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SaxonViolence 03-27-2013 12:26 PM

Peak Contraction Exercises?

There are three exercises that I know of, that can be done using this Principle: Leg Extensions, Leg Curls and Hyper Extensions—olde school Hyper Extensions with legs parallel to the floor.

The Leg Extensions are the best example.

The Gym Owner had bored a series of holes in the back of his Leg Extension Machine.

A partner stands behind while you lift an empty stack as high as possible. A pin is inserted in the closest hole. Write the hole # down, and you won’t need a partner in the future.

Your job is to just gently touch the pin on each Repetition—Gently, using Momentum and Slamming the pin doesn’t count.

Funny thing is, after three or four reps, your legs will Look Straight at the top. They will Feel Straight at the top. But a quarter inch of slop has crept in somewhere.

{Interestingly enough, this will even happen three or four reps into a twenty-rep set…}

Getting that weight stack high enough to touch the pin requires much Red-Faced Flexing and Straining. I’ve been told that this is the most Muscle-Building part of each rep.

Thing is, even with a Nautilus Leg Extension Machine—which in theory, offers exactly the same resistance throughout the range of motion—if you select to be able to Lock Out each rep, then 85% of the Range Of Motion won’t be Challenging.

I used to solve that dilemma by going heavy and not Locking Out until I really got a good burn going, quickly lowering the weight that I was using, staying in the top 20% of the ROM and Locking each one Out carefully, then when Lockouts failed, doing Burns with that same Weight.

Now Jason says that Leg Extensions are a No-No, because they produce Shear Forces on the Knee…

And I believe him…

But the Principle worked best for Leg Extensions.

What do y’all think of the Principle?

Know any other good Exercises it would work with?

{Hmmm, Triceps Kickbacks—though it is very hard to stand rigidly enough. Still, if you select a weight that you can Lock Out and Hold, it won’t be challenging over most of its range…}

Saxon Violence

BendtheBar 03-30-2013 09:56 PM

Bump. Was in moderated area.

jdmalm123 03-30-2013 10:07 PM

I read Max Contraction Training...

Sheer is no issue if you are truly isometric, but could be an issue when getting into position.

Personally, I thought the approach was rubbish overall...too much detail for a very non-functional result...

That said, if you like it and it works, more power to you.

SaxonViolence 03-30-2013 11:01 PM

Well, in most exercises—Squat, Bench Press...


There really isn't an issue with fully locking out.

If you stop a quarter inch short of full-lockout you'll know it and it will make the exercise dramatically Harder.

But with a few exercises...

Do you do Leg Extensions?

Given a machine with the proper holes bored into the back, it can be conclusively Proven that no one ever comes to Full-Lockout on the Leg Extension after the first 3 or 4 reps—unless they're using a "Spotter Pin".

Yeah your Legs may feel straight. They may look straight. They ain't fully straight. If they were, then the weight stack would be touching the pin in the back.

You can't expect any benefit whatsoever if you're cheating (by stopping a quarter inch short of full extension—or by using Momentum.)

So most folks who do Leg Extensions are exposing their knees to Shear Forces and gaining absolutely nothing in return.

Even though they may think Leg Extensions are doing something for them...

Yeah, just doing the last few degrees does sound like Isotonic/Isometrics doesn't it?


I guess there may be some benefit to the first three or four Leg Extensions that do fully lock out...

But then how to know when you're no longer locking out 100% and might as well quit?

But I was mainly asking if anyone knew of any other Exercises where there was a Strong Tendency Not to fully Lock Out—and that would benefit from some sort of objective measure.

Saxon Violence

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