I used to be very skeptical when it came to isometric training, especially overcoming isometrics like pulling a chain apart.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve learned just how mistaken I was about this old-school training method. Today I want to share with you three of the biggest myths I used to believe about isometric training.
#1 Isometrics aren’t very good for building muscle and strength
Not only are overcoming isometrics effective for building up your body, but they may just be one of the best ways to help you break muscle and strength plateaus.
The reason is simple; building strength and muscle come down to time under tension. More tension for more time = more muscle and strength. isometric training is the simplest, and easiest form of training for placing your muscles under a lot of tension for a good amount of time. Your only limits are how hard you can contract your own muscles and the mental toughness to maintain a contraction.
#2 Isometrics aren’t very functional
The old adage is that you can’t build functional strength through a range of motion because you’re not using any range of motion at all. To a degree, this is true since strength is specific to what you’re doing. However, the true functional benefit of overcoming isometrics isn’t building strength in a given position, but rather learning how to recruit more muscle fibers.
The more muscle fibers you can recruit, in any position, the more of the natural strength you can use for any exercise or movement pattern.
#3 You can’t progress isometrics due to the lack of quantification
You can’t really put a number to your overcoming isometrics. At least not until Dragon Door comes out with their Iso-Chain.
The old thinking is that you’ll be training blind if you can’t attach a number to your performance, but the good news is you don’t always need one. A lot of your progression will come in the sensation of strength, stability and muscle activation. All of these are not something you can put a number to, but you’ll certainly feel them and know without a doubt you’re making progress.
If you want to learn more about these myths check out this week’s episode of the RDP podcast in the video or audio below.