Individual Symbolism

The stage presence becomes symbolic of years and years of sacrifice, hard work, focus, dedication and vision.
The stage presence becomes symbolic of triumph through the light and dark.
The stage presence becomes symbolic of every gut wrenching set.
The stage presence becomes symbolic of every food willfully consumed and every food willfully avoided.
The stage presence becomes symbolic of paying attention to the body. Listening, acting accordingly and loving/disliking the biofeedback.

The pictures become reflections, the memories are etched and the vision remains.

Kin(aesthetic) sense

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 – the sensation of movement or strain in muscles, tendons, and joints; muscle 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.
Its just not possible for bodily awareness alone to take note of the way others perceive and define reality.
An exploration of self, the raw form, the body.
Body Exploration. Body Building.

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.

The practical application for the bodybuilder increasing kinaesthetic awareness?
Greater isolation and muscular activation aka mind muscle connection.
Deliberate focus leading to expert intuition.

My contribution: IsoTUT

Isometric (static contraction)
Time Under Tension

Can be used on weak bodyparts.
Works well on proportionately small bodyparts. e.g. side deltoids.
Concentrate on exact and precise movement at the joint of interest to activate the muscle in question. Other muscle groups should be sparingly activated.
Don’t be afraid to use very light weight or even resistance bands. Form should be aligned with complete muscular activation. Complete concentration on the muscle of interest.

Fast concentric (1-2 seconds)
For example, biceps, power out from the elbow joint as much as possible.
Slow eccentric (3-4 seconds)
10 repetitions then HOLD at peak contraction for 10 seconds then aim for another 10 repetitions. You won’t get to 10 but will get to 7, 8 or 9. When you get to 10 it is time to implement progressive overload for the next session and increase the weight. Two or three sets of this seem to do the trick. 50-60 reps is mentioned as a good volume for muscular size to a body part in scientific literature (Wernbom, Auguestsson and Thomee 2007).

Outside of IsoTUT, I find the one set to failure approach works well with considerable “warm up” sets. This one set is then recorded and every attempt is made to improve on that within the 6-12 rep range. One attempt you may get 10 repetitions. The next attempt go for 12. Then increase the weight by 5kgs or 10lbs and get 10 repetitions. Repeat. Ad inifintum. At least 72 hours between exercise selection seemed to operate well for me. Adjustments are made according to improvements or lack thereof. Similiar workouts where done by the great Mike Mentzer and Dorian Yates.

Wernbom M, Augustsson J, Thomeé R. The influence of frequency, intensity,
volume and mode of strength training on whole muscle cross-sectional area in
humans. Sports Med. 2007;37(3):225-64.

2016 IFBB Australasian Heavyweight Championships 1st Place