There are a lot of ways to gain muscle. You could lift cinder blocks or dig ditches or swing a sledgehammer. Those all work.
Lifting dumbbells, doing pushups, and lifting lighter weights through a full range of motion all build muscle.
If you wanted to gain 20 pounds of muscle and lose 20 pounds of fat, any one of the above tactics could work.
But . . . how long would each one take? How many workouts would you need? How many exercises would you need to do? How much time would each workout take?
What is the best way? That is the question that has fascinated me for nearly 20 years.
Once we start to measure a few things the answers to achieving rapid muscle gain become clear.
If we define “best way” as the way to get the “most muscle for the least amount of time invested” – which seems like a fair definition of ‘best’ - then we can measure all the elements related to the time invested.
When we measure we discover a lot of great information:
does 5 reps deliver 500% more new muscle than 1 rep? No.
does lifting 100 lbs 3 times deliver more muscle intensity than lifting 300 lbs once? No.
does doing a biceps exercise with 20 lbs generate more muscle intensity than doing a different biceps exercise with 80 lbs? No.
does working out 3 times a week deliver a greater rate of increased intensity than working out once every 10 days? No.
does a 45 minute workout deliver more intensity to the targeted muscles than a 5 minute workout? No.
do most people do all of the above despite the facts? Yes.
The whole point of lifting weights is to create an artificial overload to the muscles to stimulate them to grow. The greater the intensity of that overload, the greater the muscle growth stimulation. That’s why we try to keep increasing the weights we use. Or should try.
Static Contraction training is engineered to find the heaviest exercise for each major muscle group, then to perform that exercise for the minimum time necessary (thus allowing the absolute maximum weight to be used) and then taking the longest time between workouts that still ensures progressive improvement.
So . . . that’s ultra-brief exercises, ultra-high muscle intensity and infrequent workouts. In other words it’s the “least time invested” portion of the “best way” definition.
OK, so it’s hardly any time invested. But does it put muscle on you? Well, you could look at the testimonials page but here is a recent favorite story from 57-year-old Carl about his experience on the 30 Day Quick Start Program.
Here is part of what he said: “I began a little skeptical since I had tried static contraction training before and stopped after a couple sessions because I couldn’t believe such a short workout would work.”
Starting weight - 179.8 lbs
Ending weight - 186.8 lbs
Beginning body fat - 27.4% (approx 49.3 lbs)
Ending body fat - 22.8% (approx 43.0 lbs)
Total mass gain - 13.3 lbs
Total fat loss - 6.3 lbs
Average strength gain across all exercises - 49%
Carls says: “Not bad for a male aged 57yr 9mo. I feel as strong as when I was a 21 year old Marine. Probably would have done better, but I had just recovered from an injury sustained with H.I.T. full range training, so I started off very carefully with the weights chosen and held for 10-15 seconds.”
So, because he was nursing an injury, Carl’s workouts actually used 10-15 second static hold times with lighter weights than he could have held for 5 seconds.
Nevertheless his actual exercise time was about 1 minute per workout and he gained 13.3 lbs of muscle in 10 workouts. That’s 1.3 lbs of muscle per workout and per minute of actual exercise. That's training efficiency! (Carl said his workouts took about 30 minutes because he had to set them up on several conventional machines. But his time actually lifting was about 1 minute per workout. Amazing, what rational, engineered training can do, isn’t it?)
I can’t promise you will increase your overall strength 49%, lose 6.3 lbs of fat and gain 13.3 lbs of muscle in only 10 workouts, but you are bound to see measurable improvement.
My Favorite Line
Even with all those numbers I love to look at and compare, do you know what I liked best about Carl’s story? It was this: “I feel as strong as when I was a 21 year old Marine.” When a 57-year-old guy says that it makes my day. Seriously. It’s one thing to have bigger biceps or to bench press a personal record, but to have the feeling of youth and vigor restored is a magnificent thing for anyone. And to feel like a young marine again is high praise indeed.
Efficiency: 10+ lbs of Muscle in Only 10 Workouts
Many people would be impressed with the above achievement, and rightly so – 13.3 lbs of new muscle in 10 workouts! But it’s the efficiency of it that is really the impressive element. Those gains were achieved with 10 minutes of actual exercise. Ten minutes! (It would have been about 2.5 minutes but Carl was recovering from a previous full range injury and used slightly lighter weights and longer static hold times.)
So if a busy person can achieve results like that in 10 minutes of training time spread over a month, why on earth would he choose to do 60 minute workouts 3 days a week for 52 weeks a year?
Aren’t You a Busy Person?
I don’t claim to be a historian or a cultural anthropologist but it seems to me that we live in the busiest, most hectic time in man’s history. Recent studies reveal many people get inadequate sleep, most households have two wage earners, families don’t eat together, commute times are high and even when people are supposed to be relaxing they are sending text messages, talking on their mobile phones or otherwise multitasking.
It seems like common sense that efficiency should be the most sought after element of almost every endeavor. People literally don’t have time to waste and if something can be done in 5 minutes, why would they spend an hour doing it some other way?
Efficiency is what Static Contraction training is all about. It is hands down the most time-efficient way to build strength and muscle mass and to garner the health benefits that go along with increased fitness. Ten exercises – five seconds each - and once or twice a month workouts.
Why would anyone choose not to train this way?
Finally, strength workouts for the thinking person...
10 exercises.....5 seconds each....All the muscle you want! Guaranteed.