Thursday, December 7, 2017

Functional Isometric Contraction System, Part One - Bob Hoffman (1962)


Here's a link to Peary Rader's Isometronic Power and Muscle Development Course:

With all the various successful York Courses published to date, you may wonder why there should be another course of training. What can another course offer that we have not already supplied? What can we furnish to those who want the limit in weight lifting ability, in strength and physical perfection that has not already been offered in the courses which have served so well, in the 19 books Bob Hoffman has written, in the thousands of articles that Bob Hoffman has written. 

The new isometric training system will have an important place in the realm of weight training. It will not replace the good courses which have proven their worth, but it will prove to be a time saver and super strength builder. It will bring superior results faster, with less effort, in far less time. It will be a body-saver, because its scientific methods build the maximum of strength and development, with a minimum strain upon the muscles, tendons and ligaments. When combined with the training principles, the exercises, the weight lifting training, and other long successful, superior weight lifting training, and other long successful, superior Bob Hoffman methods, it will build strong men, superbly developed men, weight lifters and athletes, with an ability which has never been seen before. It applies force where force is needed. Dr. Drury and Al Roy prophesy that all world records will be broken within two years. Most of them will be broken and re-broken by means of training with this new and scientific Functional Isometric Contraction method.

The readers of this course will never realize the time, the study, the hard and continuous work, the research, the experimentation, the utilization of little known scientific principles, which has led up to this system of training. I was almost a lone pioneer in formulating and proving the training systems included in the courses enumerated. I was almost a lone pioneer in weight training for athletes (going ahead slowly for many years) until finally, like an avalanche, like a huge snowfall, it became great - the principle of weight training was accepted. The point is now reached where nearly all athletes are training with weights to improve their athletic ability, and those who don't train with weights will simply be pushed around and defeated by those who are training with weights.

I wrote 19 books without assistance, and although I am writing this course, I have help, very worthy help. The material in this book contains and includes the thinking, the knowledge, the training, the research, the demonstrations, the persistent work of a number of men. It has been my work to coordinate, to assemble this jigsaw puzzle of scientific facts which make this new training system so great. I am fortunate indeed to be associated for years in this work with a medical doctor, a Ph.D., a professor of Physical Education, a famous trainer, and particularly, two great athletes who proved the truth, the superiority of these training principles we are offering, with experiments on their bodies. They risked their reputations as weightlifters. They took a big chance that if the little known principles they were to follow did not prove as successful as other methods, they would not win the national championships, or a coveted place on the world's championship team. Nevertheless, they put their wholehearted efforts into the new training system and were successful pioneers in this great training system which means so much to the future of our country.

Each of these men, with whom I am so closely associated, played a very important part in proving this system, in preparing it so that it is now offered as the greatest training system the world has ever seen. I am actually awestruck at the miracles it has already wrought, at the speed with which it develops great strength and improved functional condition, and all around physical ability.  Muscles with all their health giving and health maintaining qualities, with their potential athletic ability, grow before my eyes, almost like a mushroom grows when the conditions are favorable. Had you seen the miracles I have seen as a result of this new system of training, you too would be as thrilled, as excited, as happy as I am. After a lifetime spent in the search for strength and better strength building methods, we can now offer this faster, better method of building superior physical ability - through Functional Isometric Contraction Training.

The Development of the Theory and the Application of Functional Isometric Contraction

The theory and application of Functional Isometric Contraction is the result of the combined efforts, the experience and the thinking of five men who were brought together by their mutual interest in the process of developing muscular strength. These men are John Ziegler, M.D., a physician from Olney, Md.; Bob Hoffman, the Father of weight lifting in the U.S.A. and Olympic Weightlifting Coach since 1932; Dr. Francis A. Drury, a professor of Physical Education at Louisiana State University; Alvin Roy, a former Olympic Weightlifting Trainer; and Louis Riecke a 34 year old competitive weightlifter with 15 years of weight training experience.

Dr. Ziegler who has done considerable muscular rehabilitation work, and cell growth research, became interested in applying some of the practices used in rehabilitation to the training of athletes. Bob Hoffman and Dr. Ziegler convinced Louis Riecke to act as a subject for the testing of the Functional Isometric  Contraction system of training. Dr. Drury, who had know Louis Riecke from his college days when Riecke was a member of the L.S.U. team, had also talked to Louie about the research on Isometric Contraction done at L.S.U. Alvin Roy, a close friend of Riecke, made the trip from Louisiana to California for the national weight lifting meet with Louie. Bob Hoffman followed this experiment by phone, by letter, by personal visit and encouraged Riecke to put his maximum effort back of the experiment. Louis Riecke's experiment was climaxed by his selection as a member of the five man team which went to compete against the Russians in Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev, Tbilisi, and later in London, England.

