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Add Timed Static Contractions to your At-Home Workouts.

Updated: Apr 15, 2020

We obviously can’t get to the gym during this unprecedented moment in time, but that doesn’t excuse you from working out. There are many ways to exercise without much, if any, equipment. One useful tool is the Timed Static contraction.

A Timed Static Contraction (TSC) is an isometric exercise where you gradually ramp up your muscular (exertional) force against an immovable object for a predetermined unit of time. You can mimic almost any exercise with a TSC with a little creativity. A TSC exercise set generally lasts between 60 and 90 seconds and is broken down into 3 segments. I personally prefer 60 seconds broken into 20 second segments as follows:

1. 0 to 20 Seconds – This is your muscle activation period. You will gradually build up your exertional force to about 50% of your perceived maximum effort, keeping the focus on activating the target musculature for that specific exercise.

2. 21 to 40 Seconds – At the 20 second mark you will start ramping your exertional force up to approximately 80% of your perceived maximum effort. At this point, the exercise will become considerably harder, so you will have to pay careful attention maintaining proper form… which includes breathing.

3. 41 to 60 Seconds – This is where all the good stuff happens. At 40 seconds you will rapidly increase your exertional force to 100%. Make sure you maintain perfect form while pushing the effort to maximum.

4. At 60 seconds you will gradually ramp down your effort and relax.

By exerting 100% effort, the Timed Static Contractions will quickly and thoroughly inroad your muscular strength. This is a great protocol for when you’re unable to get to the gym. Here are a few TSC exercise examples:

The Pec Dec-TSC for the chest and shoulders