However, this time after a couple minutes, you notice a very interesting phenomenon of twitching. Animals do not store fear's tension like human's can. They discharge the residual muscular tension from survival arousal (in the first instance above, autonomic; and in the second, hormonal.) Humans can obviously do this as well. And we do. There are countless rituals in various cultures to account for this, as well as just the very common-place, "oh, just shake it off, you'll be okay." It's a part of the very fabric of being a human creature.
For an incredible book on the subject read,
Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma by Peter Levine.
How Does That Correlate With Training?
For those of you involved in martial arts, combatives and/or combat sports, you'll recognize the same pattern present. The increased autonomic arousal stores tension as a positive survival strategy. Your heart rate and blood pressure increase sending blood volume shifts to your large muscles, your breathing rate becomes rapid and shallow, your pupils dilate focusing on the opponent at-hand, you perspire and your urination and defecation becomes inhibited (sometimes after "blowing the bilges" to get rid of unnecessary baggage). This arousal reflex to perceived threats or challenges can give you the necessary explosive power you need to charge the opponent or get the hell out of Dodge.
This then becomes supercharged with a "chemical cocktail" being injected into your bloodstream - epinephrine, norepinephrine, aldosterone, endorphins, et cetera. Many sport psychologists focus heavily upon drawing out these chemicals through visualizations. This condition basically makes you an Uber-version of yourself.
Therein lies the difficulty. This Survival Arousal Syndrome was perfectly designed to bring down prey, combat or flee from predators. But it does 'interfere' with skillful performance. SAS decreases accuracy (by shifting blood volume from periphery to large muscles), most obviously, but the so-called "Adrenal Dump" (for those ill-prepared for the chemical download) wreaks havoc on perception causing phenomena such as Tachi-psychia (or time distortion), Tunnel Vision, Auditory Exclusion (no or "selective" hearing), Memory Lapse, et cetera.
For millennia, disciplines such as Yoga, Qigong, and Zdorovye have taught how to manipulate respiration to lower the arousal syndrome. This is due primarily to the fact that only breathing has two distinct nervous pathways. So if you manipulate your breathing, you may control your arousal state of your heart rate, blood pressure, muscular tension... autonomic arousal.
Shaking blood volume into periphery avenues may divert blood flow away from large muscles - a manual version of impacting the arousal syndrome. But it primarily serves to release stored muscular tension. This was bio-physiological principle was taken to an extreme by the introduction of the Power Plate - a vibrational plate upon which one steps to stimulate tension to an equal frequency - minimal tonus. Researchers report instant non-deforming range of motion, and even performance and strength gains after only minutes.
How I Came In Contact With Vibration Training...
Despite my penchant for sci-fi, I'm a low-tech kind of guy. The Vibration Training I learned in Russia from the Olympic coaches and Spetsnaz H2H trainers allows you to minimize your energy expenditure (researchers say to about 25%) while accomplishing the same if not improved performance.
It's definitely a performance inhibitor to have the "pump." Shake, however you see fit, in between sets, before and after, generally and selectively the muscles used. Slapping and punching the muscles also has the same effect. (It was quite disconcerting when we would line up against wrestlers from the xUSSR and they would be violently shaking, breathing explosively and slapping and punching themselves.)
Lifting weight, like any skill, requires selective tension, so you need to focus your activation of the necessary muscles and deactivate superfluous movement and tension to maximize your lifts. Lifting high volume, such as in Olympic Clubbell Sport competitions, requires extreme strength endurance.
The "pump" is our arch nemesis, and there are even techniques you can do to discharge residual muscular tension while doing high volume work. Something even as innocuous as wiggling the fingers at rest pauses or in technical lock-outs, enhances potential stamina by releasing marginal amounts of tension.
This is actually how I first came into contact with Vibration Training - when we had to run extreme and ultra-distances while remaining relaxed - since H2H fighting would begin when our "trot" ended. The Effortless Running Gait which I teach is this method of being able to run long distances by maximizing energy conservation while minimizing the adverse affects of survival arousal syndrome.
Double-D: 8 Minutes Of Delicious Torture!
Yours in strength,
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