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Max Contraction


#1

I just watched a video on Max Contraction by John Little. Training the muscles only once a week. Long duration of contraction each exercise.

Has anyone tried this max contraction thing? Is the fast gains they describe really true?


#2

John Little is basically, like, Mike Mentzer's son. His low volume techniques might be useful for someone who's been training for years - and has reached a superior level of development - or for someone who's coming off of a high volume program or is currently overtrained.

Otherwise, workout each muscle 2 or 3 times a week for best gains.

Max contraction in itself is sometimes a good idea - as previously mentioned for a low volume program - but also for targetting certain muscles in the big compound exercises (e.g. squeezing shoulder blades in bent row, holding top position of chin up). I do max contraction myself sometimes even in triceps pushdowns, squeezing the muscle to ensure the entirety has been recruited.

Good luck.


#3

Max Contraction is a good theory, it sounds sensible for muscle growth. I'd still want to do full RoM exercises with lighter weight alternatively though, simply for the skill of lifting. I'm not really certain Max Contraction (or Static Contractio, or any isometrics) properly teaches the skill of moving weights through space, since you can't tell if you can without doing it.

They probably prepare you pretty well and transfer over to the movements though.

One problem with Max that it's predecessor SCT did not have is that it sacrifices the integrity of the skeletal structure. For example, doing only leg extensions at the top rather than leg presses at full extension like SCT wouldn't strengthen the leg bones as much since they don't bear as much weight. That and of course, how isolations movements are fine for hypertrophy but don't transfer to being able to move them in tandem for compound movements like a leg press or squat.


#4

I bought the book but have yet to start using the method. Thing is, it makes 100% perfect and logical sense. I just don't have the equipment for it, but the book is a nice read IMO and it is on to something for sure.

id like to read more on opposing high volume types of training as well, cuz I know many people who have had success with that, along with a typical bodybuilding diet(Little doesn't advocate eating the 6 or more small meals a day, just a balanced diet.)

I'm a bit weary about that, because I gained much muscle with a HIGH calorie diet of six or more meals a day. If some people are metabolically challenged as he says then why would they not need to combat a high metabolism with more calories??? anyhow, its worth the money


#5

I tried static contraction years ago. I'd train once every 2 weeks or something like that. I got stronger every workout, but it did nothing for my true strength.

I could hold 750lbs on the leg press with one leg, but we ran out of plates so progression stopped. I must admit that my full ROM leg press went up as a result.

I did most of my other exercises in the smith machine.

I basically felt like a tool using all the plates for 7 second holds. A seriously strong dude would need so much weight its ridiculous.

Take a look at pete and johns physiques and decide if they look like what you want.

I think not for this system.