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Second Wind Relaxation Strength Relationship

shawnjm23

Level 2 Valued Member
Hi all,

I recently completed the Second Wind Express course. I was so happy to learn about the breathing side of health and performance as I had very little of this knowledge going in. I was left with some questions about the Relaxation side of the course however and I am hoping someone with a good understanding of the subject could help me. I'll reserve this post for my first question..

It became pretty apparent to me that the relaxation ability of one's muscles and having the relaxation adaptation, is incredibly important for athletic success, but how does this ability interact with strength? One of Pavel's slides list characteristics of individuals with the relaxation adaptation and one of them is "medium strength". I also looked into the studies behind much of the information given to help answer this question. Unfortunately the versions I found are not incredibly detailed and are likely translated from Russian so they are a little tricky to interpret. Here is an excerpt from one that perhaps someone could shed light on.

"In a series of experiments, carried out with participation of 597 sportsmen of different age and qualification, our hypothesis that had been provided above, has confirmed completely. Under an impact of training physical stress three different types of long-term adaptation have formed among the sportsmen: hypertrophic, transitive, and relaxation type. Among sportsmen with a low-capacity HRFPS, regardless of age, adaptation took place due to an increase the volume of muscle mass and strength at the background of low speed of muscle relaxation, in other words, hypertrophic type of long-term adaptation or individual development. Transitive type of adaptation formed among the participants with HRFPD of moderate power, and relaxation type formed among the sportsmen with high-power HRFPS. A high speed of relaxation and moderate indexes of muscle strength have been typical for the latter type." RELAXAION TYPE OF LONG-TERM ADAPTATION TO AN INCREASE IN ORGANIZM STABILITY AGAINST PHYSICAL STRAIN - Медицинские науки - International Journal Of Applied And Fundamental Research

So with all of that in mind here is my key question: Is above moderate strength/muscle mass detrimental to the relaxation adaptation, regardless of speed of muscle relaxation? And if someone naturally has above average muscle mass in their lower or upper body, are they at a disadvantage for achieving the relaxation adaptation.

Thanks for any help!
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
@shawnjm23, I can tell you how this works in a sentence: stronger people are more able to relax, and relax more quickly, than weak people.

-S-
 

bluejeff

Level 6 Valued Member
I know approximately zero of second wind, so I am unfamiliar with the terminology you are using. That being said, here's some questions and thoughts.

Is the question about relaxation about how quickly and fully one is able to relax their muscles? In addition to that does this mean in the context of training -that is, between sets or the like- OR just in general?

Relaxation is about the nervous system, which is tied to breathing patterns. I don't personally see tension/relaxation as directly related to strength or muscle mass. I see it as related to the ability to switch from a sympathetic to parasympathetic state when the former is not needed, as well as related to postural habits and alignments. I have met strong and muscular folks who are chill and flexible/supple/graceful and I have met strong and muscular folks who "move like a refridgerator" and do all their breathing from their chest and neck. I have met their less strong and muscular counterparts as well.
 

Boris Bachmann

Level 7 Valued Member
So with all of that in mind here is my key question: Is above moderate strength/muscle mass detrimental to the relaxation adaptation, regardless of speed of muscle relaxation? And if someone naturally has above average muscle mass in their lower or upper body, are they at a disadvantage for achieving the relaxation adaptation.

Thanks for any help!
I think, at the heart of your question, is the age-old idea of being 'muscle bound' and is it a real thing or not... It won't be popular, but I'm just flat out going to say that yes, it is a thing and yes, poor training can create it and/or exacerbate it.

I'd write more, but the lad wants to lift and that's a rare thing. Gotta take advantage of it. brb.
 

oab

Level 2 Valued Member
The qualities trained determine the adaptations that occur. Also the type of strength training is relevant, the outcome for those who just train grinds are different to those who train the pulses that occur in ballistics (or both). The strong should spend some time on the skill of relaxation as it is a form of recovery training and may contribute to strength gains in other ways.

In relation to sports, (quality) skill practice upgrades movement patterns and this includes contraction and relaxation of specific muscles as required both during and between patterns.

Mental relaxation is also important as relaxation of both body and mind are needed which are distinct processes. For example, a person can practise "Fast and loose" exercises but can remain mentally tense and anxious (ie physically relaxed but mentally worried and fearful). However, if both body and mind relax the mind will slow down and become still, it feels like it almost happens by itself.

I train for health and this involves sufficient physical activity (GPP) and also involves the type of deep mental relaxation meditation I touched upon above.

[ In transparency, I mention that I have not attended "Second Wind"].
 

silveraw

Level 7 Valued Member
Mental relaxation is also important as relaxation of both body and mind are needed which are distinct processes
I don’t agree with the idea that there is a duality of mind and body.

If you do progressive relaxation exercises you relax your mind.

if you sit Zanzen you sit in a certain posture. When the mind wanders the posture wanders and vice versa.

All major mental stress in my life has come with physical responses. Less major comes with smaller responses.

As Penn Juilette put it “there is no driver behind the eyeballs. The whole thing is just you.”
 
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Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Sinister
Is above moderate strength/muscle mass detrimental to the relaxation adaptation, regardless of speed of muscle relaxation? And if someone naturally has above average muscle mass in their lower or upper body, are they at a disadvantage for achieving the relaxation adaptation.
I can't help but think of weightlifters here (Olympic Lifting). They have both great strength and fast relaxation. If you don't relax fast and move fast you don't get under a heavy clean or snatch. And if you're not strong and powerful, you can't lift it high enough to get under it.

My thought is that you have to train the muscles to do both. If you only train the muscles to contract, they won't be good at relaxing. Not necessarily a disadvantage, if you're a powerlifter. But many other kinds of athletes need to move fast.

I would think that the the more muscle you have, the more relaxation training that muscle needs . This could be stated, as you did, that someone with more muscle is "at a disadvantage for achieving the relaxation adaptation". There's just more there to train. But I don't have a reference for that, I'm just giving you my thoughts. I did attend Second Wind and will check my notes tomorrow to see if I can find some more insight.

I can tell you that after strength training 2014-2019 and literally never trying to get down in a squat FAST (all my squats were slow and controlled -- strength squats), it took me a year or more to gain that ability, and I'm still working on it now, a year after that, 2 years now into weightlifting!
 
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