Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Beyond Nautilus Principles Into the 21st Century

 Far more important than high intensity exercise, is full range movement -- which seems to correlate with age as well as condition.  As a lifelong observer and student of movement, the greatest difference has always been obviously the range of movement the most capable exhibit (flaunt), and the lack of range in those who are least capable and fit.  That seems to be true for every movement and activity.  Those who are most prolific, have a far greater range of expression and articulation than those who have a limited range done harder.  I would even go so far as to say that the range of movement implies all else.

This is important because this is the least discussed and understood aspect of most "exercise" activities.  This is the qualitative aspect of movement -- which makes it productive or not.  Even among the former greats, the diminishing range of movement, is what makes those exercises unproductive -- more than all the other factors usually discussed -- about how it is impossible to do a full range movement anymore, and so one settles for a very limited range of movement -- while lamenting that they no longer get the same results as when they used to do a fuller range movement -- even with minimal resistance.

Instead, they load up the resistance to as much as they can, while doing very little with it -- and certainly not getting any desirable results, because it doesn't matter how much resistance they apply, if the movement itself is minimal.  In every case, the fullest range of movement (articulation) with minimal resistance that allows it, is self-evident indication that the joint is in optimal functioning condition -- because any full range movement, will require the muscle change from fullest relaxation to fullest contraction, and that change, produces the flow that produces the greatest health in every cell, tissue, organ of the body -- and that lack of flow, is what causes it to stagnate and die.

And rather than that being automatic, is the major rationale for exercise being a healthful, productive activity.  But most are focused on the wrong things -- as the most important measures for producing and sustaining health, and that is evident in their very performance (movement) of an exercise.  Invariably, the lack of range is explained away by an injury (weakness) that limits that range -- particularly if the resistance is too great to allow movement in safety.  But those focused on the wrong things, will maintain the weight, but further reduce the range -- to the point that it is no longer a productive activity.  And that is what most people do -- and as the years go by -- note that their range of movement(s) is further circumscribed -- because that was never regarded as the priority above all other considerations.

If one can lift their leg backwards and touch their foot to their head -- more weight (resistance) is not required to make it a better movement, and in fact, adding more resistance (weight) to the leg, will NOT make that movement MORE possible.  The range of that movement provides its own resistance to doing so.  Conversely, there is no weight light enough that will make such a movement possible for most people.  But obviously and undeniably, such a movement is possible for some people, and to a far lesser extent, everybody else.

For this, we don't need to correlate it to some other measure of predictability -- other than the actual performance of it.  One can or one can't.  Most of real life is like that -- self-evident truth -- and not the reliance on something else to prove it is true.  In fact, it can be argued that it can't be done -- and we should not believe our own lying eyes, but rely on the "experts" -- to tell us what is true.  There are many people who think this way -- that what is true, is what the experts say, and not that it can be demonstrated otherwise.  They may even insist that the demonstration of such facts, are prohibited by consensus -- that it can never be done -- and that will be the new history of the world going forward.

So in that way, nothing new can ever be discovered or created, and the parameters of expression and achievement, grows narrower and more exclusive of anything but the one predetermined ideal.  Instead, what we witness is the explosion of undesirable results as obesity and metabolic syndromes -- as people get into worse conditions and health -- rendering them susceptible to even more diseases, especially over a longer span of vulnerability.

However, there will always be a few -- who get better despite all the prohibitions against it.  Those people test the limits to see what is truly possible -- and not what the consensus of experts (Pharisees) say it is, and the Scribes repeat it endlessly.  The highest intensity of any muscular contraction begins where most think further  movement is not possible.  That key concept is the most overlooked of all the Nautilus principles -- that the fullest range, is not what most people think it is.  And that is particularly so in the direction of fullest contraction.  Most people on hearing the need for this, willingly extend the range in the relaxed position while neglecting to extend the range in the fully contracted position.

That is to say that using the bench press as an example -- the position at which most begin the lifted position on downwards -- to maximize the contraction, they would begin to push up further in the other direction -- producing such a powerful contraction, that there is a real danger of cramping and muscle failure -- so that one is fearful of doing a movement in that way because of the very possibility of losing total control and having the bar crash into the trainee.  For that reason, one would design a machine that would eliminate that danger and possibility -- but most people do not extend the range of movement in the direction of fuller contraction, but may extend the range of movement in the relaxed position -- because it is easier and more convenient to do so.  That misses the whole point.

The really productive part of the movement, is extending the range in the contracted position -- because that contraction, is also a compression -- which for health purposes, pushes the fluids back towards the heart -- which is the weakness of most bodies to generate that healthful flow.  In many people, that results in edema and lymphedema, or the swelling of the body tissues -- which compression in its many variations is the solution -- especially in exercise or movements producing a very definitive muscle contraction-relaxation phase, which is the principle of fluid dynamics upon which the body works and maintains its viability.

Exercise, compression clothing, massage, pharmaceuticals that do this -- make the body healthier by removing the toxins that build up as the normal processes of cell functioning -- and merely getting the heart to work harder is not going to make a difference, but will certainly strain and enlarge the heart.  Instead, what is needed, is to force the skeletal muscles to contract from the extremities -- which compresses the fluids back towards the heart and other purifying and recycling organs, and when those tissues are evacuated, there is room for new blood and nutrients to enter -- but not before then.

That is the flawed understanding of exercise as we know it.  You cannot fill a cup that is already full.  You must first empty it -- for it to have any meaning and impact.  Simply making the heart work endlessly and tirelessly harder, is why most of the extreme athletes are dying prematurely of heart failures.  That should be way obvious -- and the solution to that, is not to find ways of making the heart work even harder, but to understand the proper relationship and dynamics of flow.  Then everything one does will become productive, healthful, and enjoyable as well because everything will make sense -- rather than forcing the body to do what it knows is better not to, on the penalty of premature injury, disability and death.

That's what inevitably happens to all the older bodybuilders.  You start off with a light weight and make the exercise harder by contracting more intensely by extending the range of movement in the contractile phase (exhaustion) -- rather than starting with a heavy weight and then unloading the barbell as the muscle fails to contract even minimally.  In the latter, the only ones who do most of the work are the "spotters" -- removing the weights, to make it seem like one is exercising intensely.  It's far more effective to make a light weight heavy, than to make a heavy weight light.  Why would one do otherwise?

This is the 21st Century.  Only in this way can one continue to train productively all the days of their extended lives -- while attaining and retaining maximum range of movements.  "Nothing else is possible."