As a result of this lengthy and result producing experiment, all five of these men, the Medical doctor, the Olympic coach, the Professor, the Olympic trainer and the lifter agree that Functional Isometric Contraction is a truly superior method for developing strength.

What is Functional Isometric Contraction?

Functional Isometric Contraction is a method of developing functional strength through static contraction of the muscles in the position the muscle is to be used. This system is especially applicable to many athletic sports, notably weight lifting. It is a new method and has proven to be a superior method of building functional and all around physical strength.

The Functional Isometric Contraction method of developing strength is the result of research done in several of our major universities in the United States and Europe. Psychology and Physiology of Exercise and Kinesiology are the sciences that contributed the basic scientific facts which are used as a foundation for this new system of weight training. Dr. Ziegler, Dr. Drury, Al Roy and Bob Hoffman are among the first in the world to apply this proven strength building principle to heavy exercise, heavy athletics, strength and muscle building.

The Functional Isometric Contraction method of training brings together all the known scientific facts of strength development and body mechanics. The resulting course offers the most up to date and most result producing concepts of strength development.

Functional Isometric Contraction is a scientifically proven, very rapid way to develop super strength. Functional Isometric Contraction will develop functional strength more quickly than any other method known to man.

Functional Isometric Contraction Produces Maximum Muscle Tension

A muscle can produce energy in the form of heat and work. The heat and work produced by a muscle will work in reciprocal relation to each other. the amount of work may vary from zero to about 40% of the total energy produced. If resistance to he muscle is so strong that the muscle can not move the weight or object the muscle stiffens and does not shorten. This is pure Functional Isometric Contraction (meaning that the muscle continues to measure the same length.) All the muscle energy is used in tension and none in movement when performing Functional Isometric Contraction. Consequently, it develops the maximum amount of muscle tension. This is one reason why Functional Isometric Contraction is a quick method of developing strength. More muscle tension can be exerted by Functional Isometric Contraction than by contraction, where by short means of movement the muscle is allowed to shorten and work. there is more cell action as a result of functional isometric contraction

Functional Isometric Contraction Develops Maximum Coordinated Effort

Another basic principle of the Functional Isometric Contraction System of training is that it develops the nervous system to give a maximum coordinated effort in the position of the needed force. The world record jumping of Valeri Brumel is a case of this form of coordinated effort, the ability to put forth a greater explosive effort which records a higher jump. Brumel has this ability. The old method of developing strength did not develop maximum functional strength in the position the strength was to be used. Functional Isometric Contraction trains the muscles and the nervous system to respond to their maximum in a functional position. This training for maximum coordinated effort is one of the new concepts of training. It trains the muscles to exert an explosive strength in the desired direction. This concept of training, as incorporated in the Functional Isometric Contraction System, results in greater strength and new records.

Functional Isometric Contraction: The Training System of the Future World Record Holders

All weight lifting records will be broken in the next two years. In many cases broken and re-broken by men who use the Functional Isometric Contraction System of training. The phenomenal rise of Louis Riecke is the result of Functional Isometric Contraction combined with a weight training program. Louis Riecke trained the best way he know how, for 14 years using the old method of training and never became even one of the nation's best lifters until he included the Functional Isometric Contraction System of training. Now he is known over all the world, and is on the verge of breaking world records.

By using the Functional Isometric Contraction System, in six months Riecke developed into of the the world's greatest lifters. This sensational improvement made by Louis Riecke can be made by all other lifters who follow this new system of training, the Isometric Contraction System, combined with weight lifting training.

Every lifter can not become a world champion, but every lifter can greatly improve his lifting records of the past by following this new, all-around system of training. In the next two years there will be tremendous gains made in all the lifts - the press, the snatch, and the clean and jerk. These gains will be made by men who use this most modern system of training. If you want to keep up with the best lifters, if you want to build your strength and muscles to their maximum, you must start now to use the Functional Isometric Contraction System. All good lifters will be using this system in the near future, certainly in the next two years.

Functional Strength: The Secret of Better Lifting

One of the important factors in Louis Riecke's sensational improvement was his rapid development of functional strength. Functional strength is having the strength in the body position where the strength is needed and used. The Functional Isometric Contraction system develops functional strength by causing the lifter to execute all exercises in the position of movement used in competitive lifting. All lifters have seen men who looked strong but were not strong. Their muscles were developed by isolated exercises and movement, rather than by heavy weight lifting. These men do not have functional strength - they have isolated strength. They appear to be strong, but they will never be great lifters. Great lifters have functional strength. The quickest and surest way to develop functional strength is through the Functional Isometric Contraction (F.I.C.) system of training.

