PDA

View Full Version : Bruce Lee Isometrics?



origenx
08-12-2000, 03:34 AM
Anyone ever seen the picture of Bruce Lee doing isometrics by sticking just his forearms straight out under a bar and (presumably) pushing up on it? What exactly is the purpose of this? Just to strengthen his forearms in that area, or is it some qigong exercise?

Anyone know what I'm talking about?

GinSueDog
08-12-2000, 09:24 AM
origenx,
I've seen that picture and the one where he has a fixed bar across his shoulders. I believe isometric workouts build power but not muscle mass, sort of like rock climbing. I have a article someplace on isometric workouts, I just have to find.-ED

uekiya
08-14-2000, 07:12 AM
YES...this builds streghnth without bulk
the main reason bruce performed this stunt was for balance practice since he had a damaged inner ear canal in his left ear
..so now you know.

------------------
Uekiya

origenx
08-14-2000, 10:15 PM
uekiya - interesting. But, how would pressing up on a bar in a "gunslinger" position like that improve balance?

Ginsudog - Is that what isometrics is supposed to do - increase strength w/o increasing size? Is that possible? Maybe it just focuses on strengthening your tendons, but not muscle bellies, or what?

GinSueDog
08-15-2000, 12:42 AM
origenx,
Isometric (Strength or Resistance) Training
means to push against something that doesn't move, such as a wall. Thirty years ago, most weightlifters and athletes is sports requiring strength used isometric training to make themselves stronger. Here is some information I found on the web, plus a site or two.-ED http://www.discoveryhealth.com/DH/ihtIH/WSDSC000/20812/21981/258911.html
http://www.kungfuonline.com/info/library/tp-powertrain.html

What is Isometric?

The term isometric, derived from the Greek, means "equal length." It refers to the fact that muscle fibers don't lengthen and shorten during this type of exercise. It is full force against an immovable object.
The concept gained scientific acceptance in 1953, when a couple of German researchers named Hettinger and Muller published a study showing that people who did isometric exercises enjoyed dramatic strength --it only takes a six second contraction (ten seconds is maximum, meaning that anything over ten seconds will not do more).
In the 1950's, Charles Atlas promoted isometric exercise in comic books to promise relief to 90-pound weaklings tired of having sand kicked in their faces
at the beach.

Fantastic Strength Gains
The concept of isometrics really took off in the 60's. Football coaches for the University of Note Dame and the San Francisco 49ers claimed fantastic strength gains for their players.

So Why Did it Fade In Popularity?
The 1960's marked the beginning of research into heart disease. At that time, the medical community thought that isometrics were dangerous for people with heart conditions or high blood pressure. Today we know that they were wrong, but the scare discouraged the use of isometrics.

Secondly, using isometrics "60's style" to only build strength, created another problem. The strength training that was promoted did not work the muscle through it's entire range of motion.




[This message has been edited by GinSueDog (edited 08-15-2000).]

origenx
08-15-2000, 09:59 PM
Thanks GSD! So, have you ever tried isometric training? If so, how were your results?

And I wonder why Bruce would want to focus on that particular angle in his range of motion?

Sean Madigan
08-15-2000, 11:06 PM
Hi origenx,

You wrote:
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>"I wonder why Bruce would want to focus on that particular angle in his range of motion?"[/quote]

That exact question came up once with my students. I spoke to a few gents that were around at that time, and there answer made sense to me. He did NOT focus on that particular angle or level, it was just that he was at that angle when that famous picture was taken. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

If you look closer, you will see that the machine Bruce was working on, had settings for many levels.

I've been told that he did this exercise to help him with Lin Sil Die Da (Hit and defend). When you think about it, it makes perfect sense.

I hope this helps.

All the best,

BIG Sean Madigan

"The truth is more important then the truth."

GinSueDog
08-16-2000, 06:12 AM
origenx,
Basically my workouts vary, I do like to do a lot of pyramid push-ups, pull-ups using various grips, and of course my all time favorite, dips. I also do a limited workout using various weights, but I tend to change my workouts every so often. I should run more often but I am just too **** lazy /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif Personally I think isometric training is very important and should be added to at least a limited degree to every martial artist's workouts.-ED

origenx
08-17-2000, 10:23 PM
Sean - aah, so he basically worked out every angle isometrically then. Which would have given him the exceptional power isometrics is known for, but through the full range of motion! Wow, that makes a LOT of sense now! I may have to try that sometime.
Thanks!

