I saw this interesting discussion on the Dilbert blog (yes, that Dilbert!) about a sneaky trick used to open a jar lid.
Let me quote the important section for you:
The setup happens when someone in your life asks you to open a stubborn jar. Ideally, that person has already tried several furious approaches to the jar and failed. He or she tries to hand you the jar for assistance. Here’s what you do.
Wave off the jar that has been offered and make sure you don’t ever touch it.
Now say the following:
“You can open that jar easily with a trick I learned. Want to try?”
Most people will say yes.
“Okay, put your hands on the jar as if you are about to twist open the top and close your eyes. For ten seconds imagine all of the power and energy of your body flowing down to your hand that is about to open the jar. When you can imagine all of your strength and energy in your jar-opening hand, give the lid a sudden, confident twist and it will come off as if it had never been hard in the first place.”
Wait for the subject to concentrate for 10 seconds, then say, “Now give it a quick twist and open it.”
The lid will come off as if it had never been seriously stuck in the first place. Your subject’s eyes will be like saucers. It’s a fun moment because it will feel as if something magic just happened.
I’ve been doing this trick for years. As I mentioned, I have no idea why it works, unless one can actually move energy around to different body parts. But I have never seen any scientific support for that hypothesis.
It’s the last bit that made me laugh.
I often forget just how far removed non-strength athletes are from some obvious things we take for granted.
So much so — they attribute it to Voodoo or magic!
In case you are reading this and you aren’t an athlete in a sport requiring the kind of power needed to open jars, I’ll explain it for you.
It’s not magic. It’s not Voodoo. It’s not “energy moving from one part of your body to another”.
Example From The Realist Of Worlds: Arm Wrestling
Everyone thinks they know how to arm wrestle. But few are actually any good at it.
There is a trick to arm wrestling: it’s called using your whole body, not just your arm.
Amateurs will focus on using every ounce of effort they can squeeze out of their little arm.
But, a pro will lock-in. Their entire body will be tight from their nose to their toes.
They will drive down into the floor with their feet; use their core; their pecs, their lats, their glutes; everything.
They will stomp you down flat.
What’s funny is that you can out-curl that guy!
Bruce Lee & A Pterodactyl Are Standing In A Bar…
When Chris Duffin teaches you how to squat, he begins by teaching you how to stand.
I’ve adopted this practice as it’s powerful as hell.
He’ll say something like, “Imagine a piano is about to fall on top of you. What do you do?”
You lock in! Everywhere!
Teaching someone how to stand before they do anything else is a brilliant way to get an athlete how to FEEL what they are supposed to feel without the complications of the sport-skills we are about to get into.
We begin with this in every seminar and with every athlete, now.
Here is something you might hear me say if you come to one of my seminars:
- Imagine you are a Pterodactyl
- You have talons, not feet
- Grip the floor with your talons, break the concrete!
- Feel that tightness crawl up your legs.
- Now poke your quads and hamies with your finger. Were they tight? I didn’t think so.
- Now your glutes. They were flabby weren’t they?
- Imagine I am about to punch you in your lower abs… what do you do?
- Upper abs; obliques!
- Now spread your wings out to the side — then use your lats to pull them in tight, and get ready to hug me tighter than you have ever hugged anyone in your life.
- Who do you look like?
Bruce Lee! (see the photo at the top of this page)
That’s how you squat, do push ups, snatches, chins, hit a baseball, hit another human, take a punch, throw a ball, you name it! That’s also how you arm wrestle and open jars.
Every single ounce of power your body has put into one tiny fraction of a second — BOOM!
Power athletes, of all kinds — lifters, throwers, martial artists, gymnasts, jar openers — can turn this on and off like a light switch.
Can you? Practice it until you can. In every move you make. Every breath you take…
It’s not magic, its simply how athletes get shit done.
Now go lift something heavy,