T Nation

Hitch Technique

I was reading this article, and it seems interesting but im a little confused on this part (it?s continuous tension for extended sets. For example, when he does cable crossovers for 1 x 4-1-1-1-1, it lasts much longer than a normal eight-rep set because before each of those singles he pauses and does a few X Reps at the semistretched point. That means his eight reps keep the muscle engaged as long as a normal 12-to-15-rep set (that longer tension time can trigger more growth by activating more fibers, producing more occlusion and beefing up the mitochondria of the type-2A muscle fibers).)

Well most of the article, like with the hypens, are they just pausing and strecthing or are they parusing strecthing then do half a rep. Also is it between the reps or do you preform it on the rep after the first couple full reps. Can someone please clear it up for me, the article is below. Thanks alot.

the hitch technique (we call it Double-X Overload, or DXO). It?s similar to what Ronnie Coleman uses on shrugs. Here?s how Cutler uses it: He?ll usually do a few continuous reps, then the hitch, or DXO, technique begins. He pauses near the bottom, semistretched point?the turnaround?and does one to three short partial explosions before driving through for another full rep. (Coleman uses that hitch, or what we call X Rep, at the bottom of the stroke between every rep on his shrugs?and his traps are enormous!)

Cutler uses that on almost every exercise for every bodypart. We?ll designate that with a hyphen (-) between rep numbers. For example, 4-1-1-1 means four continuous reps, semistretched-overload X Reps, then another standard rep, more semistretched-position X Reps and so on. On to the calf routine:

Jay begins with a warmup set on the standing calf machine for 16 reps, and on almost every one he cranks out partial-hitch X Reps near the bottom of the rep?remember, it?s almost like a double bounce but with control. That?s just the warmup. Then he does three progressively heavier sets?1 x 6-2-2-2; 1 x 5-2-2-1-1; 1 x 4-2-2-1?rests six seconds, then pushes out three more reps. Note that he uses a rest/pause on that third work set to extend it. He does a final set of 1 x 5-3-1-1 (remember, the hyphens designate X Reps embedded in the set).

Now it?s on to seated calf raises: 1 x 7-4-2-1. He adds weight and does 1 x 6-3-1-1-1, rests six seconds and then does five reps with X Reps on each. His final set is 1 x 6-1-1-1-1-1, and then he reduces the weight and does 2-1-1-1.

So what can we learn from Jay?s calf and pec workouts? As with Ronnie Coleman, it appears that semistretched- and stretched-position overload are extremely important for extreme mass development. Where Coleman uses a lot of rapid-fire partials, emphasizing the semistretched point and even using a hitch at that point on every rep of some exercises, Cutler?s partial-range technique involves performing a number of semistretched partials between groups of reps or between reps. Research ties stretch-position overload to hyperplasia, or muscle-fiber splitting. Could he be making it happen with his training style? Interesting. (In fact, one animal study produced a 300 percent increase in muscle mass with only one month of stretch overload).

Due to his partial reps, Cutler also gets a lot of continuous tension, which creates occlusion, or blocked blood flow. That triggers a full-blown pump as well as a number of key anabolic responses. And keep in mind that it?s continuous tension for extended sets. For example, when he does cable crossovers for 1 x 4-1-1-1-1, it lasts much longer than a normal eight-rep set because before each of those singles he pauses and does a few X Reps at the semistretched point. That means his eight reps keep the muscle engaged as long as a normal 12-to-15-rep set (that longer tension time can trigger more growth by activating more fibers, producing more occlusion and beefing up the mitochondria of the type-2A muscle fibers).

So no one has an answer to it?