Pete Sisco on the Critical Strength Training Factors Many Trainers Don’t Care Enough About And How to Build A Successful Online Business

Pete Sisco in Cancun, Mexico
Pete Sisco

Pete Sisco says if you want to advocate High Intensity Training you ought to have a bloody measurement for Intensity.

He is the foremost authority on Power Factor ( Amazon US / Amazon UK ) and Static Contraction Training Amazon US / Amazon UK ), has authored six titles published by McGraw Hill on the subject of efficient HIT strength training, and is a successful online author and publisher of innovative fitness e-products.

His training articles and methods have been featured in many mainstream publications including, Men’s Journal, Golf, Men’s Fitness, Flex, Muscle & Fitness and others.

It is estimated over 200,000 trainees have used his methods. His books have been translated into Japanese, Italian, Swedish and Russian and his e-products sell in over 100 countries worldwide.

In this episode, Pete talks about his view on how to maximize strength and muscle gain, what many personal trainers often neglect to tell you, and how he started and grew his online businesses and gained the personal freedom to do essentially what he wants, when he wants – and how you can do the same.

Contact Pete Sisco:

 

In this episode, we cover:

  • How to define training intensity to maximize your results
  • What training methods build muscle faster and more effectively
  • How to build a successful online business doing what you love and gain financial freedom
  • … and much more!

Listen to the Corporate Warrior Podcast on iTunes Listen to the Corporate Warrior Podcast on Stitcher

 

This episode is brought to you by ARXFit.comARX are the most innovative, efficient and effective all-in-one exercise machines I have ever seen. I was really impressed with my ARX workout. The intensity and adaptive resistance were unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I love how the machine enables you to increase the negative load to fatigue target muscles more quickly and I love how the workouts are effortlessly quantified. The software tracks maximum force output, rate of work, total amount of work done and more in front of you on-screen, allowing you to compete with your pervious performance, to give you and your clients real-time motivation. As well as being utilised by many HIT trainers to deliver highly effective and efficient workouts to their clients, ARX comes highly recommended by world-class trainers and brands including Bulletproof, Tony Robbins, and Ben Greenfield Fitness. To find out more about ARX and get $1,000 OFF software licensing fees, please go to ARXfit.com and mention Corporate Warrior in the how did you hear about us field.

This episode is brought to you by Hituni.com, providers of the best online courses in high intensity training that come highly recommended by Dr. Doug McGuff and Discover Strength CEO, Luke Carlson. Course contributors include world-class exercise experts like Drew Baye, Ellington Darden and Skyler Tanner. There are courses for both trainers and trainees. So even if you’re not a trainer but someone who practices HIT, this course can help you figure out how to improve your progress and get best results. Check out Hituni.com, add the course you want to your shopping cart and enter the coupon code ‘CW10’ to get 10% off your purchase!

To subscribe via email and get my FREE eBook with 6 podcast transcripts with guests like Dr Doug McGuff, Drew Baye and Skyler Tanner – Click here

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Have you tried starting your own online business? What was your experience like? Please let me know in the comments at the bottom of this post.

Show Notes

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Selected Links from the Episode

People Mentioned

  • Kbm

    Very interesting episode lawrence! So the slow and controlled reps are not a thing with this style? Pump out as many reps as you can in 30 seconds no matter the form? Or did i miss something?

    • https://corporatewarrior.co lneal87

      I don’t think we really talk about cadence and form, but IMO it’s much safer to use controlled reps in ALL instances: smooth turnarounds, good controlled form, which normally organically results in something relatively slow, but I don’t endorse 10/10 or SuperSlow though I think they all get the same results.

      Yes, so Pete’s measurement of intensity is the amount of resistance lifted per unit of time so both reps and quantity of resistance play into that. He uses that as a way to measure progress with his clients.

      • Juggernaut

        Lawrence I think your comment says a lot. I think just about everybody agrees that if you want to get bigger and stronger muscles you have do activity that fatigues the muscles in a relatively short amount of time. Pete’s recommendations do this, Drew’s recommendations do this, John Little’s, Brian Johnston’s, Fred Hahn, etc., etc,…..I tend to stay in the realm of controlling the weight, maintaining tension. I agree with “good controlled form, which normally organically results in something relatively slow”. There’s an almost intuitive feeling that I better move this heavy load with control or it can hurt me. Past a certain point, dare I say the speed almost takes care of itself. Emphasis on “almost”.

        • Juggernaut

          I think Pete’s emphasis on individual recovery is great. When you step back and let the individuals body determine the time to hit the gym again vs. an abitrary “workout this often or you’re lazy” schedule.

          I like his emphasis on progression as well. I may err on the conservative side of this and maybe not so precise: Adding more resistance while paying attention to feel. Using as much resistance as possible safely.

          • https://corporatewarrior.co lneal87

            Couldn’t agree more on your litmus test for adequate recovery. Also agree with your assessment of Pete’s progression system. Seems smart.

        • https://corporatewarrior.co lneal87

          Thanks. Reminds of when my previous guest, Andy Magness, talked about using 80/20 to identify the best diet. What is the 20% that all of the, even opposing, gurus (Vegan, Paleo, HFLC, etc) advocate? Vegetables. This was a real break through for me. Even though I’m now more carnivore ????. But back to your point, the overarching theme is to fatigue the target muscles in a short period of time (60-90s) in a safe manner. Appreciate the contribution!

