Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My Secret Weapon!!

We all strive to become strong and want to be a powerful human being. What if we turned the volume up a bit and search for a higher purpose and become superhuman. Isometrics for the most part when done correctly is one of the most difficult forms of strength training. The reason why that is its because Isometrics require a laser-like focus of mind over matter and shoot for the last rep first. One of the keys to developing superhuman strength is indeed through isometric exercise.

One of my good friends John Peterson of Bronze Bow Publishing and www.transformetrics.com is one of the best at knowing how to develop strength and conditioning through basic and simple bodyweight exercises. I've had many conversations with him over the last half decade and one that comes to mind is often discussions on Isometric Training. Me and him agree that in order to develop superhuman strength, Isometrics are one of the true keys and as a strongman myself this is true to the bone and i'll tell you why. In order to pull off certain feats as bending, tearing phonebooks, levering sledgehammers or ripping decks of cards you will notice how that to start an isometric contraction takes places and the amount of pressure needed to pull these feats off is not as easy as some people may believe. One of John's products is called the Isometric Power Belt. Its an 18ft long Leather strap belt that withstand as much as 7000 lbs. of force and can be used for many many exercises and not just isometrics but also DSR type movements or Dynamic Self Resistance.

It is without question my secret weapon for feats of strength and because of that unlike what John has advertised for what exercises you can use I have taken it to another level and imitated various feats of strength in order to build super strength in my tendons and ligiments for the feats I want to perform. My secret weapon costs less then a 3 month membership to a gym, less then a set of dumbbells and barbells and just to name another, it costs less then a power rack to hold weights. Am I saying those things are bad, no but i'm not a weightlifter and I don't have a lot of money so this belt is a life-saver for me and it can do more then I expected it to do.

The true secret to Isometrics is not how physically powerful it can make you but how powerful it can make you mentally. You develop Mind Power with Isometrics and you learn how to channel your focus into one given moment of programming your body to get that last rep first. You don't just flex a couple muscles and be done with it, no your whole being is driven to the core. If you want to squeeze out an exercise for 6-10 seconds at 70-90% of your power you can do that but you can also channel it to another dimension and hold it for 1 minute or longer at 30-50% of your power. Thats the beauty of Isometrics. Unlike other exercises where you do different speeds, tempos and how fast or slow Isometrics makes you work your own strength and power which too many people forget to do because they don't care how strong they get and thats a shame. Isometrics helps you build a mind/muscle connection unlike anything else and in my personal opinion and experience, you can build strength and endurance at the same time using Isometric Exercise.

One of the greatest Strongmen in history was former P.O.W of the first World War Alexander Zass. He was known throughout the world for his strength to bend steel bars and being able to take some serious blows to the stomach by boxers and being hit with sledgehammers. Without question he was the world's strongest man for the things he did. When he became really famous he wrote a course detailing how Isometric Exercise was the key to his reknowned power and superhuman strength. He used chains to do certain Isometric Exercises and because of that eventually he eventually was breaking those chains with ease. The chains are now synonum in Strongmanism throughout the last 100 years and used by men like Zass, The Mighty Atom, Slim The Hammerman, Dennis Rogers and many others.

Now a couple questions that come up every now and then were "Can you train on Isometrics Alone?" & "Is it true that Charles Atlas had isometrics in his Dynamic Tension Course?" Now contrary to popular belief, no Charles Atlas did not have isometrics in his course and most people don't know the difference between isometrics and dynamic tension. Iso-Metric in greek terms means Same-Length which in turn means you're holding a certain contraction without moving in any direction. Dynamic Tension means you're moving through a range of motion depending how hard or easy the movement is. Can you train on Isometrics Alone? In my opinion that depends on the individual because Isometrics can be used in many ways, rehab, strongman, athletics, time-saving training just to name a few but in technical terms no and I'll tell you why. Isometrics is a very powerful form of strength and conditioning but to get a complete program you must do various moving exercises whether it be push-ups, squats, pull-ups, muscle control, sit-ups or whatever. Its balancing out the weak points in your training.

I love Isometrics because i'm a strongman and need that form of training to accomplish the feats I want to do. I  also like moving through certain ranges of motion because I want to balance out the weak spots and get that strength and flexibility that I need to stay in top shape. Find your own secret weapon and conquer your own training program. The true keys to complete strength development is learning the basics and creating your own style of training. Like me I have developed my own style of training and it won't always work for everyone either because they're not strong enough or don't have the right structure. Develop your way and build a body thats around your structure and body-to-weight ratio.
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