In Pavel Tsatsouline’s book, Power to The People-Russian Strength Training Secrets, he explains that strength comes from the nervous system—not from just creating bigger muscles.
Strength is an important attribute to have. You don’t need to be able to lift a truck, but a requisite amount of strength, above and beyond what you need on a daily basis, is beneficial.
You can retrain your nervous system to contract your muscles harder—without even touching a weight. The technique is called Feed Forward Tension.
It’s where you act as though you’re lifting a weight—a heavy one—even though you’re really not.
From following this blog, you already know that you should be training movements and not individual muscles. When you do your feed forward tension exercises, train just a few movements like a military press, a squat, or a deadlift. It’ll work to complement any training you are doing in those particular movements. What it will do is disinhibit your conservative nervous system so the next time you are doing that exercise, it will allow you to consciously contract more of your muscles.
You only need to do a few reps, even one is good, to get a good effect from this. The key is consistency. Do a feed forward tension military press every morning for a month in addition to semi-regular military pressing and you’ll notice a big skill difference. When you train your nervous system, increased skill means increased strength.