Static Contraction StudyWe are beginning a new study using Static Contraction.

If you have never tried training this way the study can be an opportunity to have your workouts engineered as you progress so you experience optimum results. This study uses six specific exercises chosen for their potential to add mass and size as efficiently as possible.

The study involves performing eight to ten workouts over approximately 60 days. Each workout is analyzed and new goals are created based upon your individual progress on each exercise. This is a careful, measured approach designed to make every workout as productive as possible. In addition to providing important data to further the science of training it also provides trainees with an excellent introduction to engineered workouts.

If you have any interest in participating and having your personal workouts optimized, you can read more about it here: XXX

 

THIS STUDY IS NOW CLOSED.

THE RESULTS ARE INCORPORATED INTO THE ENGINEERED STRENGTH GYM

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28 Comments. Leave new

  • Anthony

    Hey Pete. I was dong some reading today on HIT principal naysayers… One guy named brian Johnston who I guess used to know Mentzer really talked about how when he was doing HIT he got very strong each workout but ” that he progressively looked worse or lost size of muscle” .. I call bullshit. How would that happen that someone “loses muscle while getting strong using HIT” hence he concluded strength and size gains don’t go together and then bashed HIT ever since for muscle gain. Lol yet there’s thousands of people who see the strength and size correlation that as strength goes up size follows… What do you say

  • 1. When anyone says something subjective like ‘started to look worse’ you have to wonder where he sees the connection from lifting heavy weights to looking worse. Was he under personal stress? Was he getting ill? How does exercise make a person look worse? Worse how?

    2. The larger issue is how people use themselves as a single experiment then make sweeping conclusions that declare all others wrong. Suppose you wanted to test the story about mixing vinegar and baking soda to cause a visible reaction of foaming expansion. You read about it, you do the experiment and absolutely nothing happens. There are people who immediately run out and declare the story of the chemical reaction bogus and a hoax because “it didn’t work for me.” How often do they carefully check to see if they made an error? Was the vinegar flat? Did they accidentally use icing sugar instead of baking soda? Etc. Lifting progressively heavier weights makes a person’s muscles bigger and stronger and has for thousands of years. If it didn’t “work” for him, it means he did it wrong.

  • Anthony

    So true yet he claims he got progressively stronger. So he did get stronger and numbers went up but supposedly he lost muscle concluding that to build muscle is a completely different process that building strength. Have you ever seen that? Someone getting stronger from workout to workout but stop because they lose muscular size and prefer size to strength?

  • 1. Muscle size and strength are correlated, there is no mystery about that. It’s a myth that there is a way to train for strength without gaining mass and another way to train for mass without gaining strength. Who makes up this stuff???

    2. Here’s what I think some people do. They train full range and bench press, say, 150lbs. Then they try training in their strongest range. What they don’t know – because they’ve never experimented – is they can strong range bench 300lbs. So they try 220lbs and they are impressed with their workout. Next time they bench 240lbs, then 260, then they do 280. They assume they are making progress and measure their old full range strength and maybe look at their bodyweight and bodyfat numbers. They see zero improvement in anything and they declare “strong range training didn’t work for me!!” But the truth is they never even hit the 300lb starting point they were capable of. They never forced their muscles into new territory. Most people train blind anyway and don’t really measure anything. If they knew just the lbs per minute they lifted it would be a huge advantage. But how many trainers have you seen timing their clients? Would Usain Bolt tolerate a trainer who watched him run 100 meters then said, “That looked faster to me, I think it was faster, did it feel faster to you?”

  • Anthony

    Ya that guy did regular darden style full range hit… He never made it to strong range training. But still it’s odd how he claims he took everything to failure increased weights a got very strong.. Then worked with Mentzer then bashed the principals years later lol o well maybe he did what you suggested goer full range a never really went full out intense!

  • Or maybe he never really pushed himself to his limits. That’ll do it every time.

