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(I don′t mean to change the subject, but I must point out that…)
Actually, Static Contraction is VERY productive intensity technique. Mike wrote about it, stated that he used it with many clients, and suggested it in High-Intensity Training the Mike Mentzer Way. They are a step up in intensity after positive failure.
What an individual that is switching from positive to static must realize is that recovery time must be increased a fair amount, due to the greater inroad. Fortunately, when proper compensation adjustment (volume and frequency) is made, that also means greater productivity!
I think when many people switch to Static, they keep the same frequency, and that is their mistake. It requires a fair adjustment. When I switched from Positive Supersets to Static Supersets, it turned out I needed about 1.5 times the number of recovery days! I grew a hell of a lot more too! That may not be typical, but my point is, if you switch to Static from Positive, be sure to add atleast a couple recovery days. That way you will progress; higher intensity requires lower frequency and volume. (I am not aware of John Little′s particular application of the technique, but the general technique is very productive, and a resort when postitive failure progress seizes.) Holding a heavy weight in the most difficult position to failure DOES achieve a much higher intensity than Positive failure, an Intensity Mike is proud of:
"…Remember, the skeletal muscles all have three levels of ability, the second level of which is the static, or holding of the weight at any point in the range of motion…static strength is considerably greater than positive strength. The degree of growth stimulation is related to the degree of inroad into functional ability. When a person trains to positive failure, it might be said he made only one-third of an inroad into functional ability; therefore, he stimulated one-third of possible growth. By holding a weight…to static failure then finishing with a single negative, the degree of inroad into functional ability would be greater with greater growth stimulation. However, the greater the degree of inroad into functional ability, the greater the inroad into recovery ability…
I have many of my in-the-gym clients shift the focus of their efforts from lifting the weights to failure to holding the weights to failure in the fully contracted position, then lovering under strict negative control. I reasoned: since the fully contracted position is the only position where a full contraction could be achieved, and the weight that one can handle there is limited by how much his weaker positive strength can get into that position, let′s eliminate the lifting of the weight entirely. I′ll help my client into the contracted position with a weight heavier than he would handle for positive reps, and he′ll hold that weight until he reaches a point of failure, i.e., until his static strength is exhausted. Then, as he notes his static strength is about to go, he starts a slow, controlled negative, the lowering of the weight…
I select a weight that is sufficiently heavy so they can hold it in the fully contracted position for a maximum of approximately 8-12 seconds for upper body exercises and 15-30 seconds on lower body exercises; then they have to lower it under strict control." (97-98)
-Mike Mentzer, High Intensity Training the Mike Mentzer Way