There are a few ways I use them.
First, you can do a set to positive failure and once you cannot complete
any more, have someone help you get the weight to a fully-contracted
position and hold it up as long as you can. Then lower it under strict
control until you have finished the rep.
You could also just pick a weight
20-40% heavier than your normal weight for that exercise and either use
a cheat rep or have someone help you to get the weight in the fully
contracted position. Then hold it as long as you can and lower it under
control until the rep is completed. If you do them alone and not after a
set of positive reps, you may want to so 2 static holds instead if one.
This is a great technique to use to
blast through plateaus, but don't use it too often.
Mike Mentzer once told a story of a
guy who was stuck at the same weight on his leg extensions for 2
complete cycles. Mentzer then had him perform static holds only for 2 or
3 workouts. When he went back to positive reps, his strength had
increased and he was able to break through his plateau.
Paul Becker is a natural (steroid
free for life) bodybuilder and fitness consultant. He is the author of
many books and courses on training and diet, the most popular of which
is his book "Truly Huge". For more information on his books, courses &
personalized training visit his website at