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Men Made For More Podcast Episode 61: Is Your Training Balanced? Concentric/Eccentric/Isometric

fitness Sep 22, 2020

 Men Made For More Podcast Episode 61: Is Your Training Balanced? - Concentric/Eccentric/Isometric 

This is part 2 of the 4 part series, make sure to click below to check out the rest

Part 1 : Push/Pull

Part 2: Concentric/Eccentric/Isometric

Part 3: Bilateral/Unilateral

Part 4: Sagittal/Frontal/Transverse

Are you unsure of what to be doing in your training? Most people either blindly follow generalized programs they find online, or randomly choose what they're going to do that day with no long-term plan or structure. This leads to watered down results in your training and in the progress you’re making.

Having a balanced training program is essential to maximizing both performance and longevity when it comes to your fitness. In this 4 part series, I am going to be covering the 4 biggest programming imbalances seen across the hundreds of training programs that I’ve reviewed and helped people improve upon.

If you’re interested in having me look over your program, head on over to to sign up for a free training program audit, and I'll help let you know where your programming could use improvement to help you reach your training goals.

Listen to this episode on your favorite podcast app HERE

If you’re interested in having me look over your program, head on over to to sign up for a free training program audit, and I'll help let you know where your programming could use improvement to help you reach your training goals.

Men Made For More Podcast Episode 61: Is Your Training Balanced? - Concentric/Eccentric/Isometric 

[00:00:00] Dave: Welcome to the Men Made For More podcast, a show designed by men for men. Looking to get strong, feel confident and live a high performing life. As men. We face many challenges as we try and strive for better life. Want to live a meaningful and confident life, but don't know where to start. You've lost your physical and mental edge.

[00:00:18] That's keeping you from living out your full potential. You're tired of talking about doing big things and you're ready to start living it. But the men made for more podcast. Our goal is to teach you how to strengthen your body, your mind, and your purpose. On your way to reaching your full potential.

[00:00:34] It's time to start living as a man. You know, you can be to help lift up those that matter most in your life. In this podcast, we'll leave no stone unturned as to what it takes to get out of your comfort zone and step into living a strong, competent, and high-performing life. We'll focus on the topics that matter most for helping you develop into the man you were made to be, and our goal is to not only build strong men physically, but to help coach and develop strong friends, sons, brothers, fathers, isn't [00:01:00] owners, and professionals in every area of your life.

[00:01:03] I'm your host, Dr. Dave  Paczkowski, proud husband, business owner, physical therapist. and strength coach with a passion for helping other men strengthen their body, their mind, and their purpose, wherever you're at in your journey. Remember that you're made for more. I'm excited to have you with us today and let's dive into today's episode of the men made for more podcasts.

[00:01:24] Hey guys, welcome to today's show picking up where we left off yesterday. This will be part two of a four part series talking about is your training balanced. And most people are unsure of what to be doing in their training. Most people either blindly follow generalized programs, they find online, or they just randomly choose what they're going to be doing that day with no longterm plan or structure.

[00:01:48] And this leads to watered down results in your training and in the progress that you're making. Having a balanced training program is essential to maximizing both performance and longevity when it comes to your fitness. [00:02:00] And in this four part series, I'm going to be covering the four biggest programming imbalances seen across the hundreds of training programs that I reviewed.

[00:02:07] And I've helped people improve upon. So today we are talking about concentric ecentric and isometric contraction. So having balanced, when it comes to the contractions of your exercise and what the, these different contractions mean is it's what's happening throughout the movement in terms of is the muscle lengthening, shortening, or holding it in a still position.

[00:02:33] So to give you guys some overview of what some examples of this would look like. Let's take a bicep curl for an easy example. So the weight starts at your side, the concentric part of the movement, and all I'll move into. We're going to go through these to some degree. The concentric part of the movement is raising the weight up towards your shoulder.

[00:02:52] So you're curling the muscle, getting that nice flex of the biceps. And this, the muscle is shortening. It's contracting to [00:03:00] pull the weight up. Now the lowering part would be eccentrically lowering. So the centric part of the movement is the lowering in this example. So you're controlling the way down. Your muscles are still working, but they're lengthening on the way down.

[00:03:14] So this would be lowering the weight down on a curl. This would be the descending part of the squat. So the muscles slows, lengthening, and most people can usually. Do more eccentrically than they can concentrically just with the way that the muscles work. But that's the difference between concentric and eccentric.

[00:03:33] And these will happen across any movement in a bench press. It'll be the ecentric, we'll be lowering the weight down and concentric is the shortening of the muscle, but pushing the weight away from you now let's not leave isometric contractions out of this. So isometric is just. Stopping and holding at a certain point in the movement.

