What is vital power?
Bernarr MacFadden, the father of physical culture, explained it as such:
“Vital power is more than the capacity to pursue your work with comfort! It is more than the power of endurance! It is, as has been said, life itself! It is the force that is hidden latent in the seed of everything that is created. It builds the beautiful human structure, cell by cell, within the womb of the mother. It is the power that makes us attain a certain stature. Without it we cannot be safe-guarded against disease. With an abundance of it we can defy contagion.
“The lack of vital power is easily discerned. If you are frightened somewhat, does your heart begin to beat furiously and suffocating? If you run, are you distressed for lack of breath? Is your digestive apparatus easily disarranged? Do your kidneys or liver give you trouble? Are you subject to sever headaches? Do you lack strength and endurance? Does an ordinary day’s toil fatigue you? Does even a little addition to your usual amount of labor leave you exhausted? If so, you may rest assured that you are lacking in vital power.
“It is he who is able to retire at night and sleep soundly, who awakes refreshed in the morning; who leaves home for his business feeling strong and contented, and able to do and dare; who goes blithely and easily through the day’s work; who finds rest, not fatigue in an evening’s recreation; who can stand an extra strain upon his physical resources when that strain comes; who enjoys life and does not find time for moping or for dreading; who always feels as is he could cheerfully undertake to do far more than the task that faces him; who hardly realizes the meaning of illness, and who believes that health is largely a result of will power; who enjoys every waking moment of life and who feels that his career does not give full scope to his energies–THIS IS HE WHO POSSESSES VITAL POWER!”
This comes from his book Building of Vital Power and is as true today as when it was published over 100 years ago in 1904.
Last night I was out at a show of my friends’ band in Oakland. We didn’t make it home until almost 4 in the morning. I woke up about four hours later. Now I normally sleep between 8 and 9 hours a day. Quantity and quality of sleep is a necessity especially when you train hard.
However, when some people might let the lack of sleep destroy there efforts in the day, when you have a huge reserve of vital power you can power through it without slowing down. Not only did I get up and start working, I completed my workout even surpassing my goal for the exercise.
If I kept up this behavior for days on end it would surely catch up to me, but one day of just about any sub-optimal behavior, whether eating poor foods, lack of sleep, even a night of drinking should not derail you.
But sometimes these things gets in the way of your training goals. That’s another subject I’ll be going into at the upcoming free teleseminar a week away. If you haven’t already signed up make sure you do.
If you want to make 2009 your best training year ever make sure you are on this call. I promise I’ll be well-rested and ready to deliver great hard-hitting content to you.