There is a training method that will help you build muscle, get stronger in both power and endurance, and even lose fat. All you have to do is hold a position. Sound crazy? It’s actually not.
Static training involves holding weight in the contracted, or flexed, position. Let’s take the Bench Press for example. You proceed with your set as usual, but when you perform the last rep, you hold the weight at the top of the movement and squeeze all of your muscles as hard as you can for a predetermined amount of time.
This increases time under tension, the amount of time your muscles work during an exercise. You might not be able to perform another full rep, but you can certainly hold the weight a bit longer and make your muscles work more, which is the key to making gains. And as a bonus, holding the weight is a great way to improve your grip.
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You can also overload your muscles by loading more weight on the bar than you can normally lift and holding it at the top when you unrack it, without attempting to lift it. Important Note: if you try this, always have a spotter assist you in case you get stuck.
Give this leg workout a try to see if you can make static training work for you.
- 2 warm-up sets of 20 reps.
- 3 sets of 10 reps with 10-second static hold at the end of each set.
- 1 set of a 10-second hold with 10% more weight than your one rep max.
- 3 sets of 15 reps with 10-second static hold at the end of each set.
Lying Leg Curl
- 3 sets of 20 reps with 10-second static hold at the end of each set.
Seated Calf Raise/Standing Calf Raise superset
- 2 sets of 25 reps each with 10-second static hold at the end of the set.
You can use static contraction holds with almost any exercise, but always use a spotter to assist you.