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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!

 
10/10 You guys are onto something with this thing!
 
By Thomas Hauge / Egaa, Aarhus, Denmark

"Initial" review after approx. 1 month's training and experimentation. Brief background: 57 years of age, 36 years of gym/barbell training, 5 years of convict conditioning. Got intrigued by the isochain and bought it. Bar-console was defective, Dragon Door sent a replacement immediately, sterling service! The manual lives up to its title, if it's isometrics, it's in there. Solidly sourced, too! I've tried isometrics several times during my training life, and Dragon Door is right : being able to MEASURE what you are doing IS the game changer. Between measuring and manual, you'll know both what you're doing and why.

Time or recovery ability constraints will dictate how many exercises, how many sets and how many workouts-a-week you can do, but you will be making an informed choice, and be able to check out if the choice is working as intended. Personally, I dived in with an 1-1 to isochain conversion of my usual exercises, of course doing 6x6, and hey, if you can isos every day, that's the way to go, no?

No. It's a bit insidious, really. You DO recover fast from isos, and it there IS something about the "biofeedback" of the console that makes you eager to hit the next workout a.s.a.p. -- but the console will also tell you when you aren't ready yet; an important fringe benefit: you can always do a bit of ballistic cheating with a barbell, effectively getting by with less effort. If you cheat on the isochain, your bluff will be called immediately -- no beeps.

So I've (reluctantly, those iso's ARE addictive) brought my program down to seven exercises and the frequency down to 4-5 a week. I test the transfer of strength regularly, by doing my previous convict conditioning exercises, and I can confidently report that it DOES carry over, and I am NOT experiencing any "angle specificity"; the CC bodyweight moves are a lot easier already, and I am only doing that program once every 7-10 days, so the improvement can ONLY come from the iso workouts.

But there are far more important benefits from the isochain. My wife has been struggling for many years to find a "safe" way to train. A 110-pound ICU nurse, she once had to catch a 240-pound unconscious patient falling out of bed, and do so from a lousy angle. One shoulder and two back surgeries later, her usual gym/barbell-style training was out. Calisthenics have been adequate, but with six fused vertebrae and brittle rotator cuff, some positions and movements are off-limits, and that includes some that are required resonably strenght-inducing loads. OTOH, building strength is imperative to support the back and shoulder. Checkmate.

Enter the isochain. Now she can find the optimal/safe/strongest position for every muscle group, and THEN "pile it on". As an example, she can only "afford" to bend knees and hip 10-15 degrees when doing a deadlift. To get effect-inducing load in that position with a barbell would be high-risk, or require a power rack -- and even with the power rack, the barbell could prove too heavy, and cause injury. With the isochain, there is only load when she actually pulls, and it "disappears" the moment she stops pulling. With the CONSOLE on the isochain, we can keep the intensity on a "safe" level, and still within the range needed for progress.

Short of a roomful of advanced training machines, I can't imagine any other training tech providing that combo of safety and effectiveness. The isochain delivers that roomful of advanced training machines in a tool that takes up less than one square meter (I'm european).

... So if you guys at Dragon Door aren't already marketing the isochain aggressively to physical therapists, you should. Muscleheads like yours truly COULD go on slinging iron (though I'm not likely to ever do that again), but a lot of people who'd never be ABLE to benefit from the gym could do themselves a world of good with an isochain.

You guys are on to something with this thing!

 
10/10 Huge break through
 
By Edson Castillo / Streamwood, Illinois, USA

Been dedicated to training for performance for 40 + years. I competed in football at the college level and after, took up different disciplines of martial arts. I've taught professionally from general fitness to professional athletes.

I can't remember a time when a training modality had this much of a positive effect on me. You must purchase a copy of the Ultimate Isometrics Manual with the Isochain. My training is renewed, the results have been incredible so far and there is so much more to experiment with. All backed by scientific references.

I'm grateful to Paul Wade and the Dragon Door Research Group.

 
10/10 Game CHAIN-ger!!!
 
By Bill Bredeck / Wilmington, North Carolina, United States

As a long-time customer ( I actually drove to Saint Paul, MN for my first kettlebells in 2002) I was excited to read about the ISO-Chain when it was first available. I read everything I could about isometric strength training protocols from Bruce Lee's workouts to set/rep schemes for strength/hypertrophy. Then, I watched every video I could find about this type of training, and especially the latest featuring the iso-chain. After deciding to purchase it I have never regretted the decision (especially with the improvements on the metal ring on the handle).
The feedback is truly what makes every workout productive, and at 63 years old I continue to look forward to continuing strength training with isometrics as the next phase that will allow me to do so. The strength carryover has been terrific ( TRX, kettlebell, club bell have all improved or at least remained where they were previous to isometric training.) and the time efficiency for what you can accomplish is incredible.
Congratulations on being out in front of the pack with the latest innovations to a time-tested style of training that seemed like there was no place to advance! It must be gratifying to read these reviews and see how many folks are continuing into advanced years with productive and relatively pain-free training. I echo many of their sentiments and see this as a wonderfully beneficial style of training to beginners and advanced trainees of all ages.

