So I’ve got a different topic for you today. One central to Weightlessness Training, though relegated to more advanced protocols within the practice.
...this post takes a few unique tangents that compliment. So, if you have the time, I’d recommend both if you’re interested.
Ankle Weight (Ballistic Weight) training, believe it or not, is a translation tool – one that allows for global conscious awareness – for presence – even in high pressure scenarios, those that would normally cause us to fall back on tried and tested coping mechanisms, or on unconscious fight or flight responses.
And while I won’t go into technical training details in this post, I want to share a few key principles that make it what it is, distinctions that may add insight well beyond this practice alone.
While anyone can strap weights on their ankles and do stuff, Ballistic Weight Training is one of four pillars of advanced Weightlessness (called Lightness Training). This indicates that’s it’s not an elementary practice. A strong mind-body foundation is required before ballistic weight training provides any substantial benefit.
How much of a foundation? Well, the Weightlessness Spectrum – which is the framework underlying my 12 Week Mind Body Weightlessness Process – has three levels across three training pillars. One must test to level three on The Spectrum before I’d recommend that they introduce ankle weight protocols. To give you an example, one level 3 metric from each key pillar:
- Strength – Deadlift your bodyweight for 5 reps.
- Flexibility – Front splits.
- Meditation – 10 breaths lasting 8 minutes or longer.
These are three of 12 Spectrum metrics. They indicate two key points of readiness to me:
- The trainee has the flexibility and structural integrity to apply real stress on the mind-body without breaking.
- The trainee has the capacity for global sensitivity and awareness under pressure.
Which brings me to a critical distinction in training modalities: Ballistic weight training within Weightlessness is not a quantitative practice. It is not, for example, like pushups, pullups, squats, the deadlift, and any other number of techniques built for one purpose – to apply load/stress on the mind-body in a measurable way.
These exercises, at least for most, and certainly prior to advanced training, are not and should not be practiced with an objective of awareness. They should be executed with grit, with focus, with rip-your-face off intensity. They should be the vehicles that tap your warrior DNA, and in so doing, elevate your global threshold to stress.
Those who are trying to lift mindfully and are not yet performing at level three in the pillar of Strength, are confused about the role of these exercises, and they’re sacrificing their greatest potential gains in the process.
When you deadlift, you grip… and you rip.
When meditating, every inch of the body, every sound, scent, sensation in one’s environment, every second of every breath, has a story to tell.
There is no will to achieve, no desired outcome. It’s an end in itself.
So, in keeping with this categorical distinction, what does this tell us about the application of ankle weight training?
- Global awareness / sensitivity is priority in ballistic weight training. One ought to be able to incorporate this training DAILY without need for rest, just as one can meditate and stretch with high frequency without risk of overtraining.
- If one is sore, stiff, or needs more than a day of rest after a training session, they are doing it wrong.
- If one is struggling against the weight – betrayed by losing awareness of the breath, breathing from the chest rather than the abdomen, increasing physical tension to perform the action (running, leaping, etc), or fixating on external outcome (sprint time or leaping height) over internal sensation – they are off the path of Weightlessness.
- The amount of resistance applied (heaviness of the weight) should be determined by the factors above.
While this training will generate greater coordination, speed, and power, in the pursuit of Weightlessness these are very convenient byproducts. They're not the aim.
Ankle weight training is ballistic meditation. Those who have dabbled in either game – heavy strength training or deep meditation – should be able to attest not only to the difficulty of achieving personal records in strength or remaining sensitive and deeply present for more than a few moments, but that their combination is not for amateurs.
One has not only to graduate beyond foundational strength training to bulletproof the mind-body for ballistic weight training, but also to get beyond the internal, momentary resistances that come with facing immediate challenges - physical, psychological, or both together.
One must cease striving.
And in the space that remains, feel… everything.