The last time we have discussed about the effect of stretch overload to the muscles and how you would gain more muscle mass with overloading upon the stretched position of a move. But how would you actually apply it onto your workouts? That is what we are going to talk about today.
You see: debates have been going on at the geeks’ realm as to whether or not stretch overloading can cause hyperplasia or simply hypertrophy (which we covered in the last post). To be honest I DON’T GIVE A DAMN!!
Stretch overload makes my muscles BIGGER!!! Hyperplasia or no Hyperplasia – It works; PERIOD!!!!
I don’t give a damn if it increases the fibers whatsoever. It might not have been proven by science that it causes an increase in the actual number of fibers but it is definitely proven that it causes an increase in the size of muscles.
A word of caution – you might need to buy some new shirts with bigger pair of sleeves if you haven’t applied stretch overload before.
Here are 3 ways to apply stretch overload:
1) Upon failure of any high resistance compound movement, don’t drop the weight – instead try to complete some partial reps on the stretched out position. That is basically the main technique used in X-reps. It overloads your target muscles like nobody’s business!
If you cannot hoist the weight even at partial reps at the bottom – then grab a pair of lighter weights to do your stretched position partials. Do this to failure. It is best to do this at the last set of your main compound move for the body part.
2) Super set a full contracted position exercise to the stretched out position exercise for a body part. This is best done for the last part of the workout.
Now, what is a contracted position, stretch position, etc? That’s basically your positions of flexion exercises. Each move can actually be categorized as one of the three:
a) Contrated-postion moves
b) Midrange moves (consists of your main compound free weight moves like barbell bench press, deadlifts, squats, etc)
c) Stretch position moves
Contracted positions exercises are basically where the target muscle is in constant tension. These include but not limited to: pec decs (chest) , leg extensions (quads), leg curls (Hams) ,bicep cable curls or machine curls (biceps) , pullover machine pullovers or cable machine stiff arm pull downs (back), Cable lateral and front raises (shoulders), and Kickbacks (preferably on a cable – for triceps).
Now the stretch position exercises consist of but not limited to: Sissy squats (quads), Stiff leg deadlifts (hams), dumbbell free weight flyes (chest), dumbbell free weight pullovers (back, preferably cross pullovers over a bench), overhead triceps extensions (triceps), incline bench curs (preferably lower angle for more stretch – for biceps), and my favorite: incline bench one arm lateral raises (for delts) below is how you do it:
What you are going to do is 7 sets of 7-10 reps of a certain light contracted position exercise superset to the stretch position move for the same body part. Either that or you can do the 7 by 7 for contracted first and then move on to your stretch position 7 by 7-10. Make your eccentric parts deliberately slow – at least 3 seconds. And for the contracted position flex the weight at top of the move for every rep for 3 seconds the lower for 3 seconds as well.
3) Last but not the least is the 60 second stretch. At the end of your workout choose a stretch position exercise for the body part you just worked out then do stretch position partials for 60 seconds straight. For example you grab a pair of dumbbells and do stretch position partials or pulses of flyes for chests. You keep pulsing for 60second straight – or as long as your muscles stay stretched for 60 seconds.
Either that or you stretch the muscle for 60 seconds after you just work it out, but you will lose out on the “pulsing” effect at the stretch position which is shown to produce great results.
Anyone else here but me ever tried this torture method? Please share your experiences below in the comments. Eat your eggs, people!