The cult of muscle.
That is the strength and fitness world that we live in.
Few people give any recognition to other bodily tissues that play a role, such as the tendons.
Yet, these other tissues are KEY, if you want to be strong.
In January’s Strength Health Mind Power Inner Circle newsletter, which goes to print soon, I dove into isometric training.
One of the biggest oldtime strongman proponents of this training was Alexander Zass — also known as the Amazing Samson (also the Iron Samson).
So, I was perusing through the books about it, and found this quote from William Pullum discussing why isometric training builds crazy strength:
“The keystone of the Samson system is the development of the strength of the tendons – the connecting link between bone and muscle. As anyone the least bit familiar with anatomy knows, the various movements of which the body is capable are simply the result of muscular contractions acting on the bones of the skeleton. If the connection between bone and muscle is weak or undeveloped, then, obviously, the maximum amount of power which the muscle contains cannot be effectively transmitted. In other words, strong tendons spell full physical power; weak tendons spell less. The theory is not a new one! Arthur Saxon always claimed that a strong man’s first consideration should be the development of his tendons, the cult of muscle only being an item of secondary importance.”
Yes, muscles are important, but not as important as what most people think.
Tendons are where it’s at.
(Also ligaments, bones, joints, fascia, nervous system are all important too!)
Understand what Pullum is saying, what Zass could do, and you’ll be on the path to becoming strong.
Want more? Borrowing ideas from Zass, Hoffman, Bud Jeffries, and more, as well as my personal experience, the new All About Isometrics newsletter is densely packed with isometric training info. If you’re not yet a member, you can sign up here.
Hello, I want to ask you a question. I know that power is primarily determined by the nervous system, but to reach the limit, exercise your muscles as well. So, what I want to ask is, in order to maximize the power, how much time do I exercise the nervous system in a year, and how much time do I have to build muscle?
You want to spend 203.7 days on the nervous system and the rest on muscle.
But honestly I cannot give you an answer. It depends on you. It depends on what exercises you’re speaking about in maximizing power. It depends on what you think exercising for the nervous system and for muscle is. Plus exercising the nervous system and building muscle can go hand and hand. Plus feedback is involved, so even if we came up with a year plan…it would be obsolete one month in depending on how it was being carried out.