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"Strength Is More Than Just Muscle"

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Strength Into Power

'Yeah, he's big -- but is he powerful? Can he use that extra muscle efficiently?'

Dan Inosanto, another of Lee's close friends and himself an instructor in Lee's art, adds that Lee was only interested in strength that could readily be converted to power. "I remember once Bruce and I were walking along the beach in Santa Monica, out by where the 'Dungeon' (an old-time bodybuilding gym) used to be," recalls Inosanto, "when all of a sudden this big, huge bodybuilder came walking out of the Dungeon and I said to Bruce, 'Man, look at the arms on that guy!' I'll never forget Bruce's reaction, he said 'Yeah, he's big -- but is he powerful? Can he use that extra muscle efficiently?"

So how is that strength transformed into power? Strength and power are two different elements of muscular functionality. 

Simply put, the greater the speed of your force resistance, the more power you can produce.  Or in physics terms, referring to mechanical power:

P(t) = F x V

So while power has a relation to speed, you cannot have true power without strength. Inversely, reaching the pinnacle of true strength means also having power.

Bruce Lee was powerful in many ways; the two I will outline here are two that I continue to train.

MUSCLE FIBER TYPE

The type of muscle fiber you develop has an impact on your power -- it should make sense that developing fast twitch muscle will be better for power and speed, and soft twitch muscle will be better for endurance. 

TENDON AND LIGAMENT STRENGTH

Bruce Lee was known to have "sinewy strength" -- that is, he was strong not just through his muscle strength, but also the strength of his connective tissues. Often when martial artists speak of 'internal power', it is a reference to developing the strength of one's tendons and ligmanents.

Ligament strength is a great component of power. In fact, a kangaroo can travel 100 meters in 4 seconds, not just because of the thick muscles on its legs, but also because of the strong leg tendons that absorb the landing force and propel the kangaroo forward. You cannot have true power with longevity unless you train your connective tissue.

So how do you earn that power?

"Earn" is the operative word here, because obtaining strength is a mountainous journey. You've taken the first step of that journey by arriving here, or perhaps you are well on your journey and seek a fresh perspective. Wherever you are on your journey, you will be able to earn that strength and power by having a positive mindset and the will to succeed.  

And by training isometrics. Isometric exercises are phenomenal for developing overall tendon and ligament strength, enabling you to develop your power at any size. 

Furthermore, isometric training encourages fast twitch fiber growth, and a strong mind-muscle connection, which will aid your power even more.

Having the dedication is half the journey; having the knowledge of this incredible style of exercise can help you travel the rest.

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I'm Jarell Lindsey,  and my only goal is to make you as fit as your goals require in only minutes a week.


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