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Vary the Mode of Contraction to Elicit Gains

February 22, 2024 1 min read

When designing a sound training program, the repetition target is always the king variable.  It will dictate the outcome desired from the session.  Low repetition --> Heavier Loads --> More Central Nervous System Adaptations.  Higher repetition --> Lighter Loads --> More Tissue Adaptations.  However, change the mode of the contraction for the repetition or throughout the repetition can lead to changes without having to modify the exercise or the rep scheme.

A good example would be a maximal bench press workout.  Instead of 10 sets of 2 reps at 90% of your 1 rep max, try setting the safety pins up just below your personal "sticking point" in the lift.  For the first 3 sets of the workout, load 150% of your 1 RM on the bar, and "press" into the supra maximal load as hard as possible for 3 reps of 8 seconds.  Then, for the next 3 sets lower the pins to chest height and perform the same 3 reps of 8 seconds.  Finish the workout with traditional pressing to the chest for 3 sets of 5-7 reps. 

This is just a sample of a program that can be done to manipulate progress.  Seem like a lot to handle?  Consider emailing me at dave@runyourhealth.com for help with your training!

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