Isometric Training - Break Through Strength Plateaus
By Strength Oldschool
Anyone perform this type of training?
This was a response from a Grip Specialist called Alex…
“I use Isometrics when training my short steel bending. I am a great believer in Iso.
I used it to train to certify on the Ironmind Red nail, and various Fat Bastard Barbell certs.
Normally I will use 3 pieces of steel the same as the one I want to eventually bend.These will be...one straight, to train the initial kink, one with a slight kink, and another at about 45 deg. By applying force to the bar and holding it for as long as you can builds strength very quickly.”
This response comes from Magnus…
“Isometrics is a great way to build strength around sticking points, and seems to work best with longer holds any time up to 1 minute or more. The extra time under tension helps add muscle mass and is probably essential for wrestlers/MMA guys who have to hold tough positions in a contest for extended periods of time. Most guys who only have low-rep strength find fights like those impossible to cope with as they burn out quickly under pressure.
Steve Justa’s book ‘Rock, Iron, Steel’ has Steve practising all kinds of isometrics and extended weight set work such as walking around at work all day wearing a 100lb weighted vest and walking a couple of miles wearing a 200lb vest (he said he was totally wiped out for an hour after that!) Okay, that’s not strictly isometrics but standing around with a vest on like that your body is under pressure all the time so it resembles an isometric. Those who never tried things like that before give it a try, I can guarantee you a workout worthy of an MMA fighter! Hang in there to your limit and you will feel like you have been worked over in a tough fight!
Alex certified on the Red Nail – trust me, that is TOUGH!! His training mentioned above is simple but brilliantly effective, but Alex will also tell you that very hard nail bending can wipe out your strength for training with weights, so it’s not likely you could certify on the nail and make personal bests with weights in the same week.”
Response by Ray Nobile…
“Bob Hoffman popularised isometrics in the early 1960s. as owner of the world famous York barbell club, and manufacturer of gym equipment ,he advocated isometrics using a barbell set within a power rack. he had olympic lifter Bill March use iso's , over a period of months. march made tremendous gains and went on to break world records. however everything is not as transparent as it seems. Hoffman had just made the power rack and needed a sales pitch, so he put march on steroids and through his magazine, strength and health, Hoffman claimed Bill March’s success on Isometrics. This is not to say Iso's are not good, they are great for overcoming sticking points in the deadlift. Larry Pacifico gave them credit for increasing his deadlift.”