The display of maximal strength is one of the most captivating and visually inspiring feats of human movement. The ability to demonstrate, without question, that you possess the greatest amount of strength is an awesome achievement. But what is strength and what is our limit of producing it?
Research has categorized our limitations on strength and broken these limitations into three widely accepted factors:
- Muscle potential
- The use of that potential
Muscle potential is simply the sum of forces all the muscles perform in a movement. Believe it or not the potential for strength production is 2.5 to 3 times greater then current weightlifting/powerlifting accomplishments. It has been demonstrated that human capacity for strength is somewhere around 800 kilograms, that’s nearly 1800 lbs. Perhaps the most dominant factor, muscle potential is limited by our bodies ability to use lots of muscle fiber in a coordinated fashion. This takes multiple exposures to “lifts” and obviously exposure to “heavy” loads.
The use of muscle potential and the technique in which we perform movements are co-limiting factors and are closely linked. For example, if you are novice to a particular movement, it’s safe to say that you are probably not going to be very “strong” at it. Similarly, if spend all day lifting weight off the ground, and never attempt to push weight over head, its safe to assume that your overhead “strength” will be hampered by lack of specific training in that range of motion. Translation – to maximize your body’s comfort with performing heavy lifts, you’ve got to be doing the right lifts and you got to be doing them with proper form.
If these elements are all pulled together correctly the outcome will be improvements in a multitude of different areas:
- Specific strength – strength of only those muscles that are particular to the movement required
- Maximum strength – highest force the neuromuscular system can perform during a maximum voluntary contraction
- Muscular endurance – the muscle’s ability to sustain work for a prolonged time.
- Power – strength and speed couple together, the ability to perform force is the shortest time.
- Absolute strength – the ability to perform maximum strength regardless of body weight
- Relative strength – the ratio between an athlete’s absolute strength and their body weight.
The aim of this post is to shed some light on the emphasis of strength training in our programming. Strength is one of the few absolute elements of our training that directly correlates with improve performance. Improved performance will lead to a number of health improvements – the whole reason you all got into this CrossFit business, Right?
B. jackie for time
(50) thrusters @45 [for both men/women]