  • Kamen Stranchevski

    Interesting interview indeed! Made me think quite a bit. The “30 second time set” thing, really touched down with many things from personal experience, information and suggestions from other guests at Corporate wariior. My personal evolution in HIT workout led to 30-60 sec set zone, actually more to the 30-40 sec segment, rather by feel for being my personal work/recovery sweet spot, than empirical measurment. Another thing I recall is David Landau’s comment, that even a minute long set was enough to “lully the force” one may produce. Then I recalled the discussion of reaching failure, making sure it was muscle failure and not “mindset” failure. Pete, mentioned something about the psychological component of the 30 sec set.
    So that is all cool, but as far as form and safety is concerned, I’d like to hear Pete’s view on repetition form, including cadence. Strongest range of motion got mentioned, but I hope he could elaborate on that in a future part two. In anycase, the way I try to perform – slow and controlled, there is not much rep counting in the 30 sec set frame 😀 Usually 3 will be a high end number with me 😀 Lawrence please ask Pete that if part two comes along.
    I also seem to have a problem with the maximum power output being a goal and being even observed directly, by the trainee while exercising. I somehow preffer, what Dr. Mc Guff suggested, that the focus stay internal and the improved output – increase of time and/or weight, to appear rather like a side effect with time.
    Finally, for me heavy (5 sec.) TSC’s issues with safe performance, on a regular are out from my personal training methods selection.

    • https://corporatewarrior.co lneal87

      Pete is coming on again. The focus will be on online business but I will try and ask him to elaborate on this. I agree with you though re allowing that to become a side effect.

  • Rob H

    I have to say I am really struggling with some of the concepts presented here Lawrence. Pete seems to be saying that if for example you start out by doing 5 x reps at 3/3 cadence (30 secs total set) and then move to 10 reps at 1.5/1.5 cadence (still 30 second set) at the same weight then you have doubled the intensity? Yet this definition of intensity is not what we commonly use in HIT – I doubt Drew or Doug would agree that constitutes a doubling of intensity? Slowing down the cadence should surely increase the intensity? Unless I have missed something here?

    • https://corporatewarrior.co lneal87

      You’re quite right Rob. Drew does not agree. I would have to re-listen to provide an informed opinion but for a full critique from my Facebook audience go here: https://www.facebook.com/lawrence.neal2/posts/10155138048937887 if you are not on Facebook, I encourage you to join in some capacity because some excellent debate goes on re HIT

  • q

    Underscores the great value of previous interviewees. This had the feel of marketing BS. I admit that I bailed at about 40 minutes.

    • https://corporatewarrior.co lneal87

      Fair enough Q. Appreciate the feedback.

  • Andrew May

    Hard listening this morning…. I don’t even know where to start. Let’s just say that Pete has a very different idea of what intensity means. He’s living in a totally different world.

    • https://corporatewarrior.co lneal87

      Appreciate the feedback Andrew.

  • Børge Fagerli

    He seems to have absolutely no concept of physics. How can it ever just be about the load on the bar while just disregarding force vectors, leverages and the loads the actual muscle is experiencing? You can do a 20 reps of a 250kg quarter squat in 30 secs, but the actual load on the muscle is way less than doing 5 controlled reps with 50kg in a unilateral leg extension during that same time span.

    I tried power factor training in my early days, and not only did I lose 20-30% strength in full range movements, but I was in pain all the time because I was overloading my joints and connective tissue instead of my muscles.

    Probably one of the least interesting podcasts ever, but I do appreciate you having people with different approaches and viewpoints come on the show!

    • Juggernaut

      This is a great comment. You’ve inspired me to delve into unilateral training. When you really get down to stressing and fatiguing the muscles it almost flips the numbers or greatest usable load on it’s head. Taking leverage advantage out of the method. Focusing on being able to get at the muslces most directly and still safely.

      If you look at the way stand. A great deal of muslce mass is in a very low load, low effort state. Loading the quads in a leg ext. Verses the top of a squat like your example makes sense.

      Not intending to take away from the benefits of multi joint exercises. But getting as direct and unilateral as possible is going to allow one to greatly stress the muscle(s) with far less weight and dare I more thoroughly?

      • https://corporatewarrior.co lneal87

        I agree with Borge, re force vectors. There is various research bouncing about re multi-joint vs single-joint but not sure if there is anything conclusive about SJ being more effective than MJ. Personally, I feel so much stress from MJ that I’m not sure I could cope with SJ in the same workout. And I would sooner do only 2 workouts per week and prioritise MJ for greater coverage in less time.

        • Juggernaut

          I hear you loud and clear Lawrence. I can see the perspective of both sides. If one is all about minimal time and still saw value in do both various exercises could be rotated over workouts.

    • Rene Kittelsen

      Børge, how heavy were the weights when you did use the method?

      In my 6 years with SCT and Power Factor I have NEVER experienced pain and aches as you describe. Sounds to me you did it wrong or had a precondition to those pains?

      I’m lifting pretty heavy for my own size and can say that this method is one of the safest, or THE safest, way to train out there imho.

      • Børge Fagerli

        Yeah, I’m probably stronger than you are then. Heavy partial range training can not be considered safer than full ROM training, even if you subjectively felt it was good for your own body.

  • Jamie Hayes

    Muscles can’t count reps!

