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View Full Version : Off day isometrics for increased recovery and muscle?


Mike ODonnell
05-05-2007, 11:19 AM
Found this interesting...

My first lesson in the power of isometric contractions was during a lab experiment in which I was the subject. I was having my arterial blood flow measured (by Doppler Ultrasound) during a bunch of different muscle contractions in order to demonstrate the different effect of each.

In order to add to the impact of what occurred, a visual display of blood flow traced across a computer monitor (much like an ECG), while the swishing wave sound of blood was amplified through a set of speakers.

As the blood flowed through my artery, everything seemed normal as indicated by the rhythmic waves on the monitor and resulting wave-like sounds. When I lightly contracted my biceps, the blood flow decreased in amplitude. Not only did the size of the waves on the monitor diminish, but the sound became less audible. But when I relaxed the muscle, the blood flow waves didn't just return to normal, they came back much larger than before. This is due to the slight metabolite buildup that had happened.

What really stood out to me occurred when I maximally contracted my biceps: the wave became a flatline and the sound stopped. This flatline had essentially indicated the (temporary) death of blood flow.

I was instructed to hold this for 25 seconds and then relax. When I finally did, the normal wave pattern had become a huge surge of blood -- the visual representation of which filled up the entire screen. The sound was like an enormous wave was crashing overhead. This is exactly what we're trying to achieve with ramp contractions.
from http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1555945

So increased blood flow should mean increased repair of muscles, less recovery time needed and overall and increase in muscle mass/strength....so looks like playing around with this on off days could be a good recovery technique??...or at least something I need to do before hitting the bar...

Robb Wolf
05-05-2007, 11:53 AM
Perfect place for....Hormetic Response! The pulsatile ischemia will produce a slight re-perfusion injury...likely increasing resistance to the low level oxidative damage of living...I'd wager increasing some repair mechanisms as well.

Puts the mechanisms of the recovery workout into a different perspective.

Mike ODonnell
05-05-2007, 12:10 PM
Perfect place for....Hormetic Response!

Robb just get your E-book and 10page vertical HTML sales letter site up and running on Hormesis....cause you are pimping it like the secrets to Ninja training. :D

Robb Wolf
05-05-2007, 02:13 PM
Robb just get your E-book and 10page vertical HTML sales letter site up and running on Hormesis....cause you are pimping it like the secrets to Ninja training. :D

It's not? 20 pages of HTML sales hyperbole to follow...

Pierre Auge
05-06-2007, 12:31 PM
Robb,
when your ebook comes out I want to see this on the front of the PMenu:

Robb's Ebook for Sale $??.99 Click Here

I bet it would sell with that ad copy alone!

Steve Shafley
05-06-2007, 01:02 PM
Tony Schwartz had some interesting stuff out Eccentric Quasi-Isometrics in Thibaudeau's Modern Trends book.

Basically you hold an isometric contraction in a stretched position (think of the bottom of a push up done on parallettes or rings), and as you hold it, you fatigue and sink further and further into the stretch.

This is, according to Schwartz, very good for recuperation. I dabbled with the push up version of EQIs and with an RDL and split squat version of these EQIs and I found that these did seem to help with recovery.

Rick Deckart
05-07-2007, 01:20 PM
Tony Schwartz had some interesting stuff out Eccentric Quasi-Isometrics in Thibaudeau's Modern Trends book.

Basically you hold an isometric contraction in a stretched position (think of the bottom of a push up done on parallettes or rings), and as you hold it, you fatigue and sink further and further into the stretch.

This is, according to Schwartz, very good for recuperation. I dabbled with the push up version of EQIs and with an RDL and split squat version of these EQIs and I found that these did seem to help with recovery.

This is essential a derivate of PNF stretching. Many therapeutic and 'bodywork' systems use this technique: Postisometric relaxation ala Karel Lewitt (NOT the same as PNF stretching), bioenergetic has 'excercises' which rely on this principle as well as Reiki.

This is a little on the sideline but I plan to document in a series of photos how much flexibility you can gain with proper PNF stretching. When I have the time I will post this and use the standard muscle which is mostly used in research: the hamstrings.

Garrett Smith
05-07-2007, 01:51 PM
Yet another reason to do your gymnastics holds--high isometric tension, along with a large amount of muscle mass involved!