Now this scientific breakthrough can be harness- ed not just by champion athletes, but in a general program of physical fitness for boys and girls and men and women of all ages. Wittenberg has often demonstrated in person and on television the magic of isometrics which he used in his own Olympic championship career, and which he now uses as a college coach. It is a plan that you can start in seconds a day in your own home, or even while at work, without any equipment, and in perfect safety. As an amateur wrestler, he compiled the most impres- sive record in that sport in U.

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Now this scientific breakthrough can be harness- ed not just by champion athletes, but in a general program of physical fitness for boys and girls and men and women of all ages. Wittenberg has often demonstrated in person and on television the magic of isometrics which he used in his own Olympic championship career, and which he now uses as a college coach.

It is a plan that you can start in seconds a day in your own home, or even while at work, without any equipment, and in perfect safety. As an amateur wrestler, he compiled the most impres- sive record in that sport in U. From to he wrestled in the pound and heavy- weight divisions in this country and abroad, and re- mained undefeated after more than consecutive matches! During this time, he was eight times National A.

Since his retirement from active competition in , Wittenberg has devoted his time to teaching. He is a member of the U. At present he coaches wrestling and teaches physical education at Yeshiva University in New York. The theory of isometric contractions is not new to Wittenberg. He had read how the legendary wrestler Farmer Burns practiced his scissors grip by placing a sack of grain between his legs and squeezing it until it burst.

Experimenting further, Wittenberg practiced holds on a football dummy, exerting pressure without motion. Based on research with students, businessmen and athletes, Wittenberg has now compiled this manual, which embodies all the scientific principles that govern physical improvement in the shortest possible time.

Isotonic or Phasic Exercises Fitness and Body Weight. Physical fitness is the foundation for all sports—and their real purpose. Physi- cal fitness programs are most effective when they are begun at an early age and maintained through- out the active lifetime of every citizen, —Arthur G. Lentz Asst. Executive Director U. Olympic Committee FOREWORD The simplicity of the exercises in this plan makes it ideally suited to the needs of people of all ages and both sexes who wish to follow the physical-fitness path to itality and happiness.

Isometric exercises are self-regulat- g, and have built-in limits. Since your own muscles determine the counter-force, there is no danger as there would be in lifting too heavy a weight, etc. People with special physical prob- lems, especially, should never start any physical-fitness program without checking with their doctors.

Besides Supplying you with valuable information about your resent condition, the checkup might very well indicate that you can freely proceed to a higher level in this pro- ak gram than you thought possible.

The author and publishers of this book are certain that the exercises in this plan will do just what they promise to. Proceed from one to the next in the sequence indicated. You will find many other similar training tips along the way. In exercise, as in many other things, moderation is still the best rule. Dedicated to the devoted and tireless workers of the Amateur Athletic Unton of the United States whose efforts on behalf of youth ensure a more fit and healthier America.

For now phys- dologists have discovered that total physical fitness can be achieved amazingly fast and without special equipment. The value of regular exercise is also psychological, for as physical condition improves, the capacity to enjoy all phases of living is heightened. Some of the obstacles preventing many people from achieving fitness are the relative lack of physical activity in daily living, and the scarcity of time available for a regular exercise program.

We are always too busy, and getting to a gym can be time consuming. In the s, an interesting phenomenon was observed by scientists studying the effects of inactivity upon mus- cles. In an experiment, the legs of frogs were bound together to prevent movement, and kept that way for relatively long periods. Surprisingly, when the bindings were removed the leg muscles of the tied frogs were larger and stronger than those of a control group whose legs were left untied.

What had happened? This form of static exercise is used by physiotherapists in the field of physical rehabilitation, with valuable results particularly in patients required to wear casts for 1 long periods. But it remained for two German physiolo- gists, Hettinger and Muller, in , to apply this tech- nique to healthy individuals and to scientifically measure the results. Subsequent findings by dozens of other researchers sup- ported this conclusion.

Today, this discovery is being put to practical use by athletes and coaches around the world. In , Dr. Jay Bender of Southern Illinois University led the Pennant-winning Pittsburgh Pirates through an amazingly successful program of this new technique. Olympic weightlifters Lou Riecke and Bill March broke their own records by training with this method. Their coach, Bob Hoffman, the dean of body builders, believes this technique to be the most remarkable break- through in the entire area of physical fitness.

From basketball players to swimmers, athletes have incorporated this new way to increase strength into their training programs.

Almost no athlete would omit a daily session of this technique in his routine. As records con- tinue to be broken by trainees using this method, its effectiveness is evident. An isometric contraction is the action of a muscle or group of muscles against an immovable object, or against each other, creating tension without motion. To perform a typical isometric contraction, place your 2 right hand against the right side of your head. Now push your hand against your head and at the same time push back with your head.

