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For any exercise AND for hypertrophy and/or nervous system, is there any benefit to make a pause at the maximum of the contraction ?

Consider my training.

I use weights that hurt me at 40 sec. Then, I rest-pause for 15 sec. Then, I use the same weights for 20 sec. I contract during 0.5 sec, then I hold at maximum of the contraction during 1.5 sec, then I stretch during 0.5 sec, finally I "hold" during 0.5 sec at maximum of the stretch (i.e. : I don't make pause at this max).

This is done for any exercise and for each of my 3 work series (I don't speak about my warm-up series). The weights are such that the targeted muscle is always well worked and my posture is good (these both constraints are prioritary over all - if there is any problem, the weights must be decreased). Each of these 3 series for a given exercise is in superset with another serie of another exercise (i.e. : antagonist movements/muscles).

  1. 40 sec + 20 sec = 1 min, so the time under tension is 1 min, realized with a great load (because it hurts me from 40 sec). These both constraints imply a great mechanical stress.

  2. From 40 sec, my weights hurt me and I use supersets : it implies a great hormonal stress.

  3. Obviously, I have congestion : metabolic stress

Finally, my training is extremely complete. But within my 40 sec and within my 20 sec of work, I realized that doing pauses at the maximum of the contraction (I'm used to do it - NOTE that I'm not speaking about my rest-pauses !) impede me from doing [5 ; 7] repetitions. If I don't do any pause (not speaking about rest-pauses !) these [5 ; 7] repetitions are done without great difficulty (i.e. : without hurt).

Thus, stopping from doing pauses at the maximum of the contraction implies a possible augmentation of the weights, since the used ones don't hurt me anymore. Otherwise, I would exceed my time under tension of 1 min and that's not good (i.e. : I don't want to use the energy chain of slow fibres).

My question

Would you recommend me to stop doing pauses at the maximum of the contraction (NOTE that I'm not speaking about my rest-pauses !) in order to allow me to augment my weights ?

In other words : is there any benefit to make a pause at the maximum of the contraction that would deencourages me from stoping such a pause ? This benefit could be on hypertrophy or nervous system.

Would you recommend me a periodization of that, i.e. : doing pauses at maximum of the contraction on Monday for an exercise A, and not on Thursday for this exercise A ?

  • By holding at maximum contraction are you simply referring to an isometric hold? – Frank May 9 '18 at 22:44
  • Yes. I contract during 0.5 sec, then I hold at maximum of the contraction during 1.5 sec, then I stretch during 0.5 sec, finally I "hold" during 0.5 sec at maximum of the stretch (i.e. : I don't make pause at this max). – JarsOfJam-Scheduler May 10 '18 at 8:46
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It depends.

Due to the strength curve peak contractions happens in different portions of the range of motion in different exercises.

When using bands then yes a hold at the peak contraction will optimize the pump which might or might not increase muscle growth, it has yet to be proven but logic and various researches suggest that the pump would indeed do that.

But when using free weight or cables it really depends on the specific exercise, holding a peak contraction might be ingenious for a dumbbell/barbell row but useless for bicep curls or the bench press.

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There is no benefit to make a pause at the maximum of the contraction because it will be difficult to start from that point. It is better to go to the maximum and then relax slowly to the normal point.

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