Do you believe that your strength training can never be improved? Or do you have an open mind on the subject?
I ask this in sincerity because for many years Iâ€™ve noticed that I battle against something I call Cogniostasis. Donâ€™t bother searching for that word in the dictionary – I made it up.
You might be familiar with the word homeostasis, which refers to the bodyâ€™s ability to maintain biologic equilibrium or stability when conditions vary from normal. When itâ€™s cold outside your body tries to stay warm, when itâ€™s hot outside your body tries to cool off â€“ all to maintain normal operating conditions. Well, Iâ€™ve noticed that peopleâ€™s beliefs seem to operate in a similar way. Tell a person something that makes him uncomfortable or out of harmony with what he â€˜believesâ€™ and heâ€™ll tend to push back against it so he can keep believing what heâ€™s used to believing â€“ staying within his own normal-thinking conditions. Cogniostasis.
And Iâ€™m not talking about â€˜skepticismâ€™ here. Skepticism is actually a very rigorous philosophical and scientific discipline that involves careful, objective scrutiny and the use of the scientific method. Ironically, skeptics are often the most open to new ideas because they are practiced at careful evaluation instead of simple dismissiveness.
OK, Getting Back to Your Strength Training Workouts
I assume if you are reading this you are a person who has in the past or is currently performing strength training to improve your health. But do you believe the method you use can never be improved? Of course, â€˜improveâ€™ could be a subjective measure. For a person who loves strength training in the gym a â€œbetterâ€ workout might be one that lasts twice as long or one that he can complete twice a day instead of only once per day. For him, more is better than less.
Iâ€™ll be clear about what Static Contraction strength training is designed for. Itâ€™s not for the guy who wants to exercise as often or as much as possible. Itâ€™s for the person who wants the maximum health benefit he can get with the least time and effort on his part. Itâ€™s for the woman who wants efficiency in the gym because she’s busy elsewhere. So if you are a person who wants maximum strength training benefits for minimum time and energy invested it seems to me there would be four major ways your workout could be improved.
1. Could Your Strength Training Workouts Be Shorter?
Most conventional workouts use two to five sets of 10 to 12 repetitions for each target muscle group. Some use two or three different exercises for each muscle group. That usually adds up to 100 to 300 total reps per workout. Static Contraction training uses two different workouts alternately. Each single workout uses only five exercises and each exercise takes five seconds. Does your current strength training method involve less than 25 seconds of muscle exertion â€“ or could it be improved?
2. Could Your Strength Training Workouts Be Less Often?
Virtually every conventional strength training routine says to exercise three days a week in perpetuity. When you use SCT you have a goal number for each of your ten exercises and the goal is never the same twice. If you canâ€™t at least lift more than your last workout it instantly tells you that you have not fully recovered and need more rest between workouts. As your training progresses your workouts always get farther apart. After two or three months of SCT training youâ€™ll only need to workout once or twice a month. Does your current strength training method involve only two measurably productive workouts per month â€“ or could it be improved?
3. Could Your Strength Training Workouts Utilize Heavier Weights?
Handling heavy weights stimulates muscle growth, positive hormone changes, increased bone density and other metabolic benefits. Because SCT uses exercises in only your strongest and safest range of motion you can immediately â€“ on Day One â€“ handle 50% to 100% more weight than you usually do. That represents a lot of additional muscle fiber activation and thatâ€™s why we lift weights in the first place â€“ to create an artificial load for our muscle fibers. Will your current strength training method allow you to add 50-100% more weight to all the exercises in your next workout â€“ or could it be improved?
4. Could Your Strength Training Workouts Be Safer?
Lifting weights can be dangerous. Even if you donâ€™t drop a weight and cause an impact injury you can damage muscles, tendons and ligaments by hyper-extending (over stretching) while under load. All it takes is one strength training injury that prevents you from doing any exercising and all of your fitness goals are in the trash. Static Contraction training uses exercises limited to only your strongest and safest range of motion, often moving a barbell only one inch while it is in a rack and prevented from descending onto you. Does your current training method greatly limit your chances of an injury â€“ or could it be improved?
Donâ€™t Let Cogniostasis Rob You
As uncomfortable as it may be to think about, the chances are very high that your current conventional strength training method is very inefficient, time-consuming, haphazard and risky compared to Static Contraction. Donâ€™t go back to the gym with the false belief that your strength training canâ€™t be improved. Try Train Smart at my risk for 60 days and see for yourself how much better your performance can be.
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