Tip: Want Size? Use the Omni-Contraction Method

This is one of the best ways to perform sets for hypertrophy goals. The only downside? Blood will squirt out of your eyes.

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The omni-contraction method is a type of rest-pause training. The goal is to reach contractile failure on all three types of muscle action: concentric (lifting), isometric (holding), and eccentric (lowering). This approach is arguably the strongest hypertrophy stimulation you can have. The only downside is that you need a training partner... and it really hurts. Here's what a set looks like using the hamstring curl.

Hamstring Curl: Omni-Contraction Method


Each set is made up of three mini-sets. The pauses are 10-15 seconds long.

  1. Start with a weight you can do for 8-10 quality reps and go to contractile muscle failure. Rest 10-15 seconds.
  2. Using the same weight, lift the weight until you reach the maximum tension position (hardest position or angle of the exercise). In most exercises this is the mid-range point. Hold that position while flexing the target muscle as hard as you can until you can't hold it anymore, reaching isometric failure. Rest another 10-15 seconds.
  3. Still using the same weight, have a partner assist you in doing the lifting portion of the movement and do the lowering portion by yourself in 4-5 seconds. Do reps like this until you can't control the weight during the lowering phase.
Christian Thibaudeau specializes in building bodies that perform as well as they look. He is one of the most sought-after coaches by the world's top athletes and bodybuilders. Check out the Christian Thibaudeau Coaching Forum.