    All muscles understand is the amount of tension (load), the length of time under load and the degree of overload/inroad they are taken to on the very last rep. I think Peter is talking to a niche group of trainers who wish to compete for reps. To me this is ego training.

    As a fitness club owner since 1981 (including 3 MedX based clubs) my goal is get the maximum % of members doing effective strength training for life. (Just as they should be brushing and flossing their teeth for life.)

    To achieve this objective we want the ideal balance between results you can measure every workout, time efficiency (length of workout), frequency efficiency (times per week) and safety (no injuries or strains).

    We know that different sporting events use different muscular energy systems (ATP, Lactic Acid and Aerobic). Plus there’s a genetic pre-disposition to excel at different events. (Did he/she get that body from doing that event or training style, or do they do that event or training style because they have that body?)

    With strength training for the masses, I aim for the sweet spot of reaching momentary muscular fatigue somewhere between 60 and 120 seconds. “Time under tension” is a useless term. It’s “time until fatigue” that’s useful. We’re trying to create an adaptive stimulus, safely.

    Peter aims for maximum reps in 30 seconds. To me, this is high-load and unnecessarily high-risk, especially when training at speed under load.

    Here’s an alternative prescription. “Take the momentum out of the movement by doing slow controlled reps, lifting for 5 secs and lowering for 5 secs, never locking out or resting. Use a clock with a second hand to guide your movement. Choose a weight that is “light enough” that you can keep it going for 60 seconds (into Lactic Acid territory) and keep it going for as long as you can. (Never stop at 10.) Record the weight and time on each exercise. On any exercise where you can do 90 seconds or more, increase the weight 5% next time.” (Progressive overload)

    And so that’s a rep range of 6 to 9 reps. If it was a typical Nautilus rep speed of 4/4, that would be like an 8 to 12 rep range. (Again… muscles can’t count reps! Reps are just a convenient way to count “time until fatigue”.

    Lately, I’ve been doing super slow (10 secs up and 10 secs down) aiming for 100+ secs. I’m hooked. I have no inclination to go any faster. My rest between sets has been 7 days! And at 64, I keep getting stronger. (Leg Press, Chest Press, Seated Row, Shoulder Press, Torso Pull Down) Zero-variety.

    Would I get better results training twice a week? Probably. Would I get better results doing the line twice, even though that would reduce time-efficiency? Maybe. Do I do some functional stuff at home? Yes. Plus I ride about 3 times a week.

    To Peter’s credit, he shared a very interesting insight about some trainers, who simply like spending hours each day lifting weights and adapt their strength training philosophies around this preference. This is a great insight for club owners.

    Great interview Lawrence.

    • Rob H

      Great comment Jamie. I think you got it spot on when you wrote: “we want the ideal balance between results you can measure every workout, time efficiency (length of workout), frequency efficiency (times per week) and safety (no injuries or strains).” Dead right. That’s why I’ve moved away from free weights to body weight exercises: as it improves both the time efficiency and safety aspects. I was looking to the long term and I just could not see myself continuing to rack on more and more weight onto the free weights in 5-10 years from now without causing some major injury along the way. True, I am missing the progressive overload aspect of free weights, but I feel that taking my thrice-weekly bodyweight workouts to MMF each time should be almost as good as progressive overload – at least whilst I am still failing in the 60-90 second TUL .

      • Jamie Hayes

        Rob, Thanks, it would be good to learn about your bodyweight exercise selection. I use push up handles and do chin-ups. I also use a 12 kg soft ball to do 130 presses.

        • Rob H

          Hi Jamie, Yes, I use the push up handles too: here’s my current regime: wide grip push-ups with handles, horizontal rows from floor-standing parallel bars, static wall-sit, dips on parallel bars, wide grip-pull-ups from an over-door bar, pike/handstand push ups (hands on floor, feet on sofa!), lateral dumbell raises. I then go through a second set of each one with slightly different grips, eg narrow grip psuh-ups , narrow grip chin-ups etc. I do want to add in those pistol squats though that Lawrence and Ted Naiman mentioned. I perform this workout 3 times per week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings) – it takes me about 40 minutes all in. Very satisfying and very convenient – unlike the old weights regime I used to do, with the bodyweight stuff I feel happy doing that first thing in the morning at 6.15am before the family wakes up, then it’s done before I need to make breakfast.. Like Lawrence, I move at an unspecified slow but controlled cadence – the actual cadence is not that important to me but I”m guessing its somewhere between 3/3 and 5/5. I take a short breather before each exercise just to get my breath back and take each set to failure. I guess I must be on the opposite end of the spectrum to guys like Lawrence (what was the term, non-glycolitic?) since I feel much more pain going to failure the 1st time, in the 2nd set I seem to get acclimatised to the pain and can push almost as long despite being severely fatigued. But having said that, I’m spent after 40 minutes! I have also just added in 4 x 20 seconds HIIT running sprints on Thursday lunchtimes with 30 second rest in between each – MUCH harder than it sounds if you are taking the sprints to maximum effort. Toying with the idea of adding them in on Tuesdays too – but don’t want to risk burning out and overtraining! This regime works very well for me, after having initially gone the weights route for the first 2 years of my training. This way is much more enjoyable, easier to pick up at any time/ place and feels much more sustainable into my old age. It struck me a while back that there was no way I was going to be adding more and more weight to free weights as I get older and older (currently 46). Perhaps the biggest benefit of bodyweight exercise over a long-term horizon is the massive reduction in the risk of injuries – can’t underplay the significance of that!

