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BREAKING DOWN WOLFF’S LAW

MaxOut Strength Studios is on the forefront of implementing the most innovative strength training technology and methodology on the market today.  The basis behind every one of our programs at MaxOut is the scientific principle called “Wolff’s Law”.  In the 1800s, Dr. Julius Wolff discovered that the body will conform and adapt to the intensities and directions it is habitually subjected to over time.  You may be asking yourself – “What the heck does that mean?”

Let’s break down that statement found in Wolff’s Law:

“The body will conform and adapt to the intensities and directions it is habitually subjected to over time.” – While Dr. Wolff did not identify this specific fact as a result of his vast experience with strength training in the 1800s, he was a leader and visionary when it came to fundamental functions of the human anatomy – specifically the muscular-skeletal system.  Through the years, studies have confirmed that overloading the body with a specific amount of weight during the eccentric phase of a repetition would apply a stress to the muscle that allowed it to accommodate an adaptation to its fiber, thus increasing its overall force production.

The human body is an amazing machine.  Certain things have to happen for your body to function at its very best.  Whether speaking about your heart, lungs, joints, etc., there are certain things that are universally accepted as scientific fact when it relates to the health and function of those areas of the body.  The same holds true for the muscles.  In any given repetition, there is a concentric and eccentric phase.  The concentric movement describes when the cross-bridges in the muscle fiber are attached and are able to overcome resistance applied to the muscle – thus the muscle shortens.  The eccentric movement describes when the cross bridges in the muscle fiber are subjected to less force – thus making it lengthen.  An example of an eccentric movement would be the lowering of a weight during the traditional bench press.

To properly recruit new and useable muscle fiber, you need to maximize the effectiveness of the eccentric movement.  While you can certainly do eccentric movements with a weight that you can both raise and lower, you are limited in the amount of stress you can apply to the cross-bridges of the muscle fiber, thus the amount of new muscle growth is limited.  To increase the effectiveness of the eccentric movement, you need to find a way to overload the eccentric movement with a heavier weight.  This is what is traditionally called a “negative” – something made famous by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1970s.  However, in most cases, this is either labor intensive (requiring multiple spotters/helpers) or was done with archaic, non-mechanical methods (strip weights, chains, bands, etc.)  Being able to consistently reproduce the same repetition results multiple times has been the strength training community’s Achilles Heel – until Maxout Strength Systems, LLC (the sister company to MaxOut Strength Studios) created the Barwis Methods Maxout Tower.

Knowing what we know to be scientific truth, we created the Barwis Methods Maxout Tower.  We believe that, as part of an annual strength and conditioning program, that eccentric overloading is essential to maximal strength gains.  Being able to overload the body with a specific amount of weight while also allowing for a prescribed amount of lift assistance (via the Barwis Methods Maxout Tower) to any given repetition allows for the ability to recruit new muscle fibers – which means the body will then be able to perform at a higher level.  And the icing on the cake is that it can be done in about one to two hours a week at MaxOut!  For more information on MaxOut Strength Studios please visit www.maxoutstudio.com.

                                                         By: Matt Cubbler

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