Week 11 of 16 Olympic Lifting and Russian Squats
“Our obstacle is that we live in an attention-deficit culture. We are bombarded with more and more information on television, radio, mobile phones, video games, the Internet. The constant supply of stimulus has the potential to turn us into addicts, always hungering for something new and prefabricated to keep us entertained. This lead to the most common error in learning: to take on too much at once.
Everyone races to learn more and more, but nothing is done deeply. Things look pretty but they are superficial, without a sound mechanic or principle foundation. Nothing is learned at a high level”
This is and extract form a book I’ve just finished reading called “The Art of Learning, by Josh Waitzkin,” and I think it applies to a lot of what we see in the gym. Many of us are always in a rush to get the work done but fail to stop and take note of how movement feels and where improvements can be made. Every single repetition is a chance to learn, experiment, test and improve. Making small changes to the setup of a movement and the position of the body can potential make a movement easier or harder? Experimenting with different positions and taking note of what feels easier or harder is always a good idea. Taking video selfies is a great way to get a better perspective of how you are moving, many of us feel that our form is good, but when you watch it back you might be surprised with the true picture.
Going through the motions isn’t helpful for most things, and it’s especially harmful when working toward improving control over your own body.
All movement requires strength, mobility and motor control. Many of us focus on the strength and flexibility elements of exercise, but fail to understand the importance of motor control and the ability to coordinate and control the mind and muscle connection. What muscles are you training? Where should you feel the exercise? Why can you not activate certain muscles? Some members make certain movements look easy, and yet when you try them its far from easy, why is that?… Are you missing strength, mobility or motor control? How can you improve this?
When many of us first start following a well structured training program we quickly start to see improvements. The first 6-12months our strength improves and our technique gets a lot better. Then we seem to hit a wall and the progress starts to slow down. It becomes a lot hard to make small gains and this is where a higher level of focus needs to be put into action. Simply performing the movement without taking the time to learn about the movement is going to limit your potential. If you want to continue to make gains you need start paying more attention to every single repetitions and start experimenting with movement. A good example of thinking about a movement was posted here: My Deadlift Mantra.
RECOMMENDED WEEKLY READING:
Article of the week: GMB: Body Control Fundamentals – What They Are and 3 Tactics To Improve – Motor Control is a technical term concerning exactly how our bodies move to perform a particular task or motor skill. It involves the interaction of the sensations within the body and outside of it, and our initiation and continuation of a movement based on the feedback we get from these sensations. There’s a world of research and science exploring the details and specifics of what’s happening when we learn and perform physical activities.
Awaken Adult Gymnastics: How to Have a Perfect Handstand – A perfect handstand is one of the most technically challenging skills to master. More than a single leg squat, or a muscle up or even a manna, which demand more strength and flexibility, the handstand is all about precision. And precision doesn’t happen overnight.
Awaken Adult Gymnastics: How Gymnastics Takes you Deeper in Body and Mind – The more you do in gymnastics, the more you become aware of the brain power it requires. This mind to muscle communication is happening in the Central Nervous System, the communication highway of the body, and when both mind and body are getting a workout this way, it’s doubly exhausting.
Four Hour Work Week: 5 Morning Rituals That Help Me Win The Day – What does your morning routine look like? The little things in life matter.
Precision Nutrition: Nutrition for injury recovery – For most athletes and fitness professionals, the idea that nutrition can play a powerful role in injury recovery makes perfect sense. Yet when injury strikes, very few know exactly how to use nutrition to improve healing.
Strength Sensei: My Take on Carbohydrate Intake – Updated – You need to deserve your carbs. How many grams of carbs you can afford will be determined by levels of muscle mass, volume and intensity of training, percentage of body fat and insulin sensitivity