Is it better to train using full range lifts or isometrics?
First of all, you can use isometrics in two main different ways. You can get incredibly strong and activate your entire body with just isometrics training, like Steve Justa for example.
There is a great book called “Functional Isometric Contraction” by Bob Hoffman which is definitely worth a read. Bob Hoffman isn’t the only one who claims that proper isometrics training can work better than regular strength training,
The second method is to use isometrics just to help you with a specific lift you are working on.
Let’s take a deadlift for example. If you are looking to be able to achieve a full range of motion for any purposes, you can add isometrics to your regular training to get desired results. For instance, my weak point in deadlift is somewhere around the knee range. I am pretty good at the bottom and the top, but that middle range around knees is my weak spot. In this case, I use my rack to do a semi-partial and lock the barbell under the pin above and pull isometrically.
That’s just one way you could use isometrics to improve your lifts. I could load more weight, change the range of motions and much more in isometrics training. It’s best to experiment and find out what works the best for you.
Your body does like new things introduced from time to time, so switching to something like this for a bit might be really beneficial to your progress. If you just do regular movement based training, you can try and focus on isometrics for some time and I bet you’ll see improvements in your movement based training. In any case, it’s definitely worth finding out.
Even though Bob Hoffman in his book recommends isometrics for 9 minutes each day, he also says that you should lift once a week to track your progress and see where you’re at.
Make sure to check out “Functional Isometric Contraction” by Bob Hoffman for more in-depth information on isometrics training, but also find out some amazing stuff Bud Jeffries has to say on this subject, as he’s done more with isometrics than probably anyone else..