Hail to the Dinosaurs!
One of our longtime readers asked me
about isometrics and whether they work.
He also asked if I had ever done them,
and if so, whther I still do them.
Those questions brought back some
interesting memories - so I thought
I'd share them with you.
I was a little young for the beginning of the
isometrics fad of the early 60's, but there
was still lots of fanfare and hoopla about
it in the late 60's, when I started training.
Isometrics promised super strength in 60
seconds a day -- consisting of a series of
6 second isometric exercises.
That was irresistable. What could be better
than super strength in 60 seconds a day?
So, of course, I tried the isometric system.
I began with the simple stuff. Put your hands
together and push with one and resist with
Stand sideways in a doorway and push against
the side of the door frame with one foot.
Use a doorway chinning bar to practice the
overhead press lockout.
Later, one of the junior high school coaches
let me borrow an "Exergenie" device and a
discus for the summer, so I could do isometrics
with the discus after attaching the Exergenie
to my doorway chinning bar. (Yes, I threw the
discus in junior high school, before I decided
to stick to wrestling as my only sport.)
And I also bought a portable isometric device
from Peary Rader's Body Culture Equipment
Company. It was made from heavy pipe and
two lengths of log chain. It came with a wooden
base to stand on. It looked really cool.
I pulled and pushed against those pipes and
chains all winter one year.
But none of it worked.
It was fun, but it didn't deliver any sort of
When I was in high school, we had a York
power rack, so we could do isometric stuff in
the power rack. But I never did. By age 14,
I was done with isometrics.
Later, I learned that some of the initial research
research behind isometrics was wrong. Something
about a misplaced decimal point.
The trainees tested at a world famous research
lab had NOT been making gains of 2% per week.
It was more like .2% per week -- meaning two
tenths of one percent.
And then there was the querstion about roid use
by some of the "pioneers" of isometric training --
which raises the question, "IF it worked, was it the
drugs or the isometrics?"
So, as you can see, I'm not a big fan of isometrics.
Now, there was a slightly different variation
called isometronics. That involved short
range movements in the power rack with
heavy weights. That was REAL training.
I've used isometronics with great results. You
really can build super strength with isometronics.
But it's not 60 seconds a day. It's pretty much
the same as regular barbell training -- which
may be one reason why it works so well.
I cover isometronic training in Strength, Muscle
and Power. It won't give you super strength in
60 seconds a day, but it will MAKE you seriously
As always, thanks for reading and have a great
day. If you train today, make it a good one!
Yours in strength,
P.S. Be sure to grab the January issue of The
Dinosaur Files in PDF format:
P.S. 2. My other books and courses -- and links
to my Kindle and PDF courses -- are right here:
P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "The real secret is
hard work, regular training and a healthy diet."
-- Brooks Kubik