January 4, 2021

Could Flexing Between Sets Equal Faster Gains?

by ironparadisefitness

Could Flexing Between Sets Equal Faster Gains?

In gyms across the world, you'll see gym-goers flexing in front of the dumbbell rack between sets. But why? Without question, part of the reason is to hit the perfect angle that social media selfie. But another reason exists. Some believe flexing is a shortcut more gains. And the premise is not as far-fetched as it first appears.

Before we get started if you'd prefer to listen to the audio version of this article, click the play button below.

The Research On Flexing

Flexing Iron Paradise Fitness Training And Nutrition Articles

Flexing is an isometric contraction of a muscle. So rest intervals involving a muscular contraction create more tension on a muscle. And more tension equals more volume. And more volume equals more muscle. Well, that's the logic. But is it scientific logic or bro logic? Should you be flexing between sets for more gains? Or is sitting on your butt while mocking the ridiculous behaviour of your bro brethren, the way to go? Well, a study in Jan 2020 by Schoenfeld et al looked at this exact subject. So let’s break it down.
 
In the study, researchers divided the 35 male participants into two groups. The texters and the flexors (pssst... I made up those group names). So what did these 35 dudes get up to?
 
Both groups performed the same total body resistance training programme. The only difference was what they did in their rest periods. The texters did nothing for 2 minutes. The flexing group posed for 30 seconds immediately after completing a set. Flexing done, they rested for a further 90 seconds. So what were the results?

Did The Results Show Any Benefit Of Flexing Between Sets?

Flexing Iron Paradise Fitness Training And Nutrition Articles

Muscle growth in the biceps, triceps, and vastus lateralis was no different. So you could say that all the flexing came to nothing. In fact, leg press strength decreased in the flexing group. A possible sign of accumulated fatigue and its impact on performance. But there was one anomaly, the rectus femoris--the muscle running down the centre of the thigh. The flexing group increased the size of this specific muscle. But why? Researchers speculate that it could be a result of exercise selection. Allow me to explain.

The lower body element of the training programme included the squat and the leg press. Neither of which load the quad in the shortened position. Think about standing up straight in a squat or legs outstretched on the leg press. These positions have the least challenge to the quad muscles. In comparison, the leg extension, for example, loads the shortened position of the quad. So why is this relevant? Well, those flexing between sets did so in a position akin to the end position of a leg extension. Thereby increasing the stimulus of the rectus femoris compared to the resting group. The isometric hold was making up, somewhat, for a gap in the training programming. Does this me we should all go and start flexing our quads between sets?

To Flex Or Not To Flex?

The simple answer is, no. You don't need to flex for quad gains. Instead, create a more effective training programme. One that incorporates exercises that challenge muscles through their full contractile range. So squat and leg extension, for example. Flexing will not bridge the gap of poor programming. In fact, it could tire you out and be detrimental to hypertrophy. The long and the short of it is this. Get a better training programme and save the posing for when you're out home in front of the mirror.

 

The Next Step In Achieving Your Fitness Goals

Online Coaching Iron Paradise Fitness

Now you're clear about flexing, what about the other pieces of the puzzle? Are you confident in managing all aspects of your training and nutrition? And can you keep yourself accountable to ensure you maintain consistency? If you're unsure, my online coaching programme is worth a moment of your attention.

The Lean Life Method can help you lose fat, build muscle, and achieve the body you've been striving for. 121 coaching takes the guesswork out of training and nutrition. Join The Lean Life Method and you’ll learn a simple, stress-free way to achieve your fitness goals. And you'll feel more confident than ever before. And there's no need to torture yourself in the gym, avoid wine and pizza, or kill your social life in the process.
I'm guessing you've spent thousands on pills, powders, and programmes that delivered nothing. So you might be wondering what's different about me? The simple truth is this... I get results. And I'll teach you everything you need to know, so you can maintain those results.  So answer me this.
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  • How much stress and frustration is your lack of progress adding to your life?

A lack of clarity might be holding you back from living the leaner, healthier life you deserve.

 

Find out more

Click here to see the results, people like you, are getting with The Lean Life Method. And if you think personal coaching is exactly what you're looking for click here for more information.

But for now, all I’ll say is, thanks so much for reading, keep living the Lean Life. And I’ll see you soon.

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Tags

building muscle, flexing, hypertrophy, muscle gain


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