It’s always interesting to see studies that come out on muscle activation with varying protocols. One of particular interest is from the National Strength & Conditioning Association [May 29, ’15]…
It compared two protocol, but with the same time under tension and load, 60 percent of 1-rep max. The exercise was Smith-machine bench presses, and the subjects were experienced resistance trainers…
Group A: 3 sets x 6 reps, each rep lasted 6 seconds
Group B: 3 sets x 12 reps, each rep lasted 3 seconds
Muscle activation and blood concentration of lactic acid were measured in both groups, indicators of a better hypertrophic response. The winner?
Group B produced more of both—better muscle activation and blood lactate concentration. The researchers concluded…
Training protocols conducted with the same [time under tension], but with different configurations, produce distinct neuromuscular and metabolic responses, so that, performing higher repetition numbers with shorter repetition durations might be a more appropriate strategy to increase muscle activation and blood lactate concentration.
So does that mean faster reps are better? Not necessarily. Note that the researchers said that different protocols “produce distinct neuromuscular and metabolic responses.”
In other words, switching it up can produce unique results—perhaps hypertrophy along different pathways. For example, slower reps may activate more slow-twitch muscle, giving you a unique growth response…
Our go-to rep cadence is to lift in 1 second and lower in 3, so it’s four seconds total. And our “speed,” or X-celeration, tempo is 1.5-second reps. We’ve also seen excellent results lifting in 1 second and lowering in 6 (negative-stroke emphasis).
To get the best of all size-building tempos, you may want to try an exercise with the 8-10-8 Method, which we explain in the MMX e-book…
Use your 12-to-15-rep max. On set 1, lift in 1 second and lower in 6. On set 2, do speed reps, 1.5 seconds per rep (don’t throw the weight, stay in control). On set 3, lift in 1 second and lower in 3, a standard Power cadence…
It’s automatic change to gain so you grow like never before.
Note: We have more unique research-based mass methods as well as a number of anabolic “mini” workouts in the MMX Fast Mega-Mass Workouts e-book (yep, that’s a plug, but it’s indispensable for your mass-building library—and it’s on sale for only $9!). You get full-range Positions of Flexion to Antagonist-Muscle Supersets to Progressive Speed for every bodypart, plus many complete innovative workouts with the Max-Muscle X-pansion system included. Check in out HERE.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
Tight Hips Can Slow Muscle Growth, Damage Your Back and Even Make You Look Fat
That basically means damaged hips that trigger back pain and poor circulation (reduced lower-body pumps). Plus, tight hip flexors can even make you look fatter than you are…
One of the most significant things about the psoas (pronounced so-az), or hip flexor muscle, is that it connects the legs to the spine (see the illustration).
When the psoas is tight from sitting for long periods, your hips become fixed in a forward-thrust position, causing your pelvis and leg(s) to rotate…
That forward pelvic tilt can cause your hip socket to become compressed, leading to shifting of joints, tendons, and muscles with an often painful pull on your lower back.
That lower-back pressure will also decrease blood flow and circulation as well as delay nerve response to the hips. Poor circulation is never a good thing—you will be weaker in many exercises and poor blood flow below the waist can even negatively affects your sex life.
And as mentioned, the forward pelvic tilt also pushes out your stomach, giving you a protruding belly. Luckily, loosening your hips and hip flexors is simple with something called the “Sequential Flow Method.” Leading Kinesiologist and Injury Specialist Rick Kaselj, M.S., explains it and shows the flow design HERE.
You’ll also see how it can add 35 pounds to your deadlift almost instantly—unlock your hip flexors and unleash new strength.
By the way, Rick has given over 352 live presentations to more than 8,152 health professionals in the US and Canada. His “Unlock Your Hip Flexors” program is highly recommended. For more info, go HERE.