The 3rd in the Maximum Functional Mass DVD/Download series.
Isometric super-sets. This concept is exactly what the words say. It’s a pairing of at least two exercises done back to back one of which is an isometric exercise. This is pairing with no rest and is known in weightlifting terms as a “super-set.” Hence the name.
So why do this?
What are the benefits?
Tremendous conditioning. The combination of an advanced isometric exercise along with a moving exercise will tax your heart rate and breathing like almost nothing I’ve ever tried.
Muscle gains from combining strict and cheat exercises. An isometric exercise is by nature “strict”. Meaning there is absolutely no way to use momentum and only the muscles you intend to work can be involved. Almost all other moving exercises use momentum as it is part of literally every movement and life. When you combine these two you get a superior muscle building style, because of the very concentrated strict work combined with moving work uses literally every muscle fiber momentarily possible.
Outrageous pump. Blood flow from exercise is extremely important in feeding muscle. It isn’t exactly what builds muscle, but it certainly does make a difference in total muscle development. Isometric exercises create an occlusion of blood flow. Meaning – blood flow is slowed or stopped while you are holding an intense non-moving contraction. Immediately when you release the contraction you get a super-compensation. That means as soon as you let up you get a massive surge of blood flow into the muscle. When you combine this with a moving exercise, directly after you double the blood pump and you can really feel it split your skin.
Direct muscle targeting. Many people have trouble focusing on a specific muscle and getting it to grow. For instance most people use the bench press to build a big chest, but there are many people who simply don’t feel it in the chest in that exercise. By using an isometric that directly targets the muscle you want to develop with a stronger mental and physical connection in a specific exercise and then super setting it with the exercise you really want to feel it in, you can create tremendous growth and nerve connection.
Greater combined strength, muscle growth and strength speed. One of the great things about isometrics is its ability to recruit nerve firing. The faster your nerves fire the faster you move. Combining an exercise that recruits nerves at optimal level with an exercise that directly moves the body and creates strength and speed at the same time is a superior way to get muscles that are large, but are actually as strong and fast as they look.
Accelerated growth through greater density. One of the great factor in muscle growth is how much work you can get done in a stated period of time. This factor is generally referred to as density of training. By using isometric super sets you shoot this through the roof. Isometrics in and of themselves are exceptionally “dense,” as a form of training. Think about it like this: The average rep of a moving exercise lasts from less than one second, up to two seconds, but your muscle is only actively contracting for a small portion of that time and momentum is carrying the rest of the repetition through the range of its motion. A 30-second long isometric where the muscle stays contracted the entire time is like doing many, many repetitions from a moving exercise for the amount of time the muscle actually works. Combine that with a moving exercise and you essentially get a one-plus-one-equals-three result in muscle building.
Time efficiency. Even if you love to train you may not have all day to spend at the gym. Because of factor number 6 (Accelerated growth through greater density), density involved and that these are super sets, which have no rest between, even a small amount of this training is very effective. It requires very little time invested to be effective.
Adding massive intensity to a simple exercise. You think push ups are too easy? Add an isometric super set that targets any one of the major muscles involved in push ups and then try to crank out as many as possible. You’ll find that even an exercise that feels easy to you can be made super tough by fatiguing the muscles with an isometric before hand.
Using simplicity to work ultimately hard. For most people Using what even an advanced trainer might consider a simple exercise like a barbell squat or deadlift, isn’t actually very simple. Real lifters take years to perfect even what we consider gross motor movement exercises. Adding an isometric to the exercise takes the complication out of the exercise. As you only have to focus against pushing against one point and no movement, worrying about whether or not you’re doing it right can get out of the way and you can actually push as hard as you can. Make no mistake about it, the harder you work – the more you gain. This lets you work hard – safely.
Accelerated fat loss. I’m not sure why this works, but I believe it does. A little bit of the science has caught up with training and maybe one day it will all catch up and maybe we’ll fully understand, but if you look around at the people who consistently practice hard isometrics, they simply get leaner faster. I’m not a particularly lean guy, because I don’t try to be, but it’s the same in my experience. When I use this on a regular basis I literally wake up the next day seeing leaner muscle and I don’t even know how it got there. I believe it’s from the tremendous exertion of the isometric work. For some reason this accesses fat faster than regular training.
Accelerated hormone response. The heavy health and strength hormones you want to stimulate from training are stimulated by three things: Heavy weight, lactic burn from higher reps and intensity of work. Because you can literally combine the heaviest strength work you can do with the higher density or repetition simulation that isometrics combine and the higher intensity from the combination exercises and simplicity of movements – you get the best of all three factors. That equals faster, higher hormonal response.
Working around problem areas. Unfortunately life doesn’t always go smooth. If you train long enough or hard enough or an elderly lady bent on saving 6 cents runs you over at a Walmart with her shopping cart, you might get dinged up. Performing an exercise you normally perform might be painful in some way. Either in a muscle or joint or just in the movement itself. Or maybe some exercises just don’t agree with you even when you’re 100% healthy. Isometrics allows you to find the points of an exercise that do not aggravate any painful area or condition. It allows you to keep working the muscles without doing further damage and in fact often can act as rehabilitation. Combine that with a moving exercise you have a formula for building muscle and healing faster.
You can get heavy work done with light weight. You all know I believe in strength. There are many kinds of strength, but one you can’t get away from no matter how hard you try is the ability to pick up heavy things. And if you happen to be at Planet Fitness – of course – put them down. As much as I love super heavy work, sometimes it needs a rest. Isometrics, and especially done with super sets here, can allow you to get the same type of maximum strength contraction without maximum weight loading. You can essentially turn light weight into the same stimulus without the heavy damage.
Being strong even when you shouldn’t be. I’m not going to lie to you, when you first start these, you might think they suck, because they’re tough. This is due to the fact that most people haven’t developed the ability to continue to be strong under a high level of fatigue. This training allows you to progressively and safely do just that. To build up to using max weights even when you’re sweating like a river, lactic acid is searing to the bone, you’ve had no rest and everyone else has quit.
Direct carryover to the real world. Every body makes a big deal out of “functional training,” and really all training is functional if it makes you strong, but the human body prefers specifics. If you want to improve a specific motion or movement or something that happens outside of a gym and make those exercises you are doing in the gym actually pay off – then use this technique. Pick a movement you actually need to improve that has nothing to do with barbells – figure out what muscle it uses, do an isometric of that and then super set it directly with the closest barbell movement you can do to work those muscles. In doing that you work to train specific exercises and nerve patterns to work together. That equals to real world carry over.
Muscles hard as stone. Something about the combination of these combined isometric movements and contractions creates a level of tone in the muscle that’s difficult to get as quickly any other way. It makes muscle like the old time strongmen had, muscle that feels like a living stone.
In the newest UnconventionaLiving DVD/digital download – “Power Building – Isometric Super-Sets,” Bud walks you through the extraordinary benefits and gains available through super-setting with Isometrics in live training footage and explanations. With over 20 variations filmed in our primitive instructional manner – with raw training sessions, voiced over with in-depth explanations and expansions. It’s like a live training class and you have a front seat.
The power to be found in training with isometrics is exceptional in muscle size, development, endurance, strength, health and the phenomenal facets of fat loss. Combining this with super setting of other training modalities gives a total and all-around workout in a time effective manner.
OR Get Everything Isometrics! Extreme Isometrics Volumes 1 & 2 (6 video downloads) as well as Power Building – Isometric Super Sets for $90