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Other/Mixed New training block, Isometrics as primary resistance training

Other strength modalities (e.g., Clubs), mixed strength modalities (e.g., combined kettlebell and barbell), other goals (flexibility)

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
I try and actively pull shoulder blades together throughout the bottom of a pushup hold....although you nailed it when you said force production would drop.

I have been giving some thought to the volume you could use that could make each set doable and avoiding failure....

Something along the lines of - if 2 minutes was your max long lunge hold time, then performing multiple sets of 1 minute. Maybe 4 sets of 1 minute.

It's a work in progress .... it also continues the debate that is as old as time. Volume or intensity haha.

Richard
I think it comes down to the adaptive response. Is the duration of hold necessary for the stretch overload or can it be substituted for increased tension?

Have been really tinkering with the eccentric iso currently. Eg OHP, line up with hands just under shoulder height, straps anchored behind you about 2 feet, shoulder width apart, knees bent in a 1/4 squat, lean forward a little. Reasonable stretch on the entire delt similar almost to a behind the neck press.
Exert about 70% effort and bend the knees, lowering while extending the hands up (staying in same place). Get to about 1/2 the ROM of a full press, and drive back up with the legs, resisting 100% as the delts get lengthened back out.

Not sure what to call these, but they def seem to be generating a solid response. I still include the static holds and pulse shots.
 
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3letterslong

Level 6 Valued Member
I try and actively pull shoulder blades together throughout the bottom of a pushup hold....although you nailed it when you said force production would drop.

I have been giving some thought to the volume you could use that could make each set doable and avoiding failure....

Something along the lines of - if 2 minutes was your max long lunge hold time, then performing multiple sets of 1 minute. Maybe 4 sets of 1 minute.

It's a work in progress .... it also continues the debate that is as old as time. Volume or intensity haha.

Richard

In one of the Schroeder articles I read about Extreme Isometrics, he says that you must have the intent of pulling into the position as hard as possible and if you falter on that intent you should end the set because you're no longer getting the right training stimulus out of it.

OTOH, a lot of what Schroeder does and says is enshrouded in mystery with a lot of people changing his methods to make them work for them, so I have no idea what to make of it.
 

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
In one of the Schroeder articles I read about Extreme Isometrics, he says that you must have the intent of pulling into the position as hard as possible and if you falter on that intent you should end the set because you're no longer getting the right training stimulus out of it.

OTOH, a lot of what Schroeder does and says is enshrouded in mystery with a lot of people changing his methods to make them work for them, so I have no idea what to make of it.
I think a big part of it is stretch mediated response. You can only go so far passively, and then you need to really work it.

I am VERY curious what holds and postures he experimented with and discarded. And then in his programming the extreme isos were only one element of many.
 

3letterslong

Level 6 Valued Member
I think a big part of it is stretch mediated response. You can only go so far passively, and then you need to really work it.

I am VERY curious what holds and postures he experimented with and discarded. And then in his programming the extreme isos were only one element of many.
That's actually a thought I never had until you mentioned it (discarded movements). I wonder if he always favoured stretched positions or if he had to discover them.
 

Ricky01

Level 6 Valued Member
I think a big part of it is stretch mediated response. You can only go so far passively, and then you need to really work it.

I am VERY curious what holds and postures he experimented with and discarded. And then in his programming the extreme isos were only one element of many.
Agreed, putting in some serious work in the position changes things. I know that if I actively try and pull my front foot backwards and back foot forwards during the long lunge then I get maybe 15 seconds out of it, maybe 20 and then I stop because I know that my force production is dropping big time.

It's almost a case of thinking about it the way we used to categorise exercise - short active hold = strength. Long more passive hold = endurance.
It's not as clear cut as that but it does somewhat explain it.

