T Nation

Overcoming Isometrics?

I saw Jeff Cavaliere from YouTube channel Athleanx mention those in a couple of videos.

It’s basically loading up the stack on an exercise like cable fly with too much weight to actually be able to move it and then try and do a rep as hard as possible for n seconds. It can be applied to exercises like cable curls too.

The supposed benefit is increased motor unit recruitment for actual sets and, more interestingly (to me at least), increased muscle tone at rest.

I’ve also seen a variation of these used in the layer system, with the purpose of “turning on” the nervous system and use that potentiation for subsequent sets.

Anyone ever used them? Are there actually any actual aesthetic benefits like increased muscle tone and “harder” look?

I once saw a guy fail a bench, go back and do an isometric at his weak point and come back and crush it. Not sure how much is psychological as you can get pretty worked up during an iso.

Probably minimal but if you can get more work in using them then that’s going to help.

Not immediately. But using isometrics and things like partial reps can desensitize the golgi tendon organs and allow you to tap into more of your body’s strength potential. That leads to bigger weights lifted and hopefully more muscle mass.

The GTO limits your strength to keep you from hurting yourself. It makes sense that an iso performed before a big lift could relax the GTOs and allow you to successfully move that new PR.