          • https://corporatewarrior.co lneal87

            Cheers Rob for your great contribution as always :D. When you do inverted rows are you using a suspension trainer (e.g. TRX)? I’m training my girlfriend with this exercise and was wondering if you think her feet should be planted flat on the floor or if it’s okay for her to be on her heels? Make sense?

            Dude, I could not cope with that volume. 40min would fry me. I’d be sick. Especially at this stage of my training career (strong as fuck 😉 …. just kidding). I’m now doing lunges in my B routine. I would never have thought doing a HIT lunge would be so damn hard. Seems to put much less force on the hip and I was getting a little nervous that doing pistols too frequently (2 or 3 times per week) may compromise my hip joint since I had a minor hip injury following a basketball session that lasted almost a week.

            I admire your enthusiasm for your workouts. And I only hope that I can be so enthusiastic and motivated when I’m your age 😀

          • Rob H

            Hey Lawrence, glad to get involved – some very stimulating discussion going on round here at the moment! In terms of the inverted rows, I just use ‘parallete bars’: £45 from Argos (for those of us in the UK): http://www.argos.co.uk/product/4835116?cmpid=GS001&_$ja=tsid:59156%7Ccid:189949525%7Cagid:18091974685%7Ctid:aud-144400486596:pla-163037534005%7Ccrid:77627774485%7Cnw:g%7Crnd:5447498058487119800%7Cdvc:c%7Cadp:1o1%7Cmt:%7Cloc:1006626&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI8dGxvM6L1wIVIzPTCh2-pwk5EAQYASABEgKh4_D_BwE

            I also do my dips from these bars, so they have become pretty much indispensable to my bodyweight routine. The bodyweight rows are great: just squeeze for a few seconds at the top of each rep: can still only grind out 9 of them! I’m on the backs of my heels on these as opposed to feet planted on floor as I feel more resistance that way. I had some major problems with my hip about 3 years ago when running for 40 minutes each morning – yes that chronic cardio was really no good for me.. Even now it twinges sometimes, so will be very judicious about adding in those pistol squats: thanks for the heads up on that!

          • Jamie Hayes

            Great share Rob.
            I also use a 12 kg soft ball for standing presses. I’ve built up to 130 straight.
            To minimise elbow strain on chinups I place one hand over and one hand under. Then swap.
            I always aim for a super slow decent on my last rep of everything.
            Keep up the great work.

          • Rob H

            Great tips Jamie – and very timely. I had to switch from chins to wide-grip pull-ups due to elbow strain (felt like a tendon issue..) It feels OK to add in the chins again now: but will use your tip to stop it happening again. And love that one about super slow descent on last rep: I had been thinking along similar lines to make the 2nd set of my circuit much slower (where my tolerance for pain seems to be somewhat better!) I’d be very interested to hear any other bodyweight-related tips you pick up from time to time!

    • https://corporatewarrior.co lneal87

      Thank you Jamie, and thanks for this excellent contribution of your thoughts and personal exercise philosophy. I’m sorry that your previous comment got lost somewhere so appreciate you taking the time to re-write and post. I agree with much of what you’ve said above. It is how I measure my progress from workout to workout.

  • Ralph J. Ryan Jr.

    I’ve been doing Sisco’s type training for over 20 years, I can assure you its the real deal. I’ll try to answer and clarify some of the questions I’ve read so far.
    This program is all about applying maximum intensity to each muscle group. I think we can all agree that high intensity builds muscle. Mr. Sisco is simply using the physics formula for Power, to measure intensity. Work = LB x Distance (reps), Power = Work / Time. This method of measuring intensity can be applied to all forms of training, not just Pete’s. Through research and trial & error, Mr. Sisco found ways to maximize intensity even further than the traditional “full range of motion” exercise approach.
    Some of your concerns are valid, Yes, you should not lift heavy weights as fast as possible through the traditional “full range of motion”, that can certainly spell doom for your joints and ligaments. The method proposed by Mr. Sisco will actually build up your joints, ligaments, and tendons. The method actually maximizes intensity delivered to your muscles, at the same time protecting & strengthening your connective tissue. I can testify that I have never had an injury using his methods, at the same time lifting very heavy iron to maximize my work / time, “power factor”. In my teenage and early 20s, I lifted in the traditional method of “full range of motion”, I got injured plenty doing squats, deadlifts, bench presses, DB flyes etc. These exercises put tremendous mechanical stress on your joints and lower back. I hope this helps a little, thanks.

    • Børge Fagerli

      “Work = LB x Distance (reps), Power = Work / Time”

      As I mentioned in another comment, you have to account for force vectors in physics. E.g. to calculate the load moved in a leg press, you have to multiply by the cosine of the angle of the sled. If you just use the load on the sled, you would assume there are plenty of 1000lbs squatters in gyms around the world, and we both know this isn’t the case.

      If you’re interested in learning more, see this: http://www.physicsclassroom.com/calcpad/vecforce

      So taking leverages into account, and scaling according to the distance you move the load for partial reps, the power calculation will often favour full ROM training.

      For producing optimal training effects, research is also pretty much unequivocal:
      https://www.strengthandconditioningresearch.com/strength/#7
      https://www.strengthandconditioningresearch.com/hypertrophy/#7

      • Ralph J. Ryan Jr.

