Isometrics Are Blue Collar!

Isometrics have long been part of any blue collar lifestyle, isometric exercise has been around since the beginning of man. Isometrics were an training tool of old time strong men!

ALL old time laborers were isometrically strong, they had to be, it’s why labors were always strong, good arm wrestlers, wrestlers, boxers etc!

I never realized how much physical labor required isometric strength, and in all my working life never realized where men suffered in lack of isometric strength and conditioning.

An example would be doing an isometric “Wall Push” just position your legs, to push the wall over. If you push it for 30 to 90 seconds you will feel every muscle being worked including your conditioning.

Now grab a pair of  dumbbells, but grab the dumbbell on the ends by your finger tips, and start walking as far as you can. By holding the dumbbell by your finger tips is an isometric exercise, and guarantee your fingers, hands and forearms will be on fire!

Grabbing a heavy rock and carrying it for distance with your arms held at  90 degree angle, and the squeezing of the hands, and the muscles have to tighten to stabilize the entire upper body making it an isometric movement.

If you ever moved furniture, and carried a couch, upstairs or downstairs, and had to stop and hold it you quickly got tired, started breathing heavy, and most have to put it down!

Now try a simple isometric workout, less than 4 minutes.

Squat down parallel and hold that position for 2 minutes!

Drop down on your knuckles and lower yourself into a midway pushup and hold for 1 1/2 minutes!

Sound easy? Give it a try, tell me it isn’t serious work!

Isometrics build strength where weakness exists!

Johnny Grube


  1. Isometrics are the lost secrets of superhuman strength!

    Great article Grube!

  2. They are the forgotten secrets for sure.

  3. Johnny Grube, most people only use isometrics for rehabilitation, it has been downgraded too much.

  4. Glen MacCharles says

    Coincidence. I’ve been getting into isometrics again lately too. I’m rereading Solitary Fitness.
    I find isometric exercise to be deceptively draining on my system. Feels great while I’m doing it but then I need a few days before I’m ready to do it again. It’s not soreness so much as an overall tiredness and fatigue. As much as I like them, if I use them every day I tend to burn out pretty quick. I’m working on that though.
    Traditional martial arts used a lot of isometric training. It builds mental as much as physical strength and endurance. Even look at what the modern day Shaolin monks do.

  5. Glen MacCharles, they rebuilt my injured body. Even though I have always used them in some form or another while training or working, I never realized they are serious tool.

  6. I’ve always made it a point to incorporate some type of isometric training since I read about Alexander Zass at 18. They were invaluable at sea in granting me an incredible sense of balance while in a handstand. As the ship pitched and rolled, fighting to hold the midway position of a handstand pushup built the conditioned strength we all strive for. As always, another well written, informative article.

  7. Conditioned strength is the king!

  8. Great Gino! Isometrics are a great training tool!

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