Gaining strength and muscle mass is actually simple and easy when you do it the smart way instead of making common mistakes in the gym. The problem is the massive confusion and the conflicting information and advice in the world of strength training. But the simple truth is humans have been building muscles for thousands of years and there are, in fact, only three easy-to-understand principles you need to know. If you obey all three principles you will make gains in muscle strength and size every workout. I’ll fully explain these three principles in a moment, but first let me show you some of the common mistakes the people in your gym do.
Have you ever seen an exercise machine advertised as offering “over 200 exercises?” Take the triceps muscle as an example. Some exercise machines offer a dozen different triceps exercises. Some workout routines tell you to do two or three triceps exercises every time. Why? If you rank those exercises by the amount of overload they provide to the triceps you discover that most of them deliver minimal overload and stimulation. They are the wrong exercises. Why not do the smart exercise that is rated #1 at delivering triceps overload?
The whole point of lifting weights is to provide an artificial load to your muscles that stimulates them to grow. Suppose there were two techniques to do an exercise. One technique forces you to lift a much lighter weight than you could lift yet it maximizes your chances of injury. The other way allows you to lift the absolute heaviest weight possible and it minimizes your chances of injury. Isn’t it clear which one would be a mistake and which one would be smart? The people in your gym use the wrong technique.
Wrong Training Schedule
The purpose of every strength training workout is to make progress toward your goal. If you don’t make measurable progress, what would be the point of the workout? Yet virtually every weightlifting workout says you should perform the workout three days a week. In perpetuity. No matter whether you improve, plateau or regress – no matter if you are male, female, young, old, pre-diabetic or elite athlete – they say train with the same schedule forever. That, my friends, is really wrong! The smart training schedule is to have meaningful, actionable measurements for every exercise on every workout and as soon as you determine you are not making progress you adjust your schedule to allow more time for full recovery and for new muscle to grow. Only then – when you are a stronger person – should you return to the gym and lift even heavier weights.
Wrong Gym Advice
Every gym is teeming with advice. The problem is so much of it stems from vague concepts (I can’t call them principles) like ‘No pain, no gain’ or talk of ‘shocking your muscles’ and then later ‘confusing your muscles’. Again, there is no measurement or even approximation of how much pain, shock or confusion you are supposed to generate on each workout. It’s not just wrong, it’s silly.
My name is Pete Sisco and I have developed a better way to lift weights and build muscle. I’ve spent over 15 years working on the issue of efficient strength training and I’ve developed a complete methodology that allows anyone to achieve his or her absolute maximum strength with the absolute minimum time investment. My methods have been used by over 200,000 athletes and regular folks in over 100 counties.
Here’s What People are Saying About Training Smart with Static Contraction
The 3 Undisputed Principles of Strength and Size Gains
The following three principles are not controversial. As I said earlier, they are well-settled principles that have caused humans to grow muscle for thousands of years. If you obey all three principles every workout you will make incremental gains in muscle strength and size every workout.
1. High Intensity Muscular Overload
If you’ve read anything about weightlifting you’ve come across the term “high intensity.” Many books have been written with those words in the title and uncounted magazine and web articles are the same. It’s a valid concept that states muscle growth must be stimulated by a high intensity of output. That’s why we lift weights – to create a load for our muscles. When muscles are forced to work at a high intensity of output they signal the brain to grow more muscle tissue. Want to hear the biggest mistake in high intensity training? There is no measurement! None. All of those people who talk about the intensity of an exercise do not have a unit of measure. The intensity of sound is measured in decibels, the intensity of light is measured in lumens, there are many different units of intensity in science. In 1992 I innovated two measurements of the intensity of muscular output, the Power Factor and Power Index. Later I found a way to simplify the measurement and that’s what we use today. When you have a meaningful measurement of the intensity of every exercise you perform it means you can spot progress, plateaus and regression from day one. That absolutely guarantees the first principle is respected – true high intensity overload.
