New Blog Format for Static Contraction

Well, my friends, what has been a website since 1996 is now a blog. now offers the ability for you to see all the previous articles I’ve written and to comment on them and (usually) see me respond to your comments and questions. So this should be both exciting and much more useful to SCT trainees.

A few notes:

** We deliberately dated all the content for December irrespective of when it was really written. Now all the new stuff will fall into 2011 and beyond and in proper date order.
** We’re still trying to get the e-mail tie-in sorted out so if you were one of the 12,000 people who accidentally received a similar looking e-mail before this I apologize for that. If I do it again in a few minutes I preemptively apologize for that too. (I’m dealing with my own learning curve here.)
** Regarding the above – if you received two or more identical e-mails from me please just click on the ‘unsubscribe” link at the bottom of the extra(s) and that should put an end to it. Thanks for that.
** All the blog comments are moderated right now which is a way to keep the spammers out of everyone’s hair and to keep out the idiots who turn every subject into their pet peeve; “My bench press is up 50%, wish Obama and the democrats would do that with job creation!” Or whatever. It’s bad enough I have to read that, no reason you should too.
** As I write this I’m twelve time zones away from the US east coast so if you end up wondering why your comment hasn’t been approved yet it’s probably just because I’m sound asleep.

Please jump in and make comments wherever you like. I really appreciate the enormous support you have given me and SCT over the years and this is a way for us to finally interact a bit and kick around ideas.

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35 Responses to New Blog Format for Static Contraction

  1. tony at #

    Hi Pete I like the new site, looks like Im first to comment.

    Been doing SC for a few years with good results and recently been doing your workout variations.

    What would be very good at some point would be videos of you with trainee in the gym going through the excersices and pointing out some tips and things to get even more out of the workout,

    I have seen the videos you had done by some other guy but I thinks it would be good to have some videos from the horses mouth as the saying goes!

  2. Thanks, Tony. I agree. The video clips we have now were done in New Zealand and I wasn't in the gym when they were shot. They're fine but shooting some additional ones is on our todo list.

  3. Sam Galaske at #

    Hi Pete! I like the new website much better!

    I was reading your "Train Smart" ebook, and being the engineer I am, I have to correct something I read. On page 24 you wrote, "As far as your body is concerned, the intensity of any workout is defined by the amount of weight it has to lift and the amount of time it has to lift it." And then on the next page you wrote that intensity is "horsepower" or "watts" outside of the gym. However, technically, there is something missing.

    Horsepower and Watts are measurements of "Power", which is defined as "Force X Displacement / Time". Displacement is the missing variable in the quote above. So the quote above should read something to the affect:

    "As far as your body is concerned, the intensity of any workout is defined by the amount of work you perform and the amount of time it took you to perform that work."

    It would be more correct because Work is defined as "Force X Displacement". Or in other words, Power, or "intensity of the workout", is the amount of weight your body has to lift multiplied by the distance the weight is moved divided by the time it took to move it that distance.

    That all would be true for free weights, but if you are talking about pressing against (applying a force to) a fixed bar, then Power would be defined as energy expelled per time, which is more like what I think you were getting at. But I could go on, and I'm boring myself (LOL), and in any case, what I would really like to know is – When is someone going to develop an affordable SCT workout machine? Is there one out there already that I don't know about?


  4. Peter at #

    Hi Pete , I need your comments on my lifting techniques . I perform my lifts in a Power Rack . When I started benching I could lift the Bar from the centre of the rack . As I went heavier and heavier I couldn't do it . I couldn't balance .So what I did was I moved the Bar to the edge of the Rack , pushed the Bar against the Rack and lifted the Bar. The same when I do shoulder press . Am I cheating ? Do you have any pictures to show the results after using SCT program ? And lastly , I've lost everything on the SCT program after my PC crashed . Could you just sent me the A/B workout routine again ? Thanks



  5. Hi Pete, just want to let you know, I have been using the info in your books for a few years, and I have to say, I absolutely love going to the gym. I have pretty well added 50% to most of weight that I lift. I am in and out of the gym in 20 mins, and am absolutely spent, but love it.

    People stare at me when I'm in there, and I am sure they ponder at what I am doing, but I giggle to myself watching them waste their time doing the same old thing over and over.

    Anyway, the info you have is gold, pure gold and anyone who works out has to know this information. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

  6. I completely agree. You'll find that elsewhere in the book I talk about the fact that I used the term "Power Factor" for exactly that reason – in the absence of a distance measurement you can't use Watts or horsepower. And you don't need a distance measurement because it's always the same (arms and legs don't grow in length) and factors out of the equations. And in SCT you can't use work because nothing gets moved.

    And thanks for being an engineer. You guys make the world better and don't get much credit for that.

  7. Brendan at #

    Hi Pete,

    Ive been doing STC for a few years now on and off, and every time i go into the gym i get the '"what the hell is he on" lol. Im committed to getting fit this year as im off to oz on holiday in march. Need the the beach body back lol. Im from new zealand and would love to see the videos mentioned above.