  • Chris Richards

    Hi Pete, just looking at some of the comments. Where do you fit neuromuscular recruitment into the equation. I’ve seen plenty of “big” guys that aren’t strong and plenty of smaller guys that are definitely stronger than them, especially when you compare bodyweight. As said, I know big guys that can’t deadlift 2x bodyweight and small guys that are at 2.5+.

  • Right, there’s huge variation between individuals. A guy with a smaller biceps muscle can curl more than somebody with a bigger biceps muscle. Why? Better mechanical efficiency because of muscle attachment points on the bone. Leverage variations due to length of bones. Neuromuscular efficiency and ability for the brain to activate available fibers quickly. Pain tolerance and the ability to exert oneself to the threshold of pain. Mental focus and the will to succeed. Background levels of stress and fatigue and probably a few more elements.

  • Stevie

    This could be due to the fact that mike mentzer used a 1 set to failure system.

    If he was doing dozens of sets per muscle group (high volume) that would cause sarcoplasmic growth and swelling of the tissue. Going from that to 1 set per muscle group (low volume) would cause him to still gain strength and the size of the actual muscle fibers would increase but he would lose sarcoplasm and swelling of the tissue would go down due to him doing less work causing a decrease in overall size.

    This happened to me when I started static contraction training. I gained strength and put on 8lbs of muscle but looked slightly smaller than I did doing conventional training.

    Sarcoplasm is the fluid surrounding the muscle fibers and cannot contract or generate any force. The sarcoplasm increases with higher rep training which is why body builders typically do 8-12+ reps, and olympic/power lifters typically use lower reps between 1-6 reps. An Olympic/power lifter is usually stronger than the bodybuilder, but the bodybuilder will usually display a larger muscular physique due to the sarcoplasmic growth.

    Would you agree with this?

  • I read a lot of hypotheses on how sarcoplasm grows and does not grow and how it does or does not add size. I don’t join the fray mainly because it seems like a cosmetic issue. I don’t think anybody’s doctor is telling him his tests came back with a worrisome level of sarcoplasm development.

    What I can say is that if anyone wants to train with more volume he should still measure his output so he knows if he makes progress every workout.

    If a guy is sure he needs 6 sets per bodypart to get his sarcoplasm growing he should makes certain every 6 sets involves more weight per minute than the last time.

  • Fiona

    I’m curious as to how well static contraction works for powerlifters who obviously have to do their deadlift, squat and bench with full range of motion when they’re competing. I want to give it a try, but at the same time, I don’t really want to give up my full ROM training as I’m worried it will impact my strength over the full repetition of the lift.

  • You can do a static hold in any range of motion in order to build power in that range. 99.9% of people can avoid their weak, vulnerable-to-injury range but powerlifters can not. Just pick the range you want and use SC to progressively build strength in that range. This is actually a century-old strongman tactic. It works.

  • Fiona

    Thanks for your prompt response Pete! I’ll definitely start integrating this sort of training into my lifting, but with static holds throughout the entire ROM of the lifts, including the weakest part. (Just have to work out the best strategy for doing so).

  • Kaustuv Bhattacharya

    Hi Pete,

    Just a quick question regarding adapting the SCT principles to suit ones own unique biomechanics and genetic predisposition

    1. I’ve found a little more volume on a bit compound movements works better for me evidenced by when I used Mentzer’s consolidation routine with a single low rep range to failure followed by two lighter higher rep to failure sets. When taking that idea over to SCT do you see or foresee any issues with using 2-4 x 5 second holds for each exercise?
    2. Your thoughts on focussing simply on a bench, pulldowns, leg press, and deadlifts? Not including exercises for delts, biceps, and triceps due to their involvement in the big 4 movements mentioned?
    3. Obviously one cannot keep making improvements to perpetuity irrespective of what training regimen one uses else trainees would be partial benching hundreds of thousands of pounds – so when a trainer hits an eventual sticking point substituting an exercise for another ie replacing bench with weighted dips or incline bench?
    4. Your thoughts on isolateral SCT, ie use conventional machines to do SCT where you lift the weight with two arms and hold with just one arm? Have you ever tried this?
    5. I’m a little confused between the performance of an SCT shrug vs a deadlift given that you’re focussing on the top of the movement it seems that performance would be very similar – further of one actually shrugs their shoulders just an inch during the SCT Shrug isn’t that almost identical to normal shrug performance since it’s an exercise with such a limited ROM anyway?

