Static Contraction Training

single arm dumbbell curl

First I want to say that I have read power factor and static contraction training and found the books very informative about training especially the training myths that plague the world of bodybuilding.  I have used various routines in my 13 years of training some of which were rather successful while others were rather counter productive. 

Partial Squats were my forte.  Here I used 655lbs for the top 3rd of the range of motion for 3 sets of 27 reps followed by parallel squat with 435lbs for 3 sets of 27 reps followed by front squats with 275lbs for 3 sets of 27 reps and I also performed 965lbs in the static top third of the movement 745lb static bench and 745lb static shrug and  530lb static seated military press.  

But aside from that I noticed that in your article you said that if you can perform 10 reps with 200lbs of an exercise today in 60 sec and in your next workout you can do it in 45 sec then your workout is more intense. The most important aspect of intensity is time under tension. 

Workout 1 was more intense then workout 2 because time under tension was higher.  Workout 2 will not produce a need for supercompensation.  The reason for me saying this is if you performed the set with a 4 sec negative and a 2 second positive x 10 reps then in the second workout you would perform the reps with a much faster tempo inorder to perform the set faster.

You must keep the tempo of reps the same and show your improvement by additional reps performed maybe 11 or 12 reps or increase the weight and keep the same tempo and same # of reps that being 10. Prime reason is I can use more momentum in workout 2 then in workout 1 and that means less time under tension therefore less work output. 

I cannot stress this point enough.  When you are able to deadlift 500lbs in 10 seconds today and are able to perform it in 8 seconds next session you are demonstrating explosive speed strength.  But regardless that does not make the resistance any heavier nor will that improve your size. 

On the other hand if you can do 2 reps with 500lbs in 10 secs on the sec workout then you are bigger and stronger only because you performed the concentric phase of contraction in rep 1 faster than workout 1 and were able to continue to perform a second rep being that you still used the same tempo of 4 seconds down on the 1 rep like in workout 1.

See most bodybuilders do not count the conc/ecce phases of the lift.  That is the biggest reason for a non productive training session. Think about it if I did 10 reps of deadlifts with 315 using 2 up and 4 down in workout one even if then in workout two did the same weight for 10 reps with 1.5 up and 4 down does that automatically make me improve in intensity. 

I don't see that if my time under tension is lower.  I think it gets into a question of starting strength and the ability to keep the weight accelerating.  Look at the race with Michael Johnson and Donavan Bailey.  Johnson lacked the ablility to keep accelerating while Donavan did not. 

But if it came down to who could sustain peak acceleration longer Johnson would have blown Donavan away. That is what is important in any set. How long can I take this percentage of 1 rep max for with the same tempo before I am unable to continue at that tempo.  That is a true measure of intensity.

That is what your static contraction training proves perfectly.  At any point in any lift there is a certain amount of static strength inherent to that point in the range of motion.  How long can I maintain that postition or better said how long can my muscles continue to fire at the same speed before overtaken by the resistance. 

Your point about intensity being a measure of time is quantified here and here only.  I mean that you discovered the noah's ark or holy grail of training in static contraction training.  But I do not believe that in your book that you explained it completly. Muscles do not care whether they are lengthening or shortning they only know how to contract. 

You stated that in static contraction training.  I agree.  If one can improve at the strongest point of contraction then one can increase all other points of contraction without training at those ranges so long as the weight is heavy enough to force an adaptive response. I believe one should train with 3 ranges of motion. 

This allows one to properly perform the exercise through out the muscles range of motion.  Train near lockout train just above the stick point and train just below the stick point. Start in the strongest range then move to range above stick point then use range below stick point to just above stick point.  Thats how my legs improve there freakiest. 

By the way I did puchase a pair of your one ton hooks but after reaching 500lbs they began to tare apart.  I liked them because they were comfortable but then I hoped for better construction.  Anyway thats what happens when the weights start to get freaky I suppose.  Well I thank you for your research and I will continue to share concepts that you have experimented with as I know they are leading edge! talk to ya.

Article sent in by Alan

(Please note that Alan is referring to the book, Static Contraction Training by Pete Sisco - Read more here)

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