A Superior Method of Strength and Muscle Building

The Functional Isometric Contraction system combined with isometric training with weights is a superior system of strength and muscle building which is the culmination of many years of effort, many years of scientific study, years of experimentation and practice. It is a superior method of building great strength and unusual muscular development.

The Functional Isometric Contraction system combined with isometric training with weights works on the principle that only through progressive training, with very heavy weight resistance can super strength and the maximum of muscular development be built. There must be a constant effort to work against more and more weight resistance. It is nature's way to meet demands made upon the muscles, so that they will become stronger and more enduring. Only with progressive weight training can physical progress be measured accurately almost with micrometer-like precision.

With the combined Isometric-Isotonic Training with weights you can continue to train with very heavy weights and heavy weight resistance. In fact, progressively heavier weights and weight resistance can be used day after day. With the usual training system you practice many exercises and perform many of them in sets. This old method is time consuming, tiring and requires a considerable period of recuperation between training sessions. In the past many men failed with these training systems because they trained on their nerve too often and did not give the muscles time to recuperate and rebuild after the day of vigorous training. As only a few supermen have the needed and exceptional endurance and recuperative powers to progress with this type of training, more men fail than succeed. Only a comparatively few men make the gains you read about in the strength books and magazines. On the other hand, many men fail because they do not extend themselves enough, they do not progress beyond many repetitions with with light weights and do not make satisfactory gains.

This Functional Isometric Contraction system of training operates on a different system than any other. This system was developed from the newest discoveries concerning cell growth, tissue and muscle building, yet it contains training principles which have actually been secret methods used by some of the world's greatest strong men and the world's greatest specimens.

The Functional Isometric Contraction system of Super Power Training is founded on the proven, but little known principle, that a muscle can only grow so fast regardless of how many exercises you practice or how much effort you deliver. To obtain best results it is far better to subject the muscle or muscle group to a single maximum contraction and all around strength will more quickly be attained. Strength will appear in the tendons, the ligaments, the muscles, and even greater strength in the bones.

Only maximum contractions, only the application of great force will develop the strongest muscles. With this system of weight training, wherein the absolute limit of force is applied, only a single contraction is made in each exercise. The Hoffman Isometric-Isotonic Super Power Rack is a combination machine which permits the practice of a great number of exercises and permits a variety of methods of training. But when it is used for pure isometric contraction or isometric contraction with weights, contraction is practiced in each exercise.

With this method of Functional Isometric Contraction and Isometric Contraction with Weights, the muscles do not tire although subjected to the limit of force. Rather, there is a feeling of exhilaration, of well-being at the end of the training period. Your muscles start immediately to grow in strength and are ready and able to perform even harder work the next day, and the next and greater work as the days pass. With the usual training system much time is lost waiting for the muscles to become rested. A muscle will not increase in size and strength after demands have been upon it by the ordinary training system until it is thoroughly rested. This may take 24-36 hours of rest between training periods. With the Functional Isometric Contraction and System of Power Training, advanced men (those who have gone through the preliminary training) can work their muscles to the limit of their strength - and beyond - yet the muscles do not become fatigued. New growth in cells and in muscle tissues takes place at one. With this Isometric Super System, you can train twice as often, six times a week if you wish, without tiring. You can make strength and muscle gains two to four times as fast as the usual training system which has been followed in the past.

We recommend that all muscular contraction exercises be performed over the full range of movement for a reasonable or satisfactory period, a period which is to be determined by your starting condition, before you follow the advanced routine of maximum force for single contraction (known as Isometric Contraction). Although the Hoffman Isometric-Isotonic Super Power Rack is primarily designed to build great strength, the maximum of strength, development and athletic ability. It offers advantages to those who are satisfied with only a little physical benefit, for they can make pleasing gains with only a little time and a little effort. Although a weakling, an invalid or a cripple can obtain good results with the Hoffman Isometric-Isotonic Super Power Rack, we repeat, it is primarily designed for those who want the limit in strength and development. The training system we are offering is the best, the superior way to build great strength and development. The training system we are offering is the best, the superior way to build great strength, shapely, strong muscles and unusual physical ability. You get out of isotonic exercise what you put into your training. To obtain the maximum benefits in strength and development you must constantly endeavor to overcome more and more resistance. This can be done with maximum Functional Isometric Contraction and Isometric Contraction With Weights. Only with weights can you accurately measure the effort you are putting forth. Only with weight can you measure the gains that you have made with Functional Isometric Contraction. Any exercise is better than no exercise, even pushing one hand against another is better than nothing, but if you want the maximum of physical strength, development and physical ability, you must follow he best methods. Experience counts! The combined experience of Olympic coach Bob Hoffman, John Ziegler, M.D., Francis Drury, Ph.D., and Olympic Trainer, Al Roy (a man who has a lifetime of athletic and training experience), will guarantee your success. For greater success follow their methods to the exclusion of all others.

