For the last ten years I've been talking to people exclusively about Static Contraction training. I'd forgotten that one of the most common questions I used to hear was: "Which one is better, Static Contraction or Power Factor?"

The answer to this question depends on what you mean by "best". I sometimes ask the questioner, "Which is better, a Corvette or a pickup truck?" If you want to get somewhere quickly, then the Corvette is better, but if you want to get a load of timber over a bad road, then the pickup is better by far.

Static Contraction is the most time-efficient strength training program in the world. Every major muscle group in the body is finished exercising in 50 seconds. And that 50 seconds represents two complete workouts, done on different days. If you want to get in and out of the gym as quickly as possible, then there is no workout better than the SCT program.

A typical Power Factor Workout might involve 120 seconds per exercise, which represents 24 times as much exertion. Will it deliver 24 times as much muscle growth? No, not even close. That makes it a lot less efficient than SCT.

However, and this is the important bit, the Power Factor Workout taxes and measures both your momentary intensity and your sustained intensity. Instead of knowing what power you can generate for 5 seconds (as in SCT) you'll be able to measure the power you can generate for 2, 3 or even 4 minutes. Doing that really taps into your muscle's full reserve and places maximum demands on your body. (Which is the whole point of lifting weights.)

People also ask, "Which program will put more muscle on me?" I never like to make statements that I can't back up with data that actually proves what I'm saying. The problem in getting data for which of two workout programs puts more muscle on people, is that it requires a large, expensive clinical study. We would need at least a dozen people in each test group and they would have to be carefully selected with equal capabilities and capacities for muscle hypertrophy. That's a lot of detailed work and expense that I don't have, just to settle my curiosity. (And it still wouldn't change the inherent trade-offs.)

If pressed to make an educated prediction, I would say I would not be surprised if the Power Factor Workout added more total muscle mass, because those workouts tax the body at the limits of performance. The trade off would be more wear and tear on the body and more time in the gym for that extra mass gain.

Having said that, compared to conventional training programs that prescribe 40 to 60-minute workouts three times a week in perpetuity, the Power Factor Workout is still hugely more efficient and involves much less general wear and tear on your body than conventional training.

In my view of a perfect world, people would only train one of two ways. The people wanting the best results for the time they invest and wanting to minimize the drain on their energy would all train with SCT. The people willing to do whatever they need to do, to tax their system maximally to generate maximum adaptation, would use the Power Factor Workout.

Finally, even the die-hard traditionalists who insist on increasing their risk of injury, by performing full range reps on every exercise, should still use the Power Factor and Power Index measurements to make sure their workouts are productive and guarantee progressive overload. At least then they would be injecting the science of measurement into their conventional routines. You can't call anything "science", if you don't take measurements. The Power Factor Workout is all about meaningful, comprehensive measurement.

Try a few workouts and you'll see what I mean. Just click here to see more, or copy this link into your web browser:

Clinton Robson is a South African fitness fanatic and is a qualified Personal Trainer. He has completed a recent contract to run the gyms on a couple of luxury cruise ships. He has done a special higher level fitness training course and has qualified as an Exercise Specialist, or Conditioning Coach. He manages a local gym, assisting staff and clients with training plans and one on ones. He has been working out regularly, since 1996. He writes articles on many fitness topics, such as training, bodybuilding, working out, losing fat, toning the muscles, nutrition, supplements and more. Visit his blog at Fitness And Fatness, by clicking here, or by copying this link: