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The ISOCHAIN: FAQ

FAQ #1:
What is an Isochain?
 
Isometrics have been around forever—because they work. The classic piece of hardcore isometric training gear is the old-school chain-and-bar device, loved by weightlifters, bodybuilders and martial artists alike.
 
Old school chain and bar isometrics device
 
Chain-and-bar equipment has tons of great benefits (see FAQ #2). The only problem with this equipment has been that you cannot measure the "weight" you are lifting—so you can’t really know how you are working out, how you are progressing, or if your program is working.

This is why we developed the Isochain.

The Isochain contains cutting-edge internal sensors which measure the force you are using on any drill, and translate that to a weight—pounds or kilos, your choice—with pinpoint digital accuracy, onto a backlit LCD console in the bar. For the first time, isometric athletes can know exactly how much weight they are using, second by second, on each and every exercise.
 
Isochain isometric strength training device Dragon Door
 
In addition, our engineers have crammed the unit with a ton of easy-to-use extra functions to help optimize your training: the Isochain can time your reps; tell you when you’ve hit your weight targets; or let you know the maximum or average weight you hit during a hold. All the training variables are customizable, based on your goals; from strength, to bodybuilding or endurance and fitness. The Isochain stores all your settings in its memory, for your convenience. You don’t even need to look at the console during training, as we’ve fitted the device with volume-controllable audio feedback.

Measurable isometrics are finally a reality.

Secure your own ISOCHAIN, now!
 
FAQ #2:
What’s so special about measurable isometrics?
 
There is a reason why isometrics have been highly praised by the world’s best coaches; men like Pavel Tsatsouline, Louie Simmons, Christian Thibaudeau, Steve Maxwell, Ross Enamait, Mike Mentzer, and on and on.

To quote calisthenics master Matt Schifferle, isometrics is basically a "cheat code" to unlock your full physical potential. Isometrics can help you:

  • Build muscle—at least as fast as conventional methods
  • Build strength faster than any other approach
  • Protect your joints and heal old injuries
  • Reduce high blood pressure as well as medications
  • Torch body fat
  • Increase speed and explosiveness as rapidly as plyometrics
  • Improve your recovery times
…And so on and so on.

And these claims aren’t anecdotal, or hype—all these statements are backed up 100% by solid science. Check out this comprehensive article by Paul Wade for the references.

And don’t misunderstand us—none of this is an attack on traditional forms of weight-training. Nobody is suggesting you need to quit the weights and use isos exclusively (although you can if you want). If you already love hitting the weights, why not use both methods to amplify one another?

This article will show you how.
 
 
FAQ #3:
How quickly can I expect results with an Isochain?
 
Isometrics is proven to increase strength more rapidly and effectively than any other method.

How does a 65% increase in absolute strength in just one month sound? (And that’s for strength athletes who are already advanced.)

That’s what Chrys with NoLimitSquad achieved. Check out his (unsponsored) report, here:
 
 
 
FAQ #4:
If I place an order, how long until my Isochain arrives?
 
The Isochain will normally ship out to you within two business days of your order. Because of the great demand, it is possible that there may occasionally be brief back order periods, so we encourage you to order now, to avoid disappointment.

Each Isochain is purchased risk-free, with our full, one-year 100% unconditional guarantee. If there is any defect in your Isochain, we will replace it at no additional charge. You don’t like your Isochain as much as you expected? Send it back for a full refund.
 
FAQ #5:
What's the price for delivery of the Isochain?
 
Because the Isochain is relatively light at around 26 lbs, the FedEx shipping is very reasonable. The exact amount will be shown at checkout.

Yes, we ship the ISOCHAIN worldwide, with FedEx. The exact shipping is automatically calculated for your address at checkout.
 
FAQ #6:
Can I work my chest with the ISOCHAIN?
 
Yes. You can work every muscle in the body using the ISOCHAIN. Horizontal presses are not required for maximal pectoral development. This terrific video by Matt Schifferle explains why.

 
FAQ #7:
Somebody told me you can’t do squats with the ISOCHAIN. Is this true?
 
No, it’s not true.

You cannot perform back squats—squats with the bar behind the neck—with an ISOCHAIN, but this is not a bad thing. Isometric back squats are typically performed near lockout, with the body wedged under a loaded bar. Although gigantic weights can be used (in fact, they rapidly become a necessity) it has been argued that these loads are primarily supported by the vertebral column—which is locked into position—rather than the body’s muscles.
 
Isometric Back Squat
An isometric back squat--the spine takes the load.
 
With an ISOCHAIN, you perform squats with the bar "racked" in front of the shoulders. This position allows the thigh muscles to activate fully and generate very high forces, however these forces are absorbed and distributed by the muscular system, instead of the spine.
 
Isochain front squat
An Isochain squat--the forces are distributed through the muscles.

In addition, the ISOCHAIN allows athletes to perform multiple excellent isometric leg exercises such as split squats, hack squats, Bulgarian split squats, Zercher squats, pistols, sissy squats, goblet squats, as well as a range of deadlift styles.

Secure your own ISOCHAIN, Now!
 
 
FAQ #8:
I’m very tall/strong. Can I still use the ISOCHAIN?