[00:03:52] So in the bicep curl example, say you went halfway up and you just held it. That would be the isometric part [00:04:00] of that movement. So the muscle isn't shortening or lengthening, but it's in one position holding that weight. Now I see a lot of imbalance across these. And I want to talk about specifically as we get towards the end here, some practical tips and especially as it relates to the isometric piece that is so often missing, uh, but want to kind of highlight why this is so important.

[00:04:25] And if you guys tuned in yesterday, you guys, you guys know that most training programs out there designed to be hard, but they're not necessarily intelligent. And an intelligent program is one that addresses that these factors that has balanced across these factors, a well-designed training program needs to take into account that proper balance of variety across in having these contractions across.

[00:04:46] Body parts across different planes of movement across the types of contractions you're doing within those movements. Not to mention the order of action. Your size is the number of days you're working out progressively overloading, challenging your body, challenging the [00:05:00] intensity and properly de-loading and allowing your body to recover.

[00:05:04] So needless to say, there's a lot of factors that you need to consider when it comes to your training. And this not only affects your progress in the short term, but it will also greatly affect how sustainable your training program and results are over time. And I know I get it. Program is not easy. It's a, it's a tough skill to have.

[00:05:21] It's a tough thing to program for yourself to, to get away from your own biases. And you probably aren't giving too much weight to how well your program is actually laid out. But blindly following a general program without a longterm plan is a recipe for mediocre results at best, and at worst. See this time and time again with pain injuries or setbacks.

[00:05:42] So as it relates to specifically to today's topic of essential concentric and isometric it's want to highlight one of my coaching clients, Max, who came to me with a big, big imbalance across this area. So max. Originally reached out with some lingering [00:06:00] tendon and joint problems that had been going on for a long time.

[00:06:03] And this was across multiple parts of his body, his back, his shoulder, his knee we're all affected by this. Uh, max was an active, always been an active individual, played competitive soccer and his training though on the gym. As he started to train more, he was missing a lot of the isometric and the eccentric focus, work.

[00:06:22] So a lot of just doing that, you know, your typical movements, your, your bench, press, your pull ups, your pushups, those types of things, without much of a focus on the eccentric and the isometric portions. Now, especially as it relates to tenant health and joint health, these are big things that can help you create more balance and prevent some of those things from happening.

[00:06:44] So over time, this imbalance two tendonitis issues led to issues of more achy joints, just because he wasn't properly utilizing this principle of balancing the proper contractions. So with all that being said, [00:07:00] I want to help you guys know what to keep in mind when you're programming this to effectively program across these different ways of doing it.

[00:07:08] Because with max, this was something that we added in a lot of tempo work we had in a more eccentric work. A lot of holes in isometric works, and a lot of it, the majority of his. Aches pains, those nagging things cleared up within the first couple of months, I have been working with max for a little over a year now, and he's, he's pain free.

[00:07:27] He's feeling great. And he's back to running and he's back to working out he's back to doing these things and it doesn't have to be the overly complex. It doesn't have to be, it's not these crazy setups or anything, but it does have to be effective programming and balanced out in the right proportions.

[00:07:44] So when it comes to your own program, what to look for, I can start over by saying you probably need to work in more isometrics in general. So do an honest audit of your program. And like I mentioned yesterday, you can go through your, your full program, take a look at all the movements you're doing and Mark, which [00:08:00] ones, which ones primarily are isometric focus versus which ones are your typical concentric eccentric.

[00:08:07] And in most exercises, you're not going to be able separate out concentric and eccentric. Those usually go hand in hand, but the isometric work is where most people tend to be lacking. So do an honest audit and see how much you're getting and then try and program more of the sand. If you find out that there's a big imbalance, this is an area that tends to be the most limited and imbalanced, and is the one where most people could benefit from improving on it.

[00:08:32] Now, if you find that this is the case for you and you need to work in more isometrics, try doing something like super setting in an isometric with a compound movement. So say you're doing something like a back squat in between, or right after do something like a side plank side plank would be an example of a great isometric exercise.

[00:08:50] So you're in that position you're holding. Other isometric ideas would be things like planks side planks, [00:09:00] carries, even just hanging from a bar, actively hanging, getting that scap pull down active hanging is a great way. Hollow  holds a there's so many things you can hold the, go to the bottom position of a pushup or a bench press and hold actively in that position.

[00:09:12] These are ways to build in more isometric work. And the list is really endless for what you can do. You can incorporate this in to any exercise, even a bicep curl, and you can get some benefit from it. Now that being said, another, I feel looking for another more advanced strategy pay attention to not only isometric yes or no, but pay attention to what degree of movement, what, uh, what angle of the joint that you're training isometrically.

