Gaining Muscle Size Power Factor Beta Workout

Gaining Muscle Size

When I did my post about size gains my central point was that weightlifting provides important improvements in a person’s health and that focusing on how big a muscle gets is a minor issue. The post drew a record number of comments but almost all of them were from people wanting to know what to do to build more muscle size! Haha. That’s the story of my life. I seem to always be pushing back against the mainstream.

This Time I Could Be Wrong

The thing is, a friend told me the reason I don’t think size is important is because I’ve always had it. I’m 6’3” (190 cm) and my shoulders measure 65” (165 cm) around. I’ve always been naturally big so I guess it’s easier for me to be dismissive of the goal of adding more size. I shouldn’t do that. Everyone’s (non-coercive) pursuit of their happiness is equally valid and I want to acknowledge that.

The other thing is, I get very focused on training with maximum efficiency. But I hear from people who say they would gladly forfeit some efficiency if it meant they could add some extra size and strength to their muscles. This leads into a very gray area of strength training.

Nobody has ever proven there is a way to train that adds more muscle than any other way. Did you know that? You’d never believe it from the way training methods are sold. Every magazine cover makes ultimate claims for this month’s technique. But nobody has ever run a study of 3 sets of 10 reps vs 1 set of 8 reps vs 3 workouts per week vs 5 workouts per week vs SCT vs PFT etc. I’m not sure anybody will ever do that kind of study. It would cost a small fortune and getting all the personal variables out of the results would be very difficult.

My Advice to a Friend Wanting More Size [updated May/2015]

I mention the above because I want to tell you what I would recommend to a friend who was willing to sacrifice some time efficiency for his best opportunity to generate maximum muscle mass. size and strength and who was not getting the results he wanted with his current method of training.

For anyone who wants to forgo the maximum time efficiency of Static Contraction, but still wanted to train in a rational, logical way with measurement of every exercise and have clear numbers to guide his training I would recommend the Power Factor MASS GAIN Workout using the 30-second sets that is available in the Engineered Strength Gym.

You’ll perform the six best exercises proven to deliver the highest overload and you’ll still work in your strongest and safest range of motion, but you’ll measure your power output and personal recovery using the Power Factor and Power Index units of measure.

You’ll end up lifting literally tons per workout and it ain’t an easy way to go – but it will thoroughly overload your muscles and I don’t know any better way to stimulate maximum gains in strength and in size.

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124 Responses to

  1. Richard at #

    Hi Pete,

    I’ve been using SCT for a few years, and have had great success with it. Now I am thinking of adding more workouts, and going for more size as in this article.


  2. Brian at #

    Bravo again Pete! I get Men’s Health and a couple of other fitness rags free at the place I work. I continue to scratch my head at the writers of these programs. I can’t imagine these well known CSCS (I am sure you know them too, probably very well) writing programs like this? You are correct, many of the programs are just another way of putting together 3 sets 10 reps, 5 sets 3-5 reps, etc. However, most of those programs do not describe what the sets are? Few ever explain the progressive overload idea. So a fitness wise uneducated reader would be clueless as to how to implement these programs. And, likely spin wheels the just stop the program. Another one that cracks me up “take at least one day off between the three days per week”. Geez, did not know we could add more days to the week. I’ll admit, I was one of those 3X per week folks and yes, my weights NEVER went up (once I plateaud). If you are a new reader/going to try a program like SCT. It just makes sense!

  3. LJ at #

    thank you for promoting POWER FACTOR TRAINING again. I bought your book in the mid 90’s and worked out at home with a power rack. I did not have a leg press so I did partial squats instead. At one point I was squatting and shrugging over 500 lbs. and was never bigger in my life. I’m only 5’5″ and around 150 lbs. The workouts were hard, but short, about 30 min. for one and 40 min. for the other. I now rent and do not have room to set up these large weights, and unfortunately my size has diminished even though I work out regularly with bodyweight, dumbbells, chin-up bar, etc. I can’t wait to move into my new house so I can set up the equipment again and start PFT. Anyone reading should know POWER FACTOR TRAINING WORKS!, WELL! Your workouts are short, and after a while they are less frequent.

  4. Donnie Hunt at #

    You bring up some interesting ideas here, Pete.

  5. Donnie Hunt at #

    I like the idea of having bigger muscles. I’ve never been a big guy. When I was younger this use to bother me. I like how strength training makes me stronger and feel good. When we talk about training for size I wonder is there really such a thing?? Does the body see it this way? At some point I would think everbody has to gain some size due to the muscle(s) having to eventually get bigger to be able to produce the force you’re asking of it. I know some guys swear by adding more volume or doing specific things to “add size”. Very interesting topic.

  6. Leighan at #

    Pete, I have both e-books, however there’s one thing I’m not totally sure I’m clear on. During the Power Factor Workouts, you don’t hold the weight statically for 5 seconds do you? You just simply perform reps with the weight. Am I correct?

  7. Thanks, LJ. You could also pay the daily visitor rate at a local gym. A benefit of infrequent training is that paying the visitor rate at a gym can make good sense.

  8. Yes, there are no holds in the PFW, you do continuous reps while the stopwatch is running.

  9. Brian T at #

    The beta hybrid is the most intense and therefore probably the most muscle stimulating workout Pete, right?

    The beta hybrid is the alpha holds plus volume in one workout.

  10. You can’t exactly say the Beta is more intense. Your Alpha intensity is your peak, but Beta involves sustaining near-peak intensity for a longer period of time. Does it stimulate the most muscle growth? Let’s just say it’s all that you can do in terms of exertion so if it does not stimulate maximum growth I can’t imagine what would.

  11. Leighan at #

    So is the difference between doing the PFW with the Beta routine of Workout Variations Revealed, compared to doing the Beta Hybrid Workout, that the Hybrid one basically contains more focus on the arms and abs? I know it contains static holds rather than reps, but do you still suggest the PFW with reps for stimulating maximum size over the hybrid routine with holds?

  12. Max at #

    Your banner above leads to a “page not found”. So do a couple of other links I’ve noticed.

  13. Thanks, Max! I think I got them all fixed now.

  14. Right. The Hybrid workout is a ‘hybrid’ because it adds the abs and arms specialization exercises. It is an SCT program, not Power Factor.

  15. Leighan at #

    And you still suggest to use the PFT Beta variation for maximum size gains?

  16. That’s what the above article is about.

  17. Hi, Pete. I’ll be 60 years old in July of this year and I’ve trained with weights and done cardio for 45 years, now. At first, I was a total skeptic about SCT, but decided to try it, to be fair. Because of the numerous injuries and surgeries that powerlifting and contact sports did to me, I had to create a form of SCT that I could do safely. While I’m not seeing a difference very much in my physique, which isn’t that big a deal anymore, I was SHOCKED at the amount of weight I was able to move in a safe, limited distance! In addition, it became very clear to me that my warm-up sets didn’t have to be done with a full range of motion, either. As long as I’m judicious and use good, common sense, I have to admit that my strength increases have amazed even an old weightlifter like me! Thanks for your e-mails and for removing the veil from my eyes that orthodox training put there!

