When it comes to building muscle, time under tension (TUT) is king, or at least a big part of the royal court. Historically speaking, many bodybuilding greats have used isometric training to help build their imposing physiques, sometimes doing sets lasting upwards of three minutes. The trouble is, most of us neither have the time nor the patience to hold an isometric lateral raise all damn day.
Fortunately, there's a way to reap these same muscle-building benefits with iso holds lasting a third of the time. I call it the dynamic-static compound set.
The framework for the dynamic-static compound set is simple:
- A1. Dynamic Exercise: 8-12 reps
- A2. Static Hold: to failure
Begin with a 12 RM of any decent dynamic exercise to pre-fatigue the muscles and immediately follow it up with a static hold to failure of an exercise that works the same muscles. Rest 90 seconds. Then repeat twice more, shooting for at least 8 reps on subsequent sets. Three rounds will be plenty if you're legitimately pushing each hold to failure.
In the video is an example of this for quads:
- A1: Leg Press or Squat: 8-12 reps
- A2: Parallel Bulgarian Split Squat (advanced) or Parallel Prisoner Squat (basic): to failure
Technique tip: On the squat holds, keep your chest up to ensure a gnarly quad burn.