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Offlinejcldragon
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Optimal Physical Strength
    #4473156 - 07/30/05 11:00 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

http://www.jamesclairlewis.com/pages/massage/optimalstrength.html

Optimal Strength

by James Clair Lewis

Copyright 2005

Most people's muscles only fire 30% of their muscle fibers, when a muscle is flexed. While apes (& other creatures), employ 100% of a muscle's fibers, when a muscle is flexed. This accounts for what is refered to as animal strength. Size of a muscle is less important, than how much of its capacity is employed. There is a fairly simple breathing/muscle flexing technique people can use, that increases the percentage of muscle fibers that fire when a muscle is flexed. Bruce Li was aware of it, and taught it to some of his students. The result is that the person can become immensely strong, but their muscles will appear no larger than anybody else's muscles.

Training the core/stabilizer muscles is an important part of this process. You can do that with Yoga, Pilates, or Martial Arts, like Tai Chi. But there is one further step you can take, which is the real Key. This Key Principle can be applied to any physical movement form, but I will explain it here, using only the most basic form, which is Standing.

Stand in the optimally erect posture, with feet directly under the shoulders, shoulders back, & chin slightly tucked in. You should be relaxed & breathing normally. Once you have gotten into this posture & are comfortable with it, you will tense every muscle in your body at once, beginning with the transverse adominus muscle (the gut), without changing your posture the least little bit, (meaning that you will NOT raise your shoulders up, or alter the posture from simply standing at all). Then, maintaining the posture, and the tension of the muscles, you will inhale slowly & hold your breath, still without altering your posture in any way. Finally, you will relax, exhale, and remain standing in the optimal posture of standing.

This simple exercise will increase the percentage of muscle fibers that actually fire, when you flex or use your muscles. When that percentage reaches 60%, you will be effectively twice as strong, although you won't appear any different, (besides looking rather good when skyclad). Consider a 120 lbs girl, as strong as an average 240 lbs man. That can be achieved, and possibly even more...

The core/stabilizer muscles are what keep your body erect, but when they are weak or imbalanced, people develop poor posture, which limits their physical range of motion & capacity. When one core/stabilizer muscle is flexed, then all of them flex, and the easiest way to do that, is to flex the transverse adominus muscle, which is your gut muscle. Ever notice that in Martial Arts literature, they often speak of focusing in the center of gravity, the Dom Tien? This is what they are talking about.

If you use this exercise in a less than optimal posture, (like shoulders up, or back swayed to a side or something like that), you will strengthen your muscles INTO the maladapted posture. I'm sure you can see how that wouldn't work out so well. So if you have postural problems, it might be a good idea to be seeing a chiropractor, a massage therapist, AND some kind of exercise therapist, (like a Hatha Yoga, or Tai Chi instructor), before beginning to use this technique. With those three healing modalities being employed, your posture will be corrected enough to make use of this technique to its full advantage.

Using this technique with Yoga or Martial Art forms, will strengthen your body in those forms. Begin with the relaxed Standing posture. Then, tense the body & inhale, as explained above. Hold the breath while tensed in the posture, and when you exhale & relax, you move into the next posture in the series. Then you repeat this process with each form of the set. This approach will enable you to exert optimal strength in all of the motions that your body uses. It probably would be a very bad idea for someone without this training, to pick a fight with somebody who has been practicing with this technique for any amount of time... especially, if the practitioner has developed beyond 60% muscle fiber efficiency.


--------------------
The Soul exists simultaneously throughout all of Time.
The Ego merely exists now.