[00:09:43] So when I, what I mean by that is. Bicep curl example, are you holding it a 90 degrees? That's going to be one way to train isometric, but you can bring it up another 15 degrees and hold there. You can drop it 15 degrees and hold there. So train at different angles within the movement [00:10:00] as well. And that'll help get past sticking points.

[00:10:03] That'll help build healthy joints as a great way to work in more isometrics. And again, it's a little more of a advanced technique if you will, for those that are listening, but in general, more ice metrics is going to be better. So the last thing to consider just as it, as it really wraps a lot of this up incorporate in more tempo and pause work.

[00:10:23] So what tempo work would look like? Let's take it back squad. For example, you were going to pick her up along your lowering for how long you pause for it, the bottom and how quickly you're going to lift that weight back up. So a commonly commonly used one for something like back squat bars on your back, you're starting up in the full standing up position.

[00:10:43] You lower down for three second count. It's 1,001. It was in 2003. You get to the bottom of your full depth squat at your half squat and your full depth squat. And maybe you hold for. Two seconds at the bottom. So a thousand 1002, and then the concentric part, you [00:11:00] try and explode up as fast as you can. So you explode up as quick as you can drive that weight up.

[00:11:05] And then you take a one second pause at the top. So that is how you would incorporate tempo or pause, work into your training. So you can pick and you can really switch up and change around these variables a little bit to really maximize the results you're getting and make sure that you're hitting all these different contractions, the eccentric, the concentric and the isometric.

[00:11:27] So tempo work is one of my favorite things to program in one thing where people are lacking, they don't give that much, much thought, but it can be a great way to. Build healthy joints, but also you get some really good muscle building benefits from this. Cause you get more time under tension, you're more focused.

[00:11:43] You're moving the more deliberately, a lot of things, longterm and short term benefits to something like that. Sort of wrap it up. You guys can see that the importance of having a solid and well developed program specific to you and your needs cannot be taken lightly. [00:12:00] And I see this on a daily basis. See this at our performance PT clinic, see people coming in with imbalance programs and these lead to other imbalances in their muscles, their joints, and eventually cause pain and injury.

[00:12:12] I also see this on a daily basis with new coaching clients. I get to work with through men made for more coaching and people come with stale or generalized programs, and this will lead to stale or generalized results. If you want to upgrade your routine, if you want to feel bad, or if you want to look better, that is the place that I start in by upgrading my client's programs.

[00:12:33] It just really jump-starts their results and how they look and feel in amazing ways and quicker than you think it would be. Would it happen? The body craves, this kind of balance. Now imagine having a well rounded, balanced, and effective program specific to you and your individual needs. Imagine making the progress you're after, inside and outside the gym for decades to come.

[00:12:54] All that's possible with the challenging but intelligent program. And those two can definitely go [00:13:00] hand in hand. If you're interested in having me look over your program, I got an offer for you guys, head on over to the link in the show notes, to sign up for a free training program audit and I'll help you know, where your training program is lacking and where you could use improvement to help you reach your training goals.

[00:13:15] Guys, thanks for listening today. This was part two of our four part series. So if you haven't checked out part one yet, make sure to you check that out and push and pull, and then stay tuned for the third and fourth days coming at you guys later this week. Thanks for listening. And I will talk to you guys soon.

[00:13:31]Thanks so much for listening to today's episode of the manmade for more podcasts, hope you found today's show valuable and you have some actionable strategies you can apply to your life today. This is your first time listening. Thanks for being here. The aim of this podcast is to provide a ton of the best possible content to help you grow in your journey, to becoming the best version of yourself.

[00:13:53] You enjoyed the podcast and found it helpful. Please make sure to subscribe to the podcast and leave a five star review. [00:14:00] Thesis scriptions interviews help other like minded men discover the podcast and take the next step in strengthening their body, their mind, and their purpose. You're a regular listener.

[00:14:08] I can't thank you enough for investing in yourself in this show. Please make sure to share this with a friend or post on social media and tag news. Your favorite part from today's show. If you haven't already make sure to join the men made for more Facebook group to be a part of a community of likeminded men that are elevating their game and living for more by searching men made for more on Facebook.

[00:14:28] Keep challenging yourself growing and know that it's okay to get out of your comfort zone and know that you're made for more. Thanks for listening and see you guys soon.

Listen to this episode on your favorite podcast app HERE

Most men have lost their physical and mental edge that is keeping them from living out their full potential, so we’ve created a way to help you get your edge back. Join the Men Made for More Facebook group to learn how to strengthen your body, your mind, and your purpose to become the man you know you can be.

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