Although everything has been done in the world of Physical Culture we still have much to learn especially when it comes to Isometrics. If there were any true secrets in the realm of super strength, this is it. When done properly, Isometrics get you past plateaus that you never believed existed. It’s no wonder it is one of the most underrated forms of strength training. Those that know its secrets hold the power to unlock true super human powers.
Focus is a cornerstone in any exercise system whether it’s Muscle Control, lifting a heavy weight, enduring rep after rep or even going long periods of time in one exercise but Isometrics takes on a whole new level of focus and laser-like concentration. It doesn’t matter if you hold a posture for 10 seconds or 10 hours, the focus is still needed and if your mind goes blank, your body will follow. Holding a wrestler’s Bridge for example takes great focus and concentration not just on the body but internally. The real secret to Isometrics is not how long you can hold a posture or how intense the contraction, the real powerful secret is how much internal power you develop.
Have you ever watched guys like Dennis Rogers, Bud Jeffries, Logan Christopher, Pat Poviliatis, Chris Rider and others like them in action? Some of the things they do are just mind blowing and flat out super human. My favorite form of training of these guys is Steel Bending. I would bet you dollars to donuts that you will get more of a reaction from any of these guys bending a extremely tough nail or bar than you would see someone lifting a 600 pound deadlift.
Steel Bending is a style of strength training that is unique and builds a level of strength that you can’t get from a weight lifter or bodybuilder. I don’t care who you are or where you come from you will sweat and put everything in your body more from bending and shaping a steel bar 3ft or longer than you would going to the gym for an hour. How do you build that level of strength, from Isometrics? Hell yes you do and I’ll tell you why, because Isometrics gives you the power to give everything you have into one full out moment. Bending Steel is one of the best forms of Isometrics you can get.
If there was ever an athlete that took Isometrics to a level that will never be duplicated is without a doubt quite possibly the world’s greatest wrestler, The Great Gama. Gama was known for his intense and brutal workouts ranging from swimming to wrestling for hours on end to his massive amount of repetitions in Push-ups and Squats and being famous for never losing one match in his entire career which extends to 5000 matches. What you may not have known unless you’re in the circle of Physical Culturists is that Gama was fierce with his takedown and throwing abilities to toss opponents left and right looking like a rag doll. One of his secrets to achieving that level of strength was every morning he would get up, tie a belt or some kind of strap around a tree and try with ferocious intensity and fiery power to take down that tree. He did other forms of Isometrics if I stand corrected but that was a move he was famous for and it made him not only a legend but a force that no one ever wanted to get in the ring with.
Did I forget to mention that Muscle Control is a style of Isometrics? Damn, I must be slipping at almost 28 but seriously though, practicing the control of your muscles for contracting and relaxing is that of Isometrics and I believe arguably the two greatest superstars to ever do muscle Control was Maxick & Otto Arco. No two men before or since had a level of Muscle Control then those two gents right there. The flexion and extension of the muscles they contracted looked like balloons about to pop out of their veins but did it with grace, fluidity and control unlike anyone else in their time.
Isometrics gets a bad rap these days because of how it develops blood pressure and that it does more harm than good and this and that but the truth is it’s really all a bunch of crap. If one took the time to actually learn this type of training, they will see that not only will they get stronger physically but internally as well. A lot of people including scientists believe that Isometrics is doing something extremely intense but yet the breath is being held. That’s where the high blood pressure comes in and the head aches, the pulled tendons and the ripped muscle tissue.
A true Isometric contraction is in the breath. Just like any exercise you inhale and exhale during a movement or a hold. When you hold a posture, you don’t hold your breath now do you? You breathe deeply in order to keep that holding that posture. When you do an intense contraction say for ten seconds do not hold your breath, exhale with power and might. I believe the very best exhale you can do during a very intense contraction would be to make an “ssss” sound, when this happens your body is building more lung power and you’re not just contracting the muscle you want to flex but you’re also contracting the abdominals which in turn makes you strong throughout the entire body. When you hold a certain posture say like the Bridge or a downward facing dog (Hindu Push-up) or even hanging from a pull-up bar, you want to breathe deeply and picture as if you’re breathing into the muscles themselves, believing you’re giving them the oxygen they need to help stay in that posture longer.
This has been a concept since ancient times and from the old-time yoga instructors to the old-time strongmen, the concept remains the same just in a different juncture. Practice Isometrics often and research the best ways to work them into your own training or just doing them as they are. If you look hard enough and are open-minded, you’ll find yourself in a whole new world of strength training that is better, healthier and more efficient to your bodies needs as oppose to the cardio machines and the pink dumbbells you see too many people doing plus those god damn weight machines that really don’t do diddly squat for you when it comes to functional strength and fitness. The old-timers had it figured out long before we were ever around, listen to them and they will help you, I guarantee it.