2. Progressive Overload
The second principle is that the overload must be progressive from workout to workout in order to keep growing. If the progression stops, the muscle growth stops. If you lift at the same intensity of overload on every workout there is no reason for your body to grow new muscle. The wrong way to train is to never know exactly what the overload is on each exercise from workout to workout. That’s called training blindly. And that’s just crazy. The smart way to train is to know the percentage of increase you achieved on each exercise last workout and what goal weight would be appropriate for today’s workout. That absolutely guarantees the second principle is respected – true progressive overload.
3. Full Recovery Occurs Before Muscle Growth
When your body is subjected to any stress its first priority is always to recover. When we do an intense workout many waste products are created in the body and they need to be processed and expelled. That takes time. Only after that process is complete will the body spend its energy building new muscle tissue. It’s also easy to understand that a very light and easy workout would require less recovery time than an very intense and difficult workout. In addition, your level or conditioning affects recovery time. So does the amount of general stress in your life outside the gym. In fact there are quite a few things that can affect the time it takes your body to fully recover. So the wrong thing to do would be a fixed training schedule (such as, ‘three times a week’) that required you to do a workout irrespective of the (1) high intensity of your last workout (2) the amount of progression (or lack of) on your last workout and (3) that your full recovery had not yet occurred. The smart way to train would be to constantly monitor your exact progress with a meaningful measurement of your progression from workout to workout to see how long full recovery – and new personal records – take to achieve. In the beginning of training this can be only two days or so, but as you get stronger and the intensity of your workouts progress your body will need more time between workouts – and your numbers will prove how long you personally need under your circumstances. That’s the smart way to absolutely guarantee the third principle is respected – true full recovery before the next workout.
Proven and Validated by Thousands of Trainees
These aren’t principles I’ve just worked out “on paper.” These are principles proven in the gym by over 200,000 bodybuilders, athletes and just regular folks. Take a look at the results of one of the studies using static contraction training. In just 10 weeks of Static Contraction, trainees (who were hardcore bodybuilders who had been lifting “heavy” for a long time and averaged about 38 years of age) achieved the following average gains:
All of this was done with workouts containing less than 2 ½ minutes of exercise. Have you had muscle size and strength gains like the above in the last 10 weeks? And guess what? We later determined this protocol was not the most efficient and effective method. (The optimal method is in Train Smart.) We did another study with some long-time golfers to see if static strength training would help a full-range-of-motion sport like golf. (It did, these 40-something golfers added up to 30 yards to their drives) But here is what is really interesting…look at the strength increases they achieved:
They achieved the above in an average of only 6.6 workouts taking an average of just 2.2 minutes of actual exercise. That’s 14.5 minutes of exercise time in total… done over six weeks of time. (By the way, the four women on the study outpaced the four men in overall strength gains. The men achieved a 73% gain and the women achieved 95%.) Have your last seven workouts increased your strength 84%? No other training method has hard facts and measurements like these to back it up. That’s just one reason why magazines like Muscle & Fitness, Flex, Muscle Media, Martial Arts Training, Men’s Journal and so many others have repeatedly hailed this training as “revolutionary.” Train Smart is absolutely loaded with new, useful information you can apply in your very next workout. You spend hundreds of dollars to join a gym or to buy your own equipment. You probably spend hundreds on healthy food or nutritional supplements to prepare your body for building new muscle…but you can not make consistent, productive muscle gains without a proper training method. Why subject yourself to the wear and tear of blind workouts week after week and month after month with little or no improvement? Why perform even one more unproductive workout? Don’t throw away another dollar driving to the gym to do a useless workout or gulping down a supplement that can’t help you if you haven’t stimulated muscle growth in the first place.
You Won’t Hear About These Techniques Anywhere Else
Train Smart is not a rehash of what you hear in the gym and read in books, magazines and online forums. It is based on years of innovation and experimentation that led to a radically efficient new way to train.