GinSueDog - ha - I love doin dips too! I do them with 115 lbs for weighted set, and also w/no weight for reps...

So, has anyone who has done isometric noticed better results than "regular" weight training?

Turiyan
08-29-2000, 12:18 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by origenx:
Anyone ever seen the picture of Bruce Lee doing isometrics by sticking just his forearms straight out under a bar and (presumably) pushing up on it? What exactly is the purpose of this? Just to strengthen his forearms in that area, or is it some qigong exercise?

Anyone know what I'm talking about?[/quote]

Check out the one and three inch punch book by demile and you'll understand the exercise a bit more. YOu may miss it at the bookstores because its REAL thin.

He also explains in the first book of his fighting method that this was accompanyed by a visualisation thats similar to some special internal training I learned.

Isometrics can increase strengh by training the neurologic system. Which is different than pumping up the muscles with blood in attempts to impress girls like the guys at muscle beach.

desciple
01-06-2001, 01:38 PM
I learnt about isometrics from this forum for the first time.Although Isometrics has developed my strength a lot in a short time, my knowledge of isometrics is very limited.I tried the links to articles in this page.got any more detailed ones?

GinSueDog
01-07-2001, 09:48 PM
You should check out <A HREF="http://www.menshealth.com" TARGET="_blank">www.menshealth.com</A> They have a lot of stuff on fitness including information on various isometric workouts. As with anything you should balance your workout's evenly with other things like weight training and cardo. You may also want to check out Scrapper's workout as it is a good example of a isometric workout. I can't find the link anymore but here is a copy of his first workout plan.-ED

*************Scrapper's Workout*************

I AM CURRENTLY IN THE MILITARY AS A NAVY DIVER. FOR THE LAST 4 YEARS
I HAVE BEEN STATIONED AT THE SEAL TEAM HERE IN HAWAII. THIS WORKOUT IS
A MODIFIED VERSION OF WHAT I WENT THRU IN DIVE SCHOOL AND MY FRIENDS
WENT THRU IN BASIC SEAL TRAINING. IT IS ALSO SIMILAR TO WHAT I TEACH
IN MY BASIC TRAINING PROGRAM AT THE GYM ON BASE. I WILL DESCIBE ANY
EXERCISE THAT I DONT THINK YOU WILL UNDERSTAND BUT YOU SHOULD GET THEM
ALL. LETS GET TO IT THEN...

MON/WED/FRI

UPPER BODY:

PUSH-UPS: PYRAMID UP TO 12 AND BACK TO 1. (pyramid means you do 1 pushup,
get up, rest, do 2, rest, do 3, etc. all the way to 12. then
back to 1.) keep the rest between 30-45 seconds.

TRI PUSH-UPS: DO TILL FAILURE. TRI PUSHUPS ARE DONE WITH THE HANDS
CLOSE TOGETHER. PUT YOUR STERNUM IN BETWEEN YOUR HANDS.
ALL THE WAY DOWN, ALL THE WAY UP. DO AS MANY AS YOU CAN
PROPERLY.

FOR PUSH-UPS, KEEP THE LEGS LOCKED AND BACK STRAIGHT. IF YOU CANNOT
DO REGULAR PUSH-UPS, DO THEM ON YOUR KNEES. THIS PROGRAM IS DESIGNED
TO BUILD YOUR BODY, NOT BREAK IT.

PULL-UPS: REGULAR GRIP: PYRAMID UP TO 2 AND BACK TO 1.
NARROW GRIP: PYRAMID UP TO 2 AND BACK TO 1.
WIDE GRIP: PYRAMID UP TO 2 AND BACK TO 1.
FOR PULL-UPS, KEEP THE REST BETWEEN 20-30 SECONDS BETWEEN SETS

IF YOU CANNOT DO A PULL-UP, GET SOMETHING YOU CAN STAND ON AND USE
YOUR LEGS TO HELP YOU. A TRAINING PARTNER WOULD BE NICE TOO.

