Friday, June 10, 2011

The New Vital Signs of Life and Health (A Critique)

There comes a time when people realize that no matter how hard they train, the body is not as responsive as it was when they were in their youthful "growth years" -- no matter how hard they train. And in fact, they notice they no longer have that same recovery ability that enabled them to build up after tearing down their muscle tissue, which is the natural process of releasing energy.

Many at that stage in their lives, even notice that training seems to result in more injuries than gains -- which is usually an indication in even world-class athletes, that they have to wind down their careers, because training intensely as they used to, not only doesn't result in gains anymore but more often than not produces (aggravates) injuries they can no longer recover from -- and so many just stop (exercising) completely, because going all-out, is the only way they've been "conditioned" to think and train -- and so many spiral into extremely poor health from there.

I actually was one of the pioneers of "high intensity training" (HIT), being one of the first to adopt the Nautilus training principles as learned from Arthur Jones himself -- when everybody who was anybody in the weightlifting/bodybuilding world, congregated in York, Pennsylvania in the summer of 1970 -- when he introduced them to a hostile and resistive crowd of Mr. Universes, coaches, etc.

But in the mid-80s (at the height of their popularity), I started to question not only the conventional wisdom of training but even the supposed superiority of the Nautilus principles that then became the basis for "sports medicine," because I realized that no matter how intensely and full-range one attempts to work a muscle in isolation -- a muscle in isolation, cannot be fully contracted because it is dependent on the muscular state of its underlying supporting muscle -- of which it is contracting towards. That is to say, that as a muscle contracts from its insertion to its origin, it then "fires" the insertion of its anchoring/attached muscle -- which makes the most effective as well as efficient muscle contraction, one that begins from the furthest muscle (insertion) from the body, so that instead of having to work 600-800 individual muscles, and create exercises for each one (or machines for them), if one begins the contraction at the extremities of the head, hands and feet -- it causes a chain reaction of muscular contractions -- back to the origin of all the muscular structures, which is at or next to the heart. That is the genius of the neuromuscular, cardiovascular development -- to pump the blood back to the heart, which is the weakness of the human body and condition.

In most people, the heart is the only muscle that is in the proper condition because it always contracts fully 50-100 times a minute, while the many other voluntary muscles may not contract fully even once a day, and so even 50-100 times would represent a huge increment of difference, and effect.

In studying the pictures accompanying your article, what is striking to me, is that while the more visually striking core muscles of the body are still obvious, there is no muscular development and articulation at the head, hands and feet -- which would require the bending of the fist 90 degrees. (Or head turning 90 degrees to the left or right.) You will notice that in producing that movement alone, brings out a peak muscularity (contraction) -- even if nothing else moves, because that range of movement by itself, is the muscular contraction -- and not the resistance, or for that matter, an increase in heart rate -- producing a greater flow to those areas even with the most strenuous efforts. The heart is relying on the contractions from the extremities, to optimize the circulatory effect because it cannot be done by the heart alone -- since it has no effect on the flow back to the heart.

Muscular contractions of this sort place very little drain on the recovery ability of the body, while intensity is achieved for a brief moment -- at peak contraction -- obtainable in no other fashion. Most machines and exercises increase the range of movement in the wrong direction -- towards the elongation (relaxation) -- rather than increasing the range towards the fullest contraction, which always begins and requires a movement at the furthest extremity of the body towards the center.

It is at these extremities that the circulation is the poorest and the areas prone to disintegration -- as in arthritis, diabetes, congestive heart failure, dementias and other brain (mental/cognitive) dysfunctions -- that further cause the break down in the rest of the body. That is also why typically, one can tell the age of a person most easily by the aging (deterioration) that occurs at the head (face and neck), hands and feet -- that most people are not aware of because they think there is nothing that can be done there, when in fact, that should be the focus of the new health paradigm -- in which people don't show those signs of aging -- which implies the health of everything else in between. As Arthur Jones would say, "Nothing else is possible."


At June 13, 2011 7:59 PM, Blogger kl said...

hi mike, am thinking of trying sam-e.
have you heard of it?

At June 14, 2011 5:54 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

I've never tried it but have heard of it -- used for the same reasons people resort to medical marijuana -- mood elevation and pain relief.

The reason I haven't tried it is that it is usually one of the more expensive nutraceuticals -- often over $1 a tablet, which is starting to get up into the realm of brand-name prescription drugs.

You don't say what you'd be taking it for -- but if you've researched the subject pretty well, and you have its classic symptoms and indications, you might give a 30 day supply a shot -- and see if you get immediate great results.

I'm a firm believer that if something works, it works immediately -- like aspirin on a headache, Pepto-Bismol on an upset stomach -- and not only after 60 days.

That's also my advice on whether an exercise program works or not. You get results immediately, and not only after half a year of "personal training." If a person knows what they are talking about -- the transformation begins immediately, and not only after 6 months, and only detectable with precision instruments under laboratory conditions.

And if things don't work, more time, energy, and money, is not going to make a difference -- especially if one has a nutritional deficiency.

Roger J. Williams at the University of Texas pioneered the work on individual biochemical diversity -- that individual tolerances vary so greatly that "one man's meat is another man's poison," so that the only way one knows definitively that it works for them (or not), is actually to run the experiment themselves -- rather than rely on the generalized experience, because one could well be the exception. And if that is the case, that is the fact, no matter what the average response is.

That's particularly true with mood enhancers -- because if it makes you think you feel better, then it is working. So you should keep a journal during your own trial experiment -- or you will have difficulty differentiating the marketing propaganda, from your actual own experience.

There's a lot of bad freelance pseudo-medical/scientific articles that make it into the mainstream media because the editors have even less competency to judge because they proudly took no science or mathematic courses because because their "liberal arts" major did not require it.

Their course of instruction lay mainly in repeating what they believe the duly-certified authorities say -- with no idea of how to determine the truth of any matter for themselves, which of course, is the scientific method -- rather than the mere scientism of the currently fashionable "politically correct" -- that they are real suckers for, which confirms their belief and world view, that nothing can ever work, and one cannot tell the difference -- and those who do, are the charlatans.


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