Kime

On Sunday, February 16th, 2014, we will be having a StrongFirst Seminar.  There is a focus on kettlebells, but it is really about techniques that can utilize all the strength you have now.  It is based on the ‘Kime’ technique, which is an all-out effort during every repetition. Each rep employs high acceleration in the quick lifts (swings,snatches) and high tension in slow lifts (presses, squats)  followed by relaxation. Kime is a Japanese martial arts term that means “power” and/or “focus,” describing the instantaneous tensing at the correct moment during a technique. Kime is about strength and the duality of relaxation and tension. Tension and relaxation are the two sides of the performance coin. Tension is strength and power. Relaxation is speed, endurance, and flexibility. Many sports and unexpected life situations demand both. An expert 400 sprinter is relaxed and loose at in the starting blocks, however at the moment the starting gun fires, the sprinter tenses with maximal force exploding from the blocks and his speed is backed up with power and mass. As the sprinters initial ATP and Phospho-Creatine stores diminish after about 6 to 10 seconds, he must remain calm and relaxed, utilizing his energy and power to its finest extent. Kime aims to maximize both extremes, tension/strength and relaxation/speed.  Slow strength lifts (press, squat) are performed with dynamic tension as muscles generate force by tensing. Tension = force. The tenser the muscles are, the more force is produced. Kime teaches how to get stronger by contracting the muscles harder. At the same time, Kime practices relaxation. Mastery of relaxation is a hallmark of an elite athlete. It is known that the higher the athletes level, the quicker he can relax his muscles. The ballistic loading of the kettlebell swing creates an alternating cycle of muscular tension and relaxation ,the inability to relax the muscles creates too much tension for high speed movement. Hardstyle relies on a rapid-fire sequence of high tensions and relaxation. “Tense-loose-tense”. Register for this StrongFirst course via this link: https://www.regonline.com/Register/Checkin.aspx?EventID=1443191 by February 10th to give time for manuals to be shipped. Blog Post By Craig...

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Overspeed Eccentrics

Eccentric exercise is when the muscle is in the actively lengthened; concentric exercise is when the muscle is actively shortened. An example would be during a bicep curl, the up motion is the concentric part of the exercise, the downward motion is the eccentric.  Eccentrics are sometimes call active ‘negatives.’ Overspeed Eccentrics Powerlifting coach Louie Simmons (2001, 2007; of Westside Barbell) came up with a system of stressing the eccentric system with chains and bands.  This type of resistance was eventually called overspeed eccentrics (or as Louie Simmons called it “shock training with weights”). To take advantage of eccentric training for maximum strength gains in lifting exercises you should use the eccentric/yielding portion to accumulate kinetic energy that you will transform into elastic energy, reflex energy, and ultimately greater force production in the overcoming portion of the lift. The ‘overspeed eccentrics’ technique results in an accumulation of kinetic energy that results in greater force production and elastic energy (Thibaudeau & Schwartz, 2007). Farthing and Chilibeck (2003) explain that training programs that utilize eccentric contractions at fast velocities remove neural inhibition, serving as a mechanism for injury protection. In order to protect the muscle from being over stretched, the message that the muscles are being lengthened is sent to the spinal cord by way of a one synaptic junction, which causes the spinal cord to act on this information, by contracting the muscle that is being stretched and inhibiting the contraction of the antagonist muscles, bypassing sending the message to the brain (known as the ‘stretch reflex’). Taking advantage of the elasticity of the muscle and the stretch reflex is referred to as the stretch-shorten cycle, and it has been shown that the faster the muscle is stretched eccentrically, the greater the force will be on the following concentric contraction. A perfect example of a body weight exercise would be bounding box jumps. As the person drops off the box, the eccentric contraction is what stops us from crashing into the floor. If we immediately bound back up on the box, we use that sensory inhibition to benefit our jump. Notes on when to perform overspeed eccentrics In general, overspeed eccentrics should be used in athletes who want to develop power (applying force quickly to a weight). For example, these...

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