  18. Billy Harjo at #

    I have a smith machine and free weights in my gym (garage) but I don’t have a leg press machine. I’m 54 and have had lower back surgery due to an injury while serving in the military. I’m uncertain if I can do heavy squats. Help! What can I do to improve leg strentgh and size? Thanks, Billy Harjo

  19. Bob at #

    I am not fully sure about the size gains and beta workouts,I want to be on the right path here.Could I use the SCT routines,with 5 second holds,and do this for 4 holds,but in a circuit fashion,as a type of beta routine,or would that defeat my purpose for a “max or a near max muscle and strength gain”?I do not mean to ask any repeated or stupid questions.I read through the workout variations revealed e-book,and am not sure that I may have misread anything,I do not remember seeing anything like this in there.could this work,or would I be heading in the wrong direction?Thanks for your time and all your info…

  20. Nick Bjornsson at #

    Hi Pete,
    where can I get this program?

  21. 25 seconds of lifting 1 time a week or less often is the best program ever. Myostatin is the limiter of size. The minimum stimulus to get body to grow more muscle should over time give the most size and avoid injury.

  22. Bob, I don’t think that would be a wrong direction. In principle, I favor the minimalist approach and that is the SCT Alpha workout. The SCT Beta workout uses more volume. But the Power Factor Beta uses the most volume I can recommend (still far below the dumb saturation workouts you see everywhere) and should be a good trade-off for the people who care less about efficiency and want more size. Again, some people won’t need the extra volume and I’m recommending it to those who have done the briefer workouts but still feel they are not getting the results they want.

  23. If you can’t do squats then you have to use a leg press. See if there is a gym near you that will let you buy a visitor’s pass once or twice a month so you can use their leg press.

  24. RobJ at #

    Hi Pete,

    I apologize if I missed it, but how are we able to calculate what you call the Power Index? Is that something included in a book we purchase?

  25. It’s explained in the e-book. And it comes with a spreadsheet that does all the math for you automatically.

  26. Leighan at #

    There’s another thing I’m struggling to get to grips with in relation to using the PFW with the Beta variation.

    The rep ranges you give as examples in the PFW Beta Variation section of WVR are very high, and I’m just confused on how it’s possible to lift a lot of weight for so many reps. I’m clearly missing something here, so I’d appreciate if you’d clear it up for me. I’m guessing that the weight you use during this PFW beta variation is nowhere near what you’d use during SCT for 5 second holds?

  27. Bob at #

    Sounds good Pete. I do favor the more brief workouts at this time, as in the alpha SCT routine .I just wanted your input for any future training.
    Thanks again for your time and all your info.

  28. David at #

    Hey Pete, Greg, and All,
    Pete, I just wanted to thank you again for the wisdom and practicality you’ve brought to the world of physical self-improvement.
    I also wanted to give my little testimony (which I am seeing grow massively!) I have personally now experienced impressive gains in strength and control. A little about me, I’m a 22 year old college student. I am currently teaching myself breakdancing, parkour, acrobatics, and I am beginning a class in Aikido next week. The strength I have put on in literally just a few workouts is unlike any I have seen. I have been working on strengthening my body for the past two years, but until the beginning of this year I never used SCT or anything like it. Before SCT I used conventional workout concepts that got me to a certain point that was okay, a bench press of 195lbs, but I plateau’d and couldn’t get unstuck for about 9 months. Little did I realize that I was not resting enough, meaning I used a 4-day cycle, 3 on and 1 off.

    Now on to the good part! Since the beginning of the semester I’ve been using SCT and am massively amazed by the experience of growth I have had. In literally 3 chest workouts over the past month and a half I have gone from a SCT bench of 365 to 435 just today. It astounded me that I not only kept strength that long, but more so that I gained even more after 2 weeks of being sick and 5 days of recovery, thanks to my housemate bringing the “black plague” into my house (a virus that has made half of campus sick for weeks). Note that I didn’t increase perhaps as quickly as might have been projected because the first workout I had to keep adding weight and doing it again for like 12 minutes, which left me tired enough not to actually find my 5 second max. The great thing is that with all the free time that I’m not spending in the gym lifting I can work on developing my skills in the arts and disciplines that I love. I am convinced that the strength I have gained from SCT is part of why I am gaining coordination so quickly in moves that require strength to execute.

    I also have to say that SCT just on its own has been enough to slim me down from my beer fat that I got in Austria last semester, with little change in my eating habits. Furthermore, I have never seen so much muscle definition in my legs before from doing SCT deadlifts and squats, since my school’s leg press machine broke. I have gained more size and consequent definition from two routines of squats and deads than I have in numerous months of exercises before. I’m really excited because I can actually make out the different parts of the quad muscle, the vastus lateralis, medialis, and intermedius separately! In any case, I have a friend in the Army starting an SCT routine on my recommendation tomorrow. When I enter the Marines I plan on trying to get SCT and PFT to spread like wildfire. Our nations finest should at least know about this, besides which, having them know couldn’t hurt the advancement of Precision Training.

    Over and out,

  29. If you try it you’ll understand immediately. You are only moving the bar 3-4 inches so the cadence is quite fast. I explain that and verbalize the cadence of the count on the PFW audio seminar.

  30. Great to hear you are growing “massively” and making steady gains, David. Martial artists have always loved SCT because they get more time to practice their art instead of doing dumb, saturation workouts just for the sake of a workout. Most people are surprised that muscle stays with you for a long time and frequent workouts to avoid “losing what you built” is yet another familiar lie in gyms. I know many guys who train once every 6 weeks or so and see consistent gains.

  31. Leighan at #

    I remember you mentioning the cadence when listening to the seminar not long back. So does that mean the weight you can lift is on par with what you’d use for 5 second static holds? or is it a little less.

  32. The cadence is not related to the weight you lift. I can’t predict what percent of their SCT weight people will lift with PFW. It’s close but the only thing that matters is what YOU can lift. Try it.

  33. John D at #

    Very good! I’m happy to see a post about this after having sparked some good conversation about the issue.

    It is clear that Beta workouts are the ONLY variation of SCT for people seeking mass. The 1-rep strength workouts simply won’t cut it, but beta workouts get the job done.

    Good post,


  34. John, that’s the kind of crazy, overbroad statement that turns into decades of gym myth. It is NOT “clear” that Beta workouts are the “only” variation for people seeking mass. Read all the people who talk about the mass and size they’ve gained with Alpha workouts. If they “never” worked I wouldn’t bother telling people to do them. The truth is they work in MOST cases and the Beta workouts are really for the minority who seem to need extra volume to build muscle. You just seem hell-bent to justify longer workouts. Haha. You must really love spending time in the gym more than most people do.

  35. Brian T at #


    People made a big effort to try to help you to understand this and even cited exact figures for slabs of muscle that they put on using the alpha sct workout.

    Listen to the man that has done these workouts with 100,000 people! And also people among those users who can give you their results.

    After hearing all this and then coming out with comments like, ‘it is clear the beta workouts are the ONLY way to put on mass’ just makes you sound both disrespectful and like a moron.

    I’m not calling you a moron I’m just saying you are acting like one.

    Be an active skeptic not an absolute skeptic which is merely parroting second hand knowledge and limiting their intelligence with such an attitude.

    Have you tried the alpha workout?

    If it didn’t give you the mass gains you want then do the beta workout.