  8. You're cheating a bit. You're using the force contained in the support bar to substitute for the force of your balancing muscles. It's not a huge sin but it is better to do all the work without aid.

    I don't ask for pictures of people. That's a gimmick rife with liars and frauds who tell people little or no effort results in massive and magnificent changes in the body. See this page:… Note: Many links are busted because the scammers are now hiding or in prison.

    (Send an e-mail to customer_service@precisiontraining and tell us what you purchased and lost and we'll take care of you.)

  9. Thanks for the kind words, Glen.

  10. What irony. He’ll let a guy lift the heaviest weight he can lift in his WEAK range – and thereby maximize his chance of injury – but he won’t let you lift your heaviest weight in only the strongest and safest range of motion. Most of these guys just never think – they repeat what they were taught and never go any farther.

    Lifting in your safest range should be a no-brainer – but it’s unconventional so people resist it. I call that phenomenon ‘cogniostasis’. See this article:

  11. Rob Lauderdale at #

    Hi Pete,

    Happy New Year! I think I like the new format.

    Back to what Sam asked at the end of his comment… "When is someone going to develop an affordable SCT workout machine? Is there one out there already that I don’t know about?"

    I've been interested in an SCT machine for several years.

  12. Hi Rob. There is no machine anywhere that I can recommend. There is at least one I can tell people to avoid. Every once in awhile somebody sends me pictures of something being made in a guy's garage or basement. That's not the future of SCT – it's a misapplication by well-meaning people who don't see the big picture. There is a group of about a dozen very talented people from many disciplines (award-winning industrial design, medical software engineering, sports rehab medicine, human interface and ergonomic design, global supply chain distribution, on and on.) I'm on the team and so is someone else I'll be introducing here in a few days. I think the biggest problem has been putting something together during the worst economy in 80 years. That tends to slow things down, to say the least. Nobody – absolutely nobody – is more impatient than I am for the world to see a proper SCT machine. I'll be the first to trumpet the news when there is some.

  13. tony at #

    Hi Pete
    With regard to the static contraction machine that you cant recomend.
    Being as I have one of these machines that I have been using for about 3 years the question is……..
    Am I doing myself out of any progress and gains by sticking with this machine instead of using regular weights and if so can you explain why?
    If this machine is holding me back in any way I might as well not use it!
    Thanks Tony

  14. StaticContrac at #

    That’s not the problem, machine training is smart. The problem is actually getting what you ordered and then having it work properly.

  15. romano at #

    Hi Pete,
    maybe I am naif, but I am wondering WHY we have to oppose traditional training and Static Contraction Training?What I mean is this: why do not perform any given exercise i n the traditional way and once you reach the point of exhaustion AT THAT POINT try to resist STATICALLY for about 5 seconds? The two techniques are not mutually exclusive, are they? Doing so there could be more lactic acid release, and furthermore, even if it would be heavier, I noticed that MENTALLY you need two different kind of endurance to perform them, and that those two different endurance COULD have a synergy effect.This way there could also be less risk of injury.Just a question, I am not a professional….


  16. StaticContrac at #

    Hi Romano. They are not mutually exclusive and anyone is free to blend them. But the point of Static Contraction training is to be efficient. One absolute maximal output under ideal and safe conditions (range limited in a power rack) in order to stimulate growth. Five seconds and you are done. And you only come back to the gym when you can lift a slightly heavier weight for 5 seconds. Rinse and repeat. That is a model of time-efficiency and it is very attractive to people who want all the health benefits of lean mass and strength but are busy and have many demands on their time.

    At the other end of the spectrum are bodybuilders. They lift weights as a hobby and they are never happier than when they are in the gym. (Which is fine.) Bodybuilders might do a three pre-exhaustion sets, then three strip sets, then three sets to failure, then a 5-second static contraction. Because they LOVE to lift weights. That is a personal choice. But whatever a bodybuilder lifts for his final 5-second static hold, it will be a fraction of what he could have lifted and he will never know what maximum intensity he might have generated. Duration is the enemy of intensity.

  17. kurt at #

    Hey Pete! I saw your book about 5 years ago in a used bookstore. I flipped through it, didn’t buy it. Memorized the website, though, and got on your e-mail list. So I have read your periodic e-mails for years, did nothing about it. Didn’t make much sense to me, since I have been a casual, traditional weightlifter for most of my adult life. With mediocre results.

    Then last August I decided to monkey around with this SCT thing on my own. Set up the Smith bar for bench press with 30% heavier than my PR. Wow was that intense. I did the SCT thing again a few more times, increasing the weight a little, and waiting 5+ days between workouts. Nothing much really happened, but I hung in there.

    Then one day I literally looked down at my forearms, and couldn’t believe my eyes. Somehow my muscles had gotten bigger. I whipped off my shirt and looked in the mirror. Holy cow, I was showing definition that I’d never had before in my shoulders, traps and biceps! Now I KNOW that this stuff works.

