The “Magic Dust” of Practice

I am learning how to play the guitar. I don’t play it well, and my hands often times feel like they are not connected to my brain.  But I can play something that kinda sounds like “Free-Fallin” so I’m basically a professional.

When I started playing, I was frustrated by my lack of progress. After I had vocalized this complaint to my husband, he called me out for not practicing enough.  He told me that if I wanted results I had to put the time in.  “But, but I am putting time in, I am practicing twice a week”… even typing that sounds like a pathetic response.

But I digress… this is a fitness blog, and no one cares about my lame music career, people just want to lift heavy things and do pull-ups. Well friends, this blog post goes out to everyone who like myself, want instantaneous results.  Wouldn’t it be awesome to just wake up one morning and be able to do Double Unders, Muscle-Ups, Toes to Bar, or Snatch your bodyweight?!  Unfortunately we don’t live in the Matrix and we can’t be just uploaded with skills or strength, we actually have to work for it.

In the book “Bounce” written by Matthew Syed, he references a study that tried to find a link between the top violinists in the world. Researchers organized violinists from the Music Academy of West Berlin into 3 groups:  outstanding students, extremely good students, and least able students (but still pretty darn good).  After studying these students’ biological differences, upbringings, race, gender, etc, the ONLY difference they found in the 3 groups, was the amount of time the students had spent practicing.  They found that the top group of violinists had collected over 2,000 more hours practicing than the other 2 groups.  The author goes on to discuss how natural born talent, plays WAY less of a role in determining your skill set and abilities, than just good old fashioned hard work.

So here is my fool proof plan to achieve any skill or goal.

Practice, practice, and practice some more.

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Let’s say you really want to be able to do Double Unders. You come to the gym 4 days per week, and maybe ONE of those days we do Double Unders in the warm-up or workout.  This means you are “practicing” the skill you REALLY want only 4 days/month.  And realistically on those days you aren’t practicing for more than 15 minutes, so you are getting a grand total of 1 hour of Double Under practice per month.  Honestly, it doesn’t sound like you really WANT to get Double Unders.  You want to magically be able to do Double Unders without putting in the work.  And Double Unders are just one example, and they don’t require building any strength like doing a muscle-up for example.

So if there is a skill or strength in the gym that you really want to achieve, I want you to do the following things:

  1. First analyze how much time you are actually putting in currently to achieving this goal.  Write this number down, and show it to a coach.
  2. Come up with a specific practice plan, or ask one of our coaches for a practice plan.
  3. STICK TO THE PLAN, and keep practicing.

I have seen this revolutionary plan work time and time again. For example: we had an unnamed trainer who was TERRIBLE at Double Unders.  She would whip herself, curse the heavens and throw her rope at the ceiling.  And then one day she decided she was no longer going to be bad at Double Unders.  She practiced EVERY DAY for 15 Minutes.  She did fast singles, speed step, backwards single unders, and double under practice every day.  And guess what… one morning she magically woke up with Double Unders, and now she’s the best jumper in the gym.  Her natural talents with a jump rope, aren’t natural at all, they are the result of hard work and dedication.

Our coaches have dedicated skill progressions that are free for the taking for anyone that asks. But after that it’s up to you.  If you really want something, no one can do it for you, they can support you along the way, but you have to do the work.  You have to dedicate the time and energy into achieving your goals.  Practice, practice, practice, and then practice some more.  Then I would bet that one morning you will magically wake up being able to do whatever it is you set out to do.

Want help with a skill or strength progression?  Email us at info@defiancegym.com to get set-up with a practice plan!

 

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