Equalize the pressure so that both head and hand are pushing against each other with pre- cisely the same force and there is a motionless deadlock. As you do this, lightly press the fingertips of your left hand to the right side of your neck. Notice how firm the muscles become as you increase the tension, Now relax. You have completed an isometric contraction, The mus- cles that contracted were working in direct proportion to the amount of strain that you voluntarily exerted upon them.

In this form of effort, more muscle fibers are con- tracted at one time than in any other type of exercise. As you push more strenuously against an immovable object, oxygen within the muscle fibers is rapidly burned and calories are consumed. The muscle in its contracted state also expands, and this expansion, by constricting the blood vessels, prevents fresh oxygen from coming to the muscle.

As you increase tension, you inevitably reach maximum effort, the point at which pressure can no longer be increased. The muscles involved involuntarily quiver from the tension applied, principle to the muscles involved. This overloading causes the oxygen deficit phenomenon, a condition where the shortage of oxygen to the muscles affected quickly pro- duces acute fatigue.

In all isometric exercises, it is essential to reach the overload stage to insure maximum benefits, because the body reacts to this effect by rebuilding the muscles in- volved to a much greater extent than they were before the contraction. Tendons and ligaments are also positively affected, resulting in added strength, posture improve- ment, body tone and a better general appearance.

This is exercise with movement: throwing a ball or walking, for instance. Isotonic exercises tend to become time-consuming and tedious: the more one does them, the more they must be repeated to be of value. In order to maintain a high level of fitness employing this type of exercise, one would have to work out several hours a day. The inclusion of isomet- rics in a workout, however, gives better results—and in a fraction of the time.

The value of selected isotonic exercises in a total fitness program is demonstrated in two areas: First: The preliminary warm-up period. Physical exer- tion requires physical preparation. You should prepare for the increase in bodily effort by warming up. A few simple stretching and bending movements are necessary to avoid muscle and ligament strain.

Second: Cardiovascular conditioning. Isotonic exercises are effective in the development and improvement of the heart and circulatory system. The massaging and knead- ing action of moving muscles upon the blood vessels, plus the necessity for the heart to send blood to working 4 as of the body, are essential to the proper functioning id health of these organs. Thus, the benefits of incorporating both isotonics and isometrics in a total-fitness program are apparent. Before answering this question, consider some practical factors.

The program that follows is designed to offer a gradual increase in efficiency and power. As your capacity to exercise improves, you will move, from one level to the next without strain. Those over 40 may wish to remain at an earlier, less demanding level for a longer period of time. Some may simply wish to exercise just enough to improve general well-being.

Others may wish to use the program to improve performance in com- petitive sports. Regardless of the basis for starting an isometric isotonic fitness program, it is essential that the exercises be done every day.

But, except for ill- ness, there should be no other reason for skipping a work- out in any one day. This takes less than two Minutes to complete and can be done anywhere. This alternate period is basic to the total fimess plan: if this alone is done, daily, there will still be a substantial in- crease in strength and a tightening-up of flabby muscles.

This aspect of individual ability makes isometrics an ideal form of exercise for women. It ts advisable, however, that you consult with your doctor and have a checkup before starting this or any other fitness plan. You may discover that you are not in as good physical condition as you think you are. On the other hand, the checkup may indicate a much higher physical-fitness goal for you than seemed possible. Everyone entering the isometric-isotonic fitness plan must start at the Primary Level, regardless of age or physi- cal condition.

Since this is a new way to exercise, it will call on all your resources, no matter how good your condi- tion at the start. You will obtain maximum benefits from the outset, and after a few days of working out in the plan, you should experience a new, exhilarating feeling of well- being. Do not rush the program or skip levels. As total fitness improves through the Primary Level, you may continue to the Secondary Level, although people over 40 may wish to remain at the Primary for the reasons mentioned before.

Thus, unusually vigorous persons of that age level, or those wishing to participate In sports, will want to proceed to the Secondary which is supplemented by isometric contractions as applied to particular sports, Level three, or Peak Level, is designed for adults under the age of 40 who have progressed through the first two Levels and wish to achieve a high degree of physical effi- ciency. It is also useful to athletes during off-season periods, or as a substitute workout when they cannot participate in their regular training programs.

The exercises in this program, at each level, are designed to urn away at least that amount of calories per workout. By regulating your caloric intake, then, you can reach the weight level you desire, Should you wish to maintain your present weight as your workout level rises, simply eat more, Since you will be turning fat to muscle, and since muscle is firmer than fat, you will actually be slimmer, more trim, though your weight re- mains the same.

Basic body type, however, is an inherited characteristic.


Isometrics by Henry Wittenberg

The results and effects are more speedily and readily noticeable than those of isometric training. All times are GMT Wittenberg was an Olympic gold medalist in wrestling in hehry later an coach and instructor. Most gym exercises are isotonic. Unlike hhenry exercise, which can cause joint damage through repetitive high-impact motion, isometric exercises allow the joint to remain static during the contraction of the muscle.


Wit Ten Berg Isometrics





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