The Functional Isometric-Isotonic System of Super Power Training requires little energy. It is not tiring, yet it builds super strength and development, strength and size in the muscles, as well as strength in the tendons and ligaments. Although Functional Isometric Contraction, Isometric Contraction With Weights and Muscular Contraction With Movement, Super Power Rack Training are worth ways to strength, super health and development in themselves, they succeed more rapidly and much more fully when they are combined with a complete weight training program. Functional Isometric Contraction is a time saver. On some days as few as five exercises, 12 seconds each, are performed. Most weight lifters and body builders train three times a week, rest days between. As Functional Isometric Contraction and Isometric Contraction with weights, Super Power Rack Training make such moderate demands upon the body, yet bring such sensational results, they can be practiced on what would normally be rest days. With this method of training, you train twice as many times, although the Functional Isometric Contraction and Isometric Training with weights are easy training days. It would be reasonable to believe if you train twice as much you train twice as fast. With this new system, many actually gain not only two times as fast, but three or four times as fast. 5% a week is the average gain for beginners, twice as much strength in 20 weeks. Naturally an advanced man can not double his strength in 20 weeks, but he can and will show sensational gains.

With ordinary training methods there are two good reasons why some succeed and others fail. Those who succeed have the right combination of the right system of training, they follow the rules of healthful living. Those who fail most often do not have the right system of training. They usually exercise some of the muscle groups too much, neglect others. They may train too little, use too little weight resistance, or they miss training periods for every possible excuse. "It is too late, it is too hot, I am tired, I will train tomorrow, I want to go out tonight." These are only a few of the common excuses. Actually laziness is at the root of all the excuses.

Then there are some who are so ambitious that they train too hard and too often. Perhaps their bodies do not have enough natural recuperative power. they extend themselves to their limit too often. They work too much on their nerves and of course, there are those who have poor living habits, such as irregular sleep, and the failure to maintain a tranquil mind. So many people do not supply their bodies with the proper food. Not enough food for energy, not enough protein to build the body. The body is built only when there is a surplus of the right kind of protein. Protein will be used first for maintenance and repair, even for energy, if there is not enough of the energy producing materials. No muscular growth is possible unless there is an ample supply of complete protein. Some people smoke too much, drink too much of alcoholic beverages, some drink too much of tea, coffee and soft drinks which are loaded with white sugar. They eat too much of foodless foods such as white flour and white sugar products. Good, natural foods are best for building strength and muscular development.

Isometric and Isotonic Power Rack training can not overcome these poor living habits, these omissions and  commissions. It will help you in spite of bad habits, but you will succeed much faster and succeed better if you follow the rules of healthful living as closely as possible. One of our rules of successful training, and body building is, never miss an exercise period. It is so easy to miss again when you have missed once. It becomes a habit of missing, and failure is sure to result. With the Functional Isometric Contraction and Isometric Training With Weights System of Super Power Training you need not miss your training. You can train at any time, even at odd moments. With the Isometric System, you have no excuse not to train. Your Super Power Rack is right in your home. You can train at any time you wish with little expenditure of energy. Being tired, or being late, or having little time is no excuse, it takes so little time.

This system of training will be a boon to the average family. The Super Power Rack can be used by the children, by Father and Mother, by the old folks, by the neighbors. It is excellent for people of all types. It is a big step forward in building a stronger and healthier America, because here we have a simple, easy-to-follow, result producing system which brings sensational results with a minimum of effort. There is no valid excuse in the future to be out of shape, to be fat, to be pepless, to be sick, when it is so easy to keep superlatively fit, strong and super healthy.

There should be an Isometric-Isotonic Super Power Rack in every home, to be used by every member of the family as well as relatives and friends.

True Facts About Functional Isometric Contraction Training

The limit of maximum effort is set by many inhibits or restraints within the body. This is nature's way of preventing injury to the body. Many lifters have the muscular strength to lift much more than they have ever lifted but they have inhibitions within themselves that prevent them from making a maximum effort . . .






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