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Isometrics for Muscle Mass

How to use isometrics to build muscle

It may sound strange that one can actually gain muscle mass without moving the muscle but the muscle mass that you get from doing isometric training is something that comes as result of muscle fiber activation. This means the recruitment of the motor-units in a muscle.

One can recruit nearly all the muscle fibers during a maximal isometric contraction - something that doesn't happen with regular eccentric and concentric (down and up) repetitions. Another way to explain this is that the more muscle you can recruit the more damage you can inflict and the more growth can occur.

It is therefore no surprise isometrics can dramatically enhance strength. Strength gains of 14-40% were found over a 10-week period using isometric action training only so it has been proven. The reason it works so well is because Isometrics also allow you to prolong the time under tension of a particular area or sticking point and thus add to the time the muscle is under tension as well.

It is important to note that when we are doing a regular exercise movement, we are actually only causing tension on a very short range of the movement with a large majority of exercises. A good example is when you are doing a push-up.

Your pectorals are really only maximum tension in the range of 1/2 of the way up - the rest is all shoulders and triceps so if you consider the pause at the top you spend nearly 2/3 of the entire set working muscles OTHER than your chest.

With the average set duration only about 20-30 seconds it means your chest may only be under tension for 10 seconds or less per set. With isometric training you can isolate a specific area of a movement for a given time thus prolonging the time the muscle is under tension which is largely responsible for the hypertrophy response.

There is a radical difference when training isometrically as opposed to doign reps. The reason is that Isometrics not only cause muscle breakdown themselves, but also cause an immediate increase in subsequent dynamic work as well.

This basically means you can perform an isometric exercise and stimulate strength, growth and actually have a strength carryover or an increase in strength with your next movement. The result is that you can actually get stronger as the workout continues instead of having a loss in strength typical of most routines.

In my book "The Muscle Experiment" I talk about how I was able to put on a solid 39lbs of solid muscle in less than 6 months with bodyweight training, and exactly how YOU can do it as well. In case you haven't downloaded The Muscle Experiment, I suggest you download it immediately and start implementing the little known techniques. This alone should put you on the road to massive size and strength.

To your success,

Mike Thiga

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