This is something I never really looked into: Isometric Holds. Anyone tried them?
I did a bit of research into isometric holds a few years ago. The bottom line is they made you stronger, but only in the exact position of the isometric hold. Not a bad thing, but I wonder if the time is better spent eleswhere. Not sure …
I would think there would some way to incorporate this and help gain strength. I don’t know for sure. I don’t know much about isometric holds nor have I ever done them.
Let’s take the bicep curl for a simple example of what I’m thinking. We do a curl with some holds throughout the motion. Begin in the starting postion(makes sense, huh) with the bar in the “down” position and arms extended.
Begin the curl. Stop a few inches after your elbows break the full extension. If fully extended is 180 degrees, maybe this would be 150-160 degrees.
I don’t know what time frames are effective for holds, but hold it for whatever that is. Then begin curling upwards.
Then stop at 90 degrees. Hold and curl. Stop just before full flexion and hold.
Finish moving up then begin the eccentric part of the lift. Now, on the way down, hold at the halfway point between full flexion and 90 degrees. Maybe at 45-60 degrees.
Hold, then lower. Again, stop halfway between you two holds on the concentric part of the lift, probably around 120-130 degrees. Then lower and repeat the whole process.
Now, those that just read that; please understand, this is not something I’m telling you to try, it’s not something I know works. I don’t know if it works. It’s something I just thought of sitting here, right now.
The idea behind my theory is like this. ZEB says isometric make you stronger, but only at the point of the hold. If he’s right I would think that it’s not that exact and you would get some carryover through the motion. Maybe only an inch or two in either direction, but that’s still carryover.
If I did nothing to work my bicep but 90 degree holds, I would get good at 90 degree holds. But, I also think I would get good 90 degrees plus 1-2 inches and 90 degrees minus 1-2 inches. I don’t think there would be any dropoff in strength in such a short distance. I do however think that I wouldn’t be nearly as strong if I went further from 90 dergees.
Again, keep in mind, this is not science, or something I have tried. This is just an idea I think might work based on what I do know.
So using the above ideas, curling with 5 holds along the way, each hold having a strngth carryover effect of 1.5 inches in either direction(I think I’m being conservative with this number), gives a strength increase along 15 inches of the curl.
Using myself as an exapmle, I curl the bar in 29 inch arc. If the above idea works like i think it would, I just increased my curling strength in over half my range of motion. And it’s throughout the range of motion, not just top or bottom half strength.
Now, like I’ve said, I don’t know if this works or not. And even if it does work the strength gained might not be very significant. You might make better gains with something else. I’m just suggesting that there might be some untapped ideas in isometrics. Well, maybe not “untapped”, but at least lesser known. I would reallylike to hear one of the writers’ thoughts and ideas on the subject.
I’m trying to build a higher bicep peak,