Learn to Lift Your True Maximum Weight
When people train the wrong way they never lift the maximum weight they could lift – on any exercise or for any muscle group. We did a small experiment with nine people who did lat pulldown reps to absolute failure. “Failure” means they could not perform one more rep and their lat muscles felt totally exhausted. They all believed they could do no more. Then we immediately switched them to my smart Static Contraction method and they could all immediately lift and hold double the weight they had just used with their so-called exhausted lat muscles. Lifting to failure with a light weight is one thing, lifting to failure with your true maximum weight is very different. And it’s a smarter way to train. We did another small experiment that demonstrated that when anyone does an exercise with 50% of his or her maximum weight it reduces the intensity of overload to a measly 5.2% of the maximum intensity he or she could achieve. That is not high intensity. It’s a mistake to try to stimulate muscle growth using 5.2% of your strength. Train Smart will show you how to generate intensity your muscles have never – ever – experienced before, right from your first smart workout.
Benchmarks Instead of Blindness
Without measurement nothing can be called a science. To show you what I mean here is an example of two typical bench press workouts.
Which one delivered a higher intensity of overload? Have a guess? Trick question. It’s mathematically impossible to know the answer. Why? Because to measure intensity you must know the time it took to do those workouts. OK, here are the times:
So, was Friday’s workout with 5 lbs extra on the bar progressively more intense and than Monday’s workout and did it therefore stimulate new muscle growth? Nope. The intensity was down 3% which means you were not as strong on Friday as you were the Monday before – which means you were not fully recovered. More to the point, you did not stimulate new muscle growth. Oops. A wasted trip to the gym. Again. In fact it’s worse than just wasted. It means you now need even more time to recover because you just dug a bigger hole for your body to get out of. See why people are frustrated and confused about why they aren’t getting the results they are working so hard for? This is exactly the wrong way 99% of the people in your gym train. The smart way to train is to eliminate unnecessary blindness and replace it with clear benchmarks.
Sustainable Workouts Instead of Saturation Workouts
Another mistake is the new fad of “boot camp” “insane” and “extreme” regimens that throw the kitchen sink into almost-daily workouts that get longer and longer as the weeks pass. Remember those three undisputed principles of strength and size gains? 1) high intensity, 2) progressive overload and 3) recovery before growth? Those principles don’t go away with every new fad workout. Also, these saturation workout plans are never sustainable. That’s because of the third principle – recovery must occur before you can build new muscle. The wrong way to train is to throw every exercise plus the kitchen sink into your workout in the blind hope some part of it will pay off. The smart way to train is with a workout that you can literally use for the rest of your life in a planned, measured and sustainable way.
Motivation Instead of Frustration
Training mistakes always leads to stalled progress and frustration. And changing exercises to ‘keep things fresh’ or jumping from strategy to strategy to ‘confuse your body’ is the weak advice of those who have no meaningful tools to help you make a plan and measure results. The #1 best motivation is to make progress! Meaningful measurement of your progress on each exercise provides its own motivation that makes you eagerly look forward to every workout and to return to the gym with new goals in hand – that’s the smart way to train.
More Energy – Less Wear and Tear on Your Body
The wrong way to train is with exhausting workouts that leave you feeling depleted and lacking energy for days. These long, grueling workouts also maximize the wear and tear on your body with blind repeated sets and reps, multiple inferior exercises for each muscle group and very frequent workouts. And because these wrong workouts demand that you return to the gym when you haven’t fully recovered they also maximize your chances of sustaining a serious injury. Fatigue and heavy weights are not compatible. The smart way to to train is with workouts that are very brief and very infrequent and never wasted. That leaves you with much more energy outside the gym and creates much less wear and tear on your body.