DIPS: 4 SETS OF 7-10.
20-30 SEC. REST BETWEEN SETS

IF YOU CANNOT DO A DIP, GET SOMETHING YOU CAN STAND ON AND USE
YOUR LEGS TO HELP YOU.

SQUATS: *NOTE* MOST PEOPLE WILL TELL YOU THAT YOU SHOULD NEVER BEND
YOUR KNEES PAST 90 DEGREES WHEN DOING SQUATS. I AGREE, WHEN YOU
ARE USING WEIGHTS. IF YOU ARE JUST SQUATING BODY WEIGHT, I FEEL
THAT YOU CAN GO A LITTLE FURTHER. IF YOU HAVE BAD KNEES OR BACK,
GRAB SOMETHING THAT CAN ASSIST YOU UNTIL YOU CAN DO THE SQUATS
UNASSISTED. IF YOU CANNOT GO ALL THE WAY DOWN, GO DOWN UNTIL YOUR
LEGS ARE AT 90 DEGREES. I CALL THESE SQUATS SHOOTFIGHTING SQUATS
BECAUSE I GOT THEM FROM A SHOOTFIGHTING INSTRUCTOR. DUH! THEY ARE
A GOOD WORKOUT BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT ONLY WORKING YOUR LEGS, BUT YOUR
BALANCE AS WELL. THEY ARE DONE LIKE THIS...START WITH YOUR LEGS ABOUT
SHOULDER WIDTH APART, ARMS BENT SO THAT YOUR HANDS ARE NEXT TO CHEST.
(ELBOWS BACK SO YOU DONT LOOK LIKE SOME FOOL CHICKEN!)
WHEN YOU GO DOWN, COME UP ONTO THE BALLS OF YOUR FEET, SWING YOUR ARMS
SO THAT YOUR HANDS ALMOST TOUCH THE GROUND, TOUCH YOUR ASS TO YOUR HEELS
(IF YOU CAN) AND THEN COME UP. SWINGING THE ARMS IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE IT
ADDS A LITTLE MORE TO THE WORKOUT. DO THEM SLOW SO THAT YOU DO NOT BOUNCE
AT THE BOTTOM AND POTENTIALLY MESS YOUR KNEES UP. IT TAKES SOME PRACITCE,
BUT I HAVE YET TO MEET A MAN THAT HASNT GOTTEN SOMETHING OUT OF THESE.
ALSO MAKE SURE YOU KEEP YOUR BACK STRAIGHT, DO NOT BEND AT THE WAIST!!

SHOOTFIGHTING SQUATS: 4 SETS OF 25
BOOT STRAPPER SQUATS: 4 SETS OF 25
LUNGES: 4 SETS OF 20

REST 60 SECONDS BETWEEN SETS

*NOTE* BOOT STRAPPER SQUATS ARE DONE LIKE THIS...PUT YOUR FEET TOGETHER,
BEND DOWN AND PUT YOUR HANDS IN FRONT OF YOUR FEET (BEND YOUR KNEES IF YOU
HAVE TOO) NOW "WALK" YOUR HANDS ABOUT 1 FOOT AWAY FROM YOUR TOES. KEEP THEM
THERE. NOW BEND YOUR KNEES UNTIL YOUR ASS TOUCHES YOUR HEELS, STRAIGHTEN YOUR
KNEES OUT AS FAR AS YOU CAN. THATS 1. GOOD QUAD/HAMSTRING WORKOUT.

ABS: CRUNCHES: 20
SIDE CRUNCHES: 20
SIT AND TUCKS: 10
SIT AND TUCKS EA/CHEEK: 10
V-UPS: 10
FLUTTER KICKS: 25
FEET UP: 10
REST BETWEEN EXERCISES SHOULD BE NO MORE THAN 10 SECONDS

