A couple weeks ago I wrote The Legendary Strength Philosophy.
As I was in my writing flow state the idea to use your body as an ally instead of an enemy came up.
This is in contrast to what so much of training is about today. Have you ever heard the quote?
I’m sure you have. I first became familiar with it as it was posted above the locker room door back in my high school football days and was a constant mantra.
On some level it make sense. You have to put in some work in order to get stronger. But does work equal pain?
Actually, pain is a signal in the body that something is wrong.
Learn to shut down that signal, by being mentally tough and giving 110%, and yes you can push yourself harder than you’ve done before.
You may not pay the price right away…but the covert thing that is happening is you’re working to shut down communication in your body.
Bet you never thought of it that way. And I don’t know about you, but that’s not something I want to do.
If something isn’t working for my body, I want a clear and strong signal.
Sure there is a difference between pain of fatigue and pain on oncoming injury but can you really tell the difference?
There are different types of pain.
- The muscles burning…
- The stress of a heavy load…
- Pain in the joints…
- A sharp pain…
- The dull achingc pain…
- The “oh sh!t something just snapped” kind of pain…
- The I’m guess I’m going to live with this forever chronic type of pain…
- A random “I have no clue what that’s about” pain that appears out of no where…
- And so on.
Some pain means you’re causing damage. Damage that you may not come right back from. Other pain may be just fine. No real problems caused.
The question I want to offer to you here is:
“Are you listening to your body’s communication, or are you shutting it down?”
You can go very far in the shutting down direction if you want to. And there is a time and a place for that.
Dr. Judd Biassota tells a story of injuring himself in a powerlifting meet. To overcome the pain he used hypnosis and anaesthetized the area. This is one of the classic phenomenon of hypnosis that can fairly easily be learned. Its been used for various forms of surgery in this way.
Without feeling the pain he proceeded to set a record for himself…and completely f**ked up his back.
An injury that took years of recovery.
Yes you can overcome your body’s signals. And hypnosis isn‘t the only way. But is it worth the price?
Seems to me the better path is to listen to your body. Treat it as a good friend, an ally.
This idea extends beyond what you do in the gym too.
Something I’m exploring in the coming months of the Strength Health Mind Power Inner Circle through the Hypnotic Visualizations is exactly this.
Opening up better channels of communication between you and your body.
An idea that I’m starting to experiment around is to not just think of the body as one thing…
But more as a collective symbiosis of many different things. Because that is what it actually is!
As an example it is commonly pointed out that you’ve got 10 times the bacteria cells in and around your body, than you do human cells. 10 trillion versus 1 trillion.
You’re 10x “not you” as you are “you.” Wrap your head around that for a second.
The bacteria cells and our cells work together like a community. When they do so emergent behavior occurs at higher levels. The cells alone can’t do the work that the liver can do, until they all come together to do become a liver.
Various ancient cultures like Chinese medicine ascribe emotions to the various organs in the body. So is it really all in your head, or is there much more going on?
Your body is CONSTANTLY communicating. Most of this is beyond your conscious awareness.
But perhaps it can become conscious.
The Hypnotic Visualization of this month is about “talking” to your organs, bringing not just awareness to them but a more powerful feeling state.
Think about it this way. If you had a friend but you never talked to him and just went about your life without so much as a hello, how would that relationship be in a couple years?
Close to non-existent.
But what if you made a conscious effort to call them up on the phone once a week, to check in with how they’re doing, and to enjoy each other’s company.
That would be a very different relation, wouldn’t it?
If your goal is health, than its all about the body. Any disease, in addition to the pain talked about, is a communication from the body. Are you listening?
Or are you popping a few pills, or thinking about cutting something out, to make it shut up?
If your goal is strength and fitness, the body is the “tool” in which you use to perform and become that. Seems to me that this “tool” should be optimized from the inside out.
These are questions worth asking.