    I’ll be conducting my own SCT experiment beginning next week recording everything from sleep hours, diet, hold times, weights. My wife is a scientist and will ell me put together a Brief paper on the findings if you’re interested if be happy to email it to you (I’m not sure what your email address is though)

    Many thanks

    Kaustuv
    Mumbai, India

  • Thanks for the questions.

    1. About 10%+ of people seem to be like you. That’s why I created Beta workout routines.
    2. Using only the biggest muscle groups is an efficient way to train, but it isn’t balance and you could run into issues with opposing muscle groups that are weaker than each other. Use the big lifts to add mass but keep yourself in balance over time with a full routine.
    3. Ever human has his structural limits. When you are certain you’ve hit them you switch to a maintenance routine and duplicate your numbers every time.
    4. People often need to resort to one-leg leg presses and one-arm lat pulldowns because they get too strong for their equipment. It works but I don’t have any reason to believe it’s a better way to train.
    5. There is not much range to a shrug. Or to a toe press, for that matter. So yes, you only need to move about 3 cm and hold that position. A full range would not be much more anyway.

  • Jurgen

    Pete, I’ve tried the SCT workout for 5 weeks and I’ve definitely gained muscle mass (measured body fat). A few days ago I’ve purchased your PF training and have a question.

    I have neither a gym membership nor do I have fitness equipment at home. I just use a “crane scale” attached to a wall with biners at different heights. It works great with STC. But do you think I could also use it with the PF workout since there is almost no movement when I excercise. So I can’t do the 1-2 inches that is recommended in the PF workout with my crane scale since it doesn’t move (isometrics). Do you think it’s okay to do reps without movement in my case?

  • 1. What you are describing is 100% static holds so you can’t really apply Power Factor principles and measurements to those.

    2. However, there is no reason you can’t do multiple ‘reps’ using Static Contraction. In fact, we are doing an informal study right now with people doing three sets of each exercise in the workout. One interesting observation – counterintuitively – some people perform better on the second and third rep than on the first. You would think a person would get tired and be weaker as he continues but often the opposite happens. So by all means experiment on your own. And write everything down!

  • stan

    Didn’t know where to put this question…was just curious what happened to SuperRep Abs and Arms pdf’s…

    I have CNS workout PF and Static workouts and was wanting to buy the other workouts…

    why are they no longer available and can I get them somehow?

  • Actually, they will be available again in a few days as part of a new service. Stay tuned.

  • steve

    You have any SuperRep Shoulders, Legs workouts planned for the future?

    Those are my weak points right now
    …or can I just apply the same model from the arms and abs workout when I get them but with different exercises

  • I’m working on a method where people can customize a workout then have it engineered and optimized to their personal progress and rate of recovery. So you’ll soon be able to create a custom Leg & Shoulder routine and then make maximum progress. More news next week.

  • jason

    Pete, what’s the latest on the new stuff and programs

  • I should have news on that in a few days.

  • jason

    is there a way I could get CNS workout by chance

    or maybe include it in the package 🙂

  • It’s not offered anymore. What package are you referring to?

  • jason

    the “engineered strength gym” product

  • ESG is not set up for that workout. It’s a hybrid workout where the movements of exercises are combined. (A deadlift, shrug, toe raise all at done in one motion, for example.)

    If you become an ESG member I’ll send you the old CNS Workout e-booklet but you need to know that the system can’t analyze it.

  • jim

    what this proves to me is…no matter what you give people they will always want to do “their version.”

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