Thursday, January 20, 2011

Too Much Power, Not Enough Clutch

The title of this blog can mean
different things to different people;
but if you know anything about
cars, you know what I'm talking about.

I used to have a really fast Audi S6.
300 horsepower, outrageous torque--
but the clutch was seriously lacking.
Instead of transmitting the engine power
to the wheels, the clutch would sometimes
slip and burn.

Our bodies work much like the mechanisms
in a car. Food = fuel. Muscle = engine.
Bones = chassis. But what in the human
body is like the transmission on a car ?
What transmits energy so that you can
move a part of your body ?
It's your joints, tendons and ligaments.
We know we contract muscles... that
leverage our joints... in order to transmit
energy, or "move a part of the body."

But strength of muscle does not equal
"best transmission of power." You see,
resistance training like weight lifting
(and even running) shortens the tendons,
limiting the joints' range of motion.

Former NFL player Cory Walker told
me that when he really got into weight
lifting and getting stronger, he got slower.
His 40-yard sprint times got worse.

Why ?
Inefficient transmission of power.
He got stronger ! But he could not
convert his new power into speed.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again:
I cringe every time I hear a doctor tell
an elderly patient to lift weights. Dumbells !

You have plenty-enough muscle.
You need to work on your joints.
After all, when you lose a joint,
you lose mobility.
Tai Chi and Qigong improve the joints.

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