What is Whole-Body-Power?
We’ve probably all heard of all body or whole-body-power. But how many of us understand what it means in practise?
I can run well for long periods of time?
I can walk for days and days without getting tired?
I can swim fast?
I can hit you hard?
I can do whatever I choose to do?
Effective Not Just Efficient
I believe whole-body-power is the whole of your body working effectively rather than just a few parts working well, but in relative isolation, to the rest of your body.
So how can you find out if you have whole-body-power? There are some simple tests that can give some clues. But to start with, let me describe three elements of whole body power that are essential for you to have it:
A strong, flexible transmission structure – if your body, or parts of it, collapse under reasonable pressure, chances are you haven’t got it. For example, try a normal push up. Stay in the up position and lift one hand and one foot off the floor. If you can hold this position for a minute or so, you have got pretty good structure. If you sit cross legged on the floor and can get up from the floor without using your hands to push off, you have good structure. If you can’t do either then your structure may not be bad, but it could probably be improved!
Multiple power generators. Muscle is the most obvious source of body power, but it is far and away not the only one. There are also: gravity, elasticity, hydraulics, and momentum. All of which you may make good use of, but are you aware of how to use them?
Strong Flexible ‘Effector’
A strong, flexible ‘effector’ – that is, whatever is in contact with the substrate around you, allows you to feel and pass on the transmitted power to or from the substrate into, or out of, your body. For example a strong flexible foot when you are walking. Or a strong flexible hand when you are pulling something.
Through the Eye of a Needle
A simple analogy for whole-body-power, might be useful. Try pushing a piece of thick cord horizontally through the eye of a large needle. If the cord is not wetted and/ or twisted to strengthen it, the power source (your fingers) can’t push the cord through: it collapses at the slightest resistance. Similarly, unless the end of the cord is the right (pointed) shape and stiffened, it will not go through the eye of the needle.
However, if you have the right shape and stiffness to the thread head, it might drop vertically through the eye. Similarly, if you attach a thin piece of cord to the thread head and pass the thin cord through the eye, you can guide the thick cord through the eye when it is horizontal, hanging or even upright.
One test of whole-body-power is endurance, because you have to have effective structure, power generation and application (as well as the vital support systems) in order to sustain any activity for a long period of time without getting tired out.
So, is the answer just keep practising until you ‘get effective’? Yes, that is one answer, and it’s actually what most people do.
But, using another analogy to illustrate the problem, what if we now look at trying to get out of the centre of a complex walk-in maze.
We will probably get out of it by trying different routes and learning where all the dead-ends are until we find the combination of routes that takes us out of the maze..
But, if I were to give you an overview map of the maze, you would probably find your way a lot quicker, and not get as frustrated and worn out in the process.
It’s the same with whole-body-power – unless you have the map, it’ll take a while!