Level 6 Valued Member
HeyHi Miller and everyone else!
I wanted to contribute my experience with isometric training.
Here's my 'Simple Isometric Strength' routine that I've been doing for about half a year now - it's actually pretty similar to what Miller posted above...
1) Deadlift 3 x 20 seconds
2) Overhead press 3 x 20 seconds
3) Bent over row (but I'm sat on the floor) 3 x 20 seconds
I also do (alternating them in pairs)...
4) Finger pulls (climbing block looped under feet) 3 x 20 seconds
5) Hanging on pull up bar (gentle knee raises just to feel good) 3 x 20 seconds
6) Ab wheel 3 x 30 second (or whatever, really) holds
7) Loaded carries with two 25 liter jerry cans full of water (new addition to the routine)
- I just use a resistance strap with handles and stand on it with shoes on
- I rest between sets for as long as it takes my heart rate to come back down
- In fact, I think that could be good advice for beginners: rather than a countdown timer, use a metronome counter and rest for as long as you need to between sets
- I upped my hold time to 20 seconds seeing Miller's advice and, like him, I find I can sustain a high output throughout
- I haven't started doing jolts or moving tension like Miller does yet
- Like Miller I just use one joint angle: the point of least leverage (or somewhere comfortable near there)
- I'm 35, 5 foot 7 inches, probably around 67kg, lean build - light but strong for my weight (I think, anyway! )
- I do this routine every day I'm not climbing or skateboarding, so usually 4 to 6 days per week (I just prefer to do some kind of exercise every day)
- I also do some breath work at the beginning of the workout
- I don't do squats because my body has never agreed with them (as per Stuart McGill's teaching I have deep-set hips)
Why I keep using isometrics (benefits):
- My posture feels good
- My body feels more 'integrated' - e.g. things like irritated knees or hip discomfort have pretty much gone
- I have lots of energy for my hobbies, even though I don't really take a day off
- I feel strong and fast (how you feel strength-wise is underrated, I think!)
- I feel better after my workouts than before them (a lot of training I did in the past eventually started to run me down or even injure me - my fault, but still!)
- I can workout when I travel for work (minimal equipment)
- I just really enjoy working out like this!
Thoughts on equipment:
- I would like to make an iso-deck like Miller's but smaller so I can travel with it for work
- There are some cool force measuring devices - like the Tindeq 300 - but I'm not sure if they're more hassle than they're worth in terms of set up, and I care more about feeling good than hitting numbers
Negative isometric things:
- It's hard to measure strength improvements (but I think there's a lot to be said for subjective feeling too!)
- You have to get your form right because you're putting immense and sustained pressure on your body
I've also been reading quite a lot about isometric use in various fields - like climbing and sprint training - if anyone's interested in that let me know.
I'm a copywriter by trade so if anyone has any isometric topics / questions they'd like me to research and write about just let me know and I'll share what I come up with!
Thanks for everyone who's contributed here - especially Miller.
Thanks for your post. Hearing from people who have used a training method and can report back their findings (regardless of any bias that may exist) is really valuable for others.
If I can ask - how do you see this progressing (more sets, longer holds etc)?