I'm a yoga teacher, and in Yoga we do a lot of poses that are excellent for toning and strengthening the various muscle groups. Since going Primal, I've intensified some of the poses, adding more lifting of my own body weight.
However, in the style of Yoga I do we don't repeat anything, we just hold it.
Again, I've adapted it slightly so that I am doing two or three reps with a few really long holds. Personally I really prefer this - I feel I get much deeper into the muscles. WHat are your views? Better to do many reps, or is it okay to hold?
isometric holds can be valuable to building strength. and if you are improving your yoga, then continue doing so. i mean, thats the idea. getting better at what you do. that doesn't mean you shouldn't be strength training ,because there are a myriad of benefits from strength training. but i don't see what you are doing as detrimental to anything. are you holding the poses to failure, i.e. you can't possible hold them any longer? or are you progressing in to more difficult variations of the pose? those would be the 2 ways to improve your abilities strictly through yoga
Honestly, as long as you are reaching your goals (whatever they may be) and it is working for you (i.e., a successful N=1), I think it is fine.
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Maybe try mixing the two methods.
In "Building the Gymnastic Body", Coach Sommers recommends starting a session with static holds then follow up using reps for the same muscle group. He suggests this helps with both strength and hypertrophy.
There are also variations on BBS where people pre fatigue a muscle with reps then push it to full fatigue with a static hold. This may work better for hypertrophy than strength.
Personally I find static hold less tiring on my joints so if I want to work an area but I don't want to use the joint so much I'll use a static hold. An example of this would be substituting a hand stand session for a HSPU session.
I'm already starting to combine them by adding a few reps, but keeping the focus on the duration of the hold, rather than the amount of times I do it. It's to avoid too much wear and tear on the joints, so I agree with you on that.
I'll check out "Building the Gymnastic Body".
Static holds for time seem to recruit more muscle fiber, and are easier on the joints than reps.
If you haven't strength trained consistently up to this point, it's probably better to establish a foundation of rep based movements before going on to static holds.
I look at static holds vs reps the same way as sprints vs long distance running.
Static hold workouts are short, but the intensity is high, which is exactly the type of strength training that benefits us the most.
Gymnasts use static holds in their training to a great degree, and their strength is apparent.
Though there are some subtle differences, static holds and full range of motion reps are both very effective for building strength. I recommend using both types of training to improve your strength. It is not a case of one being better than the other. It's kinda like asking if ham is a better choice than bacon - they're both great!
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