. Isotonic, Isometric and Isokinetic are all different forms of resistance training
. Important to incorporate a program that is diversified and not one-dimensional
. Elastic resistance is a useful alternative to conventional resistance
Isotonic, Isometric and Isokinetic are the three different forms of resistance training. Isotonic refers to exercises where you apply weight and then ask the muscle to go through a full range of motion. Most exercises at the gym will fall under this category. In contrast, Isometric exercises are lower impact and more body friendly. They are designed to be not quite as strenuous. The range of motion is perhaps the biggest difference with your own body weight often used as resistance.
Finally, elite athletes who want to develop power at speed will generally incorporate some form of isokinetic exercise. However, it has to be said that while these type of exercises can diversify your program they aren’t quite as important if you’re just starting out. Initially, it’s perhaps best to lock down the basics first as these are slightly more advanced exercises.
Structuring your program
In terms of how you to formulate and structure your program there are different options available. As this study suggests it’s important to consider all the variables when compiling your program: ‘Variables that should be considered include cost of equipment, motor performance increases, amount of strength gains, and range of motion of the strength gains.’
Another study states: ‘One of the many variables that coaches and researchers face when designing RT programs is exercise selection. They can be classified as multi-joint (MJ) or single-joint (SJ) exercises. Most popular recommendations postulate that RT sessions should involve 8 to 10 exercises performed in multiple sets with both single (SJ) and multi joint (MJ) exercises.’ To achieve optimal benefit what emerges is that it’s important to diversify your program to give you a full complement of benefits.
The next concept is load building. Load management is an important concept to consider when deciding if you want to place the emphasis on increasing strength or building endurance. A large load with low repetitions will build strength while a smaller load with more repetitions will develop endurance.
This study looked at the difference in impact between moderate load resistance and low load resistance. The program ran for six weeks, eight exercises, four times a week. The study concluded that both variables help to achieve muscle strength and achieve body composition:
‘RT performed with moderate-to-heavy loads is recommended to recruit fast-twitch muscle fibres…RT with a low number of repetitions and intermediate RM is considered an appropriate stimulus to increase strength and skeletal muscle mass. Alternatively, RT performed with a higher number of RM is well recognized to increase muscular endurance.’
And the final point we will look at is the difference between elastic resistance and conventional resistance. One of the benefits of using elastic bands is versatility and portability. The drawback is that you might not get as strenuous of a workout as you would with free weights and conventional resistance but it’s certainly a piece of equipment that is worth the investment because of the convenience and options they provide.
This study suggests that elastic resistance is a very valuable tool and doesn’t lose anything in comparison to conventional resistance: ‘Evidence from this study suggests that resistance training with elastic devices provides similar strength gains when compared to resistance training performed from conventional devices.
These findings allow coaches, physiotherapists, and even patients to opt to use devices with low costs, ease of handling, and which can be used in different places, such as elastic devices, for maintenance and gain in muscular strength.’ There’s a broad overview of the different forms of resistance training at your disposal and the things you can consider when developing a program.