This misunderstanding could have been resolved in the first chapter, but as time proves again and again, people filter out information which they are not prepared to see or hear. This leads me to this article with the intention to restate and reinforce the entire methodology ... and the core glossary of the method.
How Do I Get More Energy?
I am often asked the question, "why does Body-Flow increase my energy level? How can physical activity give me MORE energy?" Initially this may not make sense ... but if you ponder this for a little time, your intuition shall reveal the answer.
Let's take a look at a similar issue in order to illuminate this one. Have you ever done an arduous task, something physically grueling enough that the voice inside your head screams for you to stop? Sure you have ... if you're an adult human - you wouldn't have gotten this far without encountering this membrane of resistance and punctured through occasionally.
But this voice can be persistent, can't it? It manufactures all manner of rationalizations for us needing to cease challenging activities. It's such a ubiquitous human condition that in sport psychology the ability to persevere through and in spite of this internal dialogue is called Mental Toughness.
You tell yourself that you're at your limit, you've met the threshold ... and you're right. Your threshold of discomfort IS your level of performance, which is why mental toughness is such an integral element of victory in any endeavor. You are capable of exactly that which you believe are you capable. But this is where sport psychology ends. Here is where it stops, "you must move through this condition to gain this important virtue of mental toughness."
Your intuition throws a flag here, doesn't it? Something's amiss. "Why stop there," your gut says. Why not identify the condition which CREATES this negative internal dialogue and cut its head off? The prattling voice in your head is merely a symptom of a much larger disease, which festers within all people. And inoculating yourself to this disease requires diligence and vigilance - a deepening of your daily personal practice.
I discovered this years ago inductively. Attempting to enhance the performance of athletes in various USA National Sambo Teams, I recognized that problems did not derive from inability. The problems the athletes encountered regarded impediments to accessing their abilities. Because of Fear-Reactivity, they could not take advantage of their talents, energy, and skills, because these impediments interfered and COMPETED with their talents, energy and skills.
What is this state of dis-ease? Well, before we get to this question, let's first realize that there's nothing wrong with us, and that we should be thankful for this highly successful survival mechanism which has allowed you to come into existence!
Yes, the bantering voice in your head which coerces and assuages you to cease challenging tasks is a beneficial attribute which evolved over millennia of successful application.
Why do you sprint down the track? Why do you repeatedly lift such difficult weight? Why do you push to extend your split stretch? Why do you jump over hurdles?
Yes, I introduced this WHY in my past Musing (Sophisticating Your Life) with my comment, "you may not need to exercise." It has become a rapidly referenced heresy against the Fitness Inquisition (er? institution).
"Why?" we ask. Let's begin by exploring the nature of training.
The Nature Of Training
Training is artificial. Training is a SUBSTITUTE. Training is a vehicle, not even the Process, and certainly not the destination. Physical Exercise, Training, Fitness, Working Out, all of these "industry" terms have become Party-speak buzz words in the past 100 years (maybe less) ...
So let's demystify them and get to the core of the issue, the root of this dis-ease.
What is the purpose of these things? Why do you do them? You're not being chased across the tundra by a saber-toothed tiger. You're not being mugged by a pernicious assailant who means you grave bodily harm. You're not even in a difficult environment of scarce and depleted resources. [OK, the last one is debatable from a socio-economic perspective, but not a physical one ... yet!]
If you don't perceive yourself to be under any threat, how can you expect your organism (mind/body/spirit) to simulate and overcome the conditions of danger? This is the realm of visual imagery in sport psychology. Imagine your most fearsome challenge in your life, such as your family in danger, and convert that arousal into performance. Yes, this is mental toughness "training."
But why does the organism signal you to stop an activity if it is not in danger? That's right: conservation of energy. If there's no need, the human organism has evolved survival mechanisms which kick in to preserve unnecessary expenditure of energy. For millions of years, food was not "conveniently" available, and physical threats lay in wait everywhere all the time.
But this is a quandary now, isn't it? In current times, we rarely (with exceptions of course) NEED to expend energy. Such is the life of convenience and safety.
When you engage in a new level of challenging physical training, your organism sends you signals to stop this unnecessary activity: whether those signals be phantom chemical pains, muscle tension, joint aches, stomach pains, feelings of anger, frustration, boredom, and/or thoughts of ... whatever your "mind" can convince is more important than continuing the physical effort.
Your mind can tell you that you need food as soon as your stomach begins signaling that it would prefer you to stop. Your mind could tell you that you're "not in shape" after your lungs begin to experience the searing adjustment to your activity. It can tell you to wait until tomorrow, that you didn't get enough sleep, that you need energy for an early meeting, or that your shoes don't fit correctly.
Yes, you can and do adapt, if you consistently repeat this training standard. This internal dialogue will stop if you sustain the activity for a sufficient duration. But as soon as you confront a new intensity, complexity, frequency or volume level, the negative voice returns.
Worse still, as soon as you adapt to a certain level, the voice returns anyway to express its boredom with the activity, to "chat" with you about the inane nonsense drivel of whatever happens to float through your brain. You turn on auto-pilot, the television, the radio or any other device to distract your mind from objecting about the boredom. But what have you really accomplished then? What is the purpose of the activity, the effort, this "training" if you are bored and must distract yourself from it?
What Is The REAL Lesson Of This Vehicle?
Some activities may relax you by expending so much effort that your chronic tension temporarily dissipates, but most just fatigue and exhaust you. Many give you soreness immediately, soon after or delayed onset. But none of these activities give you that same energized feeling as Biomechanical Exercise?. Why is that?
