Standard stretching sucks… Here’s what to do about it

In Guest Articles, Strongman Mastery by adminLeave a Comment

The following is a guest article from Peter Tzemis, creator of Anabolic Stretching.


Most people just don’t do it. And I don’t blame them – considering half the time you feel like your just wasting time sitting in uncomfortable positions.

The main problem with conventional stretching programs is that they often work against your body’s physiology rather than with it.

If you take a tight, cold muscle and expose it to prolonged “standard” stretching, you could incur scar tissue and micro-tearing, which could then lead to muscle weakness, inflexibility, and injury.

Furthermore, many professionals have prescribed stretching before exercise as a form of warm up. This is wrong.

A study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research concluded that if you stretch before you lift weights, you could find yourself weaker and “off balanced” in your workouts (1). Not something we want when hoisting hundreds of pounds of metal.

104 Studies Agree, Standard Stretching… Sucks

Researchers at the University of Zagre began combing through hundreds of earlier experiments in which volunteers stretched and then jumped, dunked, sprinted, lifted or otherwise had their muscular strength and power tested.

The scientists wound up with 104 past studies that met their criteria. The numbers, especially for competitive athletes, are sobering. According to their calculations, traditional stretching techniques reduce strength in the stretched muscles by almost 5.5%, with the impact increasing in people who hold individual stretches for 90 seconds or more.

Explosive muscular performance also drops off significantly, by as much as 2.8 %.

A similar conclusion was reached by the authors of another new study, in which young, fit men performed standard squats with barbells after either first stretching or not. The volunteers could manage 8.3 % less weight after traditional stretching. But even more interesting, they also reported that they felt less stable and more unbalanced after traditional stretching than when they didn’t stretch at all.

How to build the shoulders and arms of olympic gymnasts

Done properly, “anabolic” stretching can dramatically speed up muscle growth, strength, and recovery. It is the overlooked secret to many of the worlds fittest – including the King himself, Arnold.

Ironically, the best of the best have been exploiting this technique for years. This type of training actually originates from the training of olympic gymnasts and likely dates back more than 60 years.

Gymnasts by nature need to build massive strength, size and stability to do what they do. Their body adapts, through anabolic stretching because it has too. The result is a jaw dropping physique combined with superhuman like strength, size and flexibility.

Turning “traditional” stretching into “anabolic” stretching

This is not the nice kind of stretching you are thinking of. This is going to hurt. Put simply, take a moderate weight, lower it into the maximum stretched position of a stretch-focused exercise and hold.

This is exactly the kind of thing that Arnold used to do in his workouts to build his incredible chest. He would hold the bottom position of a flye for 45-60 seconds (at the end of a chest workout when his pecs were pumped full of blood).

The key thing is that you’re not really “stretching” like in the way you do with most static stretching…you’re resisting the load in the stretched position.

There is a big difference.

And you will feel this difference the first time you try it.

318% More Muscle growth with just 10 minutes of anabolic stretching

In the early 1990s, a study was done on birds that had nothing short of amazing results. In this study, Dr. Jose Antonio attached a weight to the wing of young quail, and over the course of a month, he progressively increased the weight.

After a month, the level of muscle hypertrophy (growth) was measured. The bird’s wing where the weight was attached had grown by over 300 percent (318 percent to be exact).

After studying the results more closely, Dr. Antonio discovered evidence of hyperplasia. A controversial topic in the strength and conditioning field, hyperplasia is the growth of muscles not through the increase in size of the fibers (hypertrophy) but through the increase in number.

For a while, this was all theory since birds and humans (for the most part) are kinda, sorta different. That ended when Dr. Jacob Wilson and his team recently put the theory to the test in the lab, investigating the effects of anabolic stretching on skeletal muscle size and strength in human subjects.

Twenty-four recreationally trained subjects were randomly assigned to stretching and non-stretching conditions. The result?

Muscle effectively DOUBLED in the group that used anabolic stretching. (2)

In short, the study suggested aggressively stretching a fully-pumped muscle is the perfect mechanism for growth. You maximize the cell swelling response for maximal muscle damage while also increase overall muscular tension.

Beginners Biceps Anabolic Stretching To Build Awesome Arms

  1. Get into the incline curl position
  2. Pick a weight you can do 12-15 curls with
  3. Perform incline bicep curls until complete failure
  4. instead of dropping the weight after, let the weight stretch your biceps out for 30 seconds
  5. Try not to cry while you engage in badass mental warfare
  6. Release the weights
  7. Rest 1-2 minutes and repeat the entire process 2 more times

Next Steps

This stretch, while pretty basic, is good enough to turn your arms into dangerous, sleeve splitting 18 inch pythons.

So, to integrate this into your current training, simply perform this anabolic stretch at the end of any workout, and you’ll be on your way to bigger, stronger, and damn good looking muscles.

Now, again–while the above stretch will definitely get the job done, as they say, it’s pretty basic. Good in a pinch, but not super high-level, by any means.

This is why I created the Anabolic Stretching System.  

Anabolic Stretching is only for men who want a simple shortcut to more muscle, better recovery and a killer body.

The methods are very simple and not time-intensive…even just 5-10 minutes done at the end of your regular workout will get you results. The best part is that you can put it to work without changing your whole training program around…just add it to the end of your current workouts.

That being said, these “anabolic stretching sets” won’t be a walk in the park. But if you can’t handle a couple of quick and challenging stretching sets, then you don’t deserve to have your dream body anyway.

Learn more about Anabolic Stretching here


  1. Gergley, J. C. (2013, April). Acute effect of passive static stretching on lower-body strength in moderately trained men. Retrieved March 31, 2017, from
  2. Silva, J.E., Rauch, J., Lowery, R.P.,…..and Wilson, J.M. (2014) Weighted Post-Set Stretching Increases Skeletal Muscle Hypertrophy. National Strength and Conditioning Conference, Las Vegas Nevada.

Leave a Comment