Rodney McBride

A More Detailed Look at Strength

A More Detailed Look at Strength

Way back in July I wrote a blog on Strength entitled What is Strength? (see July 22nd). It was a very brief discussion as I didn't have time to go into great detail. Now I want to explore strength  more in depth as there are several fundamental components to understand and some very important misunderstandings regarding strength. 

The next handful of blogs will be dedicated to the concept of strength. Lets continue with further analysis of functionality from the first blog as this is the foundation of strength. 

Whenever you perform movement what you are really doing is ASKING your Nervous System (NS) for permission to enact motion. No action can be granted without first consulting with the brain and spinal cord. 

I mentioned in the first blog how the Nervous System is comprised of three divisions: the sensory system, the central nervous system and the motor system. All three components form a continues loop or circuit and are responsible for all movement operations of the body no matter how large or small the request is.

You are sitting in a chair and want to get up. The initial thought occurs in the brain. The brain asks the sensory system to tell it where your body is in space and time. What type of chair are you sitting in? How are you sitting? Where are you sitting? Who's around? What's around? etc. The brain processes that information reorganizes it and tells the motor system what muscles should act so you can now stand up. 

How smoothly you can carry out this procedure or any process for that matter depends on how functional your NS is. Remember that functional is defined as how effectively and efficiently your nerves communicate based on your request to do so. If your movements feel effortless then your movements are considered functional. If your movements feel awkward then your movements are considered not functional. 

Strength works under this same continuum but can also strengthen it as well. Strength is referred to as NS training because the nerves in the first 1 to 5 repetitions in a work set take the brunt of the load. It is not until the 6th repetition and higher that the muscles themselves take on the work load. A type of training more commonly known as bodybuilding.

If you use perfect technique (effective) and keep your repetitions in the 1 to 5 range (efficient) and don't go to failure you not only develop strength but also functionality in the NS. Those nerve loops/circuits become more robust so when you ask your NS to perform movement the reaction time and response time is immensely better.

That could mean the difference between winning and loosing if you play a sport. It could also mean the difference between being independent and ending up in group home.


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