Instant Strength Gains

Seems to good to be true, doesn't it?  However, it is very possible to become stronger instantly, and it involves getting tighter.  Learning to get tighter through muscular tension is a skill that can be developed through deliberate practice.  

Lets do an experiment.  With your weak hand, make a fist.  Where do you feel the tension?  Just in your hand?  Now squeeze harder, white knuckles and all.  Now where do you feel the tension?  Do you feel it in your bicep, shoulder, pec, and armpit? Good.  This is called hyper-irradiation.  You are purposely trying to spread the tension.  Think back when you were a kid and threw rocks into the water.  When the rock hit the water, the energy transferred away from the center, creating ripples.  This is the same principle.  This does not only apply to your hands, but also your feet.  Try it out.  Take your shoes off and give it a go. Imagine your feet being rooted and squeezing the ground with your toes.  You should feel tension in your thighs and possibly your butt. 

Now lets amplify the tension to an even greater degree and increase your safety through bracing.  Imagine that Mike Tyson has just thrown a punch toward your midsection.  What do you naturally want to do?  You should have subtle feeling of tension arise in your abdominals, low back, and obliques squeezing inward.  Increase it more by squeezing your glutes.  Breathe diaphragmatically in through your nose and push the air against your abdominals, obliques, and low back.  This is what bracing is and is a very powerful posture to give your body an instant strength boost through amplification of your muscle's strength and by providing a solid base to express movement from.  You wouldn't want to shoot a cannon from a canoe and your body is that same way, it is one piece.

So employ the grip and bracing technique and feel yourself become stronger and safer in your lifts.  These techniques might seem like too much think about before you deadlift, squat, or press but with consistent practice, it will become second nature.  

Before I studied the art, a punch to me was just like a punch, a kick just like a kick. After I learned the art, a punch was no longer a punch, a kick no longer a kick. Now that I've understood the art, a punch is just like a punch, a kick just like a kick. -Bruce Lee

If you desire to know more, two books that I would highly recommend are Power to the People and The Naked Warrior by Pavel Tsatsouline.