This supramaximal loading also produces post activation potentiation (increased neural drive and motor unit recruitment) from the inordinately heavier loads. Rather than terminating the set here, you’ll use this potentiation to elicit a greater hypertrophy response.
Simply follow the supramaximal hold with a drop set by decreasing the load by 40-50%. From there you’ll blast out smooth rows with additional pauses in both the contracted and stretched positions.
Because the nervous system will be potentiated and hyper activated from the prior heavy loading, the reduced weight for the standard rows will feel inordinately light. This will allow the lifter to produce smooth yet powerful and intense contractions throughout the lats and upper back. As a result this creates further metabolic stress and cellular swelling to the upper back musculature making it highly effective for producing functional strength and hypertrophy. Several sets of this will more than suffice for triggering newfound growth in your upper back and lats.
You’ll also experience three physical bonuses when performing this exercise protocol.
1. You’ll experience increased lower body activation throughout the hips, feet, and ankles. Due to the heavy loads and the 90 degree hip flexion position, the isometric hold feels very similar to an RDL. In fact don’t be surprised if your hips and legs begin to shake and quiver while performing the supramaximal hold. In addition, focus on keeping your feet straight and knees slightly pushed out with more pressure on the outside of the feet just like you would during a squat or RDL. Performing these in barefoot or minimalist conditions will help optimize these effects.
2. The low back muscles will also receive intense stimulation from this rowing protocol as the heavy loads and high time under tension will require the spinal erectors and musculature around the lumbar spine to resist flexion forces. As a result this is one of the best low back strengthening and preventative exercises you’ll ever perform. For individuals who suffer with low back pain I recommend performing the isometric hold using lighter loads. Simply holding the proper position with perfect posture and resisting flexion forces will have an incredible impact on low back health even with relatively lighter loads.