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      FITNESS TIPS FOR 12/13/2000                  

Static Contraction Training and Mike Mentzer 

Static Contraction is done by holding a weight in a fixed position, 
usually fully contracted, for an extended period of time. They are 
typically done for 1 or 2 reps only and the weight should be held 
for 15-25 seconds although the actual optimal time is still up for 

Static Contraction is easier to do on certain exercises and more 
difficult on others. For example, flies, leg extentions, and side 
raises are great exercises to use statics on, but deadlifts or 
squats would be more difficult.  On the compund exercises you 
would have to use substantially more weight than you use for 
regular reps. Statics also work great on pulldowns. 

There are a few ways I use them. First, you can do a set to 
positive failure and once you cannot complete any more, 
have someone help you get the weight to a fully contracted 
position and hold it up as long as you can. Then lower it 
under strict control until you have finished the rep. 

You could also just pick a weight 20-40% heavier than your 
normal weight for that exercise and either use a cheat rep or 
have someone help you to get the weight in the fully 
contracted position. Then hold it as long as you can and 
lower it under control until the rep is completed. If you do
them alone and not after a set of positive reps, you may 
want to so 2 static contractions instead if one. 

This is a great technique to use to blast through plateaus, 
but don't use it too often. 

Mike Mentzer of Heavy Duty fame, once told a story of a guy who 
was stuck at the same weight on his leg extensions for 2 complete 
cycles. Mentzer then had him perform static contractions only for 
2 or 3 workouts. When he went back to positive reps, his strength 
had increased and he was able to break through his plateau.



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