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Isometrics Can Be Superior in Some Ways
John Peterson John Peterson is offline
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12-27-2019, 04:33 PM
Hello Friends,

Of late we have been posting about the wide-ranging benefits of Isometrics. It all started some time ago when a friend sent me a link to the video clip of Tony Robbins putting a young man through the paces of a workout in which Isometrics were a key component. That led to other posts and to a video clip featuring Dr. John Jaquish whom I greatly admire.

One of the things that Dr. John Jaquish mentions in his video clips is the very real disparity in strength that we all experience between the start point and endpoint of any given range of motion. Dr. Jaquish's answer is to use ultra heavy duty latex bands to provide variable resistance that increase in resistance the further they are stretched to more perfectly match the natural strength curve of human muscle by providing more resistance as one's leverage increases as opposed to using a barbell or dumbbells or machines that provide exactly the same level of resistance at any given point within any given range of motion regardless of the enhanced leverage one is bringing to the movement. What Dr. Jaquish is stating makes perfect sense.

However, this was also something that Coach James Baley talked with me about way back in 1990 and Coach Baley's way of dealing with the disparity in strength between the start and end of a movement was his Isometric Power Belt in which Isometric Contraction was applied at the start, mid-point and end of any given exercise. Coach Baley recommended three points of contraction with almost every exercise. In fact, Baley told me that one could take any given exercise and apply contraction at multiple points within the range of motion for greatly added benefit. In other words, you might use six points instead of three or whatever number you would prefer. What Baley stated was that by applying maximum intensity Isometric Contraction at multiple points you would then be able to increase the strength at your weakest point so that it would more closely line up with your strongest point.

Now, this is considerably different than the 'Static Contraction' training that was advocated years ago that had trainees applying Isometric Contraction with weights at the point of one's greatest strength (which is just before the lockout position) and doing so just once every 10 days or so. That method of training creates an even greater disparity in strength between weak point and strong point because you are adding even more strength to the strong point while neglecting the weak point

Here's the point of this post. If you want to train safely and yet test yourself at the maximum I think what Dr. John Jaquish is stating makes a great deal of sense and his way of training with ultra-high tension bands is a safe way to achieve it. BUT if your goal is to strengthen your weakest point to most closely approximate your strength at your strongest point then Isometric Training may have a bit of an edge for that purpose.

---John Peterson

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12-28-2019, 06:50 PM
That is an excellent point John, thank you for stating it so clearly.

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