Richard
 

Training for Life

Level 5 Valued Member
Schroeder was featured on the Just Fly podcast in two separate episodes. In one of them he stated that the goal is to reach complete exhaustion and go even beyond that, and thus the long hold times. According to him, eventually the body will learn to use the lactate that is produced to manufacture energy for the alactic (?) system.
 

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
@North Coast Miller What do you think about using resistant bands for Isometrics?
Am not sure where I stand with those. Generally I’m not familiar with sub-max isometrics, and to me, resistance bands fall square in the yielding isometrics realm. They also develop max tension at shorter muscle length.

I like that they allow whatever angle to be trained, but still limited in force to what the body can anchor. Have considered adding them to my canvas strapping as a way to pre-load and increase proprioceptive feedback, but isn’t practical with my current set-up.

Ultimately I don’t have enough experience to claim an informed opinion.
 

bluejeff

Level 6 Valued Member
Regarding long hold times and active vs passive holds:

In my own "movement rehab" that I have been exploring my way through, I have found that I don't feel certain muscles on my "dysfunctional" side as well as I do on my good side. However, by moving slowly and/or by holding positions, I sometimes can. I wonder if there is something to that in Shroeder's technique. When I hold say, a pushup position, for a length of time, it often starts of a little wonky because of my issues, and then I feel my body adjust to what feels like a better alignment. I basically wonder if holding a position and sort of "relaxing" into it helps the body ingrain some sort of better position/movement patterns.

Just some thoughts.
 

GreenSoup

Level 6 Valued Member
In my own "movement rehab" that I have been exploring my way through, I have found that I don't feel certain muscles on my "dysfunctional" side as well as I do on my good side. However, by moving slowly and/or by holding positions, I sometimes can. I wonder if there is something to that in Shroeder's technique. When I hold say, a pushup position, for a length of time, it often starts of a little wonky because of my issues, and then I feel my body adjust to what feels like a better alignment. I basically wonder if holding a position and sort of "relaxing" into it helps the body ingrain some sort of better position/movement patterns.
@bluejeff You are probably familiar with Henneman's size principle where, to lift heavy, larger muscle fibers are always recruited first to get the lift done. In longer-term isometrics I read years ago that when the muscular demand is submaximal (as you describe) that the muscle fibers fire asynchronously, in opposition to Henneman's size principle, just for the sake of getting the job done. It makes sense that if only 2 pounds of muscular force are needed for something using big muscles, you're not always going to use the fast fibers. Maybe as things go for the longer term your body is expecting to use all fast twitch, that aggravates your current rehab circumstances, and then gradually as you shift to other muscle fibers they may connect differently over time?

I read about this years ago so I don't know if it was superseded by new info. If it is still valid it may be why isometrics are useful in rehab circumstances; eventually they let you train with SOME muscular fiber that lets the angle be pain free and to ingrain the training angle as a comfortable one over time.
 

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
I read about this back in September. He's trying to access the Cori Cycle, something I had never heard of before and was not able to make heads nor tails of once I googled it.
Cori Cycle is when the liver converts unused lactate back into glucose. It takes time to do so. I don’t know what the active benefit would be, it just gets converted back to pyruvate to lactate. The same stuff that circulates when you’re above aerobic threshold.

Elements of it trigger anabolism, so it helps with hypertrophy, another reason to go hard when gunning for muscle gain.
 

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
@bluejeff

I read about this years ago so I don't know if it was superseded by new info. If it is still valid it may be why isometrics are useful in rehab circumstances; eventually they let you train with SOME muscular fiber that lets the angle be pain free and to ingrain the training angle as a comfortable one over time.
For brief efforts, anything under 50% MVC is almost entirely type1. Longer duration all bets are off, you’ll be using everything. At 70% and higher it kicks over to predominantly type2, but I don’t know how the type1 would get a break.

Fatigue forces the skeleton to support more of the load, squashing compensatory muscle activation.

Isometrics also squash cortical inhibition from chronic pain and generally have an immediate analgesic effect in joints and connective tissue.

