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Omni-Contraction - The Forgotten Intensifier

Many moons ago Mentzer wrote about a HIT method he called Omni-Contraction where - during the negative portion of his final rep - he would try and stop the movement and hold the weight for about 3 - 5 seconds before continuing lowering, then stopping again in a couple of different positions. I used these in the 80’s but haven’t used them since. I’m going to give them another go for my next session on a couple of exercises but only where I plan on doing regular cadence reps. I think it would be overkill to use them with 30-10-30 or 30-30-30. Thoughts? Comments?

You could try my “newly invented this morning” :grin: (I was actually thing about a variation of negative training involving statics) 20-R-5-10x2 method (the name is done in jest, but not the idea).

A 20 second negative, followed by an appropriate number of regular reps (eg:6) followed by a 5 second hold at the top position, lower slowly in 10 seconds to halfway, then another 5 second hold, followed finally by a 10 second negative for the bottom half.
Great minds etc mate :joy:


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Ask Ell about “Holds” :wink:

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I eagerly await the good Dr’s response. :grinning:

Holds? A technique I came up with a couple of years ago.

  • Take 80% of what you’d normally do for 10 reps.

  • Hold the initial rep for 20 seconds in the mid-range.

  • Do 6 reps in the normal manner.

  • Hold for 10 seconds in the mid-range.

  • Finish with a final 4 or 5 reps in a normal manner.

Get ready for a huge pump in the involved muscles.


Dr Darden said to use 80% of your usual weight.

Dr Darden,
are there any particular movements you favour doing the “holds” with ?

I’m considering using it on the Dumbell Squat to give it a trial run later.


The dumbbell squat is a good exercise for holds. Also, I like the barbell curl and the barbell overhead press.

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I can imagine them being demanding movements which would tax the whole body when performing them in that manner.

I use them for Dumbbell Squat, Leg Extension, Leg Curl, Barbell Press and Barbell Curl. I’ve successfully tried them on other exercises like Chest Press and Pullover as well.

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Both the leg extension and leg curl seem like logical choices.