Do isometrics burn calories?
Muscles themselves burn calories and vigorous exercise has a great effect on burning calories in the body, but do isometrics burn calories? Is an isometric workout strenuous enough to burn body fat?
A case study of isometric exercise by the owner of Isometric-Training showed a reduction of 20.3 pounds of fat in 4 weeks. That was a 9.4% total loss of body fat, not water weight. Additionally, he showed that by doing isometric exercises, he burned 14 pounds of body fat in 7 days, with video updates and archiving every aspect of his workout. That is a deficit of approximately 49,000 kcal in one week. These numbers don’t appear out of nowhere; Real people have done isometric exercises of different intensities to reduce not only the water weight of their bodies, but also the real body fat. Isometrics are not limited to burning calories; They turn your body into a furnace that can burn calories like a space shuttle does for jet fuel.
Isometric exercises are a fundamental key to functional lean muscle, as they have been in martial arts for hundreds, but thousands of years. Even without addressing the art behind isometry, the science is irrefutable; In 1954, two German scientists, Muller and Hettinger, conclusively demonstrated in more than 5,000 independent clinical trials that strength could be increased by 5% to 15% with a single 7-second stimulation once a week. Subjects in a later study who performed a 7-second daily contraction increased their strength by 72% in 46 weeks. The drop in strength after the end of training is very slow. 70 weeks after the end of the training, his strength was still 42% higher than before the start of the training. After doing nothing for over a year and a half, they were still 42% stronger than when they started.
Well, that research must be out of date by now, much as the science of exercise changes over the years. I guess I’ll have to refer to this study by John Little (et. Al. 2006) that showed a single 5-minute routine comprised of 10 7-second contractions that produced up to 9.3 pounds of muscle tissue. That’s enough muscle to dramatically increase your body’s resting ability to burn body fat.
There are plenty of thoughts on the best strength training method; What I will say is that your regimen should include something that strengthens your body from the inside out. For me, isometric exercises build strength from the tendons, ligaments, and nerves to the muscles. I do workouts that isolate individual muscles for maximum muscle fatigue and workouts that involve large muscle groups for central nervous system fatigue. As long as your training doesn’t neglect internal strength principles (like bodybuilding training that focuses solely on muscles without long-term tendon development), it can be part of what gives you stability and ability to burn fat.
But a true fat-burning exercise program can’t just be intense. In fact, when you look at cardio machines at the gym, the core of their effectiveness is in interval training. Having a metabolic calorie boost from intense interval training, coupled with a massive calorie demand from intense muscle training will do wonders for burning calories in the body, and isometric exercises will do both.
Naturally, nutrition will play an important role in your body’s ability to burn fat; Isometric exercises will still burn calories, but it would be more of a tug of war between your fitness and your diet, when it should be a team relay all the way to the finish line for lean muscle. It’s not as simple as eating fewer calories than you burn, and isometrics can burn A LOT of calories.
It also means things like eating protein that will promote muscle growth, eating saturated fat that really promotes your metabolism, and slowing down with meals (it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to notice that food is filling your stomach to trigger a stop response) . – slowing down meals can mean feeling full and avoiding overeating).