Some people train hard, some train smart. Your goal should be to train both hard and smart.
Why? This is the best way to insure positive gains both in your life and in your martial arts training.
Put another way, this two-pronged approach prepares you for high-performance living.
Virtually all aspects of Martial Arts training are measurable; therefore, you can manage your progress and development. Flexibility, strength, endurance and skill level are all areas of growth you can watch, measure and keep track of.
As it turns out, there’s no “secret sauce” or magic bullet. The progress and results you experience as a practitioner are a direct reflection of the effort, energy and hard work you put in.
We all need to stay focused on making positive and progressive little steps forward, which eventually lead us toward bigger and better gains. The incremental approach evens out some of the difficult challenges we can face on a day-to-day basis by reminding us that forward progress happens in pieces, not in big jumps.
It’s been said that “to get more heat from a fire, you must first put more wood on it.”
Think for a moment about what that means. By allowing sufficient time to warm-up and focus your mind, body and spirit, you’re increasing the likelihood that you’ll make that incremental progress.
Once you’re warmed up, you’re in a place where you can start to relax your body and pay closer attention to your form and detail. (Details always make the difference between an effective technique and an ineffective one.)
In my experience, anyone can “train for gain” by understanding the concept of “progress versus perfection”.
Simply stated, before we can ever be great at anything, we must be willing to start the learning process. Part of this process is making mistakes, correcting them and practicing the correct skill, over and over again.
Earlier I mentioned “incremental progress”. A big part of this is understanding the ratchet effect. Essentially it means that in the course of training, we sometimes take three steps forward and two steps backwards. It can be frustrating in the short-term, but when we consider longterm gains we understand that we are still ahead of where we began.
Finally, “training for gain” means developing your finer sense skills. Keep in mind you magnify your ability to grow by listening to your instructors and success coaches.
Be coachable, be curious and eager to learn and improve yourself. Most importantly, keep your goal clearly in mind, “train for gain” and you’ll always get better, one day at a time.