For performance gains the nervous system is the key

Oftentimes the nervous system, not the muscular apparatus is the limiting factor in force production. Tsatsouline stated that "Your muscles already have the strength to lift a car, they _ just don't know it yet" (Tsatsouline, 2000). I agree with that statement and feel that it's a good image to help understand the potential improvement in force production by developing the nervous system.

Let us use Tsatsouline's example. Feats of strength by apparent weaklings are common. Just think of the frail middle-aged women who suddenly possess superhuman strength when her child gets trapped under an automobile or another heavy apparatus. There are many documented cases in which the woman was actually able to lift the car off the ground to free her child. A feat that she could not repeat in a million years under normal circumstances. Sure her strength was potentiated by adrenaline and other hormones, but the muscles that lifted the car were the same she already had, new muscles didn't blossom out of nowhere to help her lift the car! The stress and extreme stimulation from the situation simply improved her capacity to produce force with the muscles she already had! Neurotransmission was improved, protective mechanisms were shutdown, sensory feedback was ignored ... All of this made her able to work to her full potential, something that we don't come remotely close to doing under regular circumstances.

By now it should be clear to you that the limit in force production lies in the nervous system. The greater the proportion of his strength potential an athlete can use is, the better he'll be. The difference between absolute strength (the full potential for strength production) and limit strength (the actual maximum strength that an individual can voluntarily produce) is termed the strength deficit.

Absolute strength - Limit strength = Strength deficit

Absolute strength - Limit strength = Strength deficit

In chapter 3 I will present one way of estimating an athlete's strength deficit using the squat and bench press.

Turbo Charged Fitness With The Tabata System

Turbo Charged Fitness With The Tabata System

The Tabata workout system is a version of the High Intensity Interval Training program developed by Professor Izumi Tabata as training for Olympic speed skaters in 1996. The results studies conducted on the training program confirm that even a four minute cardiovascular exercise routine improves a persons level of fitness.

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