Q: In your X-Rep Update #1 e-book you discuss a study that produced a three-pound muscle gain after only one workout with static-contraction sets. Do you think that’s true, that much muscle after only one workout? And if so, should I do most of my sets just holding the weight statically?
A: The researchers used the most sophisticated body-composition-measuring device available at the time, known as a BodPod, so we have no reason to doubt their results. Subjects did a full-body workout that consisted mostly of one static-contraction set for each muscle and then rested for 14 days. Most gained muscle, and one subject packed on an amazing three pounds of muscle from that one workout, but…
Keep in mind that there are lots of unknown variables for that sort of muscle gain after only one workout—such as what the subjects were doing before the experiment began; were they overtraining and then getting gains from that overtraining period during the experiment’s 14-day rest? It’s also possible that some of the subjects trained hard at one
Here’s another issue: We don’t know which muscles got larger and which stagnated or got smaller over the 14-day rest. We’ve seen studies showing that quads need longer recovery times than other muscles, so it’s possible that the legs grew while other muscles stayed the same or regressed.
As we explain in the X Update #1 e-book, we believe integrating static holds into the workout can help produce excellent results—either as a stand-alone set, as in the study and the X-Rep workout in that e-book, or at the end of standard sets in place of or in addition to X-Rep partials.
Something to remember: Muscle fibers fire throughout the entire stroke of an exercise, so if you only do a static hold in the contracted position—top of a concentration curl, for example—you won’t get maximum fiber recruitment.
That’s why we often prescribe two sets on contracted-position exercises, like concentration curls—a normal set, for maximum fiber recruitment, followed by a static-hold set, in this case, to amplify occlusive hypertrophy—blocking blood flow.
We also often recommend one static-hold set on stretch-position exercises for amplifying stretch overload. For
You should consider static-hold sets as one more tactic in your anabolic arsenal, not the stand-alone holy grail of muscle growth. Remember, you want to maximize every layer of muscle growth to reach your
[Note: The designations are StatC for static-hold sets on contracted-position exercises and StatS for static-hold sets on stretch-position exercises in the workout in the X-Rep Update #1 e-book.]
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
ANABOLIC HORMONE RESET SOLUTION
Yes, it is possible to simultaneously build muscle while losing fat…
The right form of intermittent fasting will help you gain more muscle while you burn fat…
That’s because it supercharges your anabolic environment, including testosterone and growth hormone production.
According to Dr. Michael Mosley, it results in “better metabolic adaptations, improved muscle-protein synthesis and a higher anabolic response to post-exercise feedings.” [J App Phys., Jan. 2011: 236-45]
Proper fasting will NOT have you burning muscle—just the opposite as your body fat decreases and your testosterone and growth hormone increase. [Webber, J., et al. (1994). Br J Nutr.]
Still on the fence? Our friend Shaun Hadsall used an approach similar to how The Rock does it, which is explained in the new 1-Day Hormone Reset protocol, developed specifically for the over-40 crowd (women use it too, as you’ll see). Check out his results at the link below…