Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Isometric Power Revolution: A review

I've said this to others previously about this book: It was a book that NEEDED to be written. It's odd but it seems like isometric contraction has been a part of exercise for a long, long time but so few have mentioned it by name, if they even knew the name of the exercise that they were doing. Most of those who did mention it by name didn't really give it a good name. Bob Hoffman gets a lot of credit for bringing isometrics into fashion in the 60's by teaching it to his guys... along with giving them steroids. Others who wrote books about isometrics wrote about it as if it were a lazy man's method of exercise. Besides, doesn't it seem strange that you can exercise with no movement whatsoever? It does seem like lazy man's exercise since most of our exercises involve movement. So, this book needed to get written just for the sake of clearing up the validity of isometrics as a method of training. If Isometric Power Revolution does anything (IPR), it accomplishes this with flying colors. It does much more though. It's a great way to learn about this known-yet-forgotten method of strength training.

The beginning of the book devotes a considerable amount of time detailing the long history of isometric exercise. I love to study the history of anything, including exercise so was a real treat for me. He includes previous scientific studies of isometrics as well as recommendations for proper breathing which so few have ever brought up while doing these exercises. I read these sections several times.

The exercises themselves are overall very good. He divides them up between what he called Classic isometric contractions (CIC) and Powerflexes. Overall, the exercises are very good. The descriptions are very clear and they correspond very well to the pictures, which are of good quality. I do have gripes though. I'm not very fond of some of the isometrics that he gives for the abdominals and there is one for the legs which involves using the upper body for resistance. I think it would work for someone who has as much upper body strength as lower body strength. I'm not one of those people. Still, this amounts to maybe four or five exercises in the whole book that has dozens. This isn't bad at all.

John also did a fantastic job by giving the reader isometrics that exercsie EVERY part of the body. He even hits the neck, a body part most forget to train. Plus, he puts it front and center at the beginning. Plus, every major body part has several exercises. He gives a sound method for proper breathing with isometrics which really makes a huge difference in the quality of the exercises.

John's honesty about the limitations of isometrics is also appreciated. Even he admits that they aren't enough for all-around functional strength and I agree. Still, they serve a valuable purpose and should be included in any serious BW strength trainer, just like this book belongs in any BW-oriented library.



Anonymous said...

hi my name is john crongratulations on how you explain vrt i write you from chile south america unfortunately imposible for me to get the books o0n vrt but i have been trying to get some tips from the forum a ?is there any way you can give me some clue on how to perform them correctly im not askin you for the dvd but as a big favor some explanation on how to do the exercises i would really aprreciate this my e mail is jagatyorei@hotmail.com i hope you can sincerely john.

Justin_PS said...

I look back on some blog entries and wonder, "what the hell was I thinking?" This is one such post.

Don't bother with anything John Peterson writes. He's a scam. Any decent information he ever gave out he shamelessly rips off from someone else, down to the near-exact wording.

Dray Temple said...

It's fairly well known that John Peterson takes all of the information in his books from other people's past publications. He's also prone to exaggeration and self serving statements. However, regardless of the original source of the information or Mr Peterson's ego, are you now saying that the information in the book is worthless or do you still think that the book itself is good? Bear in mind that I'm not asking for a character reference for John Peterson I'm asking for your honest opinion of the book.

Justin_PS said...

Nah, don't bother with it.

Fuck him.