*NOTE* SIT AND TUCKS ARE DONE LIKE THIS...FROM A SITTING POSITION, LEAN BACK
A LITTLE AND SUPPORT YOURSELF WITH YOUR ARMS. PICK YOUR FEET UP OFF THE GROUND,
AND STRAIGHTEN YOUR LEGS OUT. THIS WILL BE A FOUR COUNT EXERCISE SO THE FIRST
COUNT WILL BE TO BRING YOUR FEET IN TOWARDS YOUR CHEST (1) THEN STRAIGHTEN YOUR
LEGS BACK OUT, DO NOT LET YOUR FEET TOUCH THE GROUND, (2) FEET TOWARDS YOUR CHEST
AGAIN (3) FEET BACK OUT STRAIGHT (4) THATS 1 REP. SIT AND TUCKS ON EA/ CHEEK ARE
DONE THE SAME WAY, BUT YOU ARE SITTING ON ONE OF YOUR BUTT CHEEKS, DO 10. THEN
SWITCH CHEEKS. V-UPS ARE DONE WITH YOU LAYING ON YOUR BACK, BRING BOTH LEGS UP
UNTIL YOUR FEET ARE DIRECTLY ABOVE YOUR STOMACH(LEGS STRAIGHT). WITHOUT MOVING
YOUR FEET OR LEGS, CRUNCH YOUR BODY UP UNTIL YOU CAN TOUCH (OR ALMOST TOUCH)
YOUR TOES. FLUTTER KICKS ARE DONE WITH YOU ON YOUR BACK, HANDS UNDER YOUR BUTT,
FEET 6 INCHES OFF THE GROUND, (ANOTHER 4 COUNT EXERCISE!) RAISE YOUR RIGHT LEG
UNTIL YOUR FOOT IS DIRECTLY OVER YOUR ABS (1) AS YOU LOWER IT BACK DOWN YOU WILL
BE BRINGING YOUR LEFT FOOT UP (2), RIGHT FOOT UP (3), LEFT FOOT UP (4). THATS 1
REP. IT WILL LOOK LIKE YOU WOULD BE KICKING IN A POOL. YOU MUST KEEP YOUR LEGS
AS STRAIGHT AS YOU CAN WHILE DOING FLUTTER KICKS. FEET UPS ARE DONE LIKE
V-UPS, BUT YOUR HANDS ARE UNDER YOUR BUTT AGAIN, AND THIS TIME YOUR FEET WILL
BE STRAIGHT UP IN THE AIR AGAIN, AND YOU WILL BE LIFTING YOUR BUTT OFF THE
GROUND AS FAR AS YOU CAN.

4 COUNT EXERCISES ARE COUNTED LIKE THIS: 1,2,3,1 1,2,3,2 1,2,3,3 1,2,3,4 1,2,3,5
GET IT?

ON TUES AND THURS I SUGGEST LIGHT RUNNING TO KEEP THE MUSCLES FROM GETTING TOO SORE.
BUT I WOULD KEEP THE MILEAGE DOWN BETWEEN 3-5 MILES. THATS NOT TOO MUCH OR TOO LITTLE.
YOU DONT WANT TO LOOK LIKE A LONG DISTANCE RUNNER (CALVIN KLEIN MODEL LOOK). ON THE
WEEKENDS, I SUGGEST DOING SOMETHING OUTSIDE LIKE HIKING, SWIMMING, ANYTHING THAT WILL
PUT YOUR MUSCLES TO USE. YOU SHOULD ALSO THINK ABOUT TAKING SOME YOGA OR BUYING A
YOGA INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO OR BOOK.YOGA IS AN AWESOME THING TO LEARN, IT HELPS YOU IN ALMOST
EVERY ASPECT OF YOUR LIFE. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT. A GOOD YOGA BOOK IS "YOGA FOR DUMMIES".

WELL, THAT IS A BASIC BODY WEIGHT WORKOUT. DO THIS FOR 2 WEEKS, THEN UP THE REPS.
IF YOU CAN EASILY PYRAMID YOUR PUSH-UPS TO 12 WITHOUT ANY TROUBLE, BUMP IT UP TO 15.
SAME WITH EVERYTHING ELSE. BUT YOU MUST KEEP THE REST PERIODS SHORT, NO MARATHON NAP
SESSIONS BETWEEN SETS. THIS WORKOUT IS FAIRLY SHORT BUT INTENSE. MAKE THE WORKOUT A
PROGRESSIVE ONE, MEANING THAT IF YOU CAN DO A PYRAMID UP TO 12 PUSH-UPS,
DONT IMMEDIATELY TRY TO PYRAMID 20. WORK AT IT GRADUALLY.

