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bodybuilder using STATIC HOLDS for incline bench press

Static Holds

People will have different definitions of a static holds and how to apply it based on the end result they are looking for. Powerlifters will have a different technique than a fitness or bodybuilder would, so in this section we will only concentrate on the use of static holds as it pertains to building muscle.

The term static simply implies lack of movement. As implied, you will hold in the flexed position a weight and hold it for several seconds.

This is not a new application, it’s been around for a very long time. Trainers now repackage this technique and sell it in bodybuilding and work out programs online or in person to clients and eager muscle building seekers worldwide.

What is the best way to build muscle with static holds?

bodybuilder using STATIC HOLDS for bicep training

A slow tempo or cadence with a static hold applied in my opinion is the very best way to build muscle faster than most could ever dream of doing.

Here’s how I would recommend someone reading this article or someone Id train in person do this technique for muscle size and strength.

Barbell Curl Example

Let’s take the barbell curl as an easy example.

Start your curl the way you would normally in good form, as you are at the top of the movement (Contracted position / concentric contraction) squeeze and hold your position for 3 to 5 seconds, then slowly lower the weight, repeat.

This can also be done half way through the lowering of the weight.

So use the same technique as described above, only on the way back down stop half way and hold your weight for 3 to 5 seconds, continue to lower, repeat.

Calf Raise Example

On the standing calf raise, slowly raise your heals until you are on the very top of the balls of your feet. If you feel like you can’t raise your heals any higher, keep raising up.

Hold your contracted position for 5 seconds or as long as you can keep the contracted position.

Then slowly lower your heals, and give your calves a good stretch at the bottom of the movement.

Dumbbell Squat Example

Try this one out

Grab 3 sets of dumbbells

One pair of 35s, one pair of 25s, and one pair of 15s, to try out first before you go heavier.

Use a pair of 10lb plates under your heels of something that will slightly elevate your heals.

Now start with placing your heals on the pair of 10bls laid next to each other on the floor.

Grab the 35s in each hand and start slowly doing 8 reps with perfect form.

One the eighth rep bring yourself into the squat position with dumbbells still in hands, and hold with your thighs parallel with the floor for 30 seconds.

Now set the dumbbells down and go right to the 25s. Repeat the same pattern as above, 8 reps and holding in the static position on the 8th rep for 30 seconds.

Now set the dumbbells down and go right to the 15s. Repeat the same pattern as above, 8 reps and holding in the static position on the 8th rep for 30 seconds.

This sounds easy until you do it. Give it a try and goooood luck!

Here is a video showing an example of static holds for building muscle

In Conclusion

Like all various techniques, they are used in conjunction with other methods so you can get the most out of your training. Use static holds for strength and size and blow by the average gym trainers.

Jake Anderson