The Meaning of Strength
by David Milner ( November 27th 2018 )
There are a few concepts that I need to cover, but really it’s a mentality that needs to be conveyed. Everyone’s body will respond differently, everyone will make their own decisions.
It’s about the individual’s ability to understand time management, optimization, will power & training methods that ultimately determine how well they adapt to strength training concepts and maximize returns.
Here are the key ideas:
- Scientific Understanding
- The Routine
- Motion Exercises
The primary means in which we engage our body to generate power is through neural connectivity from our brain to our muscles. Our mind requiring training in order to recruit as much firing potential in our muscles as possible, because naturally it does not engage every single motor unit it can, otherwise our body would not be able to handle the force we are capable of generating.
Through strength training, consistent levels of high intensity, and progressive overload to our muscle groups, our body learns to fire patterns of motor units in order to adapt and withstand the training. In addition to the creation of new muscle, new motor units are created as well. We essentially train ourselves to engage our muscles more fully and have a stronger connection between our mind and body.
How this applies to tricking, comes in the form of using awakened muscles. At the gym when you put effort into a heavy exercise, you adapt and gain strength in those muscles, when you put effort into using those same muscles in a similar motion, you generate levels of power that are similar as a result of the intensity training.
Everyone will have a different work schedule, different body clock that responds to sleep times, genetics, a gym that’s available to them for specific days which they need to work around, other physical activities (Tricking), etc etc.
The core of a successful routine is to recover enough so that you are able to proceed to your next training session with enough ease and comfort that you can push yourself effectively without stressing the body toward injury. You want to feel fresh and bright each session, and you want to do this often
( 3-4x per week ).
This means no over training, no under training, and training intensely enough yet being able to recover quick enough so that you can realistically fit in as much as possible into a day / week without going overboard.
In my own training routine, which is listed on this website, you can check out mine in particular, but it takes time and adaptation in order to develop a solid foundation. The idea is to start with a low enough frequency, intensity, and volume, and work towards a balanced high intensity, medium frequency, medium volume training style, relative to your own potential.
Once you are effectively able to condition your body with enough volume, frequency and intensity and wake up the next morning feeling GOOD and not feeling like you were run over by a car, you will know you have hit the right area. The maximum of time spent away from training should be no more than 2 full days, with 1 day rests being ideal. Some are capable of training daily, and perhaps this is a level that I may reach, but for now, from my experience, this level reaches healthy rates of progress and consistency.
The idea is to have a minimum intensity of 70% of your maximum amount of weight in whatever exercise it is you intend to do. If you are training a lower intensity, then higher reps are beneficial, higher intensity, lean more towards lower reps. Hovering in that area with 70% being the lowest, on a consistent enough basis, with adequate sleep, hydration, nourishment and consistency in the gym will yield strength gains, without sacrificing joint, muscular or the health of your DNA.
If you decide to use heavy compound lifts, or machines, weighted body weight exercises, no matter the type, the muscles need to be stressed and challenged on a consistent enough basis that you are able to not only sustain the routine but also over time gradually build intensity. This is an experimental quest for each person to undertake in determining their own capabilities.
That is what is needed for an effective routine. Find where you truly belong, find your limit, hover around 70+% of it, and aim for setting new maxes and hitting personal records but don’t get overworked. You want to feel good after sessions. Stay consistent with it, and over time when you feel that 70%+ is too easy, set a new limit, and repeat.
Particularly for Tricking, any exercises that replicate common movements or motions that one might engage in their techniques, while under a greater degree of intensity ( with weights ), means that when you take the intensity out of the equation and train that level of force to be applied into your muscle memory, repeating that motion will be made to feel easier during tricks.
The concept of extending your legs harder, quicker, or jerking your shoulders and back, backwards, become easier, and thus, more powerful on the floor, translating quite beautifully into tricks.
A few examples of motion exercises that directly apply to Tricking are:
- Adductor Machines
Requiring a greater degree of force to close two pads inward, in a squeezing motion, directly increases the strength at which one is able to pull in for twisting moves, for the lower body portion of the twist.
- Leg Presses
Extending the legs from a seated position, under intensity that is 2 times ( or more ) your body weight, really helps to build force in your ability to jump. The muscles become adapted to putting in a greater level of force.
- Back Extensions
An exercise that requires the individual to engage the muscles responsible for moving their body backwards under intensity makes it relatively effective for Tricking movements that require the same. Gainer Switches, Corks, Backtucks.
- Pec Flies
Pec Flies replicate the upper body’s initial twisting movement. The arms are used to close inward together towards the chest in this exercise. Under intensity, this translates well to more aggressive twisting sets.
- Chest / Shoulder Press
These upper body exercises will help to generate a stronger push off for moves like round off or cartwheels. The same forceful push can be applied to one handed moves like scoots and touch down raiz, of course.
These are just a few examples that have helped me in Tricking :)