    I missed out on your special deal just before New Year’s Day. I’ve gotta get some of your stuff to see that I’m training correctly. I’m a little confused. Should I start with Train Smart, or 30-day Quick Start?

  18. Thanks, Kurt. Five years is a long road indeed, but welcome. To answer your question, the Train Smart e-book contains the complete Static Contraction workout with a full explanation so you will understand what you are doing. It’s all most people need. The 30-Day Quick Start offers extra help in the form video clips that show how to set up and perform each exercise in any gym and audio coaching from me that walks you through your first month of training step by step.

  19. XC at #

    It’s great to see someone promoting static contraction. I began using static contraction as part of my regular exercising back in 1977 and have been refining things ever since. Lately I use it along with dynamic contraction and isometrics.

  20. Thanks, XC. Just to clarify. Isometric exercise has been around as a formal means of training for at least 60 years, I think. And likely much longer. But the first Static Contraction book wasn’t published until the mid-90’s so nobody really did “Static Contraction” until then. The old isometrics never measured progression. People were told to press against a door jam or pull up on a door knob, or press their hands together, or whatever. But they never knew whether on Friday they were really pushing harder than they did last Tuesday. For that reason the method floundered. You can’t call anything a science if there isn’t a way to measure it.

  21. Max Brand at #

    Hi Pete-

    Can you recommend an SCT or Strong Range routine for hamstrings?

  22. What do you do now for hamstrings? Are you doing SCT?

  23. B at #

    Been using SCT for over 4 years & it’s made a great improvement to my workouts. :O))

  24. Mike at #

    Hi Kurt,

    When we do bench in strongest range of motion on Smith machine how far from our chest do we start the lift from?

  25. Donald at #

    Hi Pete
    Can you recomend another Ab exercise ?
    LA Fitness stacks only go to 200 lbs and I did that my first time
    I am useing your Ab video as my guide

  26. William Barnes at #

    Dear Pete, I was using SCT and got stronger. Then I started getting weaker. I had developed gum desease from an abcessed tooth, and had not visited a dentist for 10 years. My advise is to see a dentist at least one a year. Gum desease can be almost completely debilitating.

    I have had bad problems and flexibility issues for decades. SCT made my back feel better, and gave me greater flexibility. I addition I had greater stamina to perform my daily tasks. I used to get winded walking up these Pittsburgh hills. Now I can charge up them. I am 66 year of age.

    SCT gave me a smaller waist and helped me to lose some weight. In fact I can now wear pants that I have not worn since the 1980’s. These pants are so old the label says they were made in the USA!

    Another good way to lose weight, in conjunction with SCT training is to walk as fast as you can for short distances. Then walk normally until your heart rate returns to normal, and walk quickly again. What a great feeling. Actually an elyptical machine would work better because you can increase the resistance.

    William Barnes

  27. Thanks William. Many people don’t realize that when they have an illness (even gum disease) it can prevent any muscle growth. The body has priorities and not being ill is one of the top ones. I hear you on the interval walking. I think it points to the future of cardio and fat loss exercise.

  28. Don, you might be able to use one of the “cheats” on this page:

  29. Kevin at #

    Hi Pete, I too like the website. This is a good format. Thanks again for sharing this with us.
    Am enjoying the technical stuff and discussions. Cheers.

  30. Hi Pete,
    I’ve been plugging away on SCT for several years now.Always find it difficult to tie it in to my bike racing but that’s another story for another day.I was given a helpful hint by an old Olympic weight lifter about biceps curls that I would like to share.He said to do your curl using the forearms on the bar and not your hands.This has resulted in a staggering increase in weight that I have been able to “lift” and created no stress on my hands which are quite arthritic.Helpful hint-any thoughts?
    Cheers Neil

  31. Helen Ball at #

    I’m a 72-year-old overweight woman who can’t get to a gym. Plus, a 10 pound barbell is about the max of my lifting strength.

    I want to modify/test your theory with OLD muscles, lifting from a seated position. Is that possible? Do you have any book/info on that.

    You could revolutionize the aging process if you could find just a tiny movement or two that would help millions of aging folks regain a bit of strength. Thanks!

  32. Helen, I think we might have already ‘revolutionized’ aging insofar as efficiently building muscle while minimizing injury in older people. However, there is no way to cheat the physics of needing substantial resistance. Ten pounds won’t do it. You are going to need access to some type of gym. Obviously, in your case, you don’t need huge weights, but you need some equipment.

  33. Hi Neil. I’ve never heard that one before. I assume you are talking about using a machine and not a barbell. I think most of the weight increase would initially stem from the fact that you are reducing the leverage the weight has.

  34. Mike k at #

    I’m a college football player and Ive been reading up on static contraction training but I’m still a little confused. How is 15 minutes in a gym is better then 2 hours in a gym?

  35. Muscle grows in response to an intense stimulus. There is an inverse relationship between the intensity of exercise and the duration. Think of two runners; a sprinter that runs 10 seconds and a marathoner that runs for 3 hours? Which one has the thicker, more powerful legs? THAT’S how 15 minutes in the gym is better than 2 hours.