The Truth About Building Strength (PART 3)

Posted on 26. Jul, 2011 by in Exercises, Injuries / Rehab, Mental Strength & Life, Muscle Mass, Physiology, Strength & Power

The Truth About Building Strength (PART 3)

Are content?  Do you feel that you have all that you need in life to be your best?  Do you have a sense of belonging to your family and community?  Do you feel that the things you have are deserved?  Do you feel as though you deserve the things you lack?  Or is that scarcity a reflection of what you truly deserve?

These are all personal, esoteric questions that at first blush may have you wondering what, if anything, they have to do with strength and fitness.

Knowing, however, that the brain and the body, are intrinsically linked, that the brain merges seamlessly with the body as the body merges with mind, we can see how these questions and the ideas and feelings that go with them can have a direct impact on our health and vitality.

In particular, these questions relate to Field 1 or the first chakra, which covers our legs and feet.  Looking at this area and the questions and ideas we relate to it we can also see that this area deals with our sense of connection, both physically to the ground and mentally/emotionally to our world/community.

From the section on our nervous system we saw that we have two approaches within the nervous system, sympathetic and parasympathetic.  The sympathetic approach is catabolic and involves breaking down.  The parasympathetic is anabolic and involves building up.

When assessing a given area we look at in one of two ways.  Is this area strong or is it weak?  Clearly strong is what we want, but we need to remember that it’s the energy of a given area that we’re interested in right now.  How much you deadlift is not what we’re talking about.  A lean guy at 150 lbs with a strong Field 1 might deadlift 250lbs, while a bigger guy with a relatively weak Field 1 might deadlift that same amount.  Why is his Field 1 weak compared to the little guy?  The difference has to do with the overall vitality of the system and body we’re dealing with.  Clearly the big guy if he’s operating on the same level as little dude should be able to handle much more weight.

A body with a strong Field 1 is both stable and mobile.  He has strength and mobility.  He is athletic.  This is also reflected in balanced adrenal glands and good digestion.  His demeanor is marked by stillness, stability and security.  When asked his general response is, “I have all I need.”

A weak Field 1 is marked by either tightness or laxity.  That means that too much is just as bad as too little.  Problems include knee problems, sciatica and ankle issues.  He is often overweight and/or constipated.  His demeanor is marked by loneliness, anxiety and a sense of not belonging.  His general attitude is reflected in the phrase, “I don’t have or deserve…”

Most of us are well acquainted with the catabolic side of Field 1.  As strength athletes and enthusiasts we know heavy squats, deadlifts and lunges.  We know box jumps, sprinting and other forms of explosive plyometric training.  We work our legs hard because we know that strong legs lead to overall body strength and that hard leg workouts are a great way to burn lots of calories and therefore fat.

Most of us also know the downside of that training, as well.  We know what it’s like to feel sore and beat up.  We know the stiffness that usually lasts a few days after a heavy training session.  We’ve even come to appreciate that feeling and see it as a sign of a job well done.  Often times we see the slow downs in our progress as a sign of a plateau and that it’s a signal that we need to step our training and motivate ourselves to break through.

We’re not so hip to the anabolic side of the equation and because of this we miss out on ways to make the catabolic side that much more effective.  Most of us have heard about the importance of rest and recovery, but it’s really just a nebulous “good idea” kind of thing that we don’t really have much follow through with.  Working hard is how we get strong, not resting on the couch, right?

As we’ve said before, too much of a good thing can actually be a bad thing.  What we’re looking for is balance.  In the case of Field 1 that means finding anabolic activities to balance the catabolic work we know and love.

Anabolic activators for Field 1 include massage of the feet and legs, this also includes foam rolling and deeper work like you get rolling on a lacrosse ball.  Walking barefoot, especially outside, is another way to help stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system.  Getting your bare feet in the soil or sand of the beach helps you reconnect with the ground.

Standing meditation is a third way.  A quick Google search will reveal many resources on how to do standing meditation.  A few can be found here, but standing meditation is in its essence, well, standing.  Find a clear open space free from disturbances but preferably outdoors.  Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent and your weight evenly distributed across your feet and in each leg.  Lift your chest and breathe deeply filling your lungs all the way to your diaphragm.  You can clear your mind using any of a number of techniques, counting the breath is probably the most common.  The key is, most of all, don’t over think the whole process.  It’s not complicated.  Heavy squats are complicated.  Make the anabolic side easy and let it happen.  This is the key to balancing the highly active catabolic side.

In later segments we will look at some specific Anabolic Energizers I use both for myself and with my clients.

One Response to “The Truth About Building Strength (PART 3)”

  1. Lynton Jim

    28. Sep, 2011

    Alot of these videos really hit home for me and it’s refreshing to see these ideas vocalised and presented so well.

    It’s true that even when your ideas seem far out, I can’t fault your physical enthusiasm and integrity.

    The 5%ers are out there.


    Reply to this comment

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