    Or just do the beta workout if you are worried about wasting a month on the alpha workout and being in the 10% that don’t respond to it with mass.


  36. xyz at #


    A display of “strength” (e.g. lifting a weight) is a result of three factors that overlap: physiological strength (muscle size, cross sectional area, available crossbridging, responses to training), neurological strength (how strong or weak is the signal that tells the muscle to contract), and mechanical strength (muscle’s force angle on the lever, moment arm length, joint capabilities). Contrary to popular belief, the number of muscle fibres cannot be increased through exercise; instead the muscle cells simply get bigger. Muscle fibres have a limited capacity for growth through hypertrophy and some believe they split through hyperplasia if subject to increased demand.[

    Comparison with dynamic exercises

    Isometric exercises have some differences in training effect as compared to dynamic exercises. While isometric training increases strength at the specific joint angles of the exercises performed and additional joint angles to a lesser extent, dynamic exercises increase strength throughout the full range of motion.[6] Generally speaking however, people who train isometrically don’t train through a full range of motion as the strength gained at the training joint angle is where they require it. While dynamic exercises are slightly better than isometric exercises at enhancing the twitch force of a muscle, isometrics are significantly better than dynamic exercises at increasing maximal strength at the joint angle.[7] Flexibility may be increased when isometrics are performed at joint range of motion extremes. These isometric contractions recruit muscle fibers that are often neglected in some dynamic exercises. For example, gymnasts are extremely strong at great ranges of motion through the practice of isometric holds.

    NASA studies

    NASA has researched the use of isometrics in preventing muscle atrophy experienced by astronauts as a result of living in a zero gravity environment. Isometrics, muscle lengthening and muscle shortening exercises were studied and compared. The outcome showed that while all three exercise types did indeed promote muscle growth, isometrics failed to prevent a decrease in the amount of contractile proteins found in the muscle tissue. The result was muscle degradation at a molecular level. As contractile proteins are what cause muscles to contract and give them their physical strength, NASA has concluded that isometrics may not be the best way for astronauts to maintain muscle tissue.[8]
    (Interesting read!!)

  37. Bob at #

    One thing I wanted to tell all your readers is that if they think they need supplements to get bigger.they are wrong.I think they do the opposite.This is just me,but since I stopped taking supplements.I am stronger than when I was taking them,I use SCT routines,using alpha training sets.My muscles look fuller,and mostly I train on average once a week.I could have bought a sweet car with the money I spent.I believe I am close to my genetic potential.My size is slowing down.
    I am almost 34 yrs old,small frame,5’5″,6.5in.wrists,Holding around 160lbs.,14.5in.arms,42.5in.chest,34in.waist,21in.thighs.This is not the most impressive,I was 19 when I had gotten married(by choice)lol.I weighed only 117 lbs
    My gains were roughly 80 percent muscle.That is not bad with my genetics,considering I am a few inches taller than my parents.Things are possible with smart training…

  38. That NASA “study” is a classic example of people being educated beyond their capacity to think. They wanted to know if isometric exercise would build muscle and if the muscle was persistent. So they gave electrical stimulation to rat’s muscles, then measured ‘contractile proteins’ in the rat’s muscles. From this they concluded: “Isometric exercise might not be the best way to maintain astronaut muscles.” Hahaha!! What they only began to prove was that electro-stimulation of rat muscles might not be the way to maintain rat muscles. And how much do you want to bet the contractions they used were sub-maximal, just like all the other isometric studies? (See: Lift 200% of your Max)

    Here’s an idea. Why not ask the thousands of humans – yes, humans! – who have used isometric exercise if a) did they build any muscle? And, b) did the muscle mysteriously and suddenly disappear soon after it was built? Seems like that would move them a lot closer to answering questions of isometric exercise and the best way to maintain astronaut muscles. (Unless the astronauts are rats.)

  39. John D at #

    Of course I’ve tried alpha workouts and I get so much stronger, and developed a nice and small physique. I did alpha SCT to the tee! And no, I don’t go to the gym very long at all, about 20-30 minutes on a mass gain program, not strength training.

    Vince DelMonte’s book “No Nonsense Muscle Building” contains more arguments than I need to type regarding the confusion between CNS-shocking workouts and building mass. CNS workouts are great for strength and development, but for mass it’s the muscle fibers that need to be stimulated, not the CNS. His program is also based on the premises of: heavy weights, prolonged rest, and progressive overload. He even uses the “Stimulate-Recover-Grow” catch-phrase. He also agrees that the stronger you get the bigger you get. However, his workout contains enough reps of heavy weight to stimulate the muscles and pack on mass.

    And we need to look at the spokesmen for these programs. Mr. Sisco looks like a powerlifter, no offense or defense implied, and Mr. DelMonte is a pro bodybuilder, going from skinny to huge using similar principles but with, what I believe, the right approach. When it comes to efficiency and bulking up FAST, the alpha workouts don’t seem to cut it.

    And I’d really like to see these people with slabs of muscle from this program. I challenge you to post success stories based on MASS and physique, not fat and strength.

  40. In science, it doesn’t matter what the person saying something looks like. If I’m in a wheelchair with spina bifida does that make SCT principles incorrect? If a huge guy who’s juiced to the gills on 15 different drugs says 10 lb dumbbells are the secret to huge gains, does that make his argument correct? If you think so – and it looks like you do – you’re on the wrong blog.

    You say it’s muscle fibers that need stimulation. I agree. What do you think does the lifting using the maximum weights of SCT? It’s fibers, isn’t it? And you KEEP REPEATING that nonsense about training for strength versus size – like they are different. They are not. A stronger muscle is always a bigger muscle and vice versa. You are clinging to irrational beliefs and nobody on this blog has made a dent in them. For my part, I’m giving up on trying to educate you.

  41. Brian T at #


    I gave you my success story of muscle mass gains with alpha sct and you simply don’t hear it. There are many others too. I for one don’t appreciate being called a liar.

    And all of the concepts have already been explained to you on other threads.

    No one is saying Vince Del Monte’s program won’t work either. But those guys are not familiar with strongest range of motion lifting and max overload. They use weights way below their max due to full range motion and so the only way they can get the needed intensity is by more volume and less rest days. With a max full range strength lift you can’t get the intensity for muscle growth by peak intensity OR by volume because you are not adding volume and taking big rests between sets. It will take a LONG time to build muscle that way.

    And a lot of these approaches are just so inefficient it is easy to see why many of them simply just don’t help a lot of people or work for a while until overtraining kicks in or there is continual understimulation.

    Alpha sct workouts are a different kettle of fish altogether. It is using a WAY heavier weight, stimulating the muscle and cns to the max intensity you can on that lift. It is fast dense muscle gain. And it is a stimulation that is forcing muscle to grow, different training totally to conventional strength training which is doing little to force it beyond its current muscle fiber capacity.

    But some guys are clearing out intramuscular fat, other fat and don’t look big for a while using this workout. Other guys may simply have trouble progressing in weight without volume like there is in beta.

    The Beta workout will probably also help fill the muscle like a balloon full of carbs (glycogen) & water for endurance resulting in faster mass gains. It depends on the PERSON and what they are coming to the table with.

    You are probably someone that will grow slower than many anyway.

    Pete has worked with thousands of clients personally and seen what sct does and doesn’t do.

