Monday, January 25, 2016

Fitness: Isometrics

Hey guys! I’m constantly asked about how/where I workout, so I figured I’d do a post about some of the workouts I like and where you can do them! If you don’t live in any of the cities I mention, I recommend googling these classes, and I’m sure you’ll find something similar near you!

In each of these posts I’m going to go into detail about the type of workout, and my favourite place to do it. Each post in this series will include one type of workout, where I do it and the results that I’ve seen.

How does it work?
The first type of workout I want to talk about is isometric training. Isometric training focuses on minimal movement and isolation of muscles. It gives you the same fat-burning exercise as cardio while intensely toning your muscles. That’s the best way I can describe it.

Research shows that 6 minutes of isometric training is akin to 30 minutes of regular workout. How crazy is that?! So by only doing 30-minute training sessions with Brad (my trainer), my muscles were getting a two-hour workout. The great thing about isometrics is that you don’t need the machine to do it, although it significantly helps. Brad taught me how to Restraint Force Isometrics: a proprietary form of isometrics, where you isolate muscles and use force to add further tension by pushing against a surface. You're essentially toning your muscles while melting the fat around them.

Brad also taught me how to practice RFI at home. For example, instead of pushing my leg through the machine like you see in the picture above, I would do the same thing against a wall. Stand tall, tense up the muscles in my leg and push the side of my foot through the wall.

Where do I go?
I started doing isometric training with Brad Thorpe at Striation 6 in Toronto. Brad invented this awesome machine called the ISOPHIT. You basically isolate any muscle you want, and push through the machine in various ways to tone however you want. You can see how it works in the following pictures of me struggling through it.

This position is great for biceps and deltoids!
This one toned the crap out of my triceps! 
And this one seriously melted my lower body fat and toned my legs. 
What don't you like?
The only down side I can point out is that, it truly feels like torture. Although you do get used to it, I found isometrics hard to do on my own because it was harder to push through it. With cardio or weight reps, you know you have 10 more, then 9 more, etc. But with iso, you’re staying still in excruciating pain until the timer’s off – it’s so difficult. (it’s essentially the same feeling as holding the plank, but for every muscle in your body). But once it becomes second nature, you can tone so much faster.

People really believe that you can’t spot reduce weight-loss. Isometrics proves that totally wrong. By isolating and toning whichever muscles I wanted, I was able to target specific areas and see improvements every day. Now, I add iso to all of my workouts and I know that my muscles are getting extra cut right where I need it!
I love this one - it's a bit of a harder version of a regular plank. It really helped me strengthen my core. 
I love this position because it gives you a great six pack!
I saw results in less than 2 weeks with isometrics; it’s definitely something I recommend if you’re looking to tone. And if you’re looking to lose weight, it’s great to do 30 minutes of iso and then add on 30-60 minutes of cardio to burn off even more fat. Out of all of the workouts I’ve tried, isometrics has by far given me the fastest results.

Are you interested in trying isometric training? How are your results? Do you have any tips for working through exercises?


  1. Great explanation.We love the Iso workouts too.

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