Monday, July 21, 2008

Twenty Years Ago Today -- Understanding Conditioning

Twenty years ago today, seeking to confirm definitively that Nautilus principles indeed were the last word in exercise, I discovered instead, that the prescribed practice of working each muscle in isolation to attain its maximum range of relaxation and contraction was NOT possible in ISOLATION -- but rather, the body was designed and evolved to work holistically and synergistically -- and that such movements and proficiencies developed in isolation, was totally meaningless -- except to condition the muscles to work against each other, which would never happen in any real life activity or effort.

The body would naturally choose to use every resource available to accomplish its objective -- instead of handicapping itself in this way. And so such conditioning was instead counterproductive -- and even harmful, as it disrupted the natural efficiency, effectiveness and wisdom of the body. One doesn't need to teach breathing apart from an integrated effort, or integral to the effort. One would always throw a shotput on the exhalation -- and never on an inhalation; one would always lift a weight on an exhalation, and never on an inhalation -- so breathing didn't and shouldn't be taught as another effort apart from the central task. You don't breathe and lift the weight, but lifting the weight causes breathing -- because of the integrated natural contraction and relaxation of the other muscles of the torso, and not just the isolated action of the diaphragm -- as thought in the isolated observation of the process.

It was thought that in breathing, the diaphragm moved up -- rather than in the whole picture, that all the other muscles move downward against it -- which is the alteration of the chest volume that houses the lungs. The change of this volume affects the pressure inside the lungs -- which produces the movement of air in and out of the body -- rather than the conscious effort to. Previously, most of the effort involved in breathing was therefore concerned with the inhalation, rather than the exhalation, wich when done completely creates space for fresh air to enter -- which it cannot do if the lungs remain inflated, or are never fully compressed.

Thus the understanding of air movement, led to the realization that fluids also moved by this differing in pressure -- as a principle of (understanding) physics, and that the weakness of the circulatory system was not at the heart but rather at the extremities, where such contractions mimicking the heart in a full contraction alternated with a full relaxation, increased the flow back to the heart, which the heart has no effect in. That was the flaw in focusing the effectiveness of exercise (circulation) at the heart -- which is always working and so the objective of getting the heart to work is not the problem or limitation in most people.

But just a few deliberate articulations requiring no more than five minutes each day upon awakening, is sufficient to condition the muscles to move optimally in all the normal movements one will make throughout the day -- and thus the need for heavy and intrusive workloads other than normal efforts, are unnecessary for those merely wishing to attain optimal functioning each day -- and look and act like they do.

The video, Understanding Conditioning, was a fairly typical presentation of these concepts presented to athletes, researchers, health professionals, students who were seeking a simple understanding, of why their present fitness routines and concerns did not deliver the benefits they sought -- and realizing what would make perfectly good sense and deliver very easily and immediately, those outcomes they were seeking exhaustively without success.

This, an the accompanying Investing in the 21st Century discussion to understanding personal finance in terms virtually everybody can understand and could use, frequently are recognized as landmark broadcasts, as what public access television can be -- a treasury of timeless useful information, rather than just the infomercial of the day.


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