 
10/10 Beyond expectations
 
By Warrick Hanby / Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

This is wonderful product where the hardware is of high quality and the thinking behind the innovation of the measurement is ground breaking. In my view, it is the measurement capability coupled with the audible timer that sets the device apart and helps to maintain motivation. I also purchased the partner book, the Ultimate isometrics manual, which I found to be critical to getting maximum benefit from the Isochain. The manual quotes fantastic alleged potential strength gains. I found myself oscillating between wanting to be really excited that those gains were possible for me as a 54-year-old male who has worked out for most of my life and thinking that maybe it was all marketing hyperbole.
So, in my first 6 weeks, I did 3 exercises, 5 times a week, around 10 minutes per day. Each exercise at maximum tension, 6 times for 6 seconds.
The results as follows: Deadlift position: Maximum strength +69% (+97 kilos/+213lb), Average +65%; Underhand rows: Maximum strength +81.25% (+84.5kilos/+186lb), Average +93%, Standing press: Maximum strength +51% (+20 kilos/+44lb), Average +134%.
Whilst using the Isochain I have continued doing short dynamic free weight workouts around 20 minutes per day and found I have broken through decades long stagnation with increased strength to a point where in most lifts I am stronger than I was in my 20s. Suffice to say, major improvements in joint health, body composition, mobility, cardio endurance etc.
I have now switched to 3 new exercises and 2 weeks in the gains are matching what I achieved in the first cycle.

 
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.

 
10/10 Fantastic Training Device
 
By Jens Bunge / Frankenthal, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany

I've been training for 40 years now, starting with isometrics in the form of a Bullworker and a power twister as a 17 year old. Then continued exercising with dumbbells and barbells. But in recent years I came back to isometric exercises again. So I was very excited to see the Isochain advertized in Paul Wades "Ultimate Isometrics Manual" which I purchased last fall. I ordered one on a Sunday and was surprised that it arrived all the way from US on Thursday morning! Great customer service from Dragon Door and FedEx!
Since then, I've been training with this fantastic training device at least twice a week - alternating isometric with dynamic workouts -
and see steady gains in my strength. My muscles are able to contract harder than ever,
and a workout doesn't last longer than 15 - 18 minutes. This is a very effective and time-efficient form of training! The concept of having an electronic unit in order to measure the applied force and monitor progress over time is nothing less than ingenious! I'm glad I bought the Isochain and highly recommend it to anyone who wants to take the guesswork out of his/her isometric training!

 
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!

 
10/10 Increased mental and emotional strength !
 
By Gordon Anderson / Fort Worth, Texas, USA

Regular weight lifting shifts the resistance to external force
.With external resistance applied isometrically, as with the Isochain, you also get the internal benefit of the yogic principle of "inner concentration" and experience the best of both worlds

 
10/10 GREAT PRODUCT, GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE
 
By Nathan M / Calgary, Alberta, Canada

I ordered the ISOCHAIN for my brother to train with and he is enjoying it! It is extremely time efficient and the trackable progress provides him with great feedback. He is developing his mind-muscle connection and improving his health.

The customer service from this company is top notch. Any concerns or issues were addressed and rectified very quickly!

 
10/10 Isochain and isometrics for Blood Pressure
 
By Al Sherman / Tallahassee, Florida, United States

I love Dragon Door products, and have for many years, and I especially love the Isochain!

The Dragon Door team has my deep appreciation for all that they have done to help me with my training over the decades!!!

I'm 73 years old and a huge fan of isometrics and feel that they help in all the ways you've specified, and more!

It's great to hear that they also help with blood pressure, as my 81 year old sweetheart has mild blood pressure issues, and has begun an isometrics program, along with using RESPERATE, dietary changes, lifestyle changes (e.g. less "daily news" and more time reading/watching inspirational materials), etc. Her blood pressure has improved significantly over the past several months.

This is not an "ad", but I must say that I love the Dragon Door Isochain device, and would highly recommend it. I especially like performing the Hack-Lift on the Isochain - strengthens many muscles in a short session. I typically do between one and six 6-second reps with approximately 1 minute of rest between reps. I work out in this fashion a few days per week - more if doing single reps, less if doing multiple reps. I also do Isochain curls and shoulder-presses, and have made excellent gains in all exercises over the past few months. I feel energized and better when I do my isometrics, and I don't have tendonitis or other injuries as I do when doing ballistic exercises. I also recommend learning Mobility exercises (Mobility is actually Number One in the exercise hierarchy), and getting lots of low-to-moderate exercise, such as walking, swimming, etc.

I am not a physician. As always, you should "consult your physician" before starting any exercise program.

Thanks again!
Al

 
9/10 Great customer service.
 
By Josh Belser / Syracuse, New York, United States

This is an amazing product. The gains in strength over a months time averaged in at 30%. I'm an experienced trainee too. The product doid have a design flaw that caused the eye hook to break off during a hack squat. Dragon Door will be sending me an improved replacement bar as soon as they are back in stock ( end of March) Until that time my work around is to attach a short lat pull down bar so I can continue the exercises (with time held being my only measurement.) Can't wait to get the new bar and see where I'm at! Great product, small design flaw, excellent customer service.

 
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