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Isometrics: Black Belt Tension Training – by Paul “Coach” Wade

John Du Cane

Staff member
Isometrics: Black Belt Tension Training
– by Paul “Coach” Wade

For those of you who might be hesitant to look into isometrics—maybe you haven’t tried it, or you think it’s a “gimmick”, or whatever—let’s talk some home truths, beginning at the beginning:

All strength is built on tension. You already know this. It’s the first piece of the puzzle when it comes to strength. Unless you have mastered the art of generating great tension in your muscular system, you cannot develop great strength. It is impossible. Period.

The essence of true strength training lies in reconfiguring your muscle software to be able to generate this tension. Even relatively small men and women can possess seemingly superhuman strength and power if they can master this art. You know this, too. It’s the second piece of the puzzle.
There is, however, a third piece.

Novices and intermediates, new to strength training, can progress quickly with conventional exercises. Strength “black belts” will require more effective and efficient methods to further develop their tension skills.
The number-one most effective and efficient method to master tension is through static exercise—isometric drills.

This is the third piece of the strength puzzle. This, you may not know.

This is down to a well-established physiological principle called the Force-Velocity Relationship. This law, based on physics, states that muscle speed slows down the more tension the muscles generate. With low tension—a punch or kick, maybe—your muscles can move real fast. The more tension you add, the slower they move. If you wish to explore the maximum level of tension your muscles can generate—and this should be the goal of all strength athletes—you will have to do so with your muscles locked into position. This is isometrics.

The fastest possible way to gain strength is to find a method to generate maximum tension (isometrics) and repeat these maximum-tension efforts, frequently. Doing so rapidly unlocks… more

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