So what does strength mean? Strength is the ability to create muscular tension. That’s not a bad start, strength definitely seems to have something to do with muscular work. But this definition doesn’t say anything about whether the tension can create useful real world movements that we would consider to be an impressive display of strength. Here is a list of 6 facts about strength!
1. One of the best things to know about strength is that it can improve, through repetition, from the point at which you started. Anyone that practices at a particular movement will improve, although you may not necessarily hold a world record. By training hard, for an extended period of time, you are guaranteed to become much stronger; the increase in strength should be coupled with health benefits that aid in this uplift.
2. The worst opinion that comes along with the idea of strength is that some think strength is a single quality, which is not true. For example, The Hulk is a character that resembles a being of great strength, so naturally we tend to think that he can do anything that is related to having extreme strength. This is just a fictional theory of how strength is administered. Strength comes in different forms, for different people. The World’s Strongest Man is not strong because he can arm wrestle, powerlift, and perform the best shot put record; these records are held by different individuals who hold strength in different areas.
Our muscles do not function independent of the nervous system; we all have a specific motor pattern. Your highest level of strength is based on your ability to train regularly according to YOUR motor pattern. According to Siff, strength can be manifested in many different forms. An activity that can be performed similarly, can likely be the activities that one individual can excel in. Bench pressing and punching bricks are different activities that will not necessarily hold the same winner as far as strength is concerned.
3. Strength can be measured based on frequency of change or increase. Say for instance you are lifting weights with a barbell; How often are you increasing the size of the barbell and to what increase are you capable of handling? Constant practice is the key in mastering any skill.
4. Being too strong for certain activity is also a factor that should be considered. Some activities include endurance as a component and accuracy and injury should be taken into consideration before you just jump into any activity just because you feel that you are strong.
5. The health of your joints is extremely important when it comes to strength. The sensors and proprioceptors in your body tell it what’s going on. If your joints are in great pain, your body will shut down the agonist muscles that are producing the movement. The deactivation is stemmed from the lower-level of force that is attempting to reduce a chance of injury to your joints, which are already fragile at the point of shutdown. Pain is a warning sign that something is wrong and you should stop what you’re doing in order to prevent damaging the joint.
Joint stability is the reason why lifting aids have become popular equipment to wear. For example, a belt or a bench shirt is a popular accessory when lifting weights due to the stability it provides on the joints to contract more forcefully, through the muscles.
6. Bodyweight has a huge impact on your strength, and it is a good idea to gain weight in order to enhance your joint stability. Gaining weight, 10 ten pounds or so, will allow your tissues to buffer and add more support to your joints; this increases stability and strength.