 

GovernorSilver

Level 5 Valued Member
After I injured my shoulder during calisthenic exercise in 2020, I switched to isometrics, and indeed experienced immediate pain reduction.... after I found a good angle to do an isometric shoulder press of course.

For my particular injury, 6-sec. holds at target load of 70% 1RM seem to work best for pain reduction.
 

Ricky01

Level 6 Valued Member
Regarding long hold times and active vs passive holds:

In my own "movement rehab" that I have been exploring my way through, I have found that I don't feel certain muscles on my "dysfunctional" side as well as I do on my good side. However, by moving slowly and/or by holding positions, I sometimes can. I wonder if there is something to that in Shroeder's technique. When I hold say, a pushup position, for a length of time, it often starts of a little wonky because of my issues, and then I feel my body adjust to what feels like a better alignment. I basically wonder if holding a position and sort of "relaxing" into it helps the body ingrain some sort of better position/movement patterns.

Just some thoughts.
I have experienced something along the lines of this myself.

I often tell clients to approach an end range (I speak predominately about OS resets and similar movements, not lengthened end range ISO's) and just hang out there and breathe.
For example - I have a side lying movement I use, you'll no doubt know it. Lie on your side, bring knees and hips to roughly 90 degrees and whilst keeping the top knee on the bottom knee and the bottom knee on the floor, look over your shoulder and then allow your hand to open up, going as far as you 'comfortably' can. After a few reps pause in this 'end range' and just hang out and breathe.
After as little as one deep relaxed breath your top hand will drop lower. This is down to the stretch reflex somewhat switching off as the body doesn't perceive a threat from the movement and range of motion being explored....and allows more movement. I have done this with loads of OS reset variations and it can be quite illuminating for clients who learn that being relaxed and focusing on breathing can and will open up movement possibilities.

Obviously this is somewhat different with the ISO's we spoke of. Even in the passive ISO holds there is a lot going on.

We also need to remember that the active holds are where we are trying to move and can't eg trying to switch feet over in the long lunge but they are stuck to the floor.

The passive holds (eg lunge) involve what is actually a slow eccentric as we fail downwards and open up the back hip through the act of lower towards the floor.

Richard
 

Training for Life

Level 5 Valued Member
@Ricky01 When using OS movements to teach the body new ranges of motion like you described, how do you approach learning to move with strength in that new range?

Apologies for derailing the thread somewhat..
 

Walker

Level 2 Valued Member
Hello, I’ve done overcomimg isometrics primililary in tsc style, and also yielding isometrics. For putting on some lean mass and strength the 30/30/30 or 20/20/20 second approach from Drew Baye/Steve Maxwell / Fred Hutchins is good but you have to get enough sleep, recovery time and protein to get benefits.
For some months I got bad eating and recovery habits by having demanding work (some 24 hour shifts per month) and familary habits (5 children), so I focused on yielding BW Isometrics in the 5 minute range (Steve Justaˋs aerobic isometrics / Jay Shroeder isometrics), no more than 20 minutes.
I alternate an a and b workout on a steady state (Coach Sommer/ Steve Low)and progress in terms of total contraction time, contraction force, and lowered or advanced positions.
A) deep horse stance/Neuro grip plank/crunch/back arch (1x 5 minutes nonstop per exercise) , total contraction time: 20 minutes.
B) deep lunge/ deep neuro grip PU position/ side plank (5 minutes accumulated per exercise), total contraction time: 20 minutes.
Because of some ripped tendons on my left feet I skip dynamic work (OS Work primarily).
Are you into yielding isos also, or primarily in overcoming isometrics?
 

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
Are you into yielding isos also, or primarily in overcoming isometrics?
If this is directed at me, I do pretty much only overcoming, using a couple of different timing schemes.

Because of how I do my upperbody and some lower, I am able to use an overload eccentric/isometric. This tends to be pretty short ROM.
 
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