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10/10 Everything I had hoped for!
By Dan Skully / Dublin, OH, United States

I preordered the Isochain as an Isochain Advocate. I read the data, and I was convinced. Suffice to say, I had high expectations.
For context, I'm in my late 30's, and a former football player. I started using kettlebells in my late 20's, and more recently I've trained using the Convict Conditioning program. The problem that I run into with training is consistency. When I learned to lift, it was critical to go to failure every set and go full-bore every workout. That's just not realistic after a hard day at work, so any time work would get busy, I was sacrificing workouts because I didn't have either the time, or the energy to go all out. The COVID lockdown was a big setback as well; because I work in an ICU, my wife wanted me to quarantine on my off days this spring so I didn't infect her or our son. The result was a lot of sitting around.
The Isochain has solved a few problems for me:
One, it's extremely efficient. I can get a good full-body workout in 30 minutes. Even when I get busy, I can find 30 minutes nearly every day.
Two, it's effective. When I read that I could improve my strength by 5% per week, I was a little skeptical. But that's about where I am. Nearly 30% stronger in squats, deadlifts, bent rows and overhead press over 6 weeks. The different modes deserve a shout out here for helping to track this progress.
Three, even when I don't have my "A game", I still feel like I get the maximum out of what I do have. Those days where I skip a workout because I feel like I can't go all out are over. As long as I give the best effort I have on a given day, the Isochain turns that into the best workout I can get with that effort.
Four, it's safe. I've had problems with my back, my knees, and triceps tendons over the years. Zero issues with any of those. As an added bonus, my 3 year old son can be in the room with me and I don't worry about him getting hurt the way I would if I were lifting a barbell or swinging a kettlebell. I like that I can set a good example for him and keep him safe.
Five, I don't have much soreness after a workout. The isometric manual mentions "virgin soreness" early on, which you then grow out of. That was my exact experience, the soreness has been mild at most after the first 3-4 weeks. And even at my most sore, it was far less than what I've had before with traditional weight lifting.
Six, the space requirements are minimal. For a lot of the exercises, you only need slightly more space than the size of the base.

A few caveats (not negatives, per se):
One, I have noticed more improvement in my numbers for exercises where I'm strong enough to stretch the spring a little. Removal of cortical inhibition makes a difference.
Two, there is a bit of a learning curve with isometrics if you're accustomed to traditional weights. It's just different pushing as hard as you can against something that doesn't move. It gets better with practice.
Three, the bottom carabiner likes to flip so the narrow side is up, around the chain. This can be a tight enough fit that it takes some effort to get it repositioned so the chain length can be adjusted. I solved this problem by taking a long twist-tie and making a figure-8 around the sides of the carabiner so that the narrow portion stays down, adjacent to the spring. That keeps the large part up by the chain for easy adjustments.
Four, the chain is 90 links long, but doesn't have an easy way to identify where you are. I painted a stripe on every 10th link, so that I can easily track chain position for each exercise.

All told, I really enjoy this device, and the results I'm getting. I'm very excited to see where I am in a few more months.

TL;DR - Great device, great results. A few minor downsides were remedied easily with some minor tweaks on my part.

10/10 If you are over 60, then you need an ISO-CHAIN!
By Doug Bennett / North Little Rock, Arkansas, United States

I was an Iso-Chain Advocate and patiently waited for months to receive my Iso-Chain. I just have to say it was worth the wait! I have been a customer of Dragon Door for many years and I own several "pairs" of kettlebells. I am 62 years old, and due to my activities, I have several old injuries that seem to revisit me when I embark on an ambitious kettlebell program, most notably a left shoulder injury that reappears with just a simple loss of form on a kettlebell movement. And of course, upon embarking on my Iso-Chain journey, I experienced another setback. While repairing a plumbing problem at one of my buildings I fall and bruise a rib.... Another setback!
My original purpose for embarking on an isometric program was for blood pressure control and to keep me off meds. Now that the rib problem has healed I am on my way with the Iso-Chain. I can say that almost immediately, my shoulder is much better! No more constant nagging pain throughout the day. I am starting to see some growth in upper body muscles, and most importantly, I feel stronger and seem to be much more in tune with my body. Knee aches and pains (yeah, I almost forgot about those, I am so used too them) have all but disappeared as well. I have noticed a slight improvement in the blood pressure numbers and I am sure once I get deeper into the programs, these numbers will get to where I want them to be.
In my opinion, everyone over the age of 60 should own and use one of these devices! Just the freedom from pain is well worth the investment, not to mention the other benefits!
At this point, I also have the mention the fact that Dragon Door's customer service is 2nd to none. I prefer using the Load mode and counting the beeps. To my chagrin, my Iso-chain started refusing to go into Load mode. After several minutes of struggling, pulling out batteries and resetting the device I could finally get it to cooperate. Initially I was convinced that I was doing something wrong. I finally reached out to Dragon Door and they promptly replaced the control bar. No questions asked! This is Customer Service at it's finest! For anyone looking for cutting edge physical fitness solutions, Dragon Door is the hands down leader in the field.
Highly Recommended!
(I have also introduced my 15 year old grandson to the ISO-CHAIN! I am using him as a test guinea pig! I will report on his progress once I get him a little more consistent with his workouts.)

10/10 Best thing I've ever used for fitness
By Ted Croushore / Springfield, VA, USA

Three weeks on the chain...started 12/14 with Promethean 3x a week. As of today's session, I'm up 30% on my max and about the same on my 6 set average for deadlifts, curls, and shoulder press. I'm trying to keep it under 35 minutes with warm up and cool down.

Two things: 1) I'm hyped for the Isochain; and 2) for me, the app is a must.

10/10 Best piece of equipment I have ever bought!
By Brad Mechor / Calgary, AB, Canada

I recently purchased the Isochain and have to say that I am absolutely in love with it!
I have bought a ton of fitness equipment in the past (ask my wife!) and I can honestly say that this is the first piece of equipment I look forward to using almost daily!
Very functional and have noticed great strength gains in the first month since I got it. I love to check the amount of force generated with each movement and have watched numbers climb!
If I could have only 1 piece of equipment it would be without hesitation, the Isochain!

9/10 A true game changer
By Matt Schifferle / Littlton, CO, USA

It's hard to put the value of quantifying isometrics with audio feedback into words. It truly is one of those things you have to experience to understand the value behind it.

It took me a couple of workouts to really "get it" and understand what the programming of the Isochain does to the isometric workout. Once I understood what was really going on, I wondered how the heck I was able to effectively train true strength isometrics without that feedback.

Since then, working out without such feedback feels like I'm just training blind.

9/10 Great isometric device
By Doug Zale / Valparaiso, IN, United States

The Isochain solves the biggest problem with isometrics especially for someone used to free weights' progression! You can't know the effort of your pull from one pull to the next in one workout let alone over time. The Isochain solves this beautifully. You can set a specific load and increase it progressively over time noting the load, the reps achieved, the max achieved, and even an average.
My only real problem is the ease of moving the handle up and down the chain and noting which link to hook into. Counting links is tedious but the only good way. I've tried marking the links with colored tape but it comes off quickly. I?m considering colored plastic locking strap ties next. This is a minor quirk that can be worked around. I still love it for its safety, especially for the deadlifts.

8/10 Great, Could be Even Better
By Jeff Pitman / Menomonie, WI, United States

The Isochain does provides significant improvements in weight training, for three reasons:
- It uses the principle of isometric exercise
- It greatly simplifies the objectivity of measuring results. The "Maximum" and "Average" recording features for each exercise are truly brilliant additions, and very simple to use!
- The Isochain also reduces the possibility of injuries which always lurk when hefting heavy weights.
For these reasons alone it should be the go-to exercise device for serious weight lifting practitioners.

There are minor design/manufacturing elements that could be improved however:
- The individual links of chain should be slightly wider across their interior; currently switching from one link to another is needlessly a bit cumbersome.
- The screw bolt and its attachment point on the underside of the handle is insufficiently strong (mine bent during the second week of use.)
- I recommend clip-on rubber/plastic rings be attached to chain links to identify the precise link needed for quick changes between exercises. (I've been using tape, but the tape doesn't last long.)

The manual that accompanies the ISOCHAIN is well worth reading, regardless of your current level of expertise. A great improvement for strength training!

9/10 Great Exercise Device
By Andrew Carlson / Grand Junction, CO, United States

I've been very impressed with the Isochain for a couple of reasons. It allows me to get in a very effective workout in a short period of time, with less wear and tear to my joints than occurs with traditional weightlifting. I still have been testing my strength with weekly weightlifting sessions, and I have found that the strength gained with Isometrics translates over very well.

The only downsides I can mention are that on some exercises, I am able to feel the baseplate bending up a little under tension. Also, the "average" function on the handle unit does not seem to be very accurate because the value it gives after a set does not reflect the poundage that I was holding over the time period in my set. It's usually a bit lower, but this may be because it is factoring in the ramping up and ramping down of tension that occurs during a set of a few seconds.

Overall, the Isochain is a ground-breaking device and I am surprised that this form of exercise has not become more mainstream before now. But I guess there is not a lot of money to be made with Isometrics when only such basic equipment is needed for phenomenal results!

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