To my mind there are eleven pillars of ultimate health and strength. Here they are and a few questions that might start you on the road to thinking about how well your body is actually functioning.
1 – Bones
Are your bones strong? More than that are they well aligned? Do you function without pain, without problems? Do you know that your bones are radically affected by the subtle and internal energy of your body? Is that energy in tune?
2 – Tendons and Ligaments
These obviously are the connection from bones to muscle, but most people don’t think about how to train them. Maybe you do if you read this site because we talk about it frequently, but if you come from mainstream training that doesn’t really get discussed often. Are your tendons and ligaments strong? Are they in alignment? Are they not only strong but elastic enough to allow for movement, stretching and comfortable pain free existence.
3 – Muscle
Everybody knows and talks about this one but very few people talk about it in relation to health. Do you carry quite a bit of muscle? The more muscle you carry, the better your health will be in the long run within the context of maintaining power as you age and dropping your body fat to lower percentages. Beyond that do you have real strength? Do your muscles have endurance? Are they healthy? Are you carrying lots of muscular trauma? Are they both elastic as well as iron hard? And at the same time are they balanced? Is your upper/lower body front to back, side to side, muscular development balanced?
4 – The Organs
Very few strength people will talk about organ health, but in the long run that’s what drives you. You can lose some muscle, but if your heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, spleen, pancreas, etc., begin to fail – guess what? You miss out. Within that all of these things are related. The healthier your organs are the healthier your muscles will be. The healthier your muscles are, the healthier your organs will be. Are your heart and lungs strong? Do they have the ability to endure stress and create incredible power? Are your other organs in shape? Not only that, are they efficient in supporting your recovery and your physical endeavors? Beyond that how well do you take care of them in your nutrition? How stressed are you and how much does that stress your internal organs?
5 – The Mind
The stronger people are the more they begin to talk about the role of the mind in strength training as well as health, because it is intimately connected to everything you do. It is literally the driving engine for everything you do and the higher you go in your strength and health concepts the more you begin to really see that it is the driving factor more so than innate ability or genetics or anything in that line. Within that how much have you increased your knowledge? More than that – how much mental control do you have? How much concentration? How on top of the stress in your life are you? What about relaxation – can you control your mind well enough to have significant relaxation on a regular basis?
6 – Spirit
Now a lot of people won’t agree or talk about this, but I don’t think you can literally investigate the entirety of the universe and not come up with the fact that there is a higher power. What is your connection to that higher power and what do you believe is your purpose? These are key factors towards spiritual growth. Obviously I believe in Jesus Christ. If you don’t have a connection to a higher power of the universe then you simply are not a complete human being. All of these factors meld together to build a better man.
7 – The Subtle Energy of Your Body
Some would call this magnetism or the electromagnetic force of the body. The Eastern philosophy calls this, “Qi.” I know this seems like an esoteric concept and many people would be bothered by talking about it or believe that it has religious implications. I don’t believe that Qi has religious implications and that it’s easy to demonstrate. If we didn’t have an electrical field throughout the body why would you be able to restart the heart by an electrical jump? The electricity of the body even though it is very difficult to study in a scientific manner as it’s opposed to studying muscular function – it’s there and part of your life. All these things are inner related. Your muscles, the way you think about energy and the way you think about health are inner related to the buildup of electromagnetic energy in your body. If you don’t do something to help it and most people do by accident they just don’t realize it, it becomes a source of irritation rather than a source of help which it easily can be.
8 – Technique
Now what is this doing in relation to health? Listen everything that you do has a right way and wrong way to do it. Everything that you do in relation to using the health and building the body is related to having solid technique. That talks about everything you do: Body usage, strength training, etc. Learn to build your body and make it function in an efficient way.
9 – Integration
What does that mean? That really literally talks about the unification or wholeness of the entire body. This is easy to demonstrate in strength training via the compound exercise versus isolation exercise. A compound exercise is something that moves in total unification. The strongest most healthy you will ever be is when your body, mind, spirit and all the factors listed above are functioning all in one direction on one goal. That is integration.
10 – Fuel
There are four major factors really talking about fuel in that air – how clean is the air you breath? Water – How clean is the water you drink? Food – How clean, nutritionally dense, healthy and untainted is the food that you eat? Elimination – Listen you gotta take care of both ends of the body. If you’re putting it in its gotta come out and the cleaner it is the healthier you will be as far as greater physical performance.
11 – Programming
Now what in the world does that have to do with health and strength? Listen – how you put it all together relates to the total outcome of your entire training for health, longevity, strength, etc. How you build the body, how you take care of the body is intimately related to how you build your routine. The better it is the better you’ll be.
We’ll answer and talk about many of these questions as we go along through the next year and as we create products related to this, but there is an incredible amount of info that you can use easily and quickly on these types of subjects. Everybody at some point when you mature comes to a point of not just training for brute strength, but training for overall life. That’s a part of being a real man and being a stronger man and being a complete human being.
Till then make sure you check out our physical training products as we advance into even deeper physical as well as mental, spiritual concepts.