As I had mentioned on FaceBook, we will be continuing with a series of articles that focuses on elements for success in combat, competition and even general life circumstances. Today’s segment delves into the concept of strength vs. control. It is easy enough to wield your limbs around like blunt objects attacking without reverence or consideration for the efficacy of your efforts. If you get that one lucky shot you may win, but the victory in that case is a false example of a successful strategy.
Brute strength can be very handy when explosive power is needed to fend off a threat, but the energy behind those efforts can be wasted if they are not focused. Many people go to the gym and workout repeatedly with isometric activities building up large muscle groups, but then they plateau. Some resort to supplementation of all sorts to overcome the plateau but the issue at hand isn’t the size or sheer strength of the muscle groups that is hindering performance, but rather the control over those large muscle groups.
Training with repetitive drills can certainly help by developing muscle memory and more rapid responses to various stimuli. (For example immediately raising your arm and placing your fist to your head to block a hook.) However even more important than muscle memory is maintaining stability and control. In this scenario we will consider this “balance”. If you over train in one area of your athletic regimen you are likely becoming imbalanced to the point where any strength or agility you have gained is either negated or even negatively impacts your overall effectiveness. Learning to maintain balance requires discipline and patience.
For example… It is better to complement your training regimen with resistance and stability exercises that don’t just tax your large muscle groups but actually make your smaller muscle groups (those that control stability and support proper form for movement) work harder to catch up to or even exceed the potential of your larger groups. Building strength through isometric resistance training is honestly a fairly simple task once you get your formula down. However, developing control and enhancing your stability is something that requires hard work, consistency and discipline. There is no short cut. It is invariably a balance of mind and body that complements your overall strength.
Once you begin to develop true balance in your training, physical and mental conditioning then even with less raw power your performance will be far greater, more efficient and bring you much closer to the victory that you wish to achieve.
Also keep in mind that this article is intentionally non-specific as everyone’s training programs vary and their individual needs are best met with a truly customized approach. Make yourself aware of your body and your mind and you will be better suited to developing the most effective training program to let you achieve your goals.
Do any of you have experience with growth through achieving balance in your training? What are your stories? We would like to hear from you!