Is your muscle definition cramping your style? See what we did there? In a physical training program, understanding what muscles need to be worked and which should be rested is essential to building strength. Putting together an exercise program with science-based evidence means you get results in the long term. That’s where Jeff Cavaliere comes into play with the best way to optimize your exercise program through the cramp contraction test. First, we’ll introduce you to Jeff, and then we’ll get started on what this test does for your training and nutrition program.
Meet Jeff Cavaliere
Jeff Cavaliere began his career in major league baseball (MLB) with the Mets as a world-class physical therapist and strength conditioning specialist. As part of their physical training program from 2006-2008, he developed athletes like Pedro Martinez, Carlos Delgado, David Wright, and more. Upon leaving the Mets, Jeff became one of the most sought-after personal trainers. Famous actors and athletes like Sylvester Stallone, Greg Jennings, and Antonio Brown praise Jeff’s physical training program not only for its cardiovascular training and nutrition program but also for its workout recovery and mental focus.
His physical therapy background is a significant factor that sets Jeff apart from other personal trainers. He understands the body’s anatomy of muscles and how you can optimize your exercise program by putting together certain workout combinations. At the same time, he prioritizes safety and enhancing workout recovery for injury prevention. He also understands pain management and what workouts can assist with eliminating pain. His extensive knowledge of proper form and techniques makes it easy to understand why 14 million people follow him on multiple social media platforms, including his YouTube channel, AthleanX.
Aside from his training and nutrition program, Jeff Cavaliere is an author. He has written a strength and conditioning book for MLB players. He also wrote a book geared toward teens called “Teen Sports Nutrition Blueprint.” It speaks about childhood obesity and ways to combat this ever-growing problem among our youth.
Understanding the Cavaliere Cramp Contraction Test
Can Cavaliere optimize your exercise program and show you indicators that muscles can be grown? The answer is yes. The Cavaliere cramp test is a perfect example. The test involves you flexing a particular muscle to see if you reach the point of pain without load, so just say no to dumbbells. If your muscle can cramp without a load in a flexed position, it indicates that the muscle can be grown.
This cramp test is a great way to leverage mental focus. If your mindset is hypertrophy, then it is possible. Cavaliere promotes doing this test four times a day throughout the entire body to optimize your exercise program and determine which muscles should be your focus.
One of the main reasons for this type of test is to learn how to engage the muscle through flexing without load. By focusing on the flexion of the muscle, you know more about what makes the muscle work and learn how to focus on better muscle growth and recovery. It helps you manage your progressive overload for more substantial, leaner muscle mass.
Hand Dynamometer For Rest and Recovery
Jeff uses a hand dynamometer tool to help you decide if you have recovered enough or need more rest. A dynamometer is a tool that measures grip strength. It requires a baseline to get an idea of what your average grip strength is. You should use it daily and at the same time every day. Once you have a baseline, if you notice that your grip is measuring much less on a particular day, it is a sign that you aren’t ready to train. Your body needs more rest.
The idea of overtraining may stem from insufficient recovery in between workouts. A dynamometer will help you determine if that is the case. It may be that you can do a form of exercise that is a form of active recovery, like light walking or yoga. It’s still a workout, but without high-intensity cardiovascular training.
Cavaliere’s Exercise Program with Science
Since 14 million people follow Jeff Cavaliere on YouTube, we thought you might like a taste of what this world-class physical therapist suggests with your physical training program.
He recommends working out five times per week, alternating strength and conditioning. Workouts should only be an hour or less. Cardiovascular training must be twice per week at a minimum. He recommends performing both strength and cardiovascular exercises on the same day, starting with strength training and ending with cardio. Cavaliere states that performing cardio first will wear you out and be detrimental to your strength workout, which is more important.
Finding a split that works is essential to your progress. If you don’t like the split or it’s too complicated, you will never do it. Try push/pull/legs one day and then chest/arms/legs another. Whatever split you do, ensure you perform it correctly to ensure proper muscle growth. You can also focus on one muscle group a day if you prefer. Check out our 4-day split article to learn more about splits and what works best.
Not only does Cavaliere optimize your exercise program with science-based approaches, but he also has a nutrition program that athletes embrace. It’s low in sugar and fat but not so restrictive that you can’t sustain it. Diets that are too restrictive or eliminate an entire food group are likely to fail. Carbs are your most considerable portion, but it’s best to get carbs through vegetables rather than cookies. Protein should be your second most significant focus, with starchy carbs being few and far between.
If you’re looking for a workout with an exercise program with a science-based focus, Cavaliere’s AthleanX is an excellent choice. His cramp contraction test gives you the mental focus you need to build muscles properly. Understanding how your muscles work is the first step to creating more substantial, leaner muscle mass. This world-class physical therapist brings extensive knowledge with safety at the forefront. Perform some splits with chest work and use the Total Body Workout to help. Incorporate the Phat workout to gain more muscle hypertrophy too. We like to use all of the tools to build a healthier lifestyle.