Alby Gonzalez’s “Isometrics Mass” is a dynamic-isometrics workout blueprint for hypertrophy that promises to spur extra muscle growth and overcome plateaus.
The program is not just about isometrics but also regular repetitions, both combined in a synergistic way. The isometrics are employed as a pre-exhaust technique after a warm-up set and before a final, regular breakdown set.
The purpose of these isometric holds is to create a better mind-muscle connection for the targeted muscles and extend the time under tension so as to add the extra stimulus needed to kick in muscle growth once more, breaking through stagnation.
Isometric Mass also offers tutorial videos for a better grasp of how these isometrics must be implemented and is noticeably straight and to the point.
The review below will unravel the program contents, how it works and what it can do for your muscle building goals.
Who Are These Isometrics For?
For a start, this program is quite unique because there are not many plans out there specifically designed for isometrics. Isometrics are considered the “Cinderella” of the bodybuilding world because perceived as not as effective as conventional concentric/eccentric movements.
However, when used in conjunction or in addition with regular sets, isometrics can give your body the necessary variety and extra stimulus for more muscle building and help you overcame plateaus.
Isometrics can be used for a variety of reasons, for pure strength gains like gymnasts do, or for hypertrophy. Being Alby Gonzalez in the business of natural bodybuilding, the isometrics in his program are designed with a main focus: building more muscle.
This does not mean that any hypertrophy technique does not increase strength as well. This is an often misunderstood and overrated concept: an increase in size will also yield greater strength and greater strength will also result in greater muscle size, not just a more efficient nervous system.
Isometrics are no different, they can be used for either purpose with a degree of overlapping into one another. Having said this, this program is particularly indicated for those stuck in a muscle building rut and who tried all possible additional techniques without much return.
Unlike rest-pause, drop sets or similar high intensity dynamic exercises, isometric static holds, when strategically implemented, can help create a better mind-muscle connection and the feel for the muscle being worked, as well as extend TUT, but without over stressing your joints and ligaments.
Isometrics can also be done with or without equipment, stand alone or together with weights in a regular workout session, making them also suitable for people on the move who need the ability to train anywhere, away from a gym.
This program is therefore suitable for those seeking to increase muscle mass either way, with weights or bodyweight only.
Isometrics Mass Workouts – How Do They Work?
There are many ways to implement isometrics: stand alone or together with eccentric/concentric exercises.
When used together with dynamic movements, isometrics can be employed before, during or after regular sets.
Static holds after a regular set are an effective way to extend time under tension and are proven to contribute to stress and hypertrophy.
So are isometrics performed in the middle of a regular set, alternating few repetitions with static holds in several sequences until failure.
The isometric technique employed in Alby Gonzalez’s Isometrics Mass program are an interpretation of pre-exhaust isometrics before your regular, dynamic set.
The pre-exhaust isometrics are particularly effective for creating a strong mind-muscle connection and help you recruit and stimulate a lagging muscle group, thus eliciting growth. Of course, they also extent time under tension like the other two methods.
In his book, these exercise sequences are made up of 3 main sets: a warm-up set, an isometric set and a final dynamic set as follows:
Interconnection Set: the purpose of this set is to start the sequence by priming your nervous system and prepare it for the isometric and dynamic stress ahead. It helps you “groove in” and establish the mind-muscle connection.
Isometrics Mass Set: this is what the program is all about. After the warm up, you perform the isometric hold as described both in the manual and the videos. The purpose of these holds is to extend the overall time under tension, pre-ehaust your muscle fibers and recruit motor units.
The author calls it “Max Static Stimulation”: it only lasts 8 seconds before the next step, but is enough to trick your muscles into “believing” that they are actually lifting much more later on.
Dynamic Regular Set – Immediately after the isometric hold, you switch over to a regular eccentric/concentric set with repetitions until failure. Since your muscle fibers are already fatigued from the isometric hold, you end up with a super-exhaustion of your muscle fibers which will lead to a break-trough in stagnation and renewed muscle growth.
This sequence is also possible because static isometrics, even though taxing, are more energy efficient than dynamic movements and do not require the same energy expenditure level of a regular set.
Thus, when you switch over to the regular set you still have some gas to perform the repetitions and completely thrash your muscle fibers.
To sum up, the isometric strategy used in the program is a simple but effective way to elicit muscle growth. It helps improve your mind-muscle connection and extend TUT for optimal stimulus and muscle growth.
In addition, the author provides as a bonus a bodyweight-only blueprint for those with no access to a gym or without home equipment. The ideas and techniques outlined for the bodyweight isometrics are the same as in the weight resistance protocol, but more practical to implement if you are on the move.
Any Additional Benefits?
Isometric holds are a valid tool in your arsenal for strength and/or muscle building. But the scope and range of their application is not limited to just muscle fibers, as they offer a variety of extra benefits that make them an ideal ancillary training method to be included in your regular workouts.
Isometrics are very safe: they can be done with just bodyweight or by simply opposing resistance to an immovable object as in overcoming isometrics, when you try to apply concentric action to a fixed obstacle. No weight is involved, these holds are very much joint friendly.
Instead, with yielding isometrics you try to prevent a weight, or your own bodyweight, from dropping rather than try to move it. With sub-maximal loads and for hypertrophy purpose, this is also a safe technique, easy on the joints, but it may require a partner for some exercises.
Isometrics are time efficient: they can also be used stand alone as a valid alternative to conventional training whenever time and equipment are a scarce necessity. Holds can vary from few seconds of max effort for strength, to 45 seconds or more of sub-maximal effort for hypertrophy.
Isometrics can be used for rehab: if you injured yourself and regular dynamic repetitions are out of questions, static holds are a proven method to restore strength or keep working out without losing mass or strength and without stressing your joints.
Isometrics help to better coordinate recruited muscle fibers: without the momentum and the effects of acceleration and slowing of normal, dynamic repetitions, your nervous system is forced to develop a better control over the muscle activation, with a beneficial carry over effect onto the form and quality of regular concentric/eccentric sets.
About Alby Gonzalez
Alby Gonzalez is a natural bodybuilder who runs his own brand Alby Gonzalez Fitness. He has an interesting YouTube channel were he showcases a vast range of bodybuilding workouts and tutorials and displays an impressive physique.
Alby Gonzalez is completely natural and it took him a long time to develop his physique, but he achieved his impressive size and strength through relentless training and dedication over time.
He is really a likeable guy with a motivational style who does real, down to earth talk without nonsense. He recalls how hard it was for him to start building muscle, putting on a measly 4 pound after the first 4 years of training.
Things took a turn for the better when he enrolled to become a trainer not because he wanted to be one, but simply to acquire the necessary training and nutritional know-how in order to build muscle and get strong.
You can see him below in one of his motivational videos.
To sum up, Alby Gonzalez is a genuine guy with real life experience and knowledge on building muscle the natural way and, of course, he is living proof of the goodness of his own training methods.
Isometrics Mass Components – What’s In It?
This is a completely digital program consisting of 5 main components plus 3 bonuses. It’s a complete program that includes tutorial videos and a nutritional part as well. The components are immediately accessible on your smartphone or PC upon purchase, no need for home deliveries.
Isometric Mass Main Manual – The bread and butter of the plan with all the theory and references to old-style training tips from the guys from the past, like strength man Alexander Zass, Bruce Lee, and Charls Atlas.
They all employed isometrics in their strength training and achieved incredible results. The author also provides studies and references as a scientific back up.
In the book, Alby also points out the interesting case of some gymnasts exercises that develop tremendous isometric strength and the efficacy of combining isometric holds with regular eccentric/concentric moves for exponential gains.
Isometrics Mass Workout Guide – This is a specific eight-week workout blueprint with all the exercises laid out and a progression phase to follow after the first eight weeks.
Isometrics Mass Printable Workout Logs – The all important training logs to keep track of your progression.
Isometrics Mass Quick Start Video Guide – This video is a briefing about the new isometric technique that may be uncharted territory for most muscle builders. In it, Alby explains what it is all about and how to quickly implement the isometrics correctly.
Isometrics Mass Instructional Video Library – This is the full workout video library with Alby demonstrating how to implement each isometric for each exercise.
Isometrics Mass Bodyweight Edition – This bonus is very important. It is for all those who do not have access to a gym or do not have home gear for working out. This blueprint uses the same isometric techniques of the main program performed with just your own bodyweight. Useful also when you are traveling or on holiday.
Isometrics Mass Done-For-You Meal Plan – A practical diet plan with meal planning designed to aid recovery and build muscle. Nothing fancy or over complicated, just wholesome meals.
Isometrics Mass Supplement Guide – Supplements are totally optional and unnecessary for the plan. But, should you choose to use some to speed up results, the author provides a short list of the supplements worth your money, leaving out the useless ones.
Isometrics Mass is a nice underground muscle building program that offers a simple but effective solution to bust through plateaus or bring your size and strength to a new level.
While the core technique of the program is static holds, the plan is not just about isometric, but rather isometrics in strategic conjunction with regular repetitions.
It is a dynamic-isometrics plan, a technique well known for its effectiveness on muscle building. It is the combination of isometrics plus eccentric/concentric reps that make the exercise effectiveness exponential and more than the simple sum of its components.
Isometric Mass is also incredibly good value, as it offers a lot of bang for your buck, with a lot of materials and video libraries. The one negative about this program is that it has not accrued a baseline of testimonials yet.
This may boil down to two reasons: the novelty of the program and the fact that isometrics are wrongly snubbed by many people.
Isometrics can be incredibly effective when used together with regular reps, simply because they extend time under tension, improve neuro-activation and establish the ideal mind-muscle connection for correct execution of reps.
To sum up, Isometrics Mass is an effective and safe muscle building plan worth considering.