Engineering a Smart Workout
The Right Exercises:
When you understand the three undisputed principles of strength and size gains and you have a way to measure “high intensity” it’s suddenly possible to engineer your workouts. That means the mistaken “insane” “extreme” saturation workouts are replaced with smart rational, efficient and sustainable workouts. For example, look at this chart showing the relative intensity of the ten most common chest exercises:
Every time I go in the gym I see guys doing number 2 “to really blast the chest.” And number 4 might be the most recommended chest exercise of all time. But as you can see for yourself, numbers 2 and 4 deliver only a fraction of the intensity of the best chest exercise. So doing the others is inefficient and a waste of your time and effort because they can’t possibly deliver the results of the top exercise. And this isn’t my opinion, it’s a law of physics. We also used multiple test subjects to scientifically determine the most effective and efficient exercises for biceps, triceps, forearms, upper back, lower back, shoulders, traps, abs and legs. The #1 ranked exercise for each muscle group are the ones used in Train Smart. Knowing the importance of intensity and the exact exercises that deliver it best is the first step in engineering the ultimate training program. Because it’s only logical to use the exercises that activate the most muscle fibers.
The Right Duration:
The smart way to engineer a productive workout is to remember that the higher the intensity of any muscular output, the shorter the duration must be. This is an easy principle to understand. For example, humans can run really fast, but only for about 200 meters. Or, humans can run for 26+ miles, but only at a slower speed. Fine. Can you see how this law applies to maximizing the intensity of muscular output during a workout in the gym? It means that maximum intensity has to be achieved by keeping duration to a minimum. Look at it visually:
If you want a very high intensity workout, it must be very short. But how many times have you been told to do an enormous workout routine that takes 1+ hours? How can that possibly have the level of intensity of a routine lasting a total of less than one minute? It can’t. Again, this is not my opinion – this is a universal law. And that’s very good news. It literally means short workouts are more beneficial and efficient than long workouts. But it gets even better when you learn the next element of a smart, engineered workout. The more intense your workouts, the more rest you need between workouts.
The Right Training Frequency:
Since the way you keep progressing toward your muscle size and strength goals is to increase intensity on each workout, it means you train less and less frequently as you get stronger. With a low intensity workout, you don’t need very much rest time. That’s why so many people can start a program of lifting weights two or three times per week and make some decent progress. But as you get stronger, your workouts get more and more intense and you absolutely, positively need more time off. That’s why it’s a BIG mistake to stick to the same training frequency forever. Below is an illustration of the training frequency of my Static Contraction method compared to conventional training.
The conventional trainee sticks to a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule which allows gains initially. But as the workouts get more intense, his body does not have time to fully recover and then trigger new muscle growth. So he can’t make steady progress. That’s why most people in the gym have been bench pressing and leg pressing about the same weight for year after year. Sound familiar? See how the Static Contraction trainee alters his workout frequency as he gets stronger? That is the secret to making steady, consistent progress. By the time you’re strong enough to lift a ton on the leg press you’ll need to work out once every 3 to 6 weeks – about as often as you get a haircut. And you will make progress on every exercise on every workout. All of these are elements of a properly engineered workout that has efficiency, reduced wear and tear on your body and is just plain smart.
World’s Fastest Workout
The Train Smart workout respects and fully integrates the three undisputed principles of strength and size gains. It also respects and integrates the concepts of using only smart, high intensity exercises, brief exercises that ensure maximum intensity. The Train Smart workout contains a total of 10 exercises. Each workout uses 5 different exercises of just 5 seconds each. That’s only 25 seconds of total exertion per workout. Yet the intensity is something you have to feel to believe. It’s the highest intensity that each muscle group can generate. You can perform Train Smart in any good gym using conventional equipment. And you can perform this one workout for the rest of your life. When you reach the level of strength you desire you can switch to the maintenance program and maintain your muscle year after year.
More Than Just Muscle – True Health
The real value of rational, productive strength training is the health benefits derived from it. To be sure, everyone wants to look his or her best and have a trim, toned appearance. But the enduring value of being stronger lies in other known health benefits. Those benefits are well established in medical research. Productive strength training delivers:
Look at that list! If that came in a pill it would be worth millions.
