Isometric (static contraction) + Time Under Tension = IsoTUT training theory
Can be used on weak bodyparts.
Works well on proportionately small bodyparts. e.g. side deltoids.
Concentrate on exact and precise movement at the joint of interest to activate the muscle in question. Other muscle groups should be sparingly activated.
Don’t be afraid to use very light weight or even resistance bands. Form should be aligned with complete muscular activation. Complete concentration on the muscle of interest.
Fast concentric (1-2 seconds)
For example, biceps, power out from the elbow joint as much as possible.
Slow eccentric (3-4 seconds)
10 repetitions then HOLD at peak contraction for 10 seconds then aim for another 10 repetitions. You won’t get to 10 but will get to 7, 8 or 9. When you get to 10 it is time to implement progressive overload for the next session and increase the weight. Two or three sets of this seem to do the trick. 50-60 reps is mentioned as a good volume for muscular size to a body part in scientific literature (Wernbom, Auguestsson and Thomee 2007).
Outside of IsoTUT, I find the one set to failure approach works well with considerable “warm up” sets. This one set is then recorded and every attempt is made to improve on that within the 6-12 rep range. One attempt you may get 10 repetitions. The next attempt go for 12. Then increase the weight by 5kgs or 10lbs and get 10 repetitions. Repeat. Ad inifintum. At least 72 hours between exercise selection seemed to operate well for me. Adjustments are made according to improvements or lack thereof. Similar workouts where done by the great Mike Mentzer and Dorian Yates. Although stay wary of simply attempting to replicate others, Colakoglu et. al. (2005) is a good example of why to avoid this. In this study, they found genetic variant correlations, in strength gains, using different training styles, among 99 Caucasian males, one such example where genetics can play a role in what suits your body. In turn, indicative of how intricate the individual apotheosis of the physical can become, whereby one engages with various training and nutritional styles, finding what works for them, relentlessly pursuing this with conscientiousness in mind, in search of inner gold (peak performance).
Finally, along the prior line of thought, there is much to be said for finding your own “formula” or “style” in bodybuilding. I will only surmise here, perhaps I had a greater proportion of slower twitch muscle fibers in the arms, reacting better to the higher repetition maximum(RM) of IsoTUT. Yet many will experience the same with parts of their body, I once again surmise. This is contrary to rule of thumb, almost as if it where a maxim in the field, 6-12RM as optimal to induce hypertrophy in a given muscle group. So science is great and valuable on your journey but I also recommend searching -or not- many benefit from just lifting heavy and hard with little regard. A few studies suggest not much arm size is gained outside of usual multi joint exercise, stressing arms with isolationary exercise was found to be of little use. One such study is de Franca et. al. (2015) the group who added biceps curls + triceps extension to the general exercise prescription of bench press, lat pulldown, dumbbell incline press and dumbbell rows – experienced a very small increase of arm muscle mass. However from my own experience and upon observation of many elite bodybuilders they see use in training arms directly, for example. To find more studies I recommend ergolog as the go to resource.
Colakoglu, M., Sirri, F., Kayitken, B., Cetinoz, F., Colakoglu, S., Turkmen, M., Sayin, M. (2005) ACE Genotype May Have an Effect on Single versus Multiple Set Preferences in Strength Training European Journal of Applied Physiology Volume 95, Issue 1, pp 20–26
Accessed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16003539
Henrique Silvestre de França, Paulo Alexandre Nordeste Branco, Dilmar Pinto Guedes Junior, Paulo Gentil, James Steele, Cauê Vazquez La Scala Teixeira (2015) The effects of adding single-joint exercises to a multi-joint exercise resistance training program on upper body muscle strength and size in trained men Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, Volume 40, pp 822-826
Can be accessed at: https://doi.org/10.1139/apnm-2015-0109
Wernbom M, Augustsson J, Thomeé R. (2007) The influence of frequency, intensity,
volume and mode of strength training on whole muscle cross-sectional area in
humans. Sports Medicine. Volume 37(3), pp225-64
Accessed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17326698/
2009 IFBB NSW Junior 3rd Place
2013 IFBB NSW/Australia Novice Competitor
2015 IFBB Country Classic 3rd Place
2015 IFBB NSW/Australia Competitor (Implementation of IsoTUT on arms after)
2016 IFBB Australasian Heavyweight Championships 1st Place
Bachelor of Management in Sport and Exercise, UTS