Rodney McBride

Hyperirradiation: the Anti-Isolation Tool

Hyperirradiation: the Anti-Isolation Tool

In my blog The Concept of Irradiation (see April 7th) I spoke about how important tension is in strength training and how Irradiation can be used to increase muscular tension in an area of the body during a lift. Today I want to expand on that concept a little more by talking about Hyperirradiation. 

Irradiation as the ability of one muscle when it tenses strongly to recruit the tension of nearby muscles.  - See more at:
Irradiation is the ability of one muscle when it tenses strongly to recruit the tension of nearby muscles in an AREA of the body. In Hyperirradiation this concept still applies except that you tense ALL the muscles in the body and brace against the ground. This means muscles directly related and not related to the lift. 

Lets take the deadlift. As you are setting up for the deadlift and once you are in the starting position begin to tense the body before you lift the weight off the floor. Squeeze the bar really hard as if you are trying to crush it. This is irradiation from the hand going up into the chest and shoulder. Push your feet into the floor. This is irradiation from the feet going up into the legs. Brace (don't pull in) your abs and squeeze your glutes super tight together and hold. This is irradiation from the core going out into the upper and lower haves of the torso. Hold all of this for second or two then lift.

You will notice not only how much stronger you are but also how stable you feel. Added strength, stronger base and increased stability. This is the goal of hyperirradiation: DON'T ISOLATE ANYTHING USE EVERYTHING. Light weights will feel even lighter and heavy weights will feel light. 

Most injuries usually happen due to isolating muscles from each other and not staying tight. If your strength training program is sound you don't need isolation exercises; but if you do incorporate some keep the rest of the body tense at least. And definitely avoid machines.

If you can picture in your minds eye you will also notice how these three areas (hands, core, feet) of irradiation meet each other in the body to form hyperirradiation. So the rule is: always keep your hands (crush), core (braced) and feet tight (push down) in every lift. 

I need to mention that irradiation and hyperirradiation only works for the slow lifts like deadlifts, squats, bench press, military press and similar compound exercises. The reason being the relationship between tension (force) and velocity (speed).

When force increases speed decreases. This allows you to stay tight and take advantage of Irradiation. Staying tight and moving slow are synonymous. When force decreases and speed increases speed makes Irradiation feeble since you can't stay super tight when moving quickly. 
You can only stay semi-tight. So you can't lift as much weight but you move faster. Make sense?

So save Irradiaiton and Hyperirradiation for slow strength days and keep your speed strength training on separate days. Good luck!!!


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