I came across an article today by Dinis Antonio, "Static Contraction and Strength Training".
Now, we've all seen these books claiming to be based on original "scientific research" and the latest "knowledge" etc. They're a dime a dozen (or should be!).
Someone recently (I think it was Bakkily) mentioned buying a book by John R. Little called Max Contraction Training (I think). This is one such book.
Now, here is an excerpt from the article, which talks about a "study".
To briefly give you an idea of how this training pans out in real life, here is a summary of the results of those subjects after 10 weeks of training on static contraction training: There were substantial increases in static strength; dynamic, full-range strength; lean mass; and muscle size. THE FACT IS, 100 PERCENT OF THE SUBJECTS GOT STRONGER!!! The average static strength, measured on all exercises, increased 51.3 percent, and, in what will be a major surprise to some people, dynamic strength - over a conventional full range of motion - also increased.
Bodybuilding has many myths. Here is one that seems to be a myth upon the completion of this study, “When you exercise a muscle statically at only one point, you only get stronger at that limited range…” Ask anyone with a degree in exercise physiology if static strength transfers to full-range strength. You will most likely get a “NO WAY!!!” answer.
Again in this study the fact is 100 PERCENT of the subjects had a positive, significant transference to full-range strength from gains that they made in static strength. The transference averaged 60 percent.
How Important is Range of Motion?
Here is another interesting myth, or at least it looks like it after looking at this study: you need a full range of motion in the muscle in order to stimulate growth. Guess what? The importance of range of motion is somewhere between little to none. Every gain in mass, strength and size achieved by every subject in the static contraction training research study was achieved with no range of motion. The fact is that one could make some gains with no movement (static training), some movement (partials), and full movement (conventional training). Therefore I would like to safely concluded range of motion contrary to popular belief has little to no significance.
Needless to say, that surprized the hell out of me. But then, as always, I read the citations. The first one was "Static Contraction Training", Contemporary Publishing/NTC.
That was the original book written by John Little and Peter Sisco. It was their "research". Of COURSE this was the data they got. They were writing a book on static contraction training. The conclusions of the book were based on nothing more than there 'research study" which was most likely done via long distance monitoring of subjects, btw. The only other published data was something from 1953 and was done on forearms and a spring device.
There was, conveniantly, no mention that this study produced changes in full-range strength. It was done on forearms, for God's sake.
Yes, I have the book, there is a place near my house where you can get free books and donate books. I am able to pick up all sorts of crap like this for free. I'm glad I didn't pay for it. There seems to be no other footnotes in the entire book. But there sure are plenty of charts and photos of huge bodybuilders.
I am not posting this, however, to say that you can't get any benefits from satic holds. The point is the article like this one from Antonio which makes such a giant leap based on one book and the so-called results of a study done by it's authors. These kinds of articles are all over the place.
Doesn't any one ever tell these writers you need more than one source to support your primary consclusions (yes, the article mentions two or three others, but they are not supporting to the primary consclusions, but supplementary).
My point? Check the sources. And don't be easily taken in by articles such as these. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.