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Bruce Baker
04-24-2002, 08:28 AM
I was watching a study of training techniques.

The most advantageous technique was to visualize the muscles you are training as increasing in size and strength. This visualization was the most efficient way to increase strength and muscle mass.

This was a weight lifting strength study, but does the technique carry over to all types of training?

Is the training we do in Aikido more efficient when we visualize the transfer of energy to specific points in a specific manner or ... is Practice-practice-practice a better teacher and more efficient?

Consider also ... a physically fit body is more efficient and that this condition comes with long term continued practice? Could a body not physically fit do the same level of practice by visualization?

(Or does your teacher say shut up and go back to practice without any visualization?)

I thought the strength study with visualization brought up a lot of possibilities, what do you think?

Robert E
04-24-2002, 09:19 AM
I would love to read the report...

Do you have a refference?


04-24-2002, 10:13 AM
Originally posted by Bruce Baker
The most advantageous technique was to visualize the muscles you are training as increasing in size and strength. This visualization was the most efficient way to increase strength and muscle mass.
I heard about this somewhere else. It seems that the visualization as you work your muscles makes you pay more attention to the actual contraction/relaxation of your muscles, making your brain better remember how to make the muscle work again. (I probably just royally screwed that up, but oh well . . . ) When we work a muscle, as I understand it, our brain remembers how to contract and relax it, so it makes the action quicker and easier the next time (which is why, I assume, reflexes can be increased). This is interesting, because with EMS, though the muscles are being worked, because it is through an electrical current, and not through conscious effort, the muscles don't become "stronger," i.e. your brain hasn't "learned" how to use the muscle, so you can't utilize the muscle's potential. Again, this is just from a few things I've read, and that was a while ago, so my memory may have screwed it up.


04-24-2002, 01:23 PM
Ok, I won't one-star this thread.

There may be some value in terms of visualization and it's applicability to sports. Visualizing plays could help you to respond correctly when it happens on the field. There may be a connection between visualizing and muscle memory. I think visualizing may anchor the movement more effectively and anecdotally I've had interesting results with visualization. But this is just me thinking and not me knowing anything, or in other words, being guilty of what I've accused others of doing.

There is also an oft-quoted study, which I've never read, where participants were broken into 3 groups. They were tested in regards to their free throw shooting. Group 1 was told to never touch a basketball, group 2 was to visualize shooting free throws and group 3 was to practice shooting free throws. After a month they were retested. The result was that group 1 showed no improvement, group 2 improved by 23% and group 3 by 24%. I've never seen the study and would have reservations at this point in my life but it's often quoted in books on visualization as proof it works.

As to weightlifting and visualization, I just don't know. I'd have to see the study. Training methods for hard core weightlifters/bodybuilders are all over the map. Everyone is desperate for that little edge and will try all sorts of things to see success. Because many of them are genetically well-suited for big muscles often just about anything works for them. You would have to control an incredible amount of factors to prove the concept and one of those uncontrollable one's is genetics.

I dunno, any links?

Tijmen Ramakers
04-24-2002, 04:37 PM
Originally posted by Erik
I dunno, any links?

I recall having read about this one in a newspaper last year:



04-24-2002, 04:56 PM
Very interesting stuff. Thank you for the link.

05-13-2002, 08:22 AM
IMHO, where ever the head goes the body follows. Visualization is very important to any sport psychology program. Its a way of learning to extend you ki by visualizing the path it will follow through the uke's center towards the (un)balance point.

Nidan Tenshinkai Aikido
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