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Invisiblezorbman
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Re: Optimal Physical Strength [Re: jcldragon]
    #4474836 - 07/30/05 10:34 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Interesting. Thanks for posting.  :thumbup:


--------------------
“The crisis takes a much longer time coming than you think, and then it happens much faster than you would have thought.”  -- Rudiger Dornbusch


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Offlinejcldragon
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Re: Optimal Physical Strength [Re: zorbman]
    #4476720 - 07/31/05 11:03 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

I figured out this technique about a year ago, while taking a course in Exercise Therapy. Subsequently, I learned that this technique was taught by Bruce Li. Since I've been doing Tai Chi for 32 years, I now understand why people often remark that I am a lot stronger than I look. It is a much different approach than the body builders use with their weights & machines, since they get big bulging muscles that still are only 30% efficient.


--------------------
The Soul exists simultaneously throughout all of Time.
The Ego merely exists now.


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Optimal Physical Strength [Re: jcldragon]
    #4476735 - 07/31/05 11:12 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Thanks for this. I always wondered about the animal strength thing. It didn't seem right that we were so weak compared to animals.

Side note. I studied and taught Non Classical Wing Chun with one of Bruce Lee's first friends and students,( James DeMile and his senior student John Beall, Mostly John Beall) when he first  came to Seattle. I had studied many styles befor this but none in any way compared to what Bruch had developed here.  He quit teaching it, because it was his personal fighting method at the time and didn't want to share all the secrets. :grin: He went on to share many in The Tao Of Jeet Koon Do.


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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Offlinejcldragon
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Re: Optimal Physical Strength [Re: Icelander]
    #4476765 - 07/31/05 11:30 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

I rather like the idea that people on the Spiritual Path could learn to become 2 or 3 times stronger than the general population, without looking much different. If you look around my website, I think you'll see my attitude about keeping Knowledge secret...


--------------------
The Soul exists simultaneously throughout all of Time.
The Ego merely exists now.


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Optimal Physical Strength [Re: jcldragon]
    #4476777 - 07/31/05 11:36 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

I have a different approch, but to each his own. :thumbup: :heart:


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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InvisibleAdden
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Re: Optimal Physical Strength [Re: jcldragon]
    #4476796 - 07/31/05 12:01 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Thanks a lot for this.

I'll give it a shot. Hope it works. I'm strong enough already but I would be beastly if I could double my strength.


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Offlinebarfightlard
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Re: Optimal Physical Strength [Re: jcldragon]
    #4476988 - 07/31/05 01:40 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Interesting stuff. I just started working out again (lightly) and this would be a great addition to what I'm doing.

I have a few questions though. How often should this be done? How long should one session be? How long should breathe be held in for? And would this be something I should do before or after working out with weights?

I just triued this and I noticed it was very hard to breathe properly with my abs flexed(breathing with my stomach instead of breathing with my upper body)


--------------------

"What business is it of yours what I do, read, buy, see, say, think, who I fuck, what I take into my body - as long as I do not harm another human being on this planet?" - Bill Hicks


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Offlinecb9fl
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Re: Optimal Physical Strength [Re: jcldragon]
    #4477044 - 07/31/05 02:01 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Can you back this up with peer reviewed studies?


--------------------
It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not. -Andre Gide

"Generosity is nothing else than a craze to possess. All which I abandon, all which I give, I enjoy in a higher manner through the fact that I give it away. To give is to enjoy possessively the object which one gives."


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OfflineMrConformity
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Re: Optimal Physical Strength [Re: cb9fl]
    #4477126 - 07/31/05 02:45 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Fascinating, yes some sort of proof or secondary confirmation would be splendid.


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OfflineRedNucleus
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Re: Optimal Physical Strength [Re: jcldragon]
    #4477302 - 07/31/05 03:50 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Um it's just tightening the abs and breathing in and holding breath. does anyone actually know for sure this works to increase muscle power because it sounds silly.


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Invisiblemoog
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Re: Optimal Physical Strength [Re: jcldragon]
    #4477496 - 07/31/05 04:48 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Sounds good in theory, but this made me laugh:

"Consider a 120 lbs girl, as strong as an average 240 lbs man."

