3 methods of bodyweight subordination. Become the authority of your body.
The landscape of fitness has been clearly divided into two divisions of training.
It's very rare to see anyone utilize both sides effectively because it's a natural habit to think everything in terms of black and white.
On one side, we have the softer arts and crafts such as yoga, many dances, pilates and tai chi. These are naturally more serene and peaceful.
On the other side, we have the hard styles of training such as weight training, modern calisthenics, breakdance and numerous martial arts practices. These are warlike by nature.
If you think about it, this is a very clear division. For the lack of any scientific word, we call these soft (yin) and hard (yang) styles of training.
A lot of people have tried to combine these two but it rarely works because it's not just about what you do but how you do it. To combine the two, your entire approach needs to change.
What we have tried to do is to dispose the line between these two and bring the different people closer together.
There should be no division. There is no rational reason why pilates is considered a feminine craft. None. It was created by one of the manliest men. Likewise, women can enjoy the benefits of athletic training just like men can.
The problem is to even think there are masculine and feminine ways of training. When you think there is, you naturally align yourself with the black and white thinking because what you think, you are.
Men avoid yoga, pilates and dance because they are so obsessed with proving themselves by showing others how much they can do. Many women avoid the harder styles of training because they think they will grow muscles too big.
In reality, a man who does movement training, yoga, pilates or dance will only become stronger. A woman who has the courage to enter a masculine realm will only open herself to the world.
A big problem with men is that they obsessively stick to the hard style of training and try to force everything without realizing that by letting go they can actually progress faster.
A lot of people break their bodies and joints in training for no reason. For no reason whatsoever. There is zero reason. The obsession with skills and weight only causes damage while producing worse, not better, results.
It's a sign of stubbornness, not the intelligence to restrict yourself. You can try a lot of different things (why not?) but eventually it shouldn't matter what you do because everything is done by the same universal principles.
The big breakthrough happened in our training when we learned to use weights and the harder styles of training in a soft way - in a way that still produces maximum results but without causing any wear and tear.
That is what we would call an enlightened approach. You do hard training in a soft way and soft training in a hard way. The division between these two ceases to exist.
Whether it's the subordination of your body, bodyweight manipulation or weight manipulation, you should always be the authority of your body. You are in control - not the other way around.
When you mindlessly train and push the body to the limit causing frequent and strong DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) in your muscles, you show a lack of awareness. You don't know what you are doing.
When you lift heavy without having real control over the weight, you show your lack of understanding. When you push the body to the extremes and think it's functional, you show your mental immaturity.
With experience comes novelty and sophistication. The maturity of the fitness scene has gone only backward for the past 50 years, not ahead.
The least functional is now considered the most functional. And I am not talking about modern bodybuilders here. This includes many of the tricksters and movers as well. Everything has gone backward.
The gimmick has become the prized possession. The gimmick that was done by court jesters to entertain kings and true warriors.
The most powerful thing is rather not flashy but it's constant. It is not expressed by the gimmick. It is not expressed specifically in a specific moment.
It's the entire presence. It's the constant radiating power of the physique. It's not one specific thing that you do but who you are as a whole. It's not a prison that is ultimately controlled by others.
See the big picture and don't cling to the details that ultimately make very little difference. See the entire landscape, not just the few seconds of grunting and pushing.
It's the wholeness of your physicality. It's the completeness of your physique. It's the well-roundedness of your functionality.
You cannot chase it because no one knows what it is until they become it.
I saw the video and read the article, and I think both are very interesting. I’d like to ask you some questions if it’s ok. If one was to name the three methods of bodyweight subordination that are shown on the video, maybe the first one would be something like free-style martial arts (soft and hard at the same time), the second would be abdominal mental manipulation (¿?) and the third one would be standard movement training with animal walks just that one endures the flow with absolute control until one’s capable of, so to say. Would you agree on that?
On the other hand, although the examples are quite eloquent, I still don’t understand/see a clear difference between the three methods. For instance, instead of calling the second one ‘mental abdominal manipulation’, would it be more accurate to say it’s just ‘specific muscle manipulation’ by using the mind-muscle connection in any part of your body? When’s a good moment to start trying each method? I wonder if you could give more details or examples of those methods of bodyweight subordination (specially the first two ones).
Finally, I thank you very much for your time and sharing all those great ideas on your webpage and YouTube, I’ve been learning a lot from you over the last months and of course there will be a lot more to learn, test and discover. You’re doing an excellent job!
1: This is the most advanced method. It’s the principle behind power production in athletic movements, fight sports and martial arts. It’s part of the heritage of many martial arts because without it you cannot generate true power.
2: Close with the second guess!
3: Don’t look at what is happening but how it’s done.
A lot of people understand the 3. method. Very few people understand the 2. method in practice. Almost no one understands the 1. method.
This was terrific Eero! While I am 63, I have been following your advice and forgetting about the most weight possible I can lift. I now focus on the muscle groups themselves whether I am using light weights or no weights at all. And I am NOT feeling crippled and sore the next day in my joints.
Thank you Mike! Sounds great. Light muscle soreness in the muscles is a good thing but often too much soreness (DOMS) is a result of mindlessly over-damaging the tissue – not because the tissue was properly stimulated.