Isometrics for Strength
In addition to being a personal trainer in Boonton New Jersey (my personal training studio is on Main Street), I’m also a modern-day performing strongman.
Being a performing strongman I have to be strong enough to perform the feats of strength that make up my show at a reasonably high level, which means I have to train specifically for them in addition to being all-around strong.
One of the most effective ways to train them, is to perform isometrics, more specifically overcoming isometrics.
Isometrics is when the muscle fibers don’t move. A plank could be considered an isometric. Overcoming isometrics is essentially pushing or pulling against an immovable object with as much force as you can generate.
As an example, if you lift 200lbs off the floor you’re only going to be using the approximately the number of motor units as is needed to lift that 200lbs. When you put everything you have access to into it, well you are training everything you have access to.
When you do this, you train all the available motor units you currently have access to, making it highly effective. Training sessions are very short because a little bit goes a long way and it can be very easy to overdo it if it isn’t dosed correctly.
Some of the drawbacks are that the greatest gains in strength tend to be very specific to the joint angle (15 degrees either direction of the joint angle). That doesn’t necessarily mean that it only gains strength there, just that most of it is.
In a study (Thepault-Mathieu et al, 1988) in one of their groups there was an increase of 54% at the joint angle, and 25% over the rest of the range. Those are massive increases in strength for just 5 weeks worth of training.
Those big increases specifically at the joint angle are what make them especially effective at training the feats of strength in my show since they are short ranges of motion.
For all around strength development, very effective though I don’t think that’s the only thing you should use. With myself and with my personal training clients I use a mixture of isometric, dynamic and explosive movements. Whatever the best tool for the task is and programmed effectively.
If you would like to get started in an all inclusive strength and fitness program and would like my help, I have a 1 week trial membership where you can test drive it first to see if you like it. Send me a text at 973 476 5328 to get started. My personal training studio is located at 620 Main Street, Boonton.
Eric Moss is a personal trainer in Boonton and doubles as a world-record-holding modern-day professional performing strongman, author, and motivational speaker. In the tradition of the strongmen more common during the turn of the century, he performs feats of strength such as bending steel and breaking chains as part of a show and speaks on goal achievement for corporations, nonprofits, government as well as for schools and universities. His exclusive personal training studio is located on Main Street in Boonton New Jersey, is close to Mountain Lakes, Denville, Montville and Parsippany New Jersey.