In training, you deliberately manufacture an adaptation in your organism creating a new level of expectation of your physical activity ... which must be maintained or it shall fade immediately. As soon as you stop, your organism begins settling down its expectations of activity. Take a break from any activity and you find the "old" challenges awaiting your return.
It feels like a constant battle to keep "fit" right?
What is this war we wage on our health?
When you have a recovery day of rest, what happens upon your return? You're stiff and sore. When you have a difficult training session lifting weights? What happens the next day? You're tense and your range of motion limited. Many people have been taught by the "industry" to believe this is a positive effect! They even SEEK to create "hardness" (binding) rather than suppleness (flow).
Ask yourself the question and then answer, "If movement precedes feelings which precedes thought, then what signal do I send when I work to maintain the duration of my tension?" What kind of thoughts will you produce? How will you see the world then?
Now, it's true as I've written in many places that tension and relaxation are two wheels of the same cart. So in order to have maximal relaxation, you must experience the opposite end of the spectrum - tension.
However, imagine a cart with only one wheel. As you push that nearly impossible vehicle, you create a deeper and deeper trench with the axle of the missing wheel as you go around and around and around endlessly in your loop ... downwardly spiraling into your own demise.
But this isn't the primary focus of this Musing, just another point to consider. The primary issue here regards why you GAIN energy from Biomechanical Exercise.
If you suffer under-training, you will experience compressed joints, unused ranges of motion, damaged tissue and un-discharged muscular tension. If you suffer over-training, you will experience compressed joints, unused ranges of motion, damaged tissue and un-discharged muscular tension.
These conditions send a signal to your organism. Yes, they send the signal of Fear-Reactivity. These signals create feelings, and subsequently - thoughts, imploring you to stop, demanding that you not move beyond "expected" activities. They influence you to not move outside of your comfort zone, and that zone grows smaller and smaller every day ... regardless of whether you are over-training or under-training.
Most importantly these signals cause a significant decrease in your energy levels. This is the central discovery of this musing. Think about this.
When faced with this "condition" (think the industry of "Strength & Conditioning") your organism initiates an evolutionarily successful survival mechanism: Energy Conservation.
Everyone can relate this phenomenon immediately: When faced with a daunting task, when approaching a new level or type of activity, when returning from an injury, you experience a sudden vacuum of energy: a sudden energetic drain as the organism offers one last attempt at protecting you from an activity perceived as unnecessary to its "urgent" survival. The last amendment is what is most important to realize.
What Is Most Important To Realize?
When facing crisis, your energy levels soar to near limitlessness. However, when not facing threat or danger (or imagined threat or danger), the organism responds to protect itself by shutting down unnecessary energy expenditures, ESPECIALLY when it anticipates a superfluous task impending.
This is the primary reason that people do not last when beginning 'fitness.' Yes, a small portion of the issue regards the lack of sufficient mental toughness to endure the "discomfort" of new levels or types of activities. But as you can see, this is only the symptom, not the disease.
The neglected aspect of this issue and the primary emphasis of this Musing regards the sudden energy drain we encounter when facing a challenge ... and more importantly the sustained energy depletion resulting from the signals caused by compressed joints, unused ranges of motion, damaged tissue and un-discharged muscular tension.
Why is it that most children have an easier time (actually ENJOYABLE time) at my seminars, when professional athletes and coaches STRUGGLE to even complete the seminar?
Simply one word: Conditioning. What has been embraced as an "industry" icon, conditioning is the death of all creativity, spontaneity, improvisation. Conditioning destroys access to your talent, and conceals your genius ... if you do not evolve beyond it.
I don't speak here to merely "training." But worse than this ... careless repetition of any activity produces an outcome, adaptation and progression of any and all things (as per the Laws of Conditioning from my book Clubbell Training for Circular Strength).
I continually hear from those who use my materials the need to correct what I named Vocational Imbalances such as law enforcement, computer technicians and laborers.
Continued repetition of specific activities causes the organism to adapt in the specific manner you perform an activity. There are also the Recreational Imbalances created through continued repetition of closed skill set activities such snowboarding, weight-lifting, tennis.
Worse still are the behavior patterns with which people condition themselves. They accept that their reactions to feelings of anger, frustration, trepidation, hopelessness, loneliness and despair are permanent. And so that make chronically permanent these "conditions" over the course of their lifetime. One cannot even speak to them regarding their condition, because from their filter do they perceive the world ... and you who seek to help them emancipate themselves.
It saddens me so greatly that this is a world-wide condition of suffrage; every people in every corner of "civilization" suffer this affliction - they actually disbelieve that bliss is their natural state, and one to which they can return.
Underneath those imbalances which you can counter through a daily deepening of your personal practice lay your bliss. You minus your Fear-Reactivity is your natural energy. Do you see it now?
It's certainly no destination point. You must have diligence and vigilance to compensate for the circumstances of your current challenges - so you do not create vocational or recreational imbalances. You must do this every day in your practice. Go deeper and deeper. And sometimes laugh at how shallow your practice floats ... and not be attached ... even to this Method.
When you decompress your joints, explore your total ranges of motion, increase the sophistication of your motions, rehabilitate damaged tissue and discharge residual muscular tension, you stop sending signals to your organism to protect itself.
And your Natural, Abundant Energy surges in ...
Double-D: 8 Minutes Of Delicious Torture!
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