        It’s difficult to compare and quantify the work done between an exercise done in full ROM to strong range partials of the same type. Comparing work done between individuals, to different exercises, and to different bodyparts would prove even more difficult (As you referenced previously, joint angles, force components (“force vectors”), bone lengths, tendon insertions, equipment used, height, weight, muscle physiological factors, etc. etc.). My point in this matter is that you should compare your work / time between exercises performed in the same manner (whether that be for full ROM or strong partials) to yourself from previous workouts. As long as your specific exercise work numbers are going up from workout to workout, and you are consistent in your exercise ROM execution and equipment used, your work /time comparisons should be quite valuable in tracking progress and progressive overload.

        As far as the argument that full ROM exercises are superior to strong range partials in stimulating muscle hypertrophy, that is something I would love to discuss with you but don’t have the time or energy right now. I’ll give you a hint though, I would use your “force vector” argument against you, ha ha. Take care.

        • Børge Fagerli

          There is no need to take time out of your life to discuss much of anything, unless you want to make this about personal anecdote. The research is pretty much in agreement if you just care to read the links I posted.

          Haha.

          • Ralph J. Ryan Jr.

            I would like to make one final point concerning Work output that I forgot to mention in my previous post. Assuming the trainee is consistent in his exercise ROM execution and equipment used. The force components and distance traveled by the weight should cancel out of your work output analysis in comparison to your previous workouts as they are constant numbers that do not change value. The weight used on the bar and the number of reps performed are the only variables that change. The Vertical force component of Work is,
            Work = Weight * sin (angle of joint) *Distance * Reps
            For example –
            Work”B”/Work”A”= Weight”B”sin (45) * 2 feet * 26 reps”B” / Weight”A” sin (45) * 2 feet* 24 reps”A”
            This simplifies to,
            Work”B”/Work”A” = Weight”B” * 26 reps”B”/ Weight”A” * 24 reps”A”
            Sorry, the equation formatting sucks.

          • Ralph J. Ryan Jr.

            Earlier you mentioned this – “So taking leverages into account, and scaling according to the distance you move the load for partial reps, the power calculation will often favour full ROM training.” I will prove that your statement is false and that strong range partials utilize a greater resistance and power output as compared to the conventional full ROM training style. Without getting bogged down in discussing force components, joint angles etc. etc., please consider these two simple experiments.

            Setup – Load the bar up with 75% of your full ROM one-rep max. weight for the Bench Press, (ie. 225 lbs). Perform these experiments inside a strong power rack for safety purposes.

            Experiment 1 – Perform one set of full ROM bench presses with “225 lbs” until failure. Immediately after failure of full ROM reps, perform a set of strong range partial reps with “225 lbs” till failure. Chances are that you will indeed have strength and power left in your muscles to perform a set of strong range partials. Why is it that your chest muscles still have gas left in the tank after full ROM failure to perform those partials? Dorian Yates utilized this technique for his back training and was he’s called “The Shadow” for a reason. Conventional trainers would call this method
            a “high intensity” technique and should only be used sparingly in your
            workouts. Pete Sisco’s Power factor trainees utilize this “high intensity” technique by employing even heavier weights and more repetitions, thus maximizing resistance load and power performance.

            Experiment 2 – Perform one set of partial strong range bench
            presses with “225 lbs” until failure. Immediately after failure of strong range bench presses, perform a set of full ROM bench presses with “225 lbs” till failure. Chances are that the weight would crash onto your chest after attempting a full ROM bench and you would have absolutely no
            strength and power left in your muscles to even perform the set. Why is it that your chest muscles had no gas left in the tank to perform even one full ROM press?

            It should be obvious that strong range partials are superior
            to full ROM training in delivering maximum resistance stimulation as well as power performance to your muscles. Utilizing both max. resistance and power performance (lifting heavy weight for as many repetitions as possible, as fast as possible) has been proven scientifically true countless of times to trigger muscle hypertrophy.

            I will attempt to counter the full ROM research you referenced
            and posted previously maybe at a later date.

            Peace Brother.

  • Daryl W

    Enjoyed this episode very much. I have incorporated Pete’s method in my workout with great success. Doing full range of motion (ROM) reps made my shoulders sore when doing benches. Now doing the bench in a partial ROM format with 75% more weight as described by Pete produces no shoulder pain. Yet it produces strength gains. I have tested to see if the partial ROM exercises decrease my full ROM strength and I can say it has not in my case. It has increased it also. I also like the idea of only having to workout once every 7 to 12 days with no lose of strength. I got better things to do than being in a gym. My hats off to Pete for bringing a concept in strength training that works for me that is based on science that can be measured. This is the method I encourage my patients to use. While there is more than one way to train, anyone who disagrees with this method being a valid way of training that can be added to one’s tools of training that is fine, but show me your numbers that disproves it. This is science not faithless religion.

    • https://corporatewarrior.co lneal87

      Hey Daryl, thanks for the comment and really pleased you enjoyed the episode. Congrats on all the success you’ve had with Pete’s training protocols 😀

  • Rene Kittelsen

    Hello!

    I have been using Pete’s SCT training method for several years, and I’m a very laid back kind of guy who doesn’t like to go to gyms etc, so this was perfect for me. I have experienced using the SCT 5 sec lift (which is a good starter for any untrained man or woman out there) where I later went over to the Power Factor workout with a 2 minutes timer and reps, where I am today are doing 1 minute and reps since this fits me well strenght wise and stamina. Since I’m not a gym person I built my own powercage at home and it works very well for this Power Factor routine. I’m only missing a legpress machine, but I manage inside my power cage with 90 degree angle press where you get 100% of the weight utilised, but I do not recommend this legpress setup if you don’t know what you are doing!

