Instantly stronger with feed forward tension

By | April 15, 2017

I picked up on this technique from Pavel Tsatsouline’s Power to the People. Basically, you do the exercise without any weights and control the degree of muscular activation. By that I mean degree and quantity.

For example, the barbell military press. You consider your foot position, your posture, your shoulder positioning, you’re driving your elbows into your lats packing your shoulders and then pressing up, flexing your muscles and keeping your body tight, as though supporting a heavy weight.

You’re training your nervous system to employ more muscles than the feedback it is receiving. You’re teaching yourself how to contract more muscles and more skillfully in whatever movement you practice.

The other day I did single arm press 2×2, pull up 2×2, one arm push up 2×2, and then some pretty intense hip stretching earlier in the day. Outside in the grass…warm sunny day. It was great.

Today I was at the airport and I felt like a machine. I felt like how Steve Justa describes how you feel in isometrics. Earlier in the day I backed the car out of the garage to warm it up a bit and on my way in threw a sidekick at about my chin height without any kind of warm up whatsoever.

That feeling is a combination of things but I feel somehow “activated” by doing the feed forward tension. I get the same feeling from the dynamic stretching.

Author: Justin Qualler

Justin Qualler is that rare animal who balances an active life—he's both a full-time technical writer and devoted family man—with a level of fitness that takes a back seat to none. Justin's convinced that everyone can make optimal health and strength a default setting in their life.