Those are honest, scientifically validated benefits of productive strength training. In fact, the percentage of muscle a person has is used as a “biomarker of aging”. So having more muscle literally means you are a younger person, despite when your birthday is. If you want these health benefits and you want them with as little work in the gym as possible then Static Contraction and the Train Smart workout is for you.
Every time you go to the gym, you’ll know exactly what to accomplish on every exercise in order to meet your goals. No guesswork. No going by “feel” or “instinct.” You’ll have your exact objectives in black and white.
If I haven’t already convinced you to try my training method, let me give you give you 11 reasons:
I. Proven Success: Train Smart has a very successful track record over more than a decade. Perhaps you heard about Static Contraction training from Tony Robbin’s ‘Get the Edge’ self-improvement program. Perhaps you heard actor Anthony Hopkin’s telling Conan O’Brien about how he used SCT to get in shape. Or maybe you just talked to one of the 200,000+ regular folks who have successfully used my training in 100 countries around the world. If you think about those facts you’ll realize it just doesn’t happen unless a training system honestly works.
II. Math and Science: Train Smart is build upon a foundation of rational, tested principles, not gym lore and mythology. When I tell you something, it is a fact you can test and verify for yourself right in the gym. I use principles of math and physics, not the ‘no pain, no gain’ macho crap. And my premises have been tested countless times in gyms all over the world by regular guys like you.
III. Works for You: Because Train Smart is based upon universally true principles, it works for men and women from total beginners to advanced trainees. So the workout will start working for you on your first trip to the gym. And it will keep on working because it is engineered to deliver progressive overload at the proper time your body needs it to trigger growth.
IV. Best Exercises: You won’t waste your time with unproductive and unnecessary exercises. When I tell you a particular exercise is the best one for your triceps, quads or other muscles you’ll know it’s true, because I tested the overload per unit of time for dozens of exercises for each muscle group. So you’ll do the exercises with the most ‘bang for the buck’ every time. That means no wasted time or wasted effort on overtraining and insufficient recovery.
V. Set New Records: Train Smart allows you to exercise in your strongest and safest range of motion. So, right from your first week, you be setting new personal records in every exercise. You will lift more weight than you ever believed you could. I guarantee it. I work with women who leg press over 1,000 pounds. Many men get over a ton. Your bench press weight will soon be more than double what you lift now in your injury-prone full range training.
VI. Short Workouts: Train Smart uses ultra-intense, ultra-brief exercises, so your workout will involve 25 seconds of actual exercise. Yet these workouts will be more effective than whatever you’re doing now. Like to spend more time in the gym? Fine, do some cardio and burn off some extra calories. But don’t waste time and recovery resources lifting weights you don’t need to lift.
VII. Fewer Workouts: Train Smart shows you a simple method to exactly monitor your recovery so your workouts will be spaced father apart and you avoid the chronic overtraining of other training methods. That means fewer trips to the gym and more time for the things you enjoy more.
VIII. It’s Fresh: Train Smart is not the same-old, same-old with three sets of ten reps, multiple exercises for each bodypart and the Monday, Wednesday, Friday grind. You’ll have a lot of fun and positive feedback with my training. You’ll lift more weight, not be as tired and exercise will actually be something you look forward to.
IX. Motivation: Repeated and continued success in the gym is the most motivating thing in the world. You’ll eagerly anticipate every workout and you’ll have a clear, specific goal for each exercise. You’ll see what I mean the first time your last bench press was in the high 200’s and your goal for this workout is 300+. The same goes for every other exercise; improvement equals motivation.
X. Value: Train Smart costs less than one session with a personal trainer, less than one month’s gym membership, less than one bottle of nutritional supplements. Yet it contains the exact knowledge that you need now to ensure your success in the gym. And this knowledge has no expiry date.
XI. Get it Now: Train Smart is an e-book you can download and be reading two minutes from now. So no matter what corner of the world you live in, you can get the knowledge you need to make today’s workout the most productive workout you’ve ever experienced.
Buy it now – at Amazon!
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