Thanks so much to those of you who left comments on Sunday’s post and/or reached out to me after I announced my quest to lift heavier. You are so supportive! Also, nothing gets past you guys. I mentioned that one of my favorite strength workout formats lately is to do 3 rounds of supersets where the first move is a pre-exhaustion isometric hold exercise, followed by 8-10 reps of a heavier main strength exercise. Several of you emailed me asking for the workout, so here’s an example of one I did the other day.
For anyone unfamiliar with working isometrically, the best way to think about it is to picture someone holding a plank. Isometric actions or exercises are when the muscle produces force but there is no change in the length of the muscle. Basically an exercise that requires you to be still while still working hard.
You could also think about trying to push against an object that simply won’t move or budge. In this instance, you are working your muscles by pushing against that resistance, but your muscles aren’t moving. Make sense?
In this workout, the first exercise in each superset is an isometric one: weighted wall sits, weighted bridges, and weighted plie squat holds. For the first two exercises, I used a 45 pound weight plate, and I used a 45 pound body bar for the plie squat hold. I would not recommend starting out with that weight if you aren’t used to using that much. For the main strength exercises, focus on form and executing through the entire range of motion. Don’t rush through the movement.
This workout can also be adapted if you are using lighter weight by doing the main strength exercise for 12-15 reps instead of the 8-10 like I’ve been doing. I imagine you could go even heavier if executing for 4-6 reps instead. You could also flip flop the exercises so the isometric move is second, although then I’d call the workout post-exhaustion supersets instead of pre. 🙂
Play with it, and see what works for you! Like I always say, what matters most is that you are challenging yourselves.
Let me know if you try it!
What’s your favorite isometric exercise? Lower body workout? Have you worked with this type of workout format before? Or just tell me something you are looking forward to today.