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Why I Recommend the 5-6-7 Protocol
John Peterson John Peterson is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2008
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08-06-2018, 04:14 PM
Hello Everyone,

I received an e-mail today from a man that has carefully studied Theodore Hettinger's book 'The Physiology of Strength' in our 'classics' section. He noted that Hettinger stated that virtually every combination of duration, intensity, and frequency had been tested at the Max Planck Institute in Dortmund, Germany from 1946 to 1961 (when the book was published) and that the research data indicated overwhelmingly that a duration of 6 seconds at 2/3 of one's maximum strength was the level of stimulus necessary to achieve maximum benefit from Isometric Contraction Exercises. His question was, "Since only six seconds is required for maximum benefit then wouldn't every second beyond that point be unnecessary?

My Answer: The short answer is Yes!

But I too, have tried just about every combination imaginable over the past 53 years that I have been practicing Isometric Contraction. Yet, I know beyond doubt that I have seen my best results in the past two years since implementing the 5-6-7 Isometric Protocol outlined by our friend Solytrain that he stated he learned directly from no less an authority than the Mighty Atom.

The reason the 5-6-7 Protocol is so beneficial is because it does a better job of infusing blood into the working muscles than any other protocol that I have tried to this point.

It goes like this:

#1) Perform your first contraction at approximately 50% of what you perceive to be your Maximum Contraction strength for 5 seconds counting One thousand One, One Thousand Two, One Thousand Three, One Thousand Four, One Thousand Five. Counting in this manner is the best way to know you are contracting for the full duration. At the end of 5-seconds relax briefly, take a deep breath and then...

#2) Perform your second contraction at approximately 2/3 to 3/4 of your maximum for a count up to One Thousand and Six....once again relax briefly and then...

#3) Perform a third and final contraction at your highest possible intensity for a count up to One Thousand and Seven.

What you will discover is as follows. Total contraction time is 18-seconds. The first contraction allows you to focus on willfully contracting your muscles and then relaxing briefly while taking a deep breath. During this relaxation phase you need to be aware of the blood that is flooding your muscles.

For example: Imagine taking a damp sponge and squeezing the water out of it while submerging it in a basin of water and letting it go. You would see the sponge draw in a tremendous amount of water. the same thing happens to your muscles. Contract them powerfully and then relax and you will feel highly oxygenated blood flooding into the muscle tissue. The same thing will happen on contractions two and three when you contract with even greater intensity. You will literally feel the muscles become congested with highly oxygenated blood which is to say that you are achieving a fantastic 'pump'. For the purpose of building added size and shape---the three stage protocol is without equal in my opinion. BUT everyone should test the various protocols for themselves and determine from experience what works best for them. In fact, one thing that I hope everyone will do is to experiment until they find their own best combination of contraction and relaxation.

Personally, I like achieving greater results in about one third the time that it used to require when I was doing high volume training and that is why I enjoy the 5-6-7 protocol. It may be different for some of you reading this. In fact, it may be that a single 6-second maximum contraction gives you everything that you are looking for just as Coach James Baily told me that he had his athletes performing. Coach Baley told me that his athletes were performing between 45 and 50 contractions in a comprehensive 25 minute workout that would require more than two hours with conventional weight training exercises.

---John Peterson

Last edited by John Peterson; 08-06-2018 at 05:49 PM.
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