    You are one of the 10% that don’t respond well or quickly to alpha workouts with more mass OR you got way to impatient too quickly. So just do the beta workout or do Vince Del Monte’s program.

    People’s physiques have nothing to do with the science. People can be on drugs for a start, most fitness models are.

    If Pete shed the body fat, he would still be a very big guy. He can lift 600 lbs on the shoulder press! You don’t just do that with your nervous system, that is neurological power and a shitload of muscle fiber as well.

    And I know you are young but here’s some other good advise, quit being arrogant and get you head out of your ass regarding sweeping dismissive statements about other people’s experiences and extensive research with thousands of participants.

  42. Steve at #

    Pete, thanx for the info.
    I’ve been doing SCT Beta for a short while now and literally overnight size came when I really pushed past my mental limits. After one workout (which was the last workout I did) I gained permanent size that I didn’t have before that particular workout. SCT works no doubt.

    Quick question. (really couple questions I guess) Are you familiar with Dr. Sears’ PACE program?
    In it he mentions that the machanics of weightlifting is unnatural and produces negative affects on the heart, causes unbalanced joints and doesn’t do anything to increase GH..?.
    Not so sure about that one, but he speaks against cardio/aerobics and advocates progressive interval training (which I absolutely agree with)… However, he talks about interval training and calisthenics being the only way to build true functional strength you can use and weightlifting building only size… and two different types of hypertrophy: sarcoplasmic hyp.. fluid increase in the muscle cell to increase size but not strength and myofibrillar hyp.. contractile protein increase in strength but with smaller increases in size…

    I’ve done SCT (as well as CNS & PFT). I love your workouts.. and get size from them as well as strength.. and since I believe too that size and strength are intertwined I was just wanting to know your take on PACE.

  43. Donnie Hunt at #

    Pete, I think what you’re saying here about “it doesn’t matter about what the person something looks like” makes alot of sense. Someone could have a great understanding of a given subject and may not “look” like they know what they’re talking about. Some others might have a great deal of understanding and not even be interested in being involved in the subject. How many people on here follow professional sports, have a great deal of understanding of the sport, do not actually play the sport, do not even have an interest in playing it , or don’t have the best physical attributes for the sport. I’m kinda rambling here. I think it’s safe to say that anyone reading this has an interest in becoming stronger or bigger or maybe just trying to maintain what you have. I guess I don’t understand how someone can get bigger without getting stronger?? Does this ever happen?? I see those big dudes at the gym talking about having to “kill them muscles” to get them to grow. Is it really any more complicated than train safe, train heavy, get rest, add more weight??

  44. Arthur Jones said something to the effect of ‘when you want to train a racehorse you don’t consult the horse.’ Ouch. It’s mostly the young guys in the gym who think the huge guys know the most about training. They don’t realize that people like Angelo Dundee knew more about boxing than the guys in the ring and Vince Lombardi knew more about football than the guys on the field.

  45. 1. Others on this blog use the PACE method with success. I think interval cardio is the way of the future. 2. These guys with their many hypotheses on the biology of muscle growth change their positions every few years when new physiology knowledge is discovered. I look at it from the standpoint of physics where the principles of moving weight are well settled, to lift more weight you need stronger muscles. I’ve never seen an argument that a stronger person is less healthy.

  46. I couldn’t agree with Pete more!! Interval cardio is the way of the future. It’s what I do and its what I’ve been using since 1998 with my clients with major success. So on that point Dr. Sears has it right. On the point of weight training, he is wrong though.

  47. Rama at #

    Is moving the bar 1-2 inches of PFT still good enough to stimulate muscle growth? There is no Power Rack in my gym, only Smith Machines…

  48. The bar moves almost zero distance in SCT and growth is stimulated. Smith machines work fine but I don’t like the ones that make you rotate your wrists while under load.

  49. Rama at #

    So I just want to be clear, if I want to train PFT way,its alright to just move 1-2 inches? If I dont rotate my wrists using the Smith machine my range of motion with PFT is limited to 1-2 inches,if I want to get any bigger range I would have to rotate my wrists…which means bigger chance of injury. Just had a PFT workout today, my Shoulder Press numbers didnt increase because I tried going for 3-4 inches and had to be very careful with my movements…

  50. Short reps are fine, that what the Power Factor Workout uses. Just get some up and down movement but don’t bounce the weight or use inertia. Have 100% control all the time.

  51. kunjar at #

    “What they only began to prove was that electro-stimulation of rat muscles might not be the way to maintain rat muscles.”

    Obviously you dont understand the significance of humans experimenting on rats…therefore i wonder just how many people actually know that which ever medicine they are taking/using is simply the resultant chemical compound formed from a series of trial test phases, on animals such as rats, mice, dogs and rabbits?

    Also how many people would continue their intake of medicine if they knew this information?

    Medicine doesnt just randomly appear it must be tested, obviously. And when it comes to science, it doesnt get anymore scientific than NASA, lets be honest here.

  52. Sure. But re: “Medicine doesnt just randomly appear it must be tested…” We’re not talking about medicine here. We’re talking about the laughingly simple task of picking up an iron weight to see if it builds muscle. Why not talk to or test some of the people who already do that?

    Many people assume a weightlifting technique should be tested like it’s a dangerous new cancer drug. Ha! Pick up the weight and measure what happens! In this case it is quite appropriate to tell NASA, ‘This ain’t rocket science!” Haha.

  53. Leighan at #

    Just to clarify, Pete, would you see anything wrong with training the legs using a conventional style (1 set for 10 reps until failure) while training the other body parts using SCT? The only reason I say this is because I want to try out Mike Mentzer’s leg workout, but also want to do SCT for the rest of the body. The other problem is that in my gym there is no leg press that has adjustable brakes, the same for the hack squat machine.

    My legs are also massive already, especially in comparison to the rest of my body, so I am willing to sacrifice that efficiency to try out Mentzer’s approach. I would only be doing 2 sets for that whole workout anyway so I’m in no way overdoing the volume. I’d just like confirmation that it wont effect the SCT results in anyway.

  54. I don’t see a problem with it. 9/10 SCT and Mentzer for legs. Have fun! (And watch your numbers for signs of needing more rest.)

  55. Leighan at #

    Thanks Pete. Absolutely!

  56. Claude Richard at #

    Hi Pete,
    I’ve been doing PFT and ST for a couple of years now. I’ve gotten stronger,
    although not a lot bigger. I’m one of those people who has a really hard time gaining muscle mass.
    However, I know one thing for certain; I will never go back to conventional weight training! Thanks for helping us see through all the myths and marketing ploys.

    By the way, am I mistaken, or was the “workout variations revealed” offered as a bonus for signing up to your blog?

    Thanks again,
    Claude Richard

  57. Leighan at #

    Today I performed my first SCT workout, and I thought I would let you know how it went seeing as I have been commenting on articles for a few weeks now. I also have both the NewGrip gloves, AND the 1tonhooks, so I will give my opinion on these too.

    First of all, I was very surprised with the difference in weight I was able to lift. Prior to my 5 week layoff when I was doing conventional workouts, I was lifting 12.5kg dumbbells for shoulder presses and 7.5kg dumbbells for the tricep exercise ‘Skullcrusher’. In this SCT workout I managed a 40kg shoulder press, and an 80kg Tricep bench press. 7.5kg to 80kg is quite a difference. When it came to the shrug, I put my 1tonhooks on, and WOW, these things are insane. I’ll talk more about them in a minute.

    Moving on, I decided to experiment just a little. During the training I noticed that the barbell curl played hell on my wrist, so I decided to give another exercise a go.

    Experiment1: The palms up, close grip pulldown. This was regarded by Mike Menzter as his favourite biceps exercise, and I figured I would give it a go, because the angle of the arms when doing that biceps variation of the pulldown automatically puts the biceps in the strongest range of motion, which is handy. On this, I was able to hold 65kg for 5 seconds, and I could feel my biceps being worked like mad, which I hadn’t actually felt on any other SCT hold apart from the abdominals high pulley crunch. I had the 1tonhooks on and I couldn’t feel a thing on my forearms. It felt great, so I think I may sub the barbell curl with that.

    Experiment2: After I had completed the Close-grip bench press, my workout was finished. BUT, I decided that I’d give the exercise one more go, but perform it with the PFW method because I was curious. So I got below the weight, and instead of doing the hold, I performed the reps, and WOW again. All I can say is I fell in love haha. I liked performing the reps much more than the holds, and it also gave me that fatigue feeling in my arms. In all, the PFW variation is much more my style. I just felt instantly in sync with it and loved performing it. It’s just one of those things that seems made for me.

    Now, regarding the 1tonhooks, there cannot be a better pair of lifting hooks in the whole WORLD, I assure you. The grip on the bar is absolutely fantastic, and the comfort you feel is just unbelievable. They provide more pushing and pulling power, and you just do not feel any strain at all. Not once during the workout did I feel my forearms even once. Even on the shrug and on the palms up, close grip pulldown bicep move. I can’t believe how good they are.

    So, the PFW and 1tonhooks are simply perfect for me 😀 Thanks for making the most fun workout method around, and thanks to your friend Dave at KD Industries for making the best damn lifting hooks available.

  58. Thanks for your endorsement of the gloves and hooks. (Info on this page: ) Happy to hear you had better success with the pulldowns.

  59. Rama at #

    I am just wondering though, doesnt close grip pulldown work out the back a lot as well? I am really interested in doing the palms up close grip pulldown if that is a really great biceps exercise…there is no Power Rack at my gym so it is difficult for me to get a really great biceps workout.

    And yes, I love PFW as well lol.

    Btw I would like to hear your opinion on the NewGrips, because thats actually the one I have. It certainly helps increase pushing power while reducing strain and pain on palms.

  60. It depends which muscles you’re pulling with. Normally, when you do a strong-range lat pulldown you should try not to bend your elbows and make sure it’s your lats doing the lifting. But if you want to work your biceps the opposite is true.

  61. Leighan at #

    It’s like Pete said, if you are aiming to work the arms doing the pulldowns and are doing them correctly, no back muscles will be involved at all.

    And my opinion on the NewGrips is that I much prefer to use the 1tonhooks on everything. I just didn’t find them as comfortable or as strain reducing as the 1tonhooks. I found the NewGrips certainly stopped palm pain, but didn’t reduce wrist stress, where as the hooks did.

  62. Bob at #


    Would there be in your opinion an Indirect Affect between the biceps and the lats.
    I know Mentzer said something of the sort that the close grip works the lats well but more so the biceps even better.
    I definitely understand what you are saying,would this statment also be true to an extent….

  63. I actually try to avoid exercises where this can happen That’s why the reverse close grip grip lat pulldown is not the recommended SCT exercise for biceps. I want the exercise that targets one muscle group completely so we can get apples to apples comparisons of progress without having to second guess whether improvement is really coming from a supporting muscle. This particular exercise came up in discussion for a person who was experiencing pain doing the curls. Incline bench press is another movement where this happens. Did you improve today because of your pecs or your shoulders? How could you know for certain? I like to have meaningful numbers.

  64. Bob at #

    No disrespect to you,because I train using your methods,and they make sense to me.Hopefully more will also realize you are trying to help lead away them from stupid training.But in your statement wouldn’t that also be true for the Bench press,Shoulder press,Deadlift,and Leg press?These also are multi-joint moves that stress more than one muscle.That is if we are comparing apples to apples,and comparing numbers.Thanks for your reply,and all your work that you do,and all the help for the people on this site,including myself,Thanks…

  65. All the exercises in the SCT workout target the specific muscle groups they are intended to target. They are not the same as in incline bench press which deliberately uses both chest and shoulder muscles or a reverse close-grip pulldown which can use both the lats and biceps. Yes, several muscles can be simultaneously engaged but they are all in the same target area. This is particularly true when such a short range of motion is used.

  66. Bill Cranton at #

    This is an aspect of resistance training I have given alot of thought about. Great site by the way. There is alot here that in my opinion speaks volumes as to what is “necessary” to build muscle.

    The aspect I’m talking about is “isolation” or at least as close as you can get to it. Ever since I heard of “direct resistance” many years ago it made alot of sense to me. I know not everybody has access to equipment that allows this. But to me it seems to be the only true way to work a muscle as closely as possible to it’s full capacity. You have no weak links. The muscle is capable of being loaded as much as it can be. It seems to me you could apply this principle to “Static Contraction Training” and achieve very good results. Most gyms have a leg extension machine, leg curl, pec deck, etc. Even if you don’t have access to machines like these you could accomplish similar effects with certain exercises using free weights or pulleys. I know this would take several exercises, but if you’re doing maximum or close to maximum resistance it wouldn’t take that long.

  67. I agree. I think great strides will be made when a properly engineered SCT machine is available. Most machines mimic a barbell. There is no need to do that with an SCT machine. The opportunity for productive innovation is staggering.

  68. Brian T at #

    Have you any news on the machine Pete?

    I’m close to maxing out a few machines at the gym now and it is annoying me.

  69. No news yet Brian but I will PROMISE you that you guys will be the first to hear about it!

  70. Bill Cranton at #

    What I meant to type was this: Does the machine have you contract against an immovable or nearly immovable handle/platform? And then of course guage the amount of force you are contracting with?

  71. Bill, Its top secret……for now 😉

  72. Great post Pete! Personally I have always had greatest results in regards to size gain when using your CNS workout. It is by far my favorite even though it is one of the most difficult.

  73. Thanks, Christopher. I think the CNS workout is underrated. People get focused on muscle symmetry and spend time and metabolic resources working smaller muscle groups. If you forget about those and combine the big, compound lifts it’s pretty amazing what can happen to the whole body.

  74. Bob at #

    Take none of theis the wrong way just trying to help all understan the finner points
    That is what I was kind of aiming at with the indirect effect situation I talked about in a comment I wrote earlier in the blog.
    I want to max my muscular potential and size potential and I believe this should not take years to do,as your methods can push things along a lot faster.
    Like the CNS workout,could a person even do Like,a leg ress,pulldown/row,Bench press and be done and still get all
    the body needs?This would still tax the Muscles and central nervous system.(Correct me if I am wrong).While still doing CNS style or SCT style routines?
    I guess I do little, and for long periods no “isolation type moves(calf raise,bicep curl,ab work,etc.),and I am fuller and stronger than when I did.As for not doing these moves such as ab work,I have strong abs little fat(5’5” 160lbs.,33″waist, 42″chest,and 14.75″arms),but as we know,body fat has a lot to do with calories in to calories out.Would that be correct?

