Q: In the “X Factor” interview at X-Rep.com, Jonathan says you guys tried a static contraction at the end of isolation exercises with only mediocre size results. But I just got the X-Rep Update #1 e-book, and you’re recommending them. Why have you found static holds more effective now than in the past?
A: When we first used static contraction many years ago, we did them on contracted-position exercises, like leg extensions, holding the flexed position for as long as we could after full-range exhaustion. That’s a hold after a number of regular reps. We got good gains, but later that hold at the end of a set evolved to X Reps on the big midrange exercises instead of isolation moves, and that worked much better at building bigger, fuller muscles.
That’s to be expected because contracted-position exercises are merely ancillary mass builders. It’s the big midrange moves—squats, presses, rows, etc.—that create max force and therefore the most muscle stimulation (mass gains). Nevertheless, using contracted-position exercises for continuous tension and occlusion adds another layer of mass—and static contraction in the flex position at the end of a set adds to the overall mass-building effect (but there may be a better way, as you’ll see in a moment).
In the past, we were looking at the static contractions on isolation exercises as the key mass builder. As we said, that’s not the case. You use the contracted-position exercises, with a static contraction at the end, to build the endurance components of the muscle via more tension and occlusion. It’s the icing on the cake after the midrange mass builders—but it’s thick, dense icing that can add a sizzling size effect after your big midrange exercises. But hold on…
Movement with standard reps before the static hold may not be necessary at all if you want to pack on loads of muscle. In the e-book you reference, X-Rep Update #1, we discuss how to use static-only sets—like holding the weight at the top of a concentration curl for 30 to 60 seconds, no preliminary dynamic reps necessary.
We say that the hold alone can build lots of muscle because, get this: In a study, subjects added pounds of muscle to their frames after only one workout using that style of training—yes, one workout; the researchers verified it with the most accurate equipment available. (Heck, we’ll settle for one pound of muscle after every workout.)
Those results are exciting and suggest—no, make that demand—experimenting with some static-hold sets in your workouts? Will it build pounds of muscle for you? Maybe; it worked for each and every subject in the study. [For more on that study and the static hold technique, see the X-Rep Update #1.]
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…