Integral and Intentional Strength
Using minimal equipment, integral and intentional strength is something that can be easily done at home with only your bodyweight. It ‘bulletproofs’ your joints and teaches you about what’s working good and what could be working better. Often overlooked by most people this type of bodyweight control is essential to performing movements with exterior loads (weights) and creating true power, speed, and endurance. Think of intentional strength training as moving slowly in the directions you need to visit, often, regularly, and with attention. Its learning how to undo certain types of learning and habitual behavior patterns.
Integral strength has more to do with checking in with where your strength levels are today. Not always necessary as a training plan, integral strength observations is something to do regularly. Try a new class, learn a new sport, meditate. Get outside of your world and into another world, see how you can handle it and how well you can hang in it. Integral strength is an individual checking-in with how your body is from a flexibility, functional, and conditioned point of view. Constantly coming back to integral strength will only push you to higher levels of performance in the other 3 domains. This is essential strength building that leaves you with an iron body and iron mind. Integral strength should not be overlooked in life. Reach out to me to learn more about integral strength training.
Essential Ingredients: Understand Training Plasticity
One of the things I love about our bodies is we can create our own shape. Our tissue, muscles, fascia is all shapable, and that’s the first step to understanding how to strengthen your entire body. Back to the jumping and quitting a habit example. Both require strengthening and conditioning different parts of the body. New neural pathways have to be developed. The jumper needs to train hip explosiveness, both knee flexion and extension, in addition to ankle plantarflexion as well as dorsiflexion. You’ve got speed timing to work on, arm and core connection to understand, basically- there’s a lot to understand about jumping. Opposite side of the coin, we have the person overcoming an addiction or habit and see they have similar struggles in the training realm. They have to strengthen and condition their willpower, their discipline, and determination. Parts of their brain have to be treated like a muscle. Therefor they also have to understand how to keep their goal in focus whenever their best efforts gets disturbed in the real world and life. (Example; giving up french fries, going out with friends, everyone orders fries, but you don’t, you keep on your path.)
Our two individuals have many things in common, though the one I’m most interested in is their need to self-mobilize. The very first thing often overlooked when starting a new training program is the ability to mobilize yourself, to get out of your own way, stick to the plan, and stay with your intention. To stop doing what everyone else is doing, but taking responsibility for yourself and doing exactly what is going to give you the results you’re after.
In the spirit of winter coming, it’s a great time to look at what kind of strength plan you’re on. The way I see it, we can strengthen many areas in our body and life, but I want to know which is the most self-serving for you. In which way do you want to evolve your fitness, body, and health? To help you delineate the process I have written about the three main types of strength I have seen over the course of 12 years in the fitness arena. To help you out I’ve written about these three kinds of strength training and how they differ, both in the world of performance and in relation to “life” of training.