I'd like to see anyone who weighs 120lbs squat over 400lbs, or even hold that weight in place :lol:


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OfflinePowerTrip
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Re: Optimal Physical Strength [Re: jcldragon]
    #4477656 - 07/31/05 05:48 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

Size of a muscle is less important, than how much of its capacity is employed.




As a guy with about 4-5 years of bodybuilding experience, I must agree that there is some truth to this. During periods when my body was not gaining any weight or getting larger at all, I found myself to still be making great strength gains. I also found that after taking a long time off from the gym, then returning, my strength had diminished even though I appeared to have lost no weight or size at all. The only explanation I have for this phenomenon is that you are able to train your muscles to work at a greater efficiency without necessarily adding additional muscle fibers.

I believe there are obvious limits to this though, perhaps some of them being genetic factors. I do not believe a 120lb woman will ever be able to lift the same amount of weight as a 240 lb man. Especially considering the fact that women carry a greater percentage of bodyfat, meaning lower muscle to weight ratio.


--------------------
I spit reality, instead of what you usually learn
and I refuse to be concerned with condescending advice
cause I'm the only motherfucker that can change my life


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Offlinecb9fl
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Re: Optimal Physical Strength [Re: moog]
    #4477665 - 07/31/05 05:50 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

http://english.pravda.ru/main/18/90/360/14341_Girl.html

Quote:

12-year-old Ukrainian girl Varya Akulova is capable of lifting up to 350 kg, while she herself weighs only 40 kg.




--------------------
It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not. -Andre Gide

"Generosity is nothing else than a craze to possess. All which I abandon, all which I give, I enjoy in a higher manner through the fact that I give it away. To give is to enjoy possessively the object which one gives."


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Offlinebrowndustin
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Re: Optimal Physical Strength [Re: cb9fl]
    #4478107 - 07/31/05 08:10 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Wow really cool stuff. I'm going to bookmark your site too.

I've actually been looking into tai chi a lot and I want to start doing it. Need to find some place in town and/or meet some people...


--------------------
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maryjane is the only thing that makes the pain stop


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Invisiblezorbman
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Re: Optimal Physical Strength [Re: PowerTrip]
    #4478254 - 07/31/05 09:01 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

When comparing strength of animals and humans you also have to consider that there are different types of muscle fibers. For example, there are fast twitch fibers and slow twitch fibers. It's been a while since I read up on it, but my understanding is that the fast twitch fibers are responsible for explosive movements while the slow ones are for force applied more evenly over a longer duration.


--------------------
“The crisis takes a much longer time coming than you think, and then it happens much faster than you would have thought.”  -- Rudiger Dornbusch


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Invisiblelooner2
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Re: Optimal Physical Strength [Re: zorbman]
    #4478342 - 07/31/05 09:30 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Bullshit, but you know... getting strong without doing anything sounds great!

**EDIT**--- to the original post.


Edited by looner2 (07/31/05 09:39 PM)


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Invisibleorechron
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Re: Optimal Physical Strength [Re: looner2]
    #4482155 - 08/01/05 08:20 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Actually increasing recruitment strength (the percentage of muscles that fire simultaneously) is a basic facet of most sports training. In any pursuit with a high strength/weight ratio is desired exercises to increase the maximum potential output of muscle groups. I have my doubts as to whether the benefits of the practice mentioned in that article are superior to weight training exercises designed to do the same thing.


--------------------
Live by the foma that make you brave, and kind, and healthy, and happy.


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Invisiblelooner2
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Re: Optimal Physical Strength [Re: orechron]
    #4482853 - 08/01/05 11:01 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

You are right, but it is done through lifting heavy weight. Effort and time are needed to build up muscle fibre recruitment, not breathing exercises.


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Optimal Physical Strength [Re: looner2]
    #4484512 - 08/02/05 09:25 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Not quite true. I've spent years lifting weights. Breathing correctly and in a relaxed fasion has a lot to do with building strength, moving with strength, and being strong. It is all important. :mushroom2:


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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