Improving SKILLS, ‘The ONE’ Challenge

Hi and welcome to another week,

Thanks to everyone who got to the gym last week – whether you are a long-termer or a first timer, we really appreciate you taking the time to come and train with US.  I thought the classes last week were just amazing – I really do enjoy the split cardio/weights stations that we used a few times last week (bikes & kettlebells, rowers & barbells) and find that kind of training challenges me as much as anything we do.  This week we will be trying to get the sledgehammers and tyres out again – they were scheduled a couple of weeks back but the weather conspired against us – AND the deadlift bars will be out in the boxing classes for the first time in 8 weeks…here’s looking forward to getting stuck into it.

I have been doing a lot of thinking about the first Round 1 Showdown (see last week’s blog if you want some more info!) during the last week – whilst I haven’t been flooded with questions about the event I have had quite a few people ask me what they should be doing if they want to participate in the next one.  (Let’s just assume for a second that we eventually do another one!).  The advice I keep handing out – keep doing what you are doing, make sure you add in either a Body Work, TANKS or No Rules class once each week – holds but there is a little more to it than that.

Once you start training for something, you will find that you can practice and rehearse the skills associated with that activity for an almost unlimited length of time.  Obviously my background is football and we spend the majority of our training time rehearsing skills and game-day decisions NOT working on fitness elements.  Getting ‘fitter’ is part of being better, but when we start talking about becoming involved in athletic competition the goal-posts more a little bit.  Well, quite a lot actually.  And whilst this is kind of away from the usual subject of ‘the gym’, I thought I would write down my ‘Tips for getting better at anything through practice’.

 

  1. You have to practice the stuff that you aren’t good at – not just the things you can do.  This is obvious – and we sure don’t want to allow the strengths of our ‘game’ to become weaknesses by neglecting them – but so many times we spend our practice time doing the stuff we love (which is the stuff we can already do well) rather than by committing the tedium of working to improve a point of weakness.
  2. You have to take the time to practice WELL.  If the ‘rep’ is poor – if you didn’t go through a full range of motion, if you did something that you just KNOW was wrong, do it again and do it right.  Continuously doing something with poor or incorrect form/technique is only reinforcing the bad habit rather than helping you improve.  If you aren’t sure if what you are doing is right or wrong, get a coach to watch – or record it and look at it afterwards.
  3. Struggling with a particular skill?  Don’t do it faster – do it slower…slow right down and get it right.  Don’t do it heavier with a bigger barbell…drop the weight right back and get the technique right.  Use a coach or take a video of the effort and get it right before you try to speed up.  We do this at footy all the time with kicking – break it down, build it back up with (hopefully) a technical flaw overcome.
  4. 10-minutes every day beats 1-hour, once per week.  Short but regular session with a real focus on the task at hand beat ‘occasional’ lengthy sessions every time.  Set a timer if you must – “for the next 10 minutes I will focus on this” – and when the buzzer goes off move on with your day.  Then do it again tomorrow!  And when you are practicing, practice.  Don’t be checking your phone, joking with your friends, thinking about what you might be having for dinner.  Focus hard – after all, it isn’t for long!
  5. Have a plan – and then record what you did against that plan.  If you aren’t tracking your progress, you wont know how far you have come.  This is a reason why so many people give up with the end-goal in sight – they hadn’t been tracking their progress (which is always slower than we would like!) and therefore couldn’t tell how much improvement had been made.  Record what you have done each day and when you look back to check on what you have done your consistent efforts will inspire you to keep going!
  6. If you are still having to think about the ‘HOW’, then you will struggle to execute that skill under pressure.  The more you have to think the less fluent the movement (aka, the more you think the more you stink!).

 

That’s about it I think.  Getting ‘better’ at something really is a matter of repeating the task over and over until you can do it right.  We all know this.  And the better/more efficiently you can execute the skill, the more easily you can move through the workouts such as we planned for the showdown.

See you in the gym,

Michael.

Gym Update #1 – Challenge Time (yep, again)       

The ‘Elevator Challenge’ is done and – as per tradition – it is nearly time for the next challenge to start (we run them every second month).  We are working on a bit of a new concept this time – kind of a ‘Choose your own adventure’ style of challenge.  It is going to work like this:

We set the classes to do – that’s the easy part.

YOU choose the ‘ONE’ thing you are going to ‘give up’ for the month. The idea is that you choose the ‘ONE’ thing that you know you are most addicted too.  It might be chocolate, it might be beer, it might be…well, it might be anything at all.  And you commit to abstain for the month!

YOU (ALSO) choose the ‘ONE’ thing you want to get better at for the month.  It could be anything in the gym at all – running, squats, pushups, pull-ups, whatever – and one of the trainers will put together a 15-minute per day program (3 or 4 days per week, the choice is yours!) to help you achieve your goal.

‘THE ONE’ Challenge.  Get excited!  More details this time next week.

Gym Update #2 – Medium Gloves and Backpacks

Medium gloves are here, new back packs are here…everything is here.  If we owe you stuff, please let us know next time you are in the gym.

Gym Update #3 – Ski Ergs

The Ski-Ergs are ‘sorta’ on the way.  There is a bit of a back log of orders on these and it is looking like another month from now until they are in the gym and installed…I am sure once we get them I will be wishing that we never did…in the meantime, I just wish they had already arrived!

Footy Tips and DreamTeam

We had one perfect result this week – with Kristy picking all NINE winners and being awarded the bonus point for doing exactly that!  We had a few scores of EIGHT as well, with Jake Donald, Alex Gowland and Amanda Dixon being amongst those who ‘just’ missed out.

Kristy has turned her success in week 7 into a 1-point lead in the overall tipping contest – she is just one point clear of Jake Donald with four others another point further back.

Over in AFL Fantasy, it was another pretty ordinary round for scoring with only Rocco (2117) and Lloyd (2050) topping the 2000 point mark.  I know for me I have just about had enough of this fantasy season and am one more bad week away from a pretty major dummy spit!

Link of the week

Well, I have gone on about skill improvements in the blog today…so I thought I had better link to something along the same lines.  I love this link – particularly when you see them moving ‘slowly’ in order to be sure they are getting things ‘right’ before escalating in both load and speed….

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqy_7OpmZVw