    Now, I will show you my numbers from Workout A which is 4 exercises (out of ten) which shows my progress over the last 5 months. I have had down time and started up SCT again after 8 months of not training at all, and by doing this I also got good experience from how strong I was to how weak I became.

    The numbers will show you where I’m trying to find the weights I lift according to the unit of time (1 minute). I wanted a minimal of 35 reps to max 40 reps which tells me when to put on heavier weights when I hit that 40 rep mark. From the numbers below you will also see I’m underestimating myself several times where I did not increase the weights enough to hit that 35 – 40 reps marker.

    1 minute timer:

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7119d796538cf6658439fbedbc3684452509390165d2783556241d81ac1203f8.png

    As you can clearly see I have increased my strength over that 5 months by training ONLY 5 times during that period. I am up to 8 weeks resting time between workout A’s, and the numbers don’t lie and shows you how efficent this method is when you do it correctly. This is especially good for people like myself (majority of people) who do not like hitting the gym 3 times a week and this should motivate some people to try it out. I feel good and strong in every normal day activity, since before starting the routine again I felt sluggish and weak.

    This method works very well! but I saw someone writing in the comments below about having aches and pain from doing this method which should not be the case, not normally, so he must be doing something wrong?

    Have a nice day!

    • https://corporatewarrior.co lneal87

      Hello Rene – thanks for sharing your records 😀

    • Børge Fagerli

      “I will show you my numbers from Workout A which is 4 exercises (out of ten) which shows my progress over the last 5 months. I have had down time and started up SCT again after 8 months of not training at all, and by doing this I also got good experience from how strong I was to how weak I became.”

      Right, so you basically state that you don’t like to go to the gym or train regularly, and your strength numbers for partial rep training are essentially that of a beginner. After taking 8 months off you have been experiencing what is called the muscle memory effect, regaining lost strength.

      I think you should consider the context of which you are claiming the superiority of your method, as that of a beginner. Don’t infer anything from your n=1 about the health or correctness of exercise performance of someone with 25 years of training outweighing you by 20kgs (I’m 95kg at 10%bf).

      • Rene Kittelsen

        Answer me this, how can I get stronger after 8 weeks of RESTING time?

        Explain this to me…. muscle memory does not apply here with the fact that I became stronger after 8 WEEKS of not doing any lifting.

        And yes, I do NOT like going to the gym so to become a “rage demon”, I prefer to train smarter and by that using a lot less time on training so I can do other things. Clever right? 😉

        You have clearly not understood what SCT/PWR does to the body and maybe do not want to? Read the book? and ofc you are also an advocate of conventional training and you had to pull “rank”, but in this case I’m an experienced SCT/PWR lifter, so maybe you want to listen than lecture me about conventional HIT litterature that in some ways do not apply here? You can’t say that this method doesn’t work since you are not experienced enough as you said, and ofc I can not say conventional HIT for certain is inferioer, but when it comes to injuries and time consumation, SCT/PWR wins hands down. I proved to myself, and others who saw it, that SCT/PWR works and everyone should try this method to atleast get going and can thereafter choose their training methods. I very much like the fact that I am training HIT and it’s working pretty good, and if this method can make more people in better shape, well isn’t that a win win scenario? We can probably agree on that people in general are fed up with conventional HIT and alike, and when you suddenly realize that there is a method like SCT/PWR out there that can strengthen the body considerably in the shortest time spent and frequency of training. Is that a problem? The gyms aren’t nearly being overrun by people eager to train, and by introducing methods like SCT/PWR people would probably come more frequent, or atleast when they have to because of the engineered training schedule. Interesting isn’t it, a schedule for the next time you need to go to the gym and not endless hammering the weights and hoping for results, and here the drugs usually show up, especially in heavy weightlifting.

        If everyone knew about SCT/PWR they would probably try it and see the effects from it, since conventional weightlifting is not very appealing to most people.

        Børge, just keep on what ever works for you, but please do not discredit something that works, and for me, and others like me, we want to be way more efficient when it comes to HIT and SCT/PWR really delivers there.

        On a side note, the closest thing I’ve seen to time saving, and a very safe way of training, is the ARX training system, it is very interesting and with some tweaks you could do SCT/PWR on those machines. It’s nice to see technology like that 🙂 thanks for sharing that information Corporate Warrior!

        • Børge Fagerli

          I have clearly hit a tender spot for you here. You are clearly emotionally invested in this, but I’m not trying to discredit your results. If it works for you then that is awesome, and you should just keep doing what you’re doing.

          As far as using anecdote to prove that it works, I have just as many anecdotes (just google it and you will find plenty of lifters with the exact same complaints as me), so essentially that proves nothing.

