Strength Is More Than Muscle

Strength Is More Than Muscle

One of the biggest discoveries in exercise science over the past couple of decades is that strength – the kind that enables you to survive and thrive throughout your life – requires more than muscles. Muscle performance depends on the quality of the web of connective tissue (called myofascia) supporting them.

The exercises we do to build strength at CBF reflect this discovery, as we first explained a few years ago in this blog, called “The Web of Power.”

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Here are three fascia/muscle-building basics you will recognize:

Varying Loads – Fasical strength is best developed by subjecting the body to resistance of varying amounts, not just the maximum weight you can move just once or a few times. In fact, older adults benefit more in terms of safety and strength gains by avoiding “maximums.”

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Varying Tempo – Different exercises (example: primal crawls versus striking the heavy bag) are performed at different speeds, thus develop elasticity in different ways in ligaments anchoring bones during movement.

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Varying directions – In everyday life, the body must move things or resist forces in/from numerous planes (forwards, backwards, sideways, up, down.

If you’d like to gain more insight into why we do what we do at CBF, read this article by Thomas Meyers, a true pioneer in understanding how our bodies work. It has lots of scientific terms, but if you even browse it and look at the illustrations, you’ll get it.







Varying the load is the better way.
Always Training in the Same Tempo. Likewise, varying the tempo of your training allows different fascial structures to build strength and elasticity.

Body Skills

Body Skills

We want to maintain as many physical skills as we can throughout our lives. There’s no telling what physical challenges we might encounter along the way.

The first rule of body skills is use ‘em or lose ‘em.

These CBFers are testing some of theirs. They’ve been dong the requisite training of their strength, flexibility, coordination, balance and endurance to safely and effectively navigate obstacles – like these requiring them to crawl across unstable surfaces, get up, leap and land, drop down, crawl under, rise up, and leap and land again.

Lots of excellent body skills on display!

How CBFers Train Like Pros

How CBFers Train Like Pros

Tom Brady, the future Hall of Fame quarterback for the New England Patriots, has a new best-selling book entitled The TB12 Method: How to  Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance.  In it, he reveals the “secrets” of his exercise regimen and diet that he believes have enabled him to still perform at a very high level as a 40 year old player, a senior citizen by NFL standards – the average age is 25.

The book has received a mixed reception in part because it’s a thinly disguised ad for Brady’s new side business selling nutritional supplements, exercise equipment, and an unconventional massage technique to develop “pliability.”

However, despite its commercial purpose and at times shaky science, there is solid advice regarding the optimum kind of exercise for people of any age to develop and maintain physcial skills and prevent injury. Flip through Brady’s book (Deschutes Library call number 613.71) and you’ll feel right at home. He trains much like we do.


As Brady explains:

“At TB12, about 90 percent of the time clients work out with resistance bands. Most are surprised to find that resistance bands work their bodies functionally better than weights do in terms of elasticity, resistance, versatility, and efficiency. Bands also allow for a bigger, more fluid range of motion, and build strength and power without overloading muscles or creating excess inflammation.”


His valuable insight is not news to CBFers who do these types of exercises every time they step into the gym.  If Brady continues to develop, he’ll be ready to add kettlebells, ropes, maces, and medicine balls.

Who says you can’t teach a young dog new tricks?