Categorized | Building Muscle

Isometric Exercises – Charles Atlas and Mahatma Gandhi?

Is there another way to build muscle and become stronger without weight training?

Well yes it’s called — isometric exercises!

And the great news is that you can get fit with isometrics and you don’t have to go to the gym or buy expensive home exercise equipment.

Sounds hard to believe you say… right?

Isometric exercises are essentially muscle contractions that are performed against a fixed or stable resistance. Isometrics was given scientific validation back in 1953, when two German researchers from the Max Planck Institute published a study that showed that individuals who performed isometric exercises had an increase in their strength in excess of 300% (over the control group.)

Dr. Theodore Hettinger and Dr. Eric A. Muller performed tests on frogs to determine the effectiveness of isometric exercise. The results were conclusive — it works!

(This system of training which Joe Weider coined the name of — iso-tension — became very popular in the United States.)

Isometric exercises has been around since the beginning of Chinese martial arts. In fact, most martial arts systems utilize one form or another of isometrics. Many of the old-time strongman utilized isometrics as part of their strength and muscle building programs. One of the most notable was a young man named — Charles Atlas.

Atlas, whose real name was Angela Siciliano teamed up with Harold Roman. Mr. Roman was considered at the time a marketing genius. It was their partnership that propelled the Charles Atlas dynamic tension training program into the history books.

Thousands of individuals clamored for the Charles Atlas is course — which parts of it used isometrics exercises as well as body weight training. One of the most notable Atlas students was Mahatma Gandhi.

Gandhi wrote a letter to Charles Atlas requesting help in utilizing isometric exercises in his training. Atlas did write back recommending a specific diet and exercise program. Unfortunately, Mahatma Gandhi remained as a Charles Atlas referred to him “a bag of bones” but much stronger.

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