Get your reps in
How repetition is the key to improvement
Hello fellow Protagonists,
Today I want to share a lesson in improvement from the gyming world that can be applied to everywhere else in our lives.
Let's say that you want to fill out your t-shirt sleeves by building up your biceps. Most people would have heard that a bicep curl is the classic exercise to train our biceps (nice simple name and not too complicated, we like it).
Whilst at the gym doing our bicep curls someone strolls over to us and says "That exercise is useless, there are other bicep exercises that are better than the bicep curl". We listen closely and get caught up in this magical "Hammer curl" that this bigger person has said works better.
Hammers are tough, we tell ourselves, I mean Thor had a hammer and he's an Avenger.
So we change our Bicep curls for Hammer curls. Massive arms here we come!
We go home and Google bicep exercises to see if there are even better exercises that we could be doing that we didn't know before because we have already been told we got it wrong once so maybe these Hammer curls are also wrong. Everywhere we look someone else is telling us that they have the secret to huge arms.
"No don't bother with hammer curls, try these instead".
Boom! An article labelled the 20 best bicep exercises we should be including in our workouts. Here are some on that list:
E-Z bar curls
We then think to ourselves that maybe we need to do all of these because then if one works the best we need to make sure that we have included it in our workouts.
We then require a detailed plan that makes sure all of these exercises are included equally. This sure starts to sounds complicated. Obviously we have to skip the gym today in order to write this new plan.
How do we know which one is working best?
How do we juggle all these exercises to make sure we are improving at them all?
We chop and change frequently, write new plans and eventually start to wonder why we have not hardly made any progress.
These are sad times indeed and maybe it is the gyms fault, their dumbbells are broken.
Then we read another website which tells us to get rid of bicep exercises altogether and focus on other exercises that happen to use biceps to support much bigger and better muscles.
So we get rid of bicep exercises because maybe that is the secret after all.
I am willing to bet that if we would have just stuck to the standard bicep curls at the beginning, made sure we included them in our workouts and gradually increased the weight and/or reps with time, we would have made greater improvements than we did using this approach.
The truth is that you get stronger by doing more exercise, putting in more time in the gym, resting and then returning to complete more repetitions (this isn't an excuse to whip out the 1kg dumbbells and blasting 100 reps, sadly it doesn't quite work like that)
Whatever you are wanting to improve on, putting in the reps will see you improve.
If you want to improve your guitar playing, play your guitar more.
If you want to have more money in savings, start the process of saving.
If you want to learn French, read, watch and speak more French... Oui
If you want to become better at writing blog posts, write more blog posts (this one is also a bit of personal motivation)
The trap some of us fall into is when we mistake planning for action.
Planning has it's place but can sound far more important than it really is.
We spend months working out the greatest investment plan, allocating every 0.1% of our income but we haven't invested a single penny yet.
We spend weeks and weeks preparing the greatest blog post that the world has never seen.
We learn and improve from taking consistent action and regularly receiving feedback on that action. This link is to my first ever unedited post, see if you think anything has improved?
Just 10 minutes practicing something every day is 70 mins of practice a week and 5 hours practice each month. We will improve over time, it really is that simple.
Our task today is to take something we have been planning for a long time and to put the smallest part of it into practice. Turn plan into action.
Planning to write a book one day, write your first paragraph today.
Planning to build your biceps, go and do some freakin bicep curls.
Go on, off you pop!
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