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Static Holds in Training

Hi Dr Darden,

Obviously your an advocate of negative emphasized training, for multiple valid reasons, but id be very interested in your opinion with regards to the use of static holds in ones training. Are they something you’ve ever experimented with in your own personal training? Or perhaps with clients, possibly individuals with injuries whom couldnt preform an exercise through a full ROM?

Many thanks

Good question – with shoulder issues now and then, I’d like to use something like John Little’s Max Contraction for “chest” or “shoulders” or Drew Baye’s approach. Seems much safer.

As a trainee progresses he likely has no choice but to use statics or ultra ultra slow (i.e. 303030) … which is practically a full negative through a full ROM since the weight is always “backloading” a muscle.


I have read Ken Hutchins’s material on statics. Ken recommends holding at a mid-range position at 50% of your max for 20 seconds, then near your all-out max for another 20 seconds, and finally at 50% max for a final 20 seconds. So, the total set amounts to a 60-second hold, with changing intensities.

I’ve tried the above guidelines with some of my trainees, but I haven’t done them enough to offer any definitive guidelines. They seem, however, to have merit.

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That’s is interesting, kind of an abbreviated version of max pyramid.
Many thanks Dr D.

After the leg press today, I did static squats; basically done on a Powertec multi-station leverage squat machine; with little weight, I lower to where my legs are parallel to the ground; static hold until I am close to fatigue, then start doing mini-partial reps in the bottom lower 1/3 range of motion. I look at the exercise as an “add on” but really does a number.

I’ll have to try that. Thanks.