Isometrics and Blood Pressure

The Top Criticism of Isometrics and Why it’s Completely Unfounded

By Paul "Batman" O'Brien 

B.A., N.C.E.H.S., Dip. Acu., Cert Clin. IMed., Dip. Adv. OBB, Dip. CHM, Pn1, PN-SSR, PN-NCA, M.AFPA., M.C.Th.A.

Isometrics and Blood Pressure is a serious subject. Most often detractors of Isometrics will point to the risks associated with high blood pressure, claiming that isometric exercise increases blood pressure to dangerous levels. These claims are often made by the uninformed and uneducated, a knee jerk reaction to anything that doesn’t conform to the traditional lifters view.

It may surprise then that the risks are far higher with conventional weight lifting. I discuss this in more detail and the compression damage caused by conventional lifting in my e-book Secrets of 7 Second Arms. In fact the March 13th Issue of the Wall Street Journal 2003 appeared an article "Fears Mount Over Dangers of Pumping Iron" - This article discusses the evidence that conventional weight training produces dangerous blood pressure levels. But it’s not new. Back before Charles Atlas was around the dangers of weight lifting were well known and the one of the first pioneers of physical culture, Alois P. Swoboda discussed this in the classic works.

The problems associated with Isometrics and Blood Pressure are caused by improper and dangerous technique – most obviously holding one’s breath. Those unfamiliar with Isometrics tend not to breathe, believing this generates more pressure and thus strength. Isometrics performed while holding one's breath certainly is dangerous and something I would never advocate, furthermore it's not effective. I discuss proper isometric breathing techniques in my E-book Secrets of 7 Second Abs.

Strangely the most common treatment of Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) was Isometric Contractions with proper breathing techniques. This method was popularized by Rene Callet M.D., Clinical Professor at the University of South Carolina School of Medicineand Bronio Kiveloff M.D. Associate Chief of Rehabilitation Medicine at New York Infirmary Beekman Downtown Hospital and actually significantly lowers blood pressure and improves cardiovascular strength, health and performance.

Just as an aside, studies were also published in the Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health about isometrics and the treatment of diabetes (due to fast increases in musculature over any other training method without compromised health and safety).

Rest assured that properly performed Isometrics as taught on this website, in no way lead to problems with high blood pressure, and that in fact, Isometrics and Blood Pressure Reduction is a common reaction. As mentioned above, check out my E-books, Secrets of 7 Second Abs and Secrets of 7 Second Arms for more information.

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