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Isometric Muscle Building
John Peterson John Peterson is offline
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05-16-2019, 11:44 AM
Hello Everyone,

I have been receiving a large number of e-mails from a competitor that also teaches Isometrics and he is trying like crazy to "get the goods". His last e-mail was asking me how to use Isometrics to add a great deal of muscle mass and the thing is that I have stated it many, many times on the forum. There are no secrets.

Here's the deal. If you want to increase muscle mass with any given method you need two things.

#1) The muscles have to be contracted against a level of resistance that causes them to have to adapt by becoming stronger. There are many, many ways of accomplishing that objective ranging the gamut from Iso-Dynamic exercises such as those you'll find in my books that also include freehand Isometrics (Both Classic and Power flex) or by using various types of apparatus including, weights, machines, strands, pulleys or whatever. It's the right combination of muscle contraction (stimulus) and the correct amount of nutrition and rest (recovery) that creates the desired result. Personally, I've always favored freehand movements that rely on nothing but my own body. In my case, it all started with Charles Atlas's exercises which I went on to adapt and refine on my own. Believe me, you can accomplish wonders using nothing more than self-resistance as Alois P Swoboda, Atlas and others taught.

#2) Equally important is blood infusion into the muscles to the point that the pump makes the skin feel tight. (YES, the skin needs to feel tight) Again this can be accomplished with and without equipment and when it comes to equipment there are only 2 pieces that I use and they include my Isometric Power Belt and a weight vest so that I don't have to perform the extremely high volume that I once did on a daily basis. There was a time years ago that I often did 700 (or more) Atlas Style Push-Ups daily and I achieved a great pump by doing that. I wish I would have had known about weight vest training back then but I didn't.

This brings us to how to build mass with Isometrics. Simply put, You need to do multiple contractions in succession and the best for me has proven to be Solomon's 5-6-7 contraction that is done by starting with a 5-second intense contraction with a brief rest that allows the blood flow into the muscle followed by a more intense contraction for 6 seconds followed by a brief rest that allows the muscles to absorb blood and nutrients and finally a last all out 7-second Contraction followed a complete rest in which you shake out the muscles and allow them to rest before going to the next exercise.

I DID NOT know about this method until Solomon taught me. Once I mastered the 5-6-7 I could not believe the difference it made. Yes, you can achieve great results from single contractions as Coach James Baley taught but regardless of how intense your single contraction is you WILL NOT be achieving the kind of pump that YOU WILL from the 5-6-7 contraction.

Now, what about more than 3? I don't really know because I have mastered the 5-6-7 and the pump I get from it is as good or better than the high volume pump that I used to do and a whole lot less time-consuming. You're free to experiment.

Let me also make another point there are days that I just cannot achieve the level of intensity in my contractions that I have on others. That is the reality and it would true across the board for everyone. On those days that I don't have it-- it is OK...It's the best I can do on that day and it still has great benefit. And just so you know, I have received an e-mail from one man that is really into psychic development and he does 7 X 7 seconds for each exercise on any given day and he says he thrives on it. He e-mailed a few pictures to me and I assure you that with his development I have no doubt that he would be able to compete in many local physique contests and win. Once again he says he does 7 X 7 seconds resting only long enough to let blood pump into the muscle.

One last thing is that if you haven't already done so, read Steve Justa's 'Rock, Iron, Steel'. It has some of the best information you'll ever find about functional Isometric Strength that he used to enhance his ability at 'hay stacking'. Heavy Weight Training had helped Steve improve his ability somewhat but Isometrics sent his functional usable strength as applied to that specific endeavor through the roof.

---John Peterson
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TimK TimK is offline
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05-19-2019, 11:46 AM
I spent decades in the gym lifting heavy weights in order to get bigger. Well my arms, chest and shoulders did get bigger, but so did my midsection.
I never used steroids. I always wondered why I never ended up looking like the hulks in "Muscle and Fitness."
My observation is that the most "Jacked" natural athletes in our society are the gymnasts. What are they doing? Well they keep their weight down and their routines have a significant isometric component.
So if you want big muscles and you don't want a big belly, you will have to use steroids. On the other hand, if you want to get stronger and look better, do isometrics and keep your weight down. If you want the bigger muscles, you need the pump of lots of reps. You should still keep your weight down.

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jonlclay jonlclay is offline
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05-20-2019, 08:10 AM

For those of us who have no interest in building mass and just want a lean but strong body, would you still recommend the Solomon regimen or can 1 contraction at multiple angles be enough to do this?


"Everyone has within his power to say, this I am today, that I shall be tomorrow." Louis L'Amour - The Walking Drum
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