The legendary Catch Wrestler Karl Gotch once said that to become strong and agile you always work your muscle from every possible angle. Muscles grow and look larger than life but like everything else there’s a consequence, if you work too much muscle and not enough of your tendons, you will be more vulnerable to injury. Isometrics is the key method not to just hit a muscle from a certain angle but every angle imaginable. Holding a certain position and hammering in only that particular spot will give you a sense of great strength from that position. One of the beauties of Isos is if you hit a spot where you can’t go anywhere else, that’s where you press, pull, squat or whatever to get beyond that position and no matter how you slice it, your strength will skyrocket with enough practice.
If Isometrics had its own star pupil it would most likely be Steve Justa. This man has got to be one of the most odd ball characters in the entire realm of Physical Culture but yet the way he works his strength and power takes on a whole new dimension both literally and figuratively trust me watch what he does sometime. Out of everything he’s accomplished in the world of Strength, I believe his most treasured wisdom is when he brings up Isometrics. A lot of strongmen credit Isometrics but no one has put them in the same realm as Justa has. His story about his hay bailing and the way he told Bud Jeffries about his dilemma about Diabetes and how Isometrics both saved his life and job is nothing short of remarkable.
I feel that if you want to accelerate your strength and speed in any sport you do, add in Isometrics and tell me if they didn’t improve your throw or shot or even your ability to kick a ball. Isometrics build positional strength and in sports you need to have a strong position from every possible angle whether its tackling, throwing a football or baseball, shooting a basketball from a long distance or kicking a soccer ball down the field you want to have the ability to be faster than the other guy. Think about this, you’re a pitcher for the New York Yankees; you have a good arm and can throw a hefty 93 mph fastball or a ok 86 mph slider, would you want to increase your speed of the ball by 3 mph on any of your pitches? Be pretty damn sweet if I say so myself and the ball will feel lighter in your hands as if it was the size of an egg, light and strong until it cracks the mitt like speedy Gonzales running into and past a brick wall. Each position you bring the ball as if simulating a pitch from little spots here and there will get stronger to the point where when you throw the actual pitch, it’ll take off like a rocket and the batter won’t realize what the hell hit him.
Grip strength is the basis not just in sports and the strongman business but in your specific business like carpentry, plumbing, construction, landscaping even a bagger at a grocery store, you need to able to handle things and your hands need a certain amount of strength otherwise you won’t be able to do your job very well. Would you believe that most of your grip strength is mainly isometric? It’s true if you really tested it and if you practice holding an object with your grip for a short or extended amount of time, you’re going to feel it whether you like it or not. For us strongmen, we need grip strength to perform the feats we do, sometimes the things we do don’t always involve the grip but it is practically mandatory otherwise you won’t perform the feats you want to tackle. Bending steel and tearing phonebooks are two of the purist forms of grip strength and like I said before, Isometrics are usually the most credited method for pushing beyond the limits.
Another form of Isometrics is Muscle Control which is mostly used in Yoga, Martial Arts and Bodybuilding. Contrary to popular belief, muscle heads are pretty smart when it comes to certain things and the way they pose is just unbelievable despite how big they are. Back in the day however, a few guys named Maxick and Otto Arco took this to a level that can never be duplicated again. Their posing was unprecedented and even bringing the little muscles were just off the chain. Check them out sometime on Youtube if you can find them and just watch how they can change from one muscle to the next in heart beat its awesome.
Now that you’ve read a little more on Isometrics, I think you’re getting a sense that there really are no excuses and you can do this method just about anywhere, if you go to church and pray you can do it, think about it you put your hands in prayer and when you ask for guidance press the hands together hard and tell me you don’t feel a little more energized? You can be in class and press or pull on the desk and you can have no one ever notice it. You can be watching a movie and flex during certain scenes so don’t ever say you don’t have time to exercise because you usually can make the time but it’s up to you to make the effort.