Whether we’re talking about physical appliable pure body strength or even the mental kind, the way to attain it remains the same and ALWAYS work. If you don’t see improvements after staying true to “the way” it just means that you’re doing something wrong or you’re not trying hard enough, period.
What’s “the way” though?
Well, now I don’t want to sound like a Mandalorian but let me show you, my personal way to attain colossal strength BWAHAHA
Let’s stop with the jokes and begin with…
Gauging Your Current Limits
Having a set goal, a milestone to which you can refer to when talking about strength, can greatly aid into making the process smoother. That’s why you need to know to what extent you can push your own body & mind without causing any (permanent) damage.
In this way you’ll be able to give it your all, KNOWING that you’re not resting on laurels- and as a byproduct keeping everything challenging almost to the point of exhaustion, both psychological and physical.
Physical realm: One of the things you could do here to test your limits is to challenge your body until you’re basically on the brink of collapse. This will trigger a response which consists in muscle growth, but this is not a secret, bodybuilders have been known to do this since the age of time. An example is to be training to failure for hypertrophy.
So no matter where you are in your fitness journey, you’ll SEE progress (i.e. take squats until complete failure)
But this was an example, because by doing this you can’t actually gauge your limits completely, and it’s not an optimal (but still incredibly viable) way to build every aspect of physical strength either. This will need to include a critical thinking factor to understand where you’re at right now.
Let me show you how.
You can’t do even a single pullup? -> Strengthen your back and upper body by doing less demanding exercises WHILE STILL CHALLENGING YOURSELF TO THE UTMOST.
Can’t do even a single pushup? -> Do as many knee pushups as you can, and work your way towards the full version.
Your diet sucks? -> Change it by slowly implementing more healthy foods in your diet if you can’t “handle” all at once.
Can you see the pattern here?
What all these things have in common is one key thing:
They’re problems that can be solved.
And as such, like I’ve shown you, there’s always something you CAN do so you can advance to the next step.
The subtle Art of Fragmentation
So once you’ve recognized where you’re at with your physical strength you will need to formulate a plan, a series of steps you can take to ADAPT to your current limits, in a way that you will eventually be able to reach your next “sets of limits”.
What l want you to apply to this process is the subtle art of “fragmentation” where you basically break down what is needed from you in order to grow stronger into manageable chunks and tasks.
What, do you really think that you will grow stronger overnight because you’re training “just” your upper body? Think again, it is not JUST the upper body that is being trained (arms, shoulders, chest) these are just the major muscles.
Have you forgotten about the smaller, auxiliary muscles that help you through the motions? I figured so, they get stronger as well but you just don’t see it. You take them for granted but they’re actually being developed as well, and without them you wouldn’t be able to perform your exercises to the best.
See? another pattern here.
What I’m saying is that you cannot leave anything to chance, when there are so many details for you to take into consideration. Because it’s not just “YOU” that is getting stronger, it’s ALL OF YOU.
That’s why a scattered approach will not work. Focus on a few things at a time instead:
- Number of reps you can manage.
- Correct form.
- Range of motion.
- Heavy loads.
These are just some examples you can tap into to take ideas and inspiration, but you get what I’m saying.
Strength IS NOT LINEAR, there are multiple facets of it, that needs to be trained and analyzed to your specific needs and current limitations. Be smart about it.
Everything I’ve talked about of physical strength can of course be applied to this side of the spectrum as well.
The same repetitive, detail-oriented component works just as fine when you’re talking about mental toughness, as long as you apply it.
Afraid or anxious about (big) social interactions? -> Talk to 1 person a day (outside of your comfort zone) that is SURE to make you anxious, I don’t know, a hot girl for example.
You let your rage take over you easily? -> Be in a position in which you can “taste” small bits of rage without actually getting out of control, almost like poison immunity in which a person is constantly exposed to small amount of toxins so that his body will gradually develop the antibodies needed to contrast the toxin.
The goal here is NOT poisoning yourself during the process though, that’s harmful.
Instead, is to be able to practice in a SAFE environment to the cusp of said limit. You’ll be incredibly uncomfortable, and you’ll take hard blows, but they’ll be lightly softened so you can be ready for the real thing.
And your body and mind will slowly adapt, since humans are ADAPTING MACHINES.
Breaking Your Limits
This should be the last item on your list, since it’s one of the things you’ll face ONLY in “the end” process, close to mastery of strength.
Unlike some people that depict this in a romantic way: *Put inspirational quote about limits & motivation here* , learning to actually break your limits is real nasty work and it’s usually not what you think it is…but this is a topic for another time.
What you need to know today about this, in a way you can exploit it to your advantage, is that you can use the “limit” excuse, to keep probing and extending your overall emotional\physical strength container. And that is because in this journey you’ll be nowhere near to even be touching your limits.
So you can use this, again, as an excuse to keep that challenge (whether emotional or physical) that I was talking about, always grueling.
You see, limits are 99% of the time self-imposed. So you’re not really “breaking your limits” how it is commonly intended, you’re merely removing shackles you had on.
Breaking limits involves EVOLUTION, not casting away weights that you no longer need, which is just liberation. They’re 2 different paths you’ll eventually take.
There is just SO much to talk about strength, plateaus and how to overcome them, but I hope that with this article you’ve got that faint hint I was trying to subconsciously send to you.
If you’d like me to expand more on something specific you’ve seen here or on something similar, or this has helped you in any way, drop me a comment and share this post with your friends.