Yes. The ISOCHAIN structural prototypes have been rigorously (some might say, brutally) tested on the biggest and strongest athletes in the world. It is rated to a thousand pounds of force—that’s equivalent to more plates than will fit on a regular barbell. It is constructed from heavy-duty steel, high-density plastics and is coated with military grade rubber compound. It’s tough.

The heavy-duty chain used in the device measures 86 inches; the tension spring, carabiners and brackets are well over six inches in total. As a result, the full extension of the ISOCHAIN, top-to-bottom, is nearly eight feet—long enough to allow even the tallest athlete to perform presses.

For various reasons, a shoulder-width grip is indicated for isometric exercises. The average male shoulder-width is 16.1 inches. (This is the biacromial measurement; the addition of the lateral deltoid adds a few inches.) The ISOCHAIN handle is over 27 inches long—large enough for even the biggest athlete to use.

In terms of hand size, the ISOCHAIN handle measurement is identical to a gold-standard Olympic barbell. If you can grip a barbell, you can use an ISOCHAIN.

 
FAQ #9:
Will the ISOCHAIN be of benefit for women?

Yes. Females develop strength and conditioning along identical physiological mechanisms to males, so working with the ISOCHAIN will help women gain strength, tone muscle, improve cardiovascular health and decrease body fat levels. Because of differing hormonal profiles, however, women will not gain the bulky muscles of male athletes.
 
Adrienne Harvey Isometrics
 
The difference in the selection of training methods between genders is largely down to aesthetics. Traditionally, women are very attuned to isometric exercise; yoga, callanetics and Pilates are examples of exercise forms dominated by the ladies. Some women enjoy aggressively slinging around chunks of iron to get in shape—those who do not, might be interested in investing in an ISOCHAIN.

Check out a great article by Andrea Du Cane and Adrienne Harvey on isometric training for women here.
 
 
FAQ #10:
Can older people use the ISOCHAIN?

Isometrics is the ideal form of resistance training for older and elderly populations. Because there is zero external load and zero momentum, the risk of acute injury from ISOCHAIN drills is vanishingly low. Due to the absence of internal friction, isometrics builds strong joints without the grinding, damage or irritation conventional exercises can cause, and has actually been proven to reduce joint pain. Many senior athletes who have not been able to press, curl or squat for years due to pain find that they can do so pain-free with isometrics.

Isometrics was once thought to be bad for the heart, but more up-to-date research has shown this idea to be erroneous. In fact, the opposite is true: isometrics provides remarkable cardiovascular benefits, strengthening the heart and dramatically reducing blood pressure over time. (That said, please be wise: always consult your physician before beginning a new training program.)

In fact, whereas ageing is a drawback in other strength sports, it may be an advantage for isometrically-trained athletes. Research has found that older people have superior isometric endurance compared with younger individuals—possibly due to increased pain tolerance (Bäckman, et al., 1995).
 
Senior Isometrics
It’s not new. A senior weightlifter performs weighted isometrics.
 
 
FAQ #11:
Can young people use the ISOCHAIN?

Yes. Previous studies which have questioned the safety of strength training for younger people centered around external weights which were often asymmetrical, and loaded through the spine.

Force levels in isometrics are autoregulated—meaning the loads are not external, the but internally set by the athlete’s own nervous system. In addition, there is no excessive top-load on the spine during ISOCHAIN training (see FAQ #7).

Measurable isometric strength training has been found to be of huge benefit to younger athletes in multiple sports. Isometrics are more efficient, easier on the joints, more versatile, and potentially more motivating than dynamic methods.
 
Youth Isometrics

For a terrific in-depth article on measurable isometrics for youth coaches by Brannon Frank, click here.
 
 
FAQ #11:
Does the ISOCHAIN build "real" strength, or just "isometric" strength?

Isometric strength IS "real" strength.

Sports science defines strength as the capacity to exert force. In isometric strength training, athletes exert more force than in dynamic forms of training—so from the scientific perspective, isometrics builds more "real" strength than any other method.

If by "real" strength you mean functional strength, then it’s important to understand that all functional strength has isometric strength as a foundation. When you perform an act as simple as picking something up, your spinal muscles fire isometrically; your core muscles fire isometrically; your grip muscles fire isometrically. Isometric stability is the key to functional strength.
 
Isochain seated curl

If by "real" strength you mean dynamic, or moving strength, then the answer is still yes. Increased isometric strength in any given muscle translates into increased moving strength for that muscle (Lum & Barbosa, 2018). This is why many elite powerlifting coaches, such as Louie Simmons, include isometric work in their programs as a staple. In addition, the ability to generate tension and plug "energy leaks" in the body is fundamental to all great strength, and this is primarily an isometric skill.
 
 
Now that the crowd-funding project has been wildly successful, Dragon Door has moved beyond the pre-order stage and is actively shipping out Isochain units to our customers globally! We are still receiving hundreds of emails with questions, though—so we have updated our previous FAQ to reflect that.

We hope this answers any questions you might have, but if you have more, please email us at Isochainproject@gmail.com. (For shipping or billing enquiries, please email support@dragondoor.com.) We’d love to hear from you!
 

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