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Power Fueled by Emotions

What keeps bodybuilders and powerlifters interested in training for years on end? Mainstream opinion is that bodybuilders are too absorbed in personal appearances, while powerlifters are too preoccupied with feats of merciless strength. Some clinicians suggest they are prone to body dysmorphia and obsessive compulsive disorders; most recently suggesting a psychiatric condition called reverse anorexia. Building the body’s muscular systems is an obsessive and habitual endeavor dependent on continuous progression. In many ways, it’s analogous to the emotional energy an entrepreneur feels when motivated by a budding business plan. Resistance training is an emotional conduit that gives participants a means to vent a lifetime of stress as motivational fuel for extreme fitness goals.

Emotions are not restricted to teenager’s facing puberty. Emotional energy exists as a vital force to every human organism. Throughout a lifetime, emotional energy is a constant presence influencing responses to changing environments – ranging from fear and anger to confidence and tranquility. Emotional charges are always rampant and require some sort of ventilation during heightened states. Leaving this energy trapped is detrimental to overall wellness. The way humans think, feel and express emotions can either promote or destroy their health, to include curing or encouraging disease. Powering resistance training sessions with intense emotional eruptions improves mental and physical health, as well as personal records in limit strength.

In the human body, stressful experiences feed emotional energy. A person may struggle lifting 100 pounds, but pull quickly when the load is dropped on their toes. The first law of thermodynamics states that energy will always remain constant; it cannot be created nor destroyed. It can only change forms within an isolated system. Traumatic events spawn an abundance of fenced in emotions that could unfold as kinetic energy at unfavorable moments. The mind is not capable of holding an infinite emotional charge. Eventually, extreme emotional intensities left untapped may lead to lost jobs and relationships, hurt feelings and broken noses.

Strength training is an opportunity to redirect emotional outbreaks, in order to benefit from the moments of enhanced physiological arousal. Impressive powerlifters accomplish record-breaking lifts by releasing tremendous courage during competition. They learn to fuel muscular contractions with extreme emotional intensities on demand. Ergogenics are often used to artificially heighten motivation – such as stimulants and steroids – but an athlete will always fail to reach their full potential without harnessing an emotional attachment to exceed previous fitness levels.

Developing an emotional desire to beat peers produces winners. Many of the world’s greatest athletes strived to become champions in order to provide a better life for their families – expecting fortune to follow fame. While their emotional energy stems from love, others may cultivate it from hate. People are easily aroused after experiencing harassment, discrimination, torn friendships, employment problems and financial losses. No matter where the spiked emotional intensity originates, properly ventilating during training leads to newfound territories in performance. Throughout time, from accomplished artists to sports’ legends, mankind’s greatest triumphs resulted from harnessing and unleashing the power of intense emotional energy.

Top 10 signs New Year resolutions have hit your gym

10. Endless sit-ups
Many New Year trainees erroneously believe sit-ups will target excess abdominal fat – zapping away unwanted deposits like a game of Space Invaders. Despite their modest efforts, while hording sit-up benches for hours, continuing to overeat will always retain the holiday chub.

9. Invisible Lat Syndrome
New Year trainees are at risk for Invisible Lat Syndrome, a deformity that limits an individual’s ability to hang their arms perpendicular to the floor. An unseen latissimus dorsi of gigantic proportions limits upper-arm mobility and often infects individuals with egos that far exceed actual muscular development.

8. Protesting the use of multiple benches
Training with giant sets or “running the rack” aggravates some people – as if the brief moment of extreme intensity leaves them feeling inferior. Despite their complaints over equipment use, they readily sit on a bench while carelessly going from one set to another with no urgency. Ironically, they require 45 minutes to complete three sets of a single movement, while the high-intensity set consumes only a moment.

7. Blind leading the blind
A new trainee helping other new trainees can be a disaster in the making – not only unproductive but potentially dangerous. Before adopting training advice as gospel, consider your source!

6. Grunting!
Before the advent of the spoken language, prehistoric man grunted proudly after respectable feats of courage. Modern man sometimes reverts to this primitive attention-seeking behavior when first embarking on a progressive strength-training program – by resisting the temptation to breath, for a teeth-shattering growl. By all means, breathe!

5. Twenty-set biceps
New gym-goers often feel smashing each arm into pieces of charred flesh is a requirement for sleeve-splitting dimensions. Often lasting an hour or more, the training volume leads to performance inroads that even an advanced athlete would struggle to recover from. Lack of fundamentals, coupled with inadequate nutrition and rest, eventually results in another year of inactivity.

4. Forced reps and spotters
A bench press often presents frustrating territory for individuals new to resistance training. Instead of surrendering to a 135-pound bench press, they recruit the assistance of a “spotter” to hammer out 225 for repetitions. They routinely fail to apply continuous and adequate tension, resulting in a diminished training effect.

3. “What do you take?”
New trainees are infamous for magic-pill questions. They don’t care about training theories or nutritional advice – they’d readily take on a hefty dose of gamma radiation for hulk-like muscles. Sadly, they refuse to spend a dollar on a training log.

