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Isometrics Exercises Review

Paul O’Brien’s "7 Seconds To A Perfect Body"

I’ve recently been investigating isometrics exercises in my seemingly constant quest to find new and interesting bodyweight workouts, . I’ve read books by Charles Atlas and others, and I’m continuing to learn more about this almost lost discipline. Recently I purchased an eBook of isometrics exercises by Paul O’Brien entitled “7 Seconds To A Perfect Body”.  What did I think of it? Read on …

The Positives

isometrics exercises

I’ve read this ebook from cover to cover, and it’s clear that Paul really knows his stuff. The exercises are excellent and the ebook is well laid out with plenty of illustrations. This is in contrast to some other books I’ve read which often lack pictures or diagrams.

Shows the Theories Behind the Exercises

Paul goes into great detail about how isometrics exercises work all 4 of the muscle fibers in the human body. Weight Lifting does not do this. In addition, the act of weight lifting restricts the flow of blood to the capillaries of the muscle being worked. I was not aware of this, but it makes sense to me.

Why You DO What You DO

Paul also goes into great detail about the individual muscles work in your body, and why and how the exercises he teaches works them. I’ve never seen another book on fitness go into this kind of detail, but it makes sense to do so, particularly for isometrics exercises. One of the things that makes these exercises so effective is that you are really using YOUR MIND for maximum results. This is why it’s critical to understand exactly how your muscles are laid out BEFORE you begin the exercises. Paul tells a story how the great old time strongman MAXICK came to this conclusion on how important it was to work the mind WITH the body.

MAXICK and the Journeyman

MAXICK was observing a journeyman filing some metal one day. Although his arms and deltoids were CONSTANTLY being worked, he noticed that these were this man’s least developed body parts. How could this be? Maxick came to the conclusion that it was because the journeyman was always concentrating his energies on the task at hand, not on working his muscles. By doing so, he was limiting their development. In order to really work those muscles, you need to focus your mind on them as you exercise.

isometrics exercises

7 Seconds

Another observation Maxick made, and it ties into Paul’s program, is that even if the journeyman tried to concentrate on his muscles, it wouldn’t help him that much in terms of physical development. The reason for this is that the human brain can only give 100% attention to a task for a very short time. This is why performing Paul’s isometrics exercises for 7 seconds can be so effective. For those 7 seconds, you are able to focus YOUR MIND and therefore YOUR BODY on the task at hand for maximum results. This is one of the real secrets of this isometrics exercises program.

The Importance of Neck Development

I also really like how Paul stresses neck development in his isometrics exercises course. Hardly anyone save wrestlers and martial artists exercise their neck in anyway. However, a strong neck is critical to good health. Think of this from an evolutionary standpoint. Our spines were developed when we were walking on all fours. It is meant to distribute weight evenly all along it’s length. When we started walking upright, the weight is no longer distributed evenly. We now resemble awkward walking flagpoles with big weights (our heads) on top. Anything we can do to make our backs and necks stronger helps to keep that weight stable.

Advantages of a having a Strong Neck

When you follow Paul’s simple isometrics exercises for the neck, these are some of the health benefits you can gain:

  • Improve blood flow to the brain
  • Can help reduce tension headaches and migraines
  • Improve your posture and energy levels
  • Look younger and sleep better

One last point on Neck Training

I know I’m getting a little off topic here, but Paul’s book really got me thinking. If you want to stay young and healthy, training your neck is critical. “Where your head goes your body will follow” is a saying I came across in the book. This is so true. What happens to so many people is that as they age, their heads start to droop forward due to weak necks. This leads to slumped shoulders, curved backs, and poor posture. If you want to avoid this, exercising your neck is the way to go. The exercises that Paul shows for this are uniformly excellent.

Old Time History

Paul also seems to be a bit of an amateur historian when it comes to isometrics exercises and the people who did them. He tells some great stories of the amazing feats of strength many old timers were able to achieve. I found these to be both entertaining and inspiring. Maybe you never plan to break out of prison by bending your own prison bars as Alexander Zass did, but it still shows you what’s possible with this kind of training.

Bonus’s Galore

Besides "7 Seconds To A Perfect Body", Paul also throws in some great classic texts on isometrics exercises from some of these fitness pioneers. These include the following:

  • How to exercise without moving a muscle by Vic O’beck
  • Dynaflex by Mike Marvel
  • Muscle Control by Maxick (a classic work, btw)
  • Physiology of Strength  by Theodor Hettinger

The Maxick book itself is a real find. Many years ago I got involved with a bidding war with someone on eBay for an original copy of this book. The bidding get as high as $145 before I gave up. It’s nice to finally get the book here in digital format at any rate

A Secret Bonus?

One last thing you get that Paul doesn’t mention on his site is some free video’s of him performing some of the exercises. He’s planning on releasing a video course at some point, and this is kind of a preview of that. Seeing the exercises performed is a big help, and I would encourage him to finish this work.

The Negatives

All in all, I’m a big believer in this course. Is it perfect though? Not quite. Here are some things I didn’t like about it.

Typos Typos Typos

This is a minor point, but it annoyed me. There were many typos in the first few chapters of this book. Paul’s not an English Teacher, and I think he discovered how to use Spell Check later on, but it’s still annoying.

Only for PC’s, Not MAC

In order to cut down on Piracy, this eBook actually comes in the form of a .exe file. You run it on a PC, and then enter a security code to unlock it. I had no problem with this system. However, you can’t use it on a MAC. Be aware of that.

isometrics exercises

7 Books in ONE - Good and Bad ...

As I was reading the book, I felt it lacked a certain unity. Some ideas just seemed to be repeated for no reason. It felt like 7 books put together, rather than one seamless work. Well, turns out I was right. Originally, this one book was originally 7 books. Paul put them all together in one book. In a way this makes it a great deal, but I still feel the ebook would benefit from a rewrite to make it feel more “whole”. Maybe this is just the editor in me talking, but it’s what I thought.

Printing the Book is a Pain

Whenever I get an ebook that I’m planning on using, I often print it out. It’s just me, but I like to have a hard copy of the book. When you try and print out this book of isometrics exercises, however, you will find it clocks in at over 200 pages! This is more than I bargained for. Plus, when it prints out, the chapters are not always printed in order. I’m not sure why this is. Maybe it has something to do with Vista. Anyway, I found it to be a pain. If you’re like me, I would recommend you print out only those chapters that contain the exercises. Printing out the history and the theory is not really necessary. You’ll save a lot of paper and ink this way.

Final Verdict – TWO THUMBS UP!

The quibbles I have with this book are really more of style than substance. The bottom line is do the exercises work? The answer to this is an unqualified YES. If you are looking for a way to get in amazing shape in minimal time, Paul O'Brian's "7 Seconds To A Perfect Body" is a great place to start. Click here to go to Paul’s site in order to learn more.

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