Isometrics for Mass and Body Fat Loss

- Isometric Training FAQ 16 -

By Paul "Batman" J.O'Brien 

B.A., N.C.E.H.S., Dip. Acu., Cert Clin. IMed., Dip. Adv. OBB, Dip. CHM, M.AFPA., M.C.Th.A.

Isometrics and Maxick - the Isometrics FAQ no 16, part of the Readers Questions Sections, where each issue I'll highlight a new question and provide you with a detailed answer.....Feel free to contact me with your questions here - contact me.

This week I'll be answering several of Chri's questions on Isometrics Isometrics for Mass and Body Fat Loss and more...let's take a look ...

Chris Asks:

First off I will start by saying these concepts are interesting, but my question is how do you gain muscle and lose body weight at the same time by doing isolation isometrics without moving.

My Answer: 

Hi Chirs, 

Thanks for contacting me and for your interest in Isometrics. It's an awesome and deep field of study. 

How does one gain muscle and burn fat at the same time? That's a long and complicated answer but the simplest way is to address each point separately. 

First how to build muscle. Muscle growth is primarily determined by the intensity of the stimulus the muscle is subjected to. There are many different ways of subjecting muscle to load and resistance. The most efficient of these is isometrics, which produces a maximal stimulation of the muscle tissue which in turn triggers massive muscle growth. You can learn more about that specific process here - 

Now the second part - how to lose weight?

Weight loss is very simple - expend more calories than you consume. You can do this in 2 ways, take in less calories or increase calorie expenditure. The fastest and most effective way is to do both at the same time. Isometrics in addition to maximal stimulating the muscle use a HUGE amount of calories. I actually developed a specific isometric routine that burns over 8,000 kcals during a 2 day period. It's very intense but remarkably effective. You can learn more about that here - http://sliminseconds.com/

As you see Isometrics can produce a unique synergy in physical transformation - rapidly building muscle tissue, while burning a massive amount of calories to reduce body fat. In addition every pound of muscle you add increase your total calorie demand, further increasing your metabolic rate and reducing body fat for long term leanness. 

Chris Asks:

I'm 6'3 and weigh 215 pounds. I want to gain muscle. I want to be around 230 but solid with low body fat with impressive strength and can still move because I tore both my rotate cuffs lifting and I do not want to go through that pain again. Are you sure doing these exercises that your promoting can get me the size and strength I'm looking for?

My Answer: 

There is no reason you could not gain the additional size you want using Isometrics and reduce your body fat while preventing injury. As you may know from my site I am NOT a big fan of weight lifting. It causes injuries, just as you experienced. Lifting weights is dangerous. It's why hotels rarely have a free weights section. Insurance sky rockets.

Obviously heavy free weights present a RISK. They can be dropped, flung around and used inappropriately. Poor form leads to serious injuries, rotator cuff blow outs, hernia's, spinal problems, joint damage and more. 

However - weight training also has other hidden and less obvious dangers and damage. Aside from busted up weight lifters syndrome - something I see in my clinic nearly every week. Workouts with weights can also bust up your heart. I cover this in great detail here - http://www.isometric-training.com/Isometrics-and-Blood-Pressure.html but briefly, lifting weights cause a flow back in blood which in turn damages the heart. It's one of the contributing factors for heart attacks being such a common cause of death in young body-builders. 

And of course Isometrics - my preferred method for workouts without weights - :

  • Lowers Blood Pressure
  • Strengthens the Heart
  • Increase strength dramatically
  • Builds more muscle faster
  • Strengths supportive tissue, tendons ligaments and even bone.... and so much more...

Chris Asks:

Why in your videos your range of motion on the bench press and leg press is only 2 inches? At least that's what it looks like, and how can this make you run faster and jump higher?

I'm not bashing your site or your clients it's just far fetched that you can gain enough strength to lift somebody over your head with one arm?

My Answer:

There are a few easy answers to this;

  1. Full range is neither necessary or effective for muscle growth.Full range only shows what you can lift in your weakest range. By the time you moved it from the weak start position about a cm it no longer provides sufficient resistance for maximal stimulation.  So what's the point? 
  2. Full range movements in weight lifting promote injury - your placing the muscle into a stretched and vulnerable position and asking it to contract under load - that's a really quick way to bust up your rotator cuff, back, elbows, knees etc. I don't do anything that damages my health. 
  3. Those videos are instructional videos on weight lifting - I am only using them to visually demonstrate my strength - that's it. Nothing more. 

Those videos do not show any technique that can "make you run faster and jump higher". That's not what they are for or intended to do. In those videos I am only showing off how strong I am - just the same way I don't lift people with one arm to improve my shoulder strength - I do it to display my shoulder strength. 

Isometrics build muscle and strength more effectively than any other method and I've written articles that show how it improves speed, and jumping vertical leap etc 

I have many clients that play basketball and have used Perfect Body to increase their vertical jump. There are a number of excellent studies available on pubmed on improvements in vertical leap performance using isometrics on their own. The exercises I teach in my course for the legs work wonders for you strength and thus they will certainly increase your contractile ability because we train the fast twitch high glycolic muscle fibres used to launch you and thus dramatically increase vertical leap.

As for running speed - again, bigger stronger muscles become more efficient in movement and propulsion. In fact the entire focus of my isometrics programs is the development of the fast twitch fibres. Many sprinters and high level athletes have used my program with great success.  The only way to become faster is through stronger muscles tissue and increased neurological efficiency. The stronger the muscle tissue, the harder it contracts. With the practice of isometrics as taught in the Perfect Body course the body learns to contract your muscles much much faster and as a result this increases your speed. This is just one of the reasons that Bruce lee practised isometrics so extensively.

It's all about having a strong kinetic chain. If you just focus on your quads for instance and build their contractile strength, that's all well and good, but failing to train the hamstrings, abs or back can easily lead to hyper extension, and your speed will also be reduced by slow movement of the feet though to the shoulder if they haven't been trained.

This is one of the reasons I focus on whole body training in 7 Seconds to A Perfect Body course which is the likely the best one of you to start with. 

The ideal solution to improve running speed is to increase lean muscle tissue and perform frequent neurological adaptation training. 

I'd also work at it from a neurological point of view and when I coach high level athletes I focus very much on this approach.

As for it "far fetched that you can gain enough strength to lift somebody over your head with one arm"...yep...it is....doesn't make it any less true though. ;-) And there are hundreds of examples of old school physical cultists doing the same and heck even on the private Perfect Body group we have pictures of our members doing insane feats of strength too. ;-)

I hope that answers your questions. 

Yours,

Paul 'Batman' O'Brien


You've been reading about Isometrics for Mass and Body Fat loss, the Isometric FAQ no. 16. Check out the other Faq's - here. 

Read up on the Dangers of Static Contraction before the next FAQ - here

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