What does resistance training mean?
This is anything that weighs you down. When you get up out of bed, gravity is weighing on you, making you heavier to push upright. This is resistance.
Gravity is a critical component to understanding the body’s movement. Always think how gravity is playing a part on your load. The best way to visually explain this is, gravity can weigh down on a dumbbell but it cannot on a cable column or pulley system. With a cable you can move the load with the intended muscle and nothing more, however with a dumbbell or medicine ball, you cannot.
Load: What you are lifting. The kilos or pounds you are lifting, pushing, pulling, etc.
Just bodyweight + gravity is a wonderful place to begin, and a great repertoire to keep for cardio bursts between lifting, however over time, your body’s weight alone won’t be enough to challenge you or build muscle.
Remember, you have to break muscle fibers in order to build new ones, and the only way to do this is to increase the load, your speed, or the power that you infuse your movement with.
The Advanced manner in which you execute your moves will be demonstrated by how stable you are, how unevenly you can load the body, and/or how well your body recovers between workouts.
In order to lift well, you must first harness Body Awareness. Awareness sounds simple, but just like common sense. It isn’t common. Think about all the bad drivers on the road. There as many bad lifters in the gym.
Awareness cannot be defined by a sentence or paragraph. It is felt, enhanced by your training, and deserves to be a component in your routine’s goals.
It can range from knowing what a shoulder’s full Range of Motion is – AND making sure that you have full range of motion BEFORE LOADING the joint.
Awareness is knowing your anatomy. In order to lift well you have to know what you are working with, perhaps that office job you have or the genes you inherited from your uncle has created tightness in all the wrong places and you have to straighten out and become neutral before loading the spine. I cannot tell you how important this is. [Be aware of what you need to do to lubricate your entire body. Warm ups give you the best lifting experience, but do you know which warm ups to match with which lifts? Do you know where you have tightness or inflammation?]
Knowing which exercises challenge you the most. Always do the moves you hate. Chances are they’re excellent for you.
Be aware that you are one giant muscle and all of you is connected. It is really easy to think of your body as a diagram that you can just pick and choose muscles from — This one should ‘pop’ and this one should be ‘leaner’— it’s just not that easy, babe.
Mind, Body, and Spirit: The Three Unifying Elements of Humans.
Mind: The mind needs carbohydrates and rest more than it needs anything else.
In essence, the mind is the fat bastard who loves nachos and extra cheese pizza. You know her, all she wants to do is chill, maybe talk about the universe, and you wonder if she is really that lazy. Can anyone be this lazy?
Your brain signals the what, how, and when to everything else in your body.
- You may not be aware of how much you think, and if you don’t fancy yourself an intellectual, that’s fine. The sheer energy it takes to process the stimulus from a city’s commute, or lets say a binge session of a dramatic television series can really drain brainpower, slow down electrical patterns and overall functioning.
Your brain must sleep. You need downtime to be more effective and attentive during your on time.
- This on time can be something as benign as work, or a passionate art project, but basically anything that requires sustained cognitive and executive functioning. Without proper rest, you do not have the same ability to process thoughts or emotions and what was once simple and mundane becomes inordinately difficult.
Your mood is directly associated with how well your mind can receive and process information.
- These are not the same skills. REPEAT. Receiving is not Processing.
- Receiving information is the first and most important detail if and when we talk about a mind body connection. One has to trust that the intuitive information they feel or hear from their heart and/or gut. This is a lot harder said than done. Why do you think so many people take prescription medication?
- Processing information is the retrieval of your feelings and thoughts. They of course aren’t in English. That would be too easy. No one is writing a well-edited essay about how you feel and emailing it to you. It is all in code, and comprehending each thought and word, which may not be in correct order, is a lot of work and a bit like translation. This is the secondary phase of connecting the mind and body and just as difficult as the first, as is every step in the process of increasing awareness.
What does awareness or mindfulness even mean? This is the art of listening to our inner selves, and when we talk about it like this, it seems like a very kind and obvious thing to do. We are, quite literally, the only one we can talk to. If we continue to ignore ourselves we are the creators of our own alienation and discrimination. The means to achieving this bond with oneself and maintaining the mind-body connection is a process that will look differently for each and every person.
For example: Visual people are much more efficient in translating how they feel into words, as they can see it play out in their mind. However, some adults, maybe with or without a dysfunctional youth, may not have had the ability as children to get to know their inner voice, and now many years later have to retrain their ears, just to be able to listen. These are all equally difficult and important steps to building inner strength.
Once the bridge is made connecting how you feel with what you are thinking– its awesome! This aha moment will take you to a new phase. It is here where you will find yourself in what most people call a well-adjusted state, or demonstrating adaptability. This doesn’t mean that all of a sudden nothing bad happens!*
*Side note: We will never be that unfortunate, as each shitty event is a great opportunity to become an even better individual. Never forget that, as it is a sure fire way to understand that becoming upset in the face of conflict is utterly useless. REPEAT. Utterly Useless.
Goals of The Mind Body Connection:
You will have the tools to process thoughts and emotions.
Your inner strength will give you the words necessary to communicate these feelings outwards.
You can achieve understanding and grant compassion to the world around and in you.