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Started By BigTav (Sydney, NSW, Australia)

Started on: 3/23/2005 8:13:26 PM, viewed 8005 times
Max Contraction Training?

Hi Everyone!

I am a Massive Mike Mentzer fan. I love how he thought and he wrote. He was a breath of fresh air in the Bodybuilding world whose first love was for the advancement of Bodybuilding Science. Love him or hate him, you gotta respect him for that. He was more interested in the truth than making money and that′s a fact. I also really respect John Little and the way he has expanded on Mikes work and brought out the "Max Contraction Training" System. Now I know a lot of people on here will comment about how if it is such a good system then why isn′t JL 250lbs? I think that is irrelevant to wether or not this training system works or not.

I used to be a competitive BB and weighed 225 at about 8% as a junior but I have been out of the gym for a while now and admit I have gotten out of shape. I am going to give this system a good honest try though. I order all of JL books, CD′s and his DVD to make sure I understand it correctly. I′m pretty sure I have a good grasp on it.

A few things to talk about after reading this book and I′ll start with this:

A muscle grows when maximum muscle fibre recruitment is used ie max contracted position. When I went to sign up at the gym today, I watched a guy doing machine Preacher curls for 10 reps of 8 plates. Now he had reasonable arms (about 16") and was doing them very smooth and controlled but wasn′t straining at all until the 8th rep. My question is wouldn′t it have been much, much more intense if he used 14-15 plates and I helped him into the max contraction position where he cold squeeze as hard as he could against that weight until he couldn′t hold it any longer? Surely using nearly the double the weight and cutting out those first reps where he is just going through the motions would result in a greater stress being placed on the muscle therefore greater growth being stimulated right? It worked for Dorian when Mike did it for him.

Hope to have some intelligent conversaiton on this topic. I′m not trying to promote any system over any other, I just want the truth.

This Topic has 74 Replies: Displaying out of 74 Replies:

IRON395 (MERRILVILLE, IN, United States) on 3/23/2005 10:44:07 PM


You bring up a good point about making the preacher curl more intense.When I read about what Mike had Dorian do ,I think he had him do the staic contraction after he reached failure with full reps first. I also have the MaxContraction books and video.I gave this system a try for a while and it worked out ok.The problem I see with MaxContraction is that studies have shown that muscle growth occurs better when an actual movement is preformed.It seems logical that a one to five second hard contraction to failure would cause an adaptive response and cause growth,but in the real world I think it falls a little short.I have recently started using a MaxContraction movement in a prexhaust superset and have started to see some positive results.It has only been a few weeks but I have seen some muscle growth particularly in my legs


BigTav (Sydney, NSW, Australia) on 3/23/2005 10:54:54 PM

You say in the real world that you think it falls a little short. Why is that exactly? If you listen to John Little he says he has his clients gaining between 10-30lbs in a month That is pretty good! I have no reason to doubt these claims as Mike has had students do the same thing.

dafortae (a, a, U.S.A.) on 3/23/2005 11:08:40 PM


Welcome. One common misconception is that the fully contracted position means more muscle fiber is involved. This is not true. It has been scientifically proven that only the required load changes the amount of fibers firing. At different positions throughout a movement, there are leverage changes, which reflect the strength changes throughout the movement mostly. Now that doesn′t mean that doing statics isn′t beneficial. I believe in them a lot. In fact, I still believe they are the best type of exercise one can do. All I do know is that the number of fibers firing is independant of the angle of the exercise for most muscles.


BigTav (Sydney, NSW, Australia) on 3/24/2005 4:34:32 AM

Darrell, if you believe they are the best type of exercise one can do then why not do them as John Little recommends and do them exclusively? Mike said that when he had someone (I think it was David Paul) do leg extensions one week with reps then the next worlout he did a static hold only. He said the relults were phenomenal! The reps on the next weeks leg extension were way up! Mike then said that these were very, very intense and should only be used sparingly because of the demand they place on the muscle. This is why John came to the conclusion to discard the reps and use the Max contraction exclusively.

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