          I take issue with a lot of the theory behind Power Factor, mainly the partial range training – thus not accounting for force vectors when defining Intensity and Work. What research we have on partial range training also shows full ROM to be superior – here are some relevant summaries:
          https://www.strengthandconditioningresearch.com/strength/#7
          https://www.strengthandconditioningresearch.com/hypertrophy/#7

          And please don’t mix HIT into the mix, as I have no objections with lower volume programs – quite the contrary:
          https://www.facebook.com/coach.borgefagerli/posts/936685109815496

  • Urbano

    Pete’s contributions to exercise come as close as anyone has, and in some way has surpassed, those of Arthur Jones. Before Jones science and bodybuilding were like oil & water. I’ll venture so far to say that if effective bodybuilding were left up to the epitome of the word scheister known as Joe Weider that it would still take 10+ yrs to reach even an amateur level physique.

  • Max

    I discovered Pete Sisco’s Power Factor Training in the late 90’s. What impressed me most with it was finding that it was a scientifically based training method! I was Shocked to learn of his recommendation that a person need NOT go to the gym 3x a week for life! I wish that I had heard that in the 70’s when I had started training in my teens! Back then I repeatedly stopped training after some months, for what I later learned was fatigue and not laziness. If any coach, trainer or guru had EVER recommended that one could skip a day of training when you don’t feel like returning to the gym, rather than religiously training 3x/wk, I probably would have made greater gains faster. Learning from Pete Sisco’s systems to gradually increase the recovery time between workouts was a godsend!

    In 2012 my cousin and I started the Static Contraction program. Within 6 months we had out-lifted the leg press machines and lat pull-down machines of two different gyms. The second gym had the largest leg press commercially available. Our strength gains were incredible, and our recovery time between upper and lower body parts had increased to a month each, while still making good gains. We had to change to the Power Factor routines in order to use “lighter” weights and longer routines to continue our progress! Very disappointing, I didn’t want to spend More time in the gym.

    It is good to see Peter Sisco’s systems get a larger audience, it is well deserved. Every field improves with better information.

  • http://www.PeteSisco.com/ Pete Sisco

    Hi, this is Pete Sisco.

    I spoke to Lawrence today about a Part 2 to this podcast. Part 2 will not be about H.I.T. but instead about how personal trainers and others can build their own online business.

    However, Lawrence asked me if I would make a comment on this blog. So I am making exactly one (long) comment and then I’ll leave the last words to everyone else. Next year I’ll turn sixty, I’ve been online a long time and I’ve learned that these ‘discussions’ can go on forever and it’s exceedingly rare for anyone with an entrenched position to change his mind. So I just don’t make the effort anymore and have moved on to more enjoyable things.

    These are my replies to the arguments I’ve been hearing for 20+ years in the world of strength training.

    1. I use a Power Factor measurement that divides the total weight a person lifts by the time it takes them to lift it. So instead of saying “I can bench press 185 lbs,” a person might say, “I can bench press 4,750 lbs/minute. Or, my Power Factor is 4,750 lbs./min.” This is a rough measurement of his Intensity, which is the ‘I’ in H.I.T. and deserves an objective unit of measure if any trainee wants to progressively increase his Intensity over time. (I also use a slightly more complex formula to measure the phenomenon of being able to maintain the same Power Factor (Intensity) but for a longer time. I call that a Power Index.

    2. Some people want to discredit all the above by talking about Time Under Load, or “Force Vectors” (all forces are vectors, BTW). or other aspects of Intensity that the PF and PI might not accurately measure. I’m the first to admit that there are variables. But when a trainee wants to get objective, apples-to-apples comparisons of his Intensity he should not change the variables from workout to workout. Don’t calculate a Full Range PF today, then a Strong Range PF tomorrow and expect a meaningful comparison. If the range of motions stays the same, and no incline, decline, or technique variable is introduced, you’ll get a pretty good measure of your Intensity of output when you divide total weight by time. We’ve known this since 1687 and Isaac Newton. It’s true today, and will remain true in 10,000 years. It’s the way our universe works.

    3. If you want to measure intensity, you need a stopwatch. Intensity is a RATE of lifting. How much? How fast? Without knowing time, you do NOT know the Intensity. End of story.

    4. When I discuss increasing Intensity by performing more reps per minute, some people create a Straw Man fallacious argument by saying I’m recommending fast, reckless, dangerous form as a path to increasing Intensity. Please. Suppose on the bench press you can perform 10 reps in 1 minute with 100 lbs. Next time you attempt 110 lbs but can only complete 8 reps in the same 1 minute. One way to Increase your Intensity is to achieve 9 or 10 reps with that 110 lb weight. Just like you did with 100 lbs. Was it reckless and dangerous when you did those first 10 reps? Of course not. Weight, reps, and time are the sole ingredients of Intensity. If you endorse High INTENSITY Training, you would be well advised to find a mathematical definition of INTENSITY. Without that we are mired in opinions and yelling.

    5. When someone tells you Intensity is measured by EFFORT ask him this: What gauges the effort? How do I know my effort on a Tuesday in June is 23% more than my effort on a Friday back in March? Is my sensation and estimation of effort the same the week I found out my company is laying people off? Or the day after I ate pork ribs? Or when I’m getting over the flu? Most people can convince themselves they are ‘giving 100% effort” until the building is on fire or their friend is pinned under a car, then suddenly they are capable of a mathematically impossible 300% effort. Subjective feelings don’t belong in any scientific measurement. It’s shameful I even need to remind people of that.