  75. Bob at #

    That is what I was kind of aiming at with the indirect effect situation I talked about in a comment I wrote earlier in the blog.
    I want to max my muscular potential and size potential and I believe this should not take years to do,as Pete’s methods can push things along a lot faster.
    Like the CNS workout,could a person even do Like,a leg press,pulldown/row,Bench press and be done and still get all
    the body needs?This would still tax the Muscles and central nervous system.(Correct me if I am wrong).While still doing CNS style or SCT style routines?
    I guess I do little, and for long periods no “isolation type moves(calf raise,bicep curl,ab work,etc.),and I am fuller and stronger than when I did.As for not doing these moves such as ab work,I have strong abs little fat(5’5” 160lbs.,33″waist), but as we know,body fat has a lot to do with calories in to calories out.

  76. I’m not sure what you mean by “and still get all the body needs.”

  77. Bill Cranton at #

    You comment is very similar to one i posted on this site recently. I would agree with you that if one is wanting to reap the benefits of strength training you can do this with a very abbreviated routine. Not isolating all the muscle groups. But if you’re wanting to “fully” develop all the muscle groups you’re going to accomplish this better doing isolation work. I think this is what Pete is getting at with, “I’m not sure what you mean by “”and still get all the body needs.””

  78. Bob at #

    What I mean by “and still get all the body needs” is could a routine of leg presses,pulldowns,and bench presses provide what is needed for growth throughout the rest of the body,due to an indirect effect?Similar to what the CNS workout provides.Delivering strength and size even when you are not directly involving smaller muscles so to speak?…

  79. Well, that’s going to depend upon the individual and the degree of improvement he’s looking for. There is a systemic benefit, that has been shown before – but the guy who wants the biggest arms he can get is still going to have to do specific arm exercises.

  80. Phil at #

    xyz ,

    You’ve never had a single SCT training session in your life. You’ve not even done the SCT Challenge, have you. You don’t know what you’re missing.

    As Pete says, ever SCT trainee knows from their own valuable experience, the measurable strength increases etc. that SCT and PFT methods deliver compared to what they have done before that hasn’t delivered.

    And every medical, scientific and military research group on the planet, including NASA would agree that testing on rats provides inferior data to testing on humans, wouldn’t they.

  81. Rama at #

    Pete, two weeks ago I had the best arm workout I’ve had. I used all the exercises in your SuperRep Arms book, but used the PFT Alpha for triceps and forearms and SCT beta for biceps. Recently though I read an article from another bodybuilding site saying that the maximum overload of the biceps in barbell curls is “right below the point at which your elbows are bent at 90 degrees, between the bottom and the midpoint”. This also made me wonder since the principles of PFT and SCT is based on maximum overload and the range you should be able to hoist the biggest weight possible.

    Do you have any comments on this? Is the maximum overload in bicep curls above or below the point in which elbows are bent at 90 degrees?

  82. I think it’s within 10 degrees or so either way (80-100 degrees) but it’s going to vary with individual. Experiment to find your position of maximum power and use that position every time. (It’s easy to hold a lot at the top and bottom of the range because the muscle isn’t loaded. Avoid that.)

  83. Rama at #

    Okay thanks Pete. I’ll try to experiment on my next arm workout.

  84. Donnie Hunt at #

    Loading the bicep at this range doesn’t cause higher shearing forces on the joint?

  85. I’m not sure about that, Donnie. I know I never get elbow pain from curls (even full range curls) and I don’t hear from people who do. Do you get elbow pain?

  86. Donnie Hunt at #

    I think I might have a long time when I first started lifting weights. Seems like the area that bothers me is my lower back which is probably from picking things that were to heavy and maybe from squatting??

  87. Phil at #

    Hi Donnie,

    I “had” lower back pain for many years, but I would put it down to several things.
    If I’m dehydrated, if I’ve drank too many drinks with caffeine (I love cappuccino’s) or when I didn’t have enough protein in my diet I’ve had difficulty walking even! Drinking lots of water and eating more water containing foods (fruit and veg) generally makes a big difference for me. The theory is if you are digesting food you need enough water to extract the goodness from it and where does your body get that water from if you’re not drinking enough?
    If you know you’re fully hydrated and you’re still getting lower back pains from leg pressing/deadlifts then make sure your hamstrings are not too tight (eg try touching your toes). If your hams are tight, you are guaranteed lower back pain in my experience. You could do the kind of static stretches Pete talks about which I’ve found necessary.
    I also find that a few minutes jogging/running machine after heavy leg/back exercises loosens off my back and today with these strategies I rarely have lower back pain and it’s very fixable for me. Hope this helps.

    All the best,

  88. Donnie Hunt at #

    Thanks Phil,
    You’ve given me alot think about and try. I love chocolate. lol. I know my diet could be better.

  89. Phil at #

    You’re most welcome Donnie,

    I love dark chocolate – has to be more than 70%. A lovely therapist got me on to that, the theory being there’s less sugar in 70%+ dark chocolate and you couldn’t eat as much. I don’t know about can’t eat as much lol Moderate amounts is very good for you apparently.

    Look after yourself, because you’re worth it mate. Keep well and get the most from your training.


  90. Emil at #

    Hi Pete,

    First let me start off by saying, I find it almost unbelievable that, unlike other bodybuilding gurus, you personally (and frequently) seem to answer questions (I’m still in disbelief that you will answer my questions).

    I am at the stage of trying to find the best strategy for weight training and have come across a few (including your own).

    Firstly, with your training regime, you obviously build strength and muscle in the shortest amount of time but do you do so without putting on any (or minimal) fat? (Or is it even possible to do so). The reason I ask is because I have come across another system called the Somanabolic Muscle Maximiser which claims to do this and places a heavy emphasis on diet and somatotype.
    This brings me to my next question which is what is your take on training regimes that need to account for somatotype?
    Last question, I am not sure what is right for me from your own products – the Train Smart (Static Contraction) or Power Factor or CNS (Or is it a combination)?

    I really appreciate your time!!



  91. Hi Emil! I don’t really have a ‘take’ on somatotype (body type). Certain fundamentals apply to 100% of people and I like to work within those known parameters. Yes, some people respond better to higher volume workouts but I don’t think there is a litmus test for them (e.g. your wrist measurement is 25% or more of your waist measurement. Haha.) So it could be problematic to declare any given person is a certain ‘type’ and therefore would respond to a specific training method better than other methods. And everyone responds to the method of progressive intensity to build more muscle.

    All of that said, there is I think some sweet spot of volume and intensity that could cause a faster rate of muscle growth for one person than for another. SCT is at the end of that spectrum. It’s 5 seconds of stimulation that builds new muscle. You can’t get much more efficient than that. But could you sacrifice some efficiency, add more volume and get more muscle growth? Maybe. For some people. And if you can do that how much more volume is still a ‘good deal’? Remembering we want to avoid those stupid saturation workouts that just include everything and sometimes land people in the hospital. I’ve been thinking about this a lot and – not to sound like a sales pitch – I have something I’ll be talking about next week that I think satisfies the criteria.

  92. Emil at #

    Thanks so much Pete!! I will keep an eye out for this new information next week. Is there a link I can keep an eye on until it is up? And just on the idea of building lean muscle “without fat” – do you think it is possible/feasible?

  93. Sure it’s possible. Lifting weights never builds fat. The only trick is to eat enough so the new muscle can be built without eating too much and creating fat. (If you’re on my e-mail list – and ONLY if you’re on my e-mail list – you’ll hear about the new information next week.)

  94. Rama at #

    Pete, if previously a trainee trains using PFT alpha workouts…but he wants to gain more size for certain lagging bodyparts (e.g. triceps), would he be better off turning the exercise for triceps into a beta workout, or would he be better off staying with the PFT alpha approach but add few more exercises just for triceps?

  95. I think so, Rama. Adding more exercises usually means adding inferior exercises that just lower intensity. It’s better to sustain the highest intensity you can. That’s what the new Power Factor Workout is about. If you’re on my e-mail list you’ll hear about that very soon.

  96. Bob at #

    Instead of doing the ab work as shown (lying down or kneeling )could it be done in a seated position with a high pulley?

  97. Yes you could. The kneeling alternate exercise is illustrated in the Train Smart e-book.

  98. jim at #

    I have a question on your new power factor workout program. In train smart you have the photos and explanations of the A and B workouts. I find this extremely valuable when when my brain is oxygen deficient. Does your new power factor program have a photo and explanation section like train smart?

  99. Yes there are photos and explanations. Same exercises too. (When you know an exercise is the #1 highest intensity for a given muscle, why switch to a different one?)

  100. jim at #

    Thanks Pete ! I will be ordering your new power factor program TODAY!!!! JIM

  101. Brian at #

    Hi Emil,

    I was just reading through some of the blogs and came across yours. I have been a personal trainer since 1992. I wish I had known of Pete’s program then. I would have been able to deliver three times the results to my clients. The sad part about most programs out today, is that they tell you to change the exercises, reps, or whatever each workout. Or it’s three sets of 10, three times per week in perpetuity. Everything is a circuit etc. Sure, you may gain a bit of fitness. However, there is no way to measure workout to workout when the exercises and programs change like that. I tried all that stuff to experiment, and all I really did was lose muscle and have to tighten my diet even more as I continued to gain fat. Yuk! The more muscle you build, the better your metabolism. The leaner you will be. It is that simple. I do the Power Factor Workout and I love it! I am more of an endurance guy so that worked better for me.

  102. Emil at #

    Thanks heaps for the post Brian! Yes, I definitely agree with you on all points that Pete’s system is just more logical and can be applied to all people rather than all the anecdotal stories which turn into training methods. I just bought the program a few days ago so I have only learnt a bit so far. I guess what I meant in relation to being more lean was around fat cell hyperplasia, which comes down to the bulk and cut philosophy which tends to make more fat cells. I guess I can try and do as Pete suggested which is to meet my exact caloric needs in the day or at the most, with a slight surplus. Is there any other principles you think I should apply to my diet?

  103. Brian at #

    Hi Emil. First, good luck with the PFW. As far as diet and nutrition, the first thing I suggest is to look at how much “whole” foods you eat. It can be as simple as eating an apple with some plain almonds versus having something from the vending machine. All those little changes make a big difference in overall health, including weight loss. More fresh fruit, veggies, and less processed foods will make a huge difference. I even stopped eating nutrition bars and packaged protein drinks. Again, while they have some good nutrition, they are processed and usually have soy (not good for us guys). Small steps to big results. Best of luck to you!

  104. Raghav at #

    Hi Pete. I have been following Static Contraction for almost two months. I am lifting heavy weights in my strongest area. I have actually seen a progress in my lifting weights. I am working out everyday but for each body part daily. Monday – Chest. Tuesday – Back. Wednesday – Biceps. Thursday – Triceps. Friday – Shoulders. Saturday – Thighs.

    Sadly i am not seeing any progress in my size… What do you suggest i should do. Thanks!!

  105. “Every Day is Kidney Day” There is a common fallacy in strength training that only your muscle needs to recover from a workout, so that you can train every day as long as you keep switching muscles. But what day do your liver, pancreas and kidneys get to recover from processing all of the waste products created by a workout? They don’t and progress stops. You are not making progress because you are working out too often. My program has an A and B workout for a good reason. When you change the program you violate principles that can’t be violated and you stop making progress.

  106. Dylan at #

    hey pete, I recently started PF training using your recommendations for beta workouts. In addition I’ve been doing CNS for added size; my question is if my current routine is effective/safe. I go once a week every wednesday:
    Wed 1: A
    Wed 2: B
    Wed 3: CNS
    Wed 4: week off

    then repeat. I’ve already completed one cycle and feel fine I just don’t want to end up overtraining; like you say “everyday is kidney day.” Any insight would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

  107. It’s all about your numbers, Dylan. You can only do this frequency until progress stops. Then it might be: A, week off, B, week off, CNS, week off. You see? And if A and B are progressing you really don’t need the CNS workout at all.

  108. Brandon at #

    Pete or Greg,
    I am using Power Factor training and just need a little guidance. I am able to keep the weight the same and add reps during my workouts much easier than to increase the weight on the bar. What has happened is I am up to 100 reps now which I can tell is taxing my cardio. My reps are up in the 100 range and if I try to knock them down to 80 with an increased weight on the bar, I get crushed. Last workout was a mess. The numbers I generated were even lower than my first chest workout. For the flat bench press they are as follows: Workout 1: PF=9,250 (185x100reps), Workout 2: PF=9,675 (225x86reps), Workout 3: PF=11,363 (225x101reps), Workout 4: PF=12,113 (255x95reps), then…Workout 5: PF=8,663 (275x63reps). C’mon 20lbs?? Disappointing. Just to note, my first workout reps were so high because I underestimated the weight on the bar. Since then I have found (on other exercises also) that I can only progress by adding reps, as you can see, even a 20lb increase crushed me on the bench. However, the high reps are turning it into a cardio session. Pete has told me to just increase the numbers however I can, but I want to make a proper application of the Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands principle. I re-listened to his PF audio seminar recently and it indicates the best option is to increase the weight for the same number or reps. Should I accept defeat on workout 5 and from here forward just increase the weight and keep the reps the same? Remember, that my last workout generated less than my first workout total and that sent up a red flag.
    I am resting 8-15 days between workout as I am away from home for work every second week. No, I am not stressed, undernourished, tired etc. Feeling great, and noticing big improvements in the mirror. Am I bound to be an endurance athlete guys? Yuk. Just want to make sure I am applying the principle’s correctly
    Thanks for your guidance,

  109. Brandon, this is a classic case of needing more time off between workout. You were making great progress up to #4 then crashed on #5. It wasn’t the 20 lbs you added, it was that you returned to the gym weaker than you were on #4. Just add 50% to your rest. If you have been resting 15 days, now rest 23 days between workouts. No worries.

  110. Mark Winchester at #

    Bro I’m up requiring a rediculous SIX weeks between total body w/outs! I can see soon needing eight weeks beleive it or not.

