As they say, “March goes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb”. I don’t know about the lamb part, but we are definitely going in like a lion with our latest Technique of the Week, the Quarters protocol.
In the interest of helping our clients achieve their goals this year, we are always searching for ways to make every set of every exercise a bit more productive. One thing we know is that the point in the repetition where the most muscle growth occurs is in the fully contracted position. This is the point in the repetition where the working muscle is fully shortened, and has contracted to the fullest extent possible under full resistance against gravity. For example, when performing a seated rowing exercise (as seen in the below video), the fully contracted position is when the handles are pulled all the way back. In order to reach that point while moving a heavy weight, the maximum number of muscle fibers must be recruited. Therefore, it makes sense to spend as much time as possible at that point of the repetition.
The Quarters protocol is designed to make that happen. Each repetition actually involves reaching the fully contracted position 4 times, while utilizing a progressively shortened range of motion. This method dramatically increases the time spent in the fully contracted position per repetition, making the set way more productive-and way harder!
This technique is not applicable to all exercises, since there must be full resistance against gravity in the fully contracted position for it to work. Your Rock Solid Fitness Coach will show you which exercises to perform using this technique.
Check out Dunedin Personal Trainer Shawn coaching the Quarters protocol: