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John Peterson 05-09-2019 06:14 PM

Can Isometrics Build Muscle Mass?
Hello Everyone,

One of the questions that I am often asked about Isometrics relates to it's efficiency for enhancing muscle size. One man just asked me, "Can it or can't it build muscles?"

Obviously, what he is asking is if an Isometric routine can turn a man into a powerfully developed man without incorporating other forms of exercise.

The answer is YES!!! It certainly can.

For example, Years ago I had asked this same question to coach James Baley. Baley assured me that the answer is YES and that he himself had seen it a number of times. My own experience tells me that Isometrics are great for sculpting and shaping one's physique and that is precisely why Mike Dayton used bodybuilding poses performed Isometrically for the 'Chi' exercises in his course 'Chi Mind' control. This brings up a point, I did have a martial arts student/friend named David who was a tattoo artist that bought Mike Dayton's course in 1978 and followed it meticulously while he dieted and he lost an amazing amount of body fat while shaping an exceptional physique. In David's case, he told me that he did no other exercises at all. No push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups...nothing...just Isometric Flexing that he did in a concentrated workout of about 20 minutes each morning and then repeating a great many of those exercises multiple times each day. He literally flexed his muscles throughout the day and his results were amazing. The key is to flood the muscles with highly oxygenated blood.

---John Peterson

blackbelt 05-10-2019 11:07 AM

Hi John,

I can’t help but wonder…

Shouldn't we differentiate between building lean functional muscle, versus bulk/size?


John Peterson 05-12-2019 03:53 PM

Hello Blackbelt,

I fully agree with you.

BUT I think the guy was trolling to see if I'd say that you could build massive muscles like the bodybuilders you see in magazines.

The answer to that is that I have never seen or read of any bodybuilder that says he has built his physique exclusively with Isometrics.

And very seriously, DO NOT believe what John Little and Peter Sisco say in their books about holding heavy weights at positions of maximum strength. Doing so is the exact opposite of how to gain strength with Isometrics in which you will focus the contractions on the points of greatest weakness.

To achieve the kind of development that I consider freakish as is evident in bodybuilding magazines requires chemicals and a whole lot of other things besides lifting weights and I do not believe that I have ever read of anyone having ever developed a physique of that type solely with Isometrics.

Years ago when I talked with Coach James Baley, he told me that he had seen many men develop exceptional physiques with Isometric Training exclusively and these were athletes that competed in weight classes in wrestling and boxing. There were also a few swimmers that Baley mentioned that used Isometrics to great benefit and that in addition to enhanced strength and athletic capability they also improved their physiques in an amazing way. There was also one other man that Baley mentioned that was a professional Jockey that Baley said had developed one of the most remarkable physiques he had ever seen.

Rob, you have seen my recent photos and the development I currently have is do mostly to Isometrics for the past three years though I do include a limited number Iso-Dynamic exercises that I perform while wearing a weight vest. Still at least 75% of what I do is Isometrics exclusively. I like the results I have achieved.

---John Peterson

Personal opinion and experience tells me that one can develop an exceptional level of development with Isometrics BUT even more important is the fact that you can achieve it while protecting yourself from injury.

ware 05-14-2019 05:02 PM

John, I also think that when people ask these questions. "Can I get big muscle from X?" many, in their minds picture the drug pigs that have blown themselves all out of human proportion and then if they think method ABC can't produce that look, well then, it's junk.

I think any and all resistance training when accompanied by a reasonable diet is capable of making any trainee more muscular and stronger. But if you wanna look like a drug pig, then you need drugs.

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