L'entraînement naturel

Definition of force Strength measurement Scoring of tests

The Force

Today, the comfort of a gym seems to be able to provide what it takes to maintain physical fitness and gain strength. The practitioner of a sports discipline is considered "sportsman" and the winner of this or that discipline acquires the title of athletes. But faced with the need to react to an unforeseen obstacle, or to move quickly or for a long time, on uneven ground or strewn with pitfalls, to climb in balance to flee a danger or cross an obstacle… will not physical fitness, cold blood, energy, responsiveness be lacking in the followers of rooms or landscaped grounds? Strength is not reduced to a musculature cultivated by body weight or dumbbells, a performance acquired in a particular area or a victory against an opponent. Its definition is more complex.

What strength is gained?

The building blocks of the force

From a simple conceptual point of view, strength is the ability, the power, to act. For the human being, to be strong means to possess a general ability to respond physically and mentally to material or moral obstacles or trials and not a particular faculty in a specific field. Georges Hébert, in his book "The Code of Force", defined the different elements that constitute force, in the purely physical field, as follows:

Strength criteria

1° Resistance and endurance

Endurance and resistance, also called "bottom", are the ability to produce any effort whatsoever, or to endure fatigue, in a prolonged way. This element of strength depends essentially on the operating value of the internal organs and more particularly:

  • From the heart,
  • And lungs.

It is the natural consequence of regular and methodical training and especially of sustained effort in general and travel in particular. It also depends on a healthy and excess-free life and is intimately linked to the state of health. It is the essential quality of strength.

2° Muscle power

Muscle power is the ability to perform with the different parts of the body sufficient efforts in all directions (pull, push, lift, climb, throw, carry, defend etc …). It depends not only on the degree of development of the muscles but also on the nervous excitement that is communicated to them by the will, that is, by the power of the nervous system. Hebertism: muscle power

3° Speed

Speed is the ability to move quickly or perform sharp gestures, quick relaxations, fast starts, etc… It depends not only on the sensitivity of the nervous system and its power, but also on the muscle quality and flexibility of the joints. Thin and long muscles, typical of natural development, are more favorable to sharp movements than large and short muscles.

4° The address

Skill is the ability to use one's muscles and use one's skills to achieve an accurate result. It saves your strength and reduces the onset of fatigue. Nervous control is the first condition of skill. To perform a precise gesture, it is already necessary to conceive cerebrally, then transmit nervously to finally execute muscularly (which will also depend on joint flexibility). In case of poor nerve transmission, the gesture will have a much lower degree of precision. A skill throw or balance will be successful not by muscular capacity, but simply by the perfect coordination between the design of the right gesture, the necessary power, the direction etc.

5° The qualities of actions

The qualities of actions are qualities such as energy, willpower, courage, cold blood, glance, decision, firmness or tenacity. Or confidence in one's own value to overcome fears, mastery of vertigo or resistance to pain. If the purely "physical" dimension is a crucial aspect of strength, the part of the psychic or mental factor is an essential value: a gifted subject well trained but lacking energy or courage is disarmed in the face of obstacles or trials.

6° The technique

"Technique" is the knowledge of the processes of performing the indispensable natural and utilitarian exercises, and at the same time, a sufficient degree of aptitude in each of them (walking, running, jumping, climbing, quadrupedia, balance, throwing, lifting, defending and swimming).

7° "Organic" endurance

This is the endurance of the body to different aggressions. Resistance to cold, heat, weather, pain are part of the general resistance mentioned above. More generally, it is the body's ability to maintain health in all circumstances, to resist, as best as possible, diseases, deprivations, microbes, viruses… Finally, it must be considered that force can, unfortunately, serve the good just as well… than evil. Also to all these "physical" qualities must be added a quality of another order, ethical, in order to direct all this acquired towards a higher good, in a useful, just and benevolent way. As stated in the doctrine, true strength or education is a synthesis that Georges Hébert synthesized as follows:

"The real strength lies not only in the muscles, the breath, the skill… but above all, in the energy that uses it, the will that directs it or the feeling that guides it."

Georges Hébert – The Natural Method – Volume 1

Measuring strength

After defining the extent of the force, it is a question of questioning how to measure it. If it is relatively easy to measure the level of a subject in mathematics or English, what about its complexity, strength? How can we also measure its evolution, or compare two subjects with each other?

Which one is stronger?The answer is not obvious… Strength measurement allows everyone to get to know each other better and gives coaches a valuable tool to compare and track progress. It also makes it possible to quickly discover weak points and to orient the training accordingly to overcome them. This could be done, for example:

  • By simple measurements (arm or calf circumference etc …) and to compare them to pre-established scales in order to be able to deduce a level.
  • Or by recording parameters, by all kinds of instruments, to measure the respiratory capacity, the power of the heart, or the strength of the arms or legs etc …

However, these measures will never give precise indications of the value of force, in the Hebertist sense of the word. From a practical and utilitarian point of view, there is only one way to determine with certainty the real value of a person, and that is to see the latter actually perform concrete exercises and to have the means to "note" his performance.

The 12 measurable events with rated performances

It is a question of determining a series of tests that synthesize and make it possible to measure the different qualities as well as possible and that, moreover, the performances are easily measurable and reproducible both in time and space. Twelve events were selected: 3 races: 1 speed, 1 middle distance, 1 long distance 4 jumps: high and long jumps, each with and without momentum 1 climb 1 lift 1 throw And 2 swimming events: distance and diving

The 12 tests – Broken down by strength categories

The scoring of the tests

The tests are scored in points, in an original and easily understandable way, according to a scale established as follows: The "zero" rating (0) characterizes the basic level that a person must be able to reach. This "median" rating serves as a switch, like a balance, between: – insufficient performance (which will then be negative, and in theory without low limit) – and higher performance (which will then be positive and in theory without high limit!). Level symbolized via a thermometer to understand the principle of rating The basic level is obviously variable according to age in order to be adapted to each and allow to evaluate the progressions, or regressions, especially in children, adolescents etc … This level also varies according to gender. If, in young children, it is essentially the same in girls and boys, a differentiation that must be taken into account appears in preadolescence around 11-13 years. Example of an individual standard record, allowing to judge the progress of a person. Example of a sheet for a monitor, allowing to know the value of people he would have to train. See individual type sheet See sheet for monitor see Monitoring results