How you practice makes all the difference!
Some people still believe that you need a lot of muscle to be strong. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
It is well known that if your muscles fully contract, you will break your own bones. It’s also well known that every healthy normal person can do the splits under anesthesia.
Therefore, you are already very flexible and strong.
So, why can’t you pick up a car?
Even a little old lady has enough muscle to lift a car off her grandchild. The question is, why can’t she do that without a child under the wheel?
That’s where the brain comes in.
The body is rich with governing systems. The brain is wired for survival, not performance. In other words, the nervous system recognized that saving the child was more important than the broken vertebra and torn ligaments (which could heal over time) that typically happen to old ladies that actually do save a child in this way.
Survival, not performance. When that old lady tries to show off and do it again (without the survival threat), she cannot lift the car. Lifting the car is perceived by her nervous system as too much of a threat. So, the nervous system won’t allow it.
It’s the nervous system. Your brain!
That’s where practice comes in. And how you should practice. All training and stimulus is the modulation of threat within the nervous system.
With training you teach the body. You earn the right to be stronger with practice (you have modulated the threats of weakness, range of motion, power etc). Strength training, stretching, etc. are ways of improving the bodies coordination, its awareness of itself as to what its capable of.
Then you can harden tissues, develop more mass, kick higher…achieve your goals. You modulate the threat and change based on values such as amplitude, intensity, duration etc and the body follows.
If the threat isn’t modulated correctly — repeat: if the threat isn’t modulated correctly — you don’t get a favorable result, e.g. lack of gain, injury, detraining etc.
Therefore, whenever you do a really hard rep that you must fight through, you run the risk of decreasing your performance.
That last sentence is the most important – please read it again.
When you’ve got a scrunched up “effort” face, what are you signaling to your brain?
You may subconsciously through neural signals tell your brain that this exercise is dangerous and thus a threat.
You will cause hormonal dumping into your system, adrenaline and ultimately cortisol will be released into your system draining your adrenal system causing you to feel burnt out and gain fat/lose muscle.
You may cause startle spots in your joints and kettlebell techniques. These are areas where the brain is trying to avoid you moving into because the last thing it remembered was an uncomfortable feeling. The human nervous system will fight hard to avoid danger.
Now, this is from a really hard rep, imagine training to failure!
Now you know why Pavel says leave a clean rep in the bank!
Therefore, you ‘practice.’ Don’t ‘workout’ to get tired.
So if you view your kettlebell sessions as threat modulation, you train (not workout) with the bells to prove to your brain and nervous system that what you are doing is fun, non-threatening and not dangerous to your body.
Training is more about the mind than the body. If you want to explore ‘all that you can do,’ how you train is very important. This is where the world famous RKC system comes in.
I’ll teach you.
But you can read more about it in books by Pavel Tsatsouline, especially in
For a brief overview of what the science tells about fitness and sports performance, read some of this article:
Was that politically incorrect or what!
If that article shocked you — please don’t crawl back to the comfortable conformity. The current trend in training methodology is a lot of myth and hype – most coaches are either misinformed, uneducated, or simply stuck in preconceived notions.
Please don’t just follow the crowd. Just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t make it effective. Sadly, the fitness community is alot of the blind following the blind.
A small excerpt from it’s conclusions:
Training responses are initiated, determined, and dictated by the brain. Without attention to the control of thought processes… or attention to the encoding of exact movement patterns, many athletes will be trained inappropriately…
Training for fitness alone is likely to yield maladaptation. Training to energize the repetitive performance of good movement patterns is likely to yield rewarding improvements and in those with ability, performance excellence…
This question can be posed; “When will the current trend in training philosophy and practice reach the ‘Dead-end’ sign and be altered to better serve athletes?