    6. A fixed training schedule of Monday, Wednesday and Friday (or similar) cannot deliver 156 productive workouts every year. If working out that frequently actually delivered objectively productive (i.e. muscle building, strength increasing) workouts it would mean this: A measly 1% of objective improvement per workout starting Jan 1st by being able to perform a barbell curl with 100 lbs would mean that on Dec 31st you could curl 468 lbs. (A 2% per workout improvement would have you curling 2,153 lbs.!) Nobody can do that. So guess what? Lots of those 156 workouts were obviously not productive. They weren’t necessary. They were the definition of inefficient training. If you paid a trainer, you were wasting your money. (IF, that is, you wanted actual results measured in strength or muscle mass. If you lifted for fun, then go ahead and lift 500 times per year. Just don’t tell me it’s all productive or necessary.)

    7. The improvement in strength and muscularity that any of us can achieve is finite and very small. The world record for bench press is about 800 lbs. If you can bench 200 lbs now, you only need to double your strength twice and you’re in range of a world record. 99.9999% of us can’t achieve that. Ever. Doubling your strength once would be excellent. How many workouts does that need to take? I’m not asking what the maximum is that you could do, I’m asking what is the minimum number of workouts required for you, not me or your athletic neighbor, to double your strength? That question has an answer but finding it requires measurement and reason. Not subjective opinions.

    8. The world of strength training will be revolutionized when a home exercise machine is available for under $1,000 that delivers the maximum possible overload for every muscle group. (That’s thousands of lbs, not hundreds.) and can capture meaningful data regarding weight, reps, time, and distance down to the millisecond from millions of people. That data will reveal the massive variability in personal recovery rates. (The machine will not be required to ask you what you think your EFFORT was, because that is irrelevant in this universe.) Such a machine will prove the folly of the nonsense passed around in gyms for the last 50 years. It will replace opinions with data.

    9. For 20+ years I’ve watched people create sophistic arguments against the objective measurement of the INTENSITY of lifting weights, while (hilariously) advocating H.I.T. I’ve yet to see one of these people innovate a better, more discerning, more precise, more objective, and more useful measurement of this all-important Intensity. This, despite the fact that my definitions are only a rough, first approximation and leave plenty of room for improvement and a much better science.

    10. I’ve been told all the above are caused by financial considerations. What personal trainer wants to tell his clients to show up for one quarter of the workouts he’s paying for now? What personal trainer wants a client to know that not every workout is making him objectively stronger with mathematical certainty? (And might be moving him backwards with equal mathematical certainty.) The durable answer simply lies in a better business model. A trainer could take on four times the clients at one quarter of the price and still do the same work for the same total income every month. And clients are a lot easier to find when they only have to pay 25% of the old model, and they would create a lot more positive word of mouth after they saw mathematical proof of their strength progress. But the business of fitness is a whole other tragedy.

    Thanks for reading this. I will leave all the last words to others. Good health to you all.

    Pete

    • https://corporatewarrior.co lneal87

      Thank you for taking the time to submit this Pete. I really appreciate it. Loved our conversation today.

    • Kamen Stranchevski

      Hi Pete, I just wanted to make a suggestion, to as why so many people reacted in the way they did “attacking” your approach… I believe it is the “more reps per unit of time”, that stood up and got picked up out of the context. I have read fraction of your materials, but I believe, I tried to keep the bigger overall focus over your “power factor theory”. I think, that you’ll also agree, that making more Reps in a given amount of time will be primarily understood from the majority people as faster speed reps, increased rate of execution. So faster = more in a given amount of time. In this case, the biggest concern for the HIT auditory, becomes Form and cauiton during rep’s execution and there it starts to look as a problem.
      Please, for the sake of clarity, let everyone know if according to you, say a 3 per/30 sec with 220 lbs in a given form will be considered a progression if previously 3 reps, same form were only possible with 210 lbs! My example is with three reps, as such a number will correspond better to your 30 sec. set suggestion and the most popular “good form” tempos out there.
      I think this will remove the “rep count thing”, that got so much attention and will help at least some people to get better understanding of what You were trying to say.
      I may be alltogether wrong in the above, but I somehow thought it was “unfair” for someone like yourself to be badly missunderstood or missinterpreted.
      BR: Kamen

      • Ralph J. Ryan Jr.

        Hi Kamen, I’ll try to answer your question
        Its something along the line of this, three typical Power Factor workout results –
        200 lbs * 20 reps / 30 sec = 8,000 lbs / min Workout 1
        205 lbs * 20 reps / 30 sec = 8,200 lbs / min Workout 2
        210 lbs * 20 reps / 30 sec = 8,400 lbs / min Workout 3

        Notice that the repetitions are the same, only the weights increase from workout to workout. The tempo of the exercise should stay the same. Maybe you feel like 20 reps is too fast a tempo, fine, increase the weight and do fewer repetitions in the 30 second time frame. If you feel 30 seconds is not enough time, increase the time frame. It was found through various studies that the 30 second time set was the most effective at building muscle. I believe the 30 second time frame is very similar to rep ranges of 8-12 for full ROM exercises, no coincidence, 30 seconds is simply the “time under tension”. The workout sets are performed in an all-out fashion to failure, so obviously if you manage more than say 20 reps in the 30 second time frame, that’s great. Just make sure your next workout is slightly more intense.

        • Kamen Stranchevski

          Hi Ralph, that’s exactely what I tried to point out to the audience! If someone fell in love with and/or mastered some cadence and ROM (for all their reasons), it is no problem to stick with same number of reps “to failure” in a given time frame and progress will be present and accounted for, once the actual resistance used is increased. That counts as progress according to the Power Factor Theory.