While many studies have examined the effect of diet and dynamic exercise on muscle strength and weight loss, none have examined a combined isometric exercise and diet program. Isometric exercise is unique in its ability to rapidly increase muscle strength and tone muscle faster than that seen for dynamic exercise. Ninety eight male and female subjects were randomly divided into 2 groups in a single-blind study. One group (controls) did not modify diet or exercise during the experimental period. The other group (exercise group) underwent a program of exercise and dietary modifacations. Compliance, muscle strength, body weight, girth, body fat, and blood chemistry were measured. The results showed that for all measurements taken, there was no difference in the control subjects over a 1-month period. However, muscle strength of the biceps. triceps, abdominals, hamstrings, quadriceps, and gluteus maximus muscles increased by 20.5, 15.4, 24.0, 12.5. 15.5, and 32.1%, respectively, for the exercise group. The average weight loss for the exercise group was 3.6 [+ or -] 1.2 kg, with a reduction in girth at the waist of 3.0 [+ or -] 1.0 cm after 2 weeks and 3.3 [+ or -] 1.1 cm after 4 weeks; at the hips 1.9 [+ or -] 0.9 cm after 2 weeks and 2.8 [+ or -] 1.1 cm after 4 weeks. After 2 weeks, for the thigh, the loss was 1.6 [+ or -] 0.8 cm and after 4 weeks the loss was 2.5 [+ or -] 1.1 cm at the mid thigh. Cholesterol and triglycerides showed significant reductions at 4 weeks for the exercise group. Compliance in the exercise group was 91.6% for the exercise program and 89.5% for the diet.
In conclusion, this program worked well for both training and weight loss.
KEY WORDS: diet, exercise, training, blood cholesterol
Isometric exercise is commonly used for strength training. (1,2) It has been used for people with a variety of body types (3,4) and ages (12) and for both men and women. (5) For example, if isometric strength training is accomplished at different knee angles, the strength gain has been shown to be greater than that for dynamic exercise of the same muscle groups. (6,7) While there is some variation in the rate of increase in muscle strength with isometric exercise in older individuals and between men and women, (8-10) possibly due to age and maturation level, (11-14) it is still superior to dynamic exercise as a strength-training modality. (1,2,11,13) In addition to its strength-training properties, isometric exercise has been used to treat chronic neck and back pain. (15) An added benefit of isometric training is that it can lower blood pressure and heart rate at rest even days after the training session is over. (16)
Given the ability of isometric exercise to rapidly increase strength and muscle tone compared to dynamic exercise, it is surprising that it has never been used in combination with a dietary program for exercise and weight loss. Obesity is a significant problem in the world...
This is a preview. Get the full text through your school or public library.