takes a few seconds per exercise when done properly, certainly almost no time would be lost in the effort.
I decided to train my biceps, chest and quads with SCT. I would train everything else with my usual routine. I began very conservatively by just training my arms with SCT. When I experienced the results, I added my chest and quads. Below are my results after less than 6 weeks:
BEFORE SCT AFTER SCT
Biceps 120 lbs 210 lbs
Chest 175 lbs 310 lbs
Quads 450 lbs 1100 lbs
I also experienced less soreness and no direct injuries to the muscles being exerted with SCT. I did, however, injure my hands when I more than doubled my bench press within a few weeks, because I did not have the padded hand grips (enter Sisco-10 for a 10% discount) Pete recommended.
Undoubtedly I had grown stronger training in the strong range. Still skeptical, however, I wanted to see what had happened in the weak or less strong range. To find out, I deliberately set the equipment so that I would lift in the that range. I decided to start with the bench press.
Typically, people in the gym say to “bounce the weight off your chest” when doing the bench press. That is, lower the weight and let it touch the expanded chest for a split second and then lift it. This puts the elbows below the chest and elongates the pectoral muscles just prior to exerting the effort. Anyone who has done a bench press from this position knows it is the most difficult position from which to do the press. Every muscle and joint involved is actually at a disadvantage to lift: that is why it is not the “strong range.” But decades of bias, not science or even results, have accorded this position the status of being the “right way” to do the bench press, and millions of people are doing it that way. The fear of doing SCT in only the strong range is that one will lose strength in the weak or less strong range. I was testing this belief.
Even my weak or less strong range had gained strength dramatically and in proportion to the almost doubling of strength that took place in my strong range with the bench press. And I had not even lifted in the less strong range.
I found exactly the same thing with every muscle group I had trained with SCT in my experiment.
I can understand the reluctance to try SCT. You don’t want to risk losing your gains. The claims of SCT are almost unbelievable, especially with the peer pressure in the gym, even from trainers who keep telling you, “do full range or you will get short muscles and lose strength.” So, if you are like me, just try one or two muscle groups with SCT for a month. Then test your less strong range. I am certain you will have made strength gains you never believed possible in both your strong and less strong range, far exceeding anything you have gained in the muscles that you did not train with SCT during that time.
David Dressler, BA, RMT