I WILL BE MAKING A VIDEO SOON WITH A COMPANY OUT HERE IN HAWAII, CALLED BASIC TRAINING.
I CURRENTLY RUN A PROGRAM CALLED BASIC TRAINING AT THE GYM ON BASE AND IT IS VERY CLOSE
TO THIS WORKOUT.
I ALSO HAVE A WEBPAGE AT <A HREF="http://WWW.WEBFECTS.COM/HEA" TARGET="_blank">WWW.WEBFECTS.COM/HEA</A> THAT HAS A COUPLE MORE OF MY PROGRAMS
DESCRIBED. MY BEST FRIEND LIVES IN BOSTON (FORMER NAVY SEAL) AND WE ARE PLANNING A ONE
WEEK BLITZKRIEG FOR ANYONE THAT WANTS TO GET INTO SHAPE. HE HAS ACCESS TO A RETIRED
SPECIAL FORCES ARMY BASE, COMPLETE WITH RAPPELING TOWER AND LAKE.
THIS "CAMP" WILL BE SIMILAR TO NAVY DIVE SCHOOL AND BASIC SEAL TRAINING.
I AM CURRENTLY TRYING TO WORK SOMETHING OUT WITH MY INSTRUCTOR, EGAN INOUE,
SO THAT WE CAN OFFER A WEEK LONG FIGHTING CAMP. ITS GONNA ROCK.
TAKE CARE, TRAIN HARD AND EMAIL ME IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS.

SCRAPPER

"The grappling arts imply most fights end up on the ground...take them there. The striking arts imply all fights start standing up...keep them there. The mixed martial arts imply any fight can go anywhere...be ready and able to go everywhere."-a mix martial artist

Paul DiMarino
01-10-2001, 04:43 PM
Hey Ed,

That link in Scrapper's workout isn't workout, so... <A HREF="http://www.webfects.com/hea/routine.htm" TARGET="_blank">http://www.webfects.com/hea/routine.htm</A>

Origenx,

I doubt you'll ever find somebody that has had better results with Isometrics than weights, but I use both together consistently. Weights will build the strength of muscle while performing a specific ROM (Range of Motion). While performing an isometric exercise you are in a static contraction, and strength will only be built in that particular angle and up to 30 degrees in each direction. Taking this into consideration, I'll use isometrics as a supplement to build my extreme range strength.

An example of this would be to lower yourself into a side split or as close as you can get, and push inwards with your heels as if you were trying to slide up out of the split. This will build strength in that particular angle of flexion as well as armor yourself against injury. This is also a good way to improve flexability. Instead of doing static stretches that "stretch" your ligaments and connective tissue, do the above exercise, but contract your muscles so hard that they fatigue quickly. Now that you have sufficiently fatigued your inner thigh muscles (the muscles which were stopping you from dropping deeper into the split), you can lower yourself another inch or so. This method works best when you contract your muscles to the point of complete failure. You will be able to lower yourself and literally reprogram you stretch reflex. (best done in 3 sets) Don't push it too much though. Most muscle tears come from quick stretches and contractions. Only move down an inch per contraction. :) Hope that helped. I'm fairly well-read on the subject of fitness, so feel free to ask me to explain further.

GinSueDog
01-10-2001, 08:51 PM
Thanks, I was looking for that link on that workout. I agree there should be balance of some sort to get the best results.-ED

Paul DiMarino
01-10-2001, 10:03 PM
>>>That link in Scrapper's workout isn't workout, so... <<<

That should read "isn't working, so..." **** english! Scrapper is the man.

desciple
01-13-2001, 08:50 AM
Hey guys thanks a lot for your help.I'll start training and let you know about the results.So far Isometrics has increased my strength considerably.YOU know what, Before starting isometrics, i could hardly do 3(yes) 3 proper push-ups. Now after about a month or so later, the reps have increased to 13.
May be a small number but it's increasing allright.With those links, i hope to develop faster.

:)