For many years now, every bodybuilder has been looking for different ways to train, to see what works best and what doesn’t. Many techniques have failed while some have prevailed and still exist today. Many variables can play into your training for muscle growth, while the main ones are Volume and Intensity.
There are a couple of techniques that many pros and ex-pros use today, which are Stretch Training and TUT Training (Time Under Tension). Many bodybuilders and competitive athletes have seen spectacular results from both of these methods. Both methods are pretty painful at first, but no pain no gain right?! Dennis James, an ex-pro bodybuilder and olympia competitor, uses the TUT method on his clients and has worked out very well for them.
Hany Rambod is the Pro Creator of the program called FST-7. FST-7 stands for Fascia Stretch Training. The fascia is a thin sheet of tissue that surrounds the muscles. The idea behind FST-7 is to stretch that fascia to basically allow the muscle to grow more. When something is wrapped around something very tight, it doesn’t allow for much growth, and at slower rates.5X Mr. Olympia Phil Heath, 4X Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler, and 3X Mens Physique Olympia Jeremy Buendia all trained under Hany Rambod and his FST-7 program. If that isn’t enough proof of how well it works, then I don’t know what is!
FST-7 is designed with the last workout of that muscle group for the day. 7 sets of 8-12 reps, followed by another workout that hits the same muscle group, and then 30-45 seconds rest. It is very painful at first, but the results are very promising if you stick with it. Stretch training also allows bodybuilders and those with a good amount of muscle on them to stay flexible, and have more range of motion as well.
Another good way to perform stretch training is to perform the rep in a complete 100% range of motion, and when performing the eccentric movement of the exercise, allow the muscle to stretch and hold it in that position for 1-2 seconds and then performing the concentric movement. Some weightlifters even allow the muscle to stretch more than 100% back to allow even more of a stretch and to really keep your muscles flexible.
Time Under Tension (TUT)
Time under tension has also become more popular among bodybuilders in recent years, especially with lagging muscle groups. TUT training is performing the eccentric and concentric movement of a workout for a longer period of time to keep constant stress on that muscle group that you are targeting. For example: when performing a leg press, take 5 seconds to push the weight, and another 5 seconds to lower the weight back down. Doing this keeps the quads activated more, and puts a lot more stress on that muscle. Doing this also simulates lifting very heavy weight without having the need to.
With more and more bodybuilders/powerlifters experiencing joint problems from lifting very heavy weight, there is now an alternative that is way less stressful on the joints and tendons. Injury is always the number one thing that needs to be avoided, and this sure does lower the risk quite a bit. Certain workouts are perfect for time under tension like leg press, hack squats, preacher curls, chest flyes, and bent over rows.
Dennis James, an ex-olympia competitor, uses TUT on his clients and has worked wonders, especially considering many of his clients are Olympia competitors. TUT training causes a burning feeling in the muscle that no other workout can compare to, and that’s why growth with this type of workout is very promising, provided you have your diet on lock of course.
With so many different ways to workout coming out nowadays, it is hard to pinpoint which ones work the best. Just like everything else, it depends on the person and what your goals are.
Competitive athletes are always looking for better ways to break a muscle gain plateau, but these two methods are very promising and is a very viable option for those looking to further their training into something more advanced.
If you want something more extreme, and to take things to the next level, TUT and Stretch Training are one of the top options for you. For the most advanced lifters, try implementing both of them into the same workout!