Using Overcoming Isometrics to Build Strength, Speed, and Power


What Are Overcoming Isometrics?

Overcoming isometrics are bouts of effort at maximal intensity, against immovable objects. When utilized properly, this can yield tremendous improvements in neural drive, force production, and strength at specific ranges of motion.

I have utilized overcoming isometrics with my athletes during the off-season and in-season training period with great success. Additionally, myself and Jason Kanzler have utilized various overcoming isometric contrast pairings in our Athlete Body Weight Training Program.

Virginia Commonwealth University Infielder, Tyler Locklear performing a trap bar overcoming isometric pull from this past summer (2021) in the Cape Cod Collegiate Baseball League.

Programming Overcoming Isometrics

In my opinion, overcoming isometrics are best used prior to a main lift, or paired with sprints, jumps, plyometrics, or medball throws as a form of contrast training. Overcoming isometrics do a fantastic job of stimulating the central nervous system. In addition, they will increase high threshold motor unit recruitment, improve blood flow, and increase local muscular activity. For these reasons, I feel it’s best to use overcoming isometrics prior to the main movement of the day or paired with sprints, jumps, plyo’s, or medball throws. As far as sets and reps, we will generally use 2-4 sets x 4-6 seconds. Below I included some examples of how I like to program them into our athletes workouts. 

Example #1 – Overcoming Isometrics – Prior to a Main Lift

A1. Movement Prep (Warm-Up)

B1. Trap Bar Overcoming Isometric Pin Pull 2 sets x 5 seconds

C1. Main Lift: Trap Bar Deadlift

Example #2 Overcoming Isometrics – Sprint Contrast via Athlete Body Weight Training Program

A1. Split-Stance Isometric Car Deadlift 3 sets x 5 seconds
A2. 30-Yard Max-Effort Sprint 3 sets x 30 yards each sprint

Example #3 Overcoming Isometrics – Jump Contrast via Athlete Body Weight Training Program

A1. Split-Stance Isometric Wall Push 3 sets x 5 seconds
A2. Split-Stance Forward Moving Switch Jumps 3 sets x 5 reps/side

I want to conclude this article by thanking you for reading this post. I hope this information was able to help you. If you have any additional questions please feel free to email me:

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