2. Horrible form
Many things in life come with an operator’s manual; unfortunately, nobody receives a personalized set of instructions at birth. Many inexperienced trainees subject themselves to movements defying basic muscle mechanics. They allow an instinctive alarm reaction to override effective exercise execution. Injury risks are compounded by a lack of training knowledge and discipline.

1. The “I used to…” crew
Describing how much you used to bench does not qualify as chest training. Put up or shut up.


Power is the capacity to bring about change. In society, powerful people influence populations through dynamic dialogue and confident communication. In general physics terms, powerful objects have a high capacity to transfer energy, or an average amount of work done per unit of time. Powerlifting is a sport of attempting great feats of limit and relative strength, in order to surpass previous performance records in major lifts. Bodybuilding is the application of training sciences to enhance musculature through tension and improve physical appearance. Although bodybuilders often dismiss any need to train like a powerlifter, the underlying concepts must not be ignored when attempting to maximize muscular proportions. Powerbuilding maximizes muscle size by training the human body to evolve into a more powerful entity.

Many successful bodybuilders developed their physique’s foundation as powerlifters. Bodybuilding is about aesthetics – you don’t have to be strong, you just have to look it. Powerlifting is functional – you don’t have to be big or defined but you must outperform others. Ronnie Coleman is well known for his feats of strength, while reigning as an eight-time winner of the International Federation of Bodybuilders’ top title. Due to his enormous build and unbeatable winning streak in IFBB events, many suggest Coleman is the best bodybuilder ever. In his training video, “The Cost of Redemption,” he demonstrates massive power output by bench pressing 495 pounds for multiple reps, 160-pound dumbbell shoulder presses and over 2,250-pound leg presses! While under a restrictive pre-contest diet, and less than six weeks out from a Mr. Olympia competition, Coleman completed an 800-pound deadlift for two repetitions.

After preliminary adaptations to consistent resistance training have occurred – enhanced motor control, matured connective tissue, mental motivation – evolving toward greater power output becomes an important aspect of a bodybuilding program’s design. The power and size of an eight-cylinder engine runs circles around a feeble four-cylinder. Constantly pushing the smaller engine to its performance limits will never cause it to develop the characteristics of the larger engine – eventually, it will fold to the pressure. On the other hand, the human body is organic in composition with a highly adaptable ability to cope with stress for survival. When pushed to its limits, performance inroads can rebound with an overcompensation effect, as long as a trainee applies proper recovery techniques.

In measuring mechanical power, work is equal to the force acting on an object, times its displacement (how far an object moves while the force acts on it). In strength training, work can be interpreted as the intensity and volume of effort applied against a load. The magnitude of a strength athlete’s force-producing potential is easily measured by identifying progression indicators during a session; such as: loads, repetitions, sets and time to completion.

To build power, force and resistance must be understood. A well trained athlete will not become more powerful by repeatedly lifting an empty bucket. The force required to move the object is nominal since the resistance of its weight and gravitational pull is insignificant when compared to their physical potential. However, things change by filling the bucket with cement. At that point, the force needed to face the resistance becomes sufficient enough to train. As the body adapts to imposed demands, the work must increase to exceed fitness thresholds – to become stronger and more muscular. The force acting on resistance can increase by: training with heavier loads; moving the same load though more repetitions and sets; increasing time under tension and range of motion; or completing the same work in less time.

Documenting efforts in a training log will help identify current fitness thresholds and suggest a means for surpassing them. If a training session involved pushing 100 pounds, 10 times for two sets in five minutes, this would add up to 2,000 pounds pushed in five minutes – or 400 pounds per minute. The next session could strive to obtain 105 pounds, 10 times for two sets in five minutes – or 420 pounds per minute. A tragedy in power production would occur if the heavier load was used but the total time to completion increased to six minutes. In this context, the trainee would have pushed 350 pounds per minute – a ten-percent performance drop, despite the heavier load, by considering time as a progression variable.

Powerbuilding involves much more thought than simply moving a load through space. Proper exercise prescription for advanced bodybuilders includes a focus on exceeding power output over multiple training sessions. To facilitate this, trainees and coaches must record and interpret numbers for the greatest return. When a performance curve drops or becomes stagnant, elements within the program must change (volume, intensity, nutrition, rest). Powerbuilding is a process of building muscle by increasing the amount of work a human body can produce in a given amount of time.

Measuring Power

Example: power index improves by over 25 percent through six sessions.

  1. 100 pounds, 10 times for two sets in five minutes; 400 pounds/min.
  2. 105 pounds, 10 times for two sets in six minutes; 350 pounds/min.
  3. 105 pounds, 10 times for two sets in five minutes; 420 pounds/min.
  4. 135 pounds, 5 times for two sets in three minutes; 450 pounds/min.
  5. 115 pounds, 10 times for two sets in five minutes; 460 pounds/min.
  6. 135 pounds, 8 times for two sets in four minutes; 540 pounds/min.