For some reason, I kept getting more and more mad when I wrote this post. I wanted to post about deliberate practice but then the post deteriorated into griping and complaining. I decided to publish the post anyway, just to get rid of it! 🙂
This post was originally inspired by Marion’s recent post on how to reach superior fitness. In her post, she asks a good question: how did she morph into someone who can do a 160-lb bench press when most gym goers just tread water year in year out?
What does she do differently?
The answer is deliberate practice. Marion mentions seven practices – like getting feedback from more experienced peers, tracking your progress and careful experimentation- that are necessary if you want to have truly remarkable fitness results. It’s takes much more than just trying harder or doing more to get truly fit.
When I was reading Marion’s list, I concluded I’ve been doing most of the things Marion mentions in her post, though I’ve been more focused on ridding myself of my chronic musculoskeletal pains than trying to get fit. For example, I have loads of books and papers that cover subjects like human anatomy, manual therapies like trigger-point therapy, Feldenkrais Method, posture, back and neck pain, yoga (from the time when I still did yoga). (My newest interest is the function of the face and neck muscles – interesting stuff!).
I’ve also made progress in my attempts: I’m not completely pain-free, but on the other hand I haven’t spent a single penny on massage therapy or chiropractors for over three years. I have my Feldenkrais practice to thank for that.
However, I’m not happy with my progress at the moment. I’ve managed to become a regular exerciser and my general fitness has certainly improved, but in some areas – like increasing muscular strength – I seem to bang my head against the same tree time after time.
That tree is my lack of core and upper body strength. The pains in my upper back and neck come screaming back If I put even a tad too much load on my upper back. And the pain is so bad that I can’t keep on doing the moves that overload my muscles (stretching doesn’t help because my muscles are bunched up so hard that they don’t stretch).
I’ve faced this issue time and time again during my journey – with Ashtanga yoga years ago, when I started doing Flavia’s Full-body-licious program last summer and now with Lynn Cosgrove’s Fit Female Breakthrough.
This is the #1 issue that prevents me from progressing the way I’d like to. It’s hard to accept because I know that if I had money to spare, I could probably get over this hurdle a lot faster with the help of a good personal trainer (not just any personal trainer but one who knows how to work with body issues like me).
Meanwhile, I guess it’s just back to listening to my body and tweaking the FBB program so that I can keep doing it. Even slow progress is progress..
Have you had stubborn body issues that prevent your from progressing as fast as you’d like? How did you get over it? Did you need professional help?