I have used “kinaesthetic awareness” as an encompassing term for bodily sensation in this article.
A bodybuilder’s navigation through reality often involves a heightened:
Kinaesthetic sense –
Proprioception – to take or grasp, is the sense of the relative position of neighbouring parts of the body and strength of effort being employed in movement.
Nociception – the sensory nervous system’s response to certain harmful or potentially harmful stimuli. (pain)
Body Schema – can be considered the collection of processes that registers the posture of one’s body parts in space.
Kinaesthetic awareness and proprioception tends to be the primary interaction a bodybuilder has with the external environment especially while posing or training.
Often times it would seem that the kinaesthetic awareness of the bodybuilder is over bearing. To the point where a week not in the gym would be like taking a piano away from a pianist.
A pianist has a highly active sense of hearing, deriving pleasure from hearing.
A bodybuilder has a highly active kinaesthetic awareness, deriving pleasure from navigating the body through gravitational pull.
The contraction of muscle, flexing of musculature, joint positioning and awareness, blood flow, respiratory and heart rate.
People attempt to enter into a “clear state” through meditation and yoga. From my own experience this is essentially switching over awareness to the bodily sensations. The more blissful experience would be complete bodily awareness. A temporary freedom from other senses which absorb and interact with the world and others.
The bodybuilder knows this freedom well, perhaps then, why so many call the weight training a therapy of sorts. The therapy essentially involves entering into perception of reality purely through the body.
Highly active kinaesthetic awareness doesn’t lead to increased interaction or perception of others. It doesn’t take note of the way others perceive and define reality.
An exploration of self, the raw form, the body.
It is not possible to reduce a person’s level of kinaesthetic awareness (or in comparison to other senses) to an exact number, value or integer. So it becomes difficult in assessing improvement and differences amongst others.
The practical application for the bodybuilder increasing kinaesthetic awareness?
Greater isolation and muscular activation aka mind muscle connection. So really focusing intently on contracting the muscle in question with maximal tension in the 6-12 rep range. Big difference between powering out purely at the elbow in the biceps curls than a cheat curl for example.
Deliberate focus leading to expert intuition.