“Weakness is unnatural,” was part of a comment deleted from my page yesterday. Posted to one of my transformation photos, perhaps the poster thought he was being rough-and-tumble… Yet, it is not our design which is problematic, but rather it is this myopic attitude which castrates our development.
Weakness is very natural, but a loaded, pejorative term. Whenever you repeatedly move in a certain way, the body adapts. Even when you use perfect form, it creates an imbalance in the functional opposite movement; i.e. if you perform a specific pushing movement, you will adapt in a way that loosens to or “weakens” the specifically opposite pulling motion. If you continue to perform the same movement, without balancing it by training its exact functional opposite, you will eventually even “weaken” the trained movement itself (i.e. the pushing movement grows tighter and tighter, until it too “weakens.”)
A reframe for this adaptive mechanism, we call “Compensation” (in Circular Strength Training.) When you train a movement without (subsequently or concurrently) training its functional opposite, you create a compensation: the trained movement tightens “compensating” for the untrained movement which loosens becoming “compensated.”
Therefore, in CST we adopted a conceptual term of “Compensatory Movement” to refer to the reality that we are never starting with a “clean slate” - we are never training in a vacuum. We have a point of origin. Whenever we move or exercise, we have certain tissues which have been compensated (loosened, or weakened) and certain tissues which are compensating (tightened, or weakened.)
Compensatory Movement begins with a screening assessment to determine which tissues are loose and which are tight, from whatever occupational, recreational or lifestyle source cause. Then, we create a program of “exercise” movements based upon reactivating (strengthening) those compensated tissues, and restoring resting length to (strengthening) those compensating tissues. We ought to always re-balance what we have done, and always acknowledge our current state - or point of origin… otherwise, whenever we exercise, we may be growing stronger, but we’re also building greater dysfunction which will eventually result in first diminishing returns, then plateau, then regress, then aches, pains and eventually injuries.
Everyone is “weak” - at every moment, especially “elite athletes” as they’re only strong, for now, in the movements they have adapted to yet compensated for. Weakness is not “unnatural” at all. It’s very natural. And this process you call “weakness” - which we call “compensation” is the root adaptive mechanism for producing strength.
Our limitation is not in our design, but in our attitude. We have only to recognize the truly genius intelligence of our evolutionary potential.
Give me weakness. And I will make it my greatest strength.