Dec 18 2017 0 Comments
Applying the Physics Principles to TrainingWe make sense of the world and universe through physics. Without physics we would be unable to understand gravity, we would be unable to fly a plane, build a bridge, build a computer and so on. Quite literally, we can't do anything without physics (at least anything important). Training is no different, if you want to get the most out of your training and understand why your body works in certain ways, you have to be able to understand simple physics. Over the course of this blog we will look into 3 scenarios where physics can be manipulated so you can get the most out of your training.
Force = Mass*Acceleration
This is one of the most important lessons we can apply to our training. The force you create is directly proportional to the mass of the object you lift and how quickly you are able to lift that object. When we train we want to be able to generate as much force as possible, especially if we are training for a sport or other physically intense activity. In order to become force-producing machines, I'm talking Marshawn Lynch Beast Mode type of force, we need to manipulate mass and acceleration to increase force. So how can you do this? If you are trying to increase the force your muscles are able to generate you are required to lift heavy weights and also lift light weights quickly. Your program should revolve around cycles of heavy strength training with cycles of ballistic training. This will allow you to increase both variables in the force equation; lifting heavy weights (mass) and lifting weights quickly (acceleration).
Gravitational Force and Angles
Gravity is a constant variable and anywhere you are on earth it is always acting with a downward force of 9.8m/s. For example, when we lift weights during a deadlift we always want to keep the bar as close to our body as possible so that we can limit the chance of injury. Keeping the bar close to our bodies when we lift helps to decrease the gravitational force acting on our bodies. How is this so? When you keep the bar close to your body you subsequently decrease the angle between you and the bar. Keeping this angle as small as possible is vital for avoiding injuries and staying pain free while lifting. The further you hold the bar from your body, the larger angle you create which in turn increases the gravitational force of gravity acting on your body. Anytime you lift something off of the ground you should try keeping the load as close to your body as possible. This helps limit the chance of injury whether it's a deadlift or something simple like lifting a box.
Torque is affected by the force applied and how close that force is applied to the axis of rotation. For easy application, think about a door. In order to open the door you need to apply a force and the door will open in proportion to the force applied. The axis of rotation on a door would be the hinge of the door, so the further the handle of the door is from the axis of rotation the easier the door is to open. Think about any door you have ever opened, is the handle near the hinge? No it is not, it is as far from the hinge as possible. When working out we must think about torque in order to avoid injury. Torque allows us to create tension and stability. Why is this important? A lot of our joints are ball and socket joints which allows for full range of motion within the limbs. In order to make the joint stable and keep a neutral spine, we need to create torque in order to spiral your limb into the socket and avoid injury. When we don't create torque while working out we rely on our tendons and ligaments to support the movement instead of our muscles, this can lead to detrimental injuries that take several months or even years to bounce back from. When we do not create torque, there is slack within the joint capsule which leads to massive losses in the force we have the ability to generate and also increases risks for injury.