The 4 Laws of Training Part #4

Law #3

What if we told you there was one training system that would work perfectly for every single human on the planet and has been working correctly since the dawn of mankind? If we made a sweet infomercial and offered it in 3 easy installments of just 29.95 would you buy it? The fitness industry has been one fad after the next for the better part of 30 years now. There is a training system that has worked without fail (with the exception of certain birth defects) though since the beginning of our existence. At Runwithpower we call it God’s strength progression but really it can be Nature’s strength progression or whatever you want to believe created man.¬†

When we are born our bodies come with Law #1 (that we respond to stimulus) and Law #2 (the greater amount of a stimulus, the more change there will be) built into our bodies. Now the best part about this training system is it came with its own built in progression. We call this Law #3, “The body was designed to recieve stimulus in a progressive manner.”

When a baby if first born, all it really has the ability to do is lay on its back. In this position, there is not too much demand being placed on the muscular system. As the baby begins to instinctively move its arms and legs, eventually it gains the ability to roll over onto its stomach. In this prone position, pressure is now being loaded into the babies shoulders and arms, and begins providing more stimulus to its core muscles as it attempts to reach for objects and push itself up onto all fours. Eventually, it gains the muscular efficiency to get up on its hands and knees. From there, the baby begins to crawl, which provides stimulus to the hip, the shoulders, arms, back, and core in a fully integrated movement. As the body learns balance and coordination, its muscular system is gaining strength and efficiency, enough to the point that it can stand up on its own and start walking, running, jumping, and so forth.

By going through this progression, the body achieves its highest level of muscular efficiency, meaning the best posture, greatest range of motion in the joints, greatest resilience to injury, and greatest potential for power development. We believe that most people’s efficiency is at their best when they are only 4 or 5 years old, before the begin to lose that efficiency due to an inactive lifestyle.

So the strength progression is the best model of how the body is meant to receive stimulus in a progressive manner to achieve its highest level of efficiency. Exercises are just different forms of stimulus. At Runwithpower, we categorize exercises based on how high the level of demand is on the muscular system. Take a barbell squat for example. This is a very common move because most trainers believe that it comes with many positives such as increased leg strength, improved posture, and strengthening the muscles that support the knees. However, the exercises we typically use with our athletes are based on the potential negative side effects that an exercise may have on their body. In order for these positives to be achieved, the athlete must already have a muscular system that is capable of accepting the level of demand the exercise required. In the case of the squat, any athlete who has tightness in their hamstrings, hip flexors, calves, back, lack of full flexion and extension in their pelvis, inability to load bear equally into both sides of the hip, and so on, will ultimately be building higher levels on inefficiency as the body tries to manufacture a way to perform the exercise within its current limitations.

The best way to train then would be to start at a lower level of the strength progression, giving the body  chance to develop greater muscular efficiency. We will be giving you many tips and hints on how to have multiple levels of demand for the many different running drills and exercises you can do. Learning what level your body needs to be training at is the key to maximizing your results.

Scott Olson

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