I’ve long said that strength doesn’t come from muscle.
Muscle comes from strength.
There are a number of meanings behind this saying. The first one is that it pays reference to your inner strength, the power that comes from within when the going gets tough. For when your muscles are burning and your body feels like it’s made of lead, that’s when your inner strength comes into play. It’s when you push forward with mental and emotional focus thus forcing your body to step up.
The second reference is to the fact that there is a neurological adaptation to a new exercise as you start training. These changes often result in a quick up-shoot of strength which lays the foundation for your future muscle building potential.
Take the hand-stand for example. When you first get into an inverted position your nervous system kind of goes into a tizzy. It feels strange and uncomfortable to stand on your hands. All of the demand on your body is new and kind of funky.
Over the next month or two your nervous system adapts and sort of makes peace with the exercise. Where as once it felt awkward it now feels a bit more like second nature.
Once you cross this threshold, you can then really start to push your physical boundaries. You can strive for a stronger technique and make the subtle adjustments in body position that will translate into a greater demand on the muscle. It’s at this stage, where you can finally start building some serious muscle.
The take away;
Start establishing a consistent routine with anything new you’re starting to do. It’s much more difficult and takes a lot longer to get a new move under your belt.
Once you start to get comfortable with the exercise, that’s when you want to graft the exercise into your nervous system. Make it 100% yours and under your control. Get to the point where it doesn’t feel like a stress or strain to complete the move. Allow it to seep into your bones and become a part of you. From there, keep progressing your ability to do the move and master the heck out of it. The more you feel like your own the technique the more muscle building potential you’ll have with it.