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Occlusion Stretch

Hi coach, what are your thoughts about Scott Stevenson’s (Fortitude training) occlusion Stretches?
“It would be a stretch with the intention of creating metabolic stress as a hypertrophic stimulus. You should be able to feel this as that beloved burning sensation in the muscle during the stretch. The occlusion stretch is not intended to increase range of motion per se, but rather a continuous, moderate effort isometric contraction of a stretched, totaling 60-90 seconds. Ideally, the Occlusion Stretch is occurs over one continuous, fairly “uncomfortable” period, although you may need to break the stretch up into two shorter segments. Features of the Occlusion Stretch:
• Is performed within a minute or two after fnishing training a given muscle group, when the muscle is still pumped up.
• Includes a moderate isometric contraction to foster metabolite accumulation (metabolic stress).
• Is intuitive in terms of angle of stretch and joint position. You might focus the stretch and contraction to create metabolic accumulation where you don’t already feel a pump from the preceding exercise.
• Does NOT attempt to improve range of motion per se.
• May very often be unilateral.
• Lasts 60-90s in total for a muscle group.”

Here is one example from Scott Stevenson himself.

I am currently training low volume, high frequency (HST, I know you’re familiar with it) and I was thinking that I could integrate this kind of technique in order to increase A BIT volume (or, at least, training stimulus per session, since some workouts are very easy since you use submaximal weights) while it doensn’t feel that taxing on recover (just unlike a loaded stretch).

This is essentially the loaded stretching method that I’ve written about on T-nation and have been using or 15+ years. I wrote about it more than a decade ago in my book “Theory and Application of Modern Strength and Power Methods”.

So, obviously, I know it works!

Sidenote. I gave a presentation on loaded stretching 4 years ago at the SWIS symposium and Scott was in attendance in my presentation. I’m not saying he stole it because he had been using a form of loaded stretching prior to that. I’m just saying that we do agree on most things regarding hypertrophy.


I don’t get it: I thought loaded stretches would be what, in the pic is “extreme stretch”. I have read your articles about that.

I’m referring to the “occlusion stretch” which is like a static stretch with no external load (the kind of stretch almost everybody does) but contracting moderately the muscle, holding this position for 60-90sec (the burn is incredible)… Performed after your working sets for a given muscle.

Anyway do you think it would make sense to use it the way I have written?

well, Scott is using a load in the 2nd exercise and in the first one he can push down to increase tension, same thing as using a load.

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So, though you have no external load, pushing against an immovable resistance (contracting the stretched muscle) you are both generating tension and causing an occlusion effect (both mechanical tension and metabolic stress are mechanism activated in this scenario). Right?

Yes, the goal is not externally loading the muscle; its to create tension/contraction while the muscle is stretched. A load is only a tool to do it.


Very interesting and clear. Thank you. I’ll start implementing it from the next cycle :slight_smile:

Doggcrap method from way back

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I believe Parrillo predates Dante.

And Chuck Sipes predated Parillo (his favorite lats exercise was hanging 60 seconds from a pullup bar with a 100lbs DB attached to his waist).

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