  111. Nate Merritt at #

    Hello Pete

    I’ve been using a Bullworker for many years. I have adapted my workout so that it is in harmony with the findings of your clinical tests. I am getting great results and have had to switch to a much heavier duty Bullworker that is now available. However, when I let so much time pass, as you recommend, between workouts I start losing muscle size and muscle hardness. So I work out more frequently to keep that from happening. My gains slow down but I do not see myself losing ground in muscle size and hardness. I don’t have the money right now to buy a 1 Rep Gym but hope to do so before I’m dead. 🙂


  112. 1. The Bullworker is a well made device but it has low maximum resistance so I’m not surprised you need to train more frequently with it. Keep up the good work.

    2. I have no affiliation with the 1-Rep machine and never have and I seriously recommend people stay away from that company. If you want to know why you can send me an e-mail.

  113. Nate Merritt at #

    Hello Pete

    I would email you but I don’t know your email address. I may be as blind as the proverbial bat because I can’t find it on your site.

    Nate Merritt

  114. If you’re on my mailing list you have my e-mail address.

  115. Mike at #

    Do isometrics work? Pete, years ago you recommended an XF machine which, at lower strength levels might move 1/2″, and I can tell you that when you do 2400 plus pounds in leg extension mode ends up being closer to 2 full inches. That’s as close to non-movement as it comes.

    I am 52 years old, have been using this machine for over 7 years and have gone from 6’1 and 240 lbs. to the same height and 300 lbs. with no change of fat index (Caliper method – Frankly I like to eat.) That’s 60 ‘s of muscle. I went from 900 lbs. on the machine to my current 2400 + lbs. in that time period. Considering I fell 23 feet to a concrete floor, and was in 2 car accidents that prevented me from doing much of anything for about 6 months each time, and had to rebuild each time, I consider that wonderful progress.

    For the last 2 years I have had an 80 year old gentleman lifting with me. After he had a new hip joint put in, and got to the point where he could get up off his bed and make it to the restroom, they stopped his therapy. I told him about your program, and asked him to give me a month to see what we could do with your program on that old machine.

    Keep in mind that 2 months of therapy with those light weights got him to the point where he could get to the restroom without a walker, and to his car with one. The first workout took him over 2 hours just to get into position for each of the exercises.

    After one month, he could walk up one flight of stairs, and he could walk to the end of the block and back. He set new strength records every single week. He doubled his strength in most in almost every exercise the first month, and again doubled his strength in most exercises the second month.

    Each month he had to go back to his doctor and get reevaluated. His doctors jaw dropped after the first visit. He stated that in most cases, a hip replacement like the one my friend went through was the beginning of the end. And asked what kind of therapy he was going through that produced such tremendous results. He said, I am doing workouts where I do 42 different exercises, isolating each muscle, and working it out in it’s strongest range, and I am moving less than an inch for each exercise. Oh, and I am only holding that weight for 10 seconds.

    He then added that while he had been doing 7 minutes of exercise per week, he was down to 3 and a half minutes a week of actual lifting. The doctor didn’t believe him.

    Today he can pick up his 3 year old grandchildren, and can play with them. he even gets down on the floor and plays with my cats. He’s gained 10 lbs. of muscle in that 2 years. That while on medication that inhibits testosterone and muscle growth.

    We are now at 6 weeks between workouts for muscle groups. I had a new record on narrow grip triceps extensions last week.607 lbs. I am stronger than I have ever been in my life, and bigger as well. I work out less than I ever did, and am going to have to work out even less to see more improvements in some areas.

    Pete. Thank you. Whatever you make on your programs is too little. My friend thanks you for not only saving his life, but for making it worth living again. He is stronger than he was in his 20’s on most exercises. Even though I worked out 5 days a week in my 20’s, my strength is double what I was at my best then, and that’s with the injuries.

    For those that wonder about full range strength … It seems that my full range strength increases are pretty much proportional to my short strong range partials increases. We tested that at a gym recently.

    Pete, some questions for you. We are doing the exercises on the machine, slowly increasing our strength output to our max, going all out(Without pain) for 10 seconds, and then slowly decreasing our strength output to zero. The machine, of course, only registers the max output.

    Do you think that the 10 seconds is too much?

    Is it giving us any gains over 5 second holds?

    Is it hurting anything by holding for 10 seconds?

    Would doing 2 sets of 10 seconds, or 5 seconds with a 30 second break, help my 80 year old friend more than one set?

    Would it help his endurance?

    Oh yes … and Thank You … again.

  116. Thanks for this comment, Mike. It’s always heartening to hear the success stories and there’s nothing better than knowing a person’s life was changed in a major, positive way.

    1. 10 seconds is not too much. 20 years ago we started with 30 second holds and they worked. So did 20 and 10.
    2. 5 seconds allows you to use heavier weights and that seems to delver greater results more quickly. Weight just seems to trump the factors of distance and reps in conventional training. (It’s much harder to double your weight from 200 lbs to 400 lbs than it is to double your reps from 3 to 6 or the range of motion from 5 inches to 10 inches.)
    3. Not only does it not hurt anything to do 10 second holds, it’s a good way for people to make progress when holding absolute peak weights is just not an option for them.
    4. We’re doing a study right now to see if 3 sets is better an 1 set with Static Contraction. I can tell you this, even if it turns out to be better, it won’t be 3 times better. So you need to weigh the cost/benefit in terms of energy depletion and recovery.
    5. Endurance for what? If it’s just a matter of being able to walk farther, the best thing for that is likely just walking. For certain sports, endurance strength training can be beneficial.

    Thanks again for relating your experiences with my training.

  117. dimitra anderson at #

    Hi Pete,

    I was wondering, in SCT, instead of doing 5 exercises one day, can i perform each one of those exercises per day over 5 days and then rest? for example, i would do bench press one day. abs the next and so on… Has that ever been tested? Is it more or less taxing on the body in terms of recovery? Also, would doing all of them in one day have a bigger boosting effect on testosterone and HGH?

  118. 1. It’s not something I’ve ever tested.
    2. It strikes me as pretty time consuming – five trips to the gym per week instead of one trip.
    3. Yes, I think the CNS gets more of a jolt from working closer to your maximum total output.

  119. Mark William Winchester Sr. at #

    If lifting the linked weight FOR REPS doesn’t pack slabs of muscle on you nothing will IMO.

  120. Mark William Winchester Sr. at #

    Ben White unknowingly realizes the power of partials. Even though he I am sure he also uses full-range foolishness as well. The only thing that makes pro BB’ers pros is they’re one in a few millions genes. Most have no idea how relatively unique they are. Most also are dumb as shit on a stick & end up dead by 55 or w/ permanently f’ed up, broken down barely functioning bodies. All for a male ego inflation no chicks give two shits about & some cheap plastic trophies.

  121. Mark William Winchester Sr. at #

    Big Ron Coleman after years of abusing his body.

  122. Werewolf at #

    Hi dear fellows,

    How do I do to biceps curls so they progress. I have tried static bicep contraction high and low. I have read that you should make new workout with only non-progressing exercise. That will lead to too many rest days or? What do I do with my biceps curls to progress in them?

    I progress in my other exercises.

    I train Static Contraction training.

  123. William at #

    Mike – Thank you for sharing your Inspiring story. Hope to hear more from you.

    Pete – Appreciate these encouraging posts. Being in the upper 50’s range your training has helped tremendously !!

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