Learning Anything

Friday, December 7, 2012

Last plug for the Venice Santa Monica Christmas Run HERE!  Race is tomorrow morning!


Overhead Distraction
T-Spine Smash

Group Warmup:

Shoulder Prep

Classic Programming


Find a 3RM Bench Press


3 rounds for total reps of:
1 min ME Burpee Over-the-Box Jumps 20? (touch on top required)
1 min ME Pushups
1 min ME DB Ground to Overhead 35#/20#
*Rest 1 minute.


Advanced Programming


Find a 3RM Bench Press


3 rounds for total reps of:
1 min ME Burpee Over-the-Box Jumps 24? (touch on top required)
1 min ME Handstand Pushups
1 min ME DB Ground to Overhead 50/35#
*Rest 1 minute.

Cool Down:

Active Hang
German Hang or German Stretch
Cat Stretch
Sampson Stretch 

Post caption to coments

I’m a huge fan of  Tim Ferriss and I recently picked up his new book, The 4-Hour Chef: the simple path to cooking like a pro, learning anything, and living the good life.  Tim is obsessed with learning new skills, but more importantly, learning them as quickly and efficiently as possible.  One of the reasons I love people who do Crossfit is that they are the same; they’re not afraid to try anything new and eager to learn!  Want to go surfing? Rock climbing? Snowboarding? Downhill mountain biking?  Sure, no problem.  Want to do handstands? Forward rolls? Play on the monkey bars? Do 15 foot rope climbs? You bet!  Ready to throw 100+ pounds over your head…repeatedly?  Light weight!  Even though these are all physical feats, it is this attitude of open mindedness, play, and curiosity that I think keeps Crossfit a continual learning process, and ultimately what keeps it fresh, exciting, and fun.  At Track Night there was a drop-in recently who said  he hadn’t jumped rope since he was in the 3rd grade.  My first thought was that I was glad to give this person a new experience and bring him back to his childhood, and my second thought was how kids always seem to have the most fun.

I wanted to share Tim’s process for learning any and all skills, encapsulated in the acronyms DiSSS and CaFE:

Deconstruction: What are the minimal learnable units, the LEGO blocks, I should start with?
Selection: Which 20% of the blocks should I focus on for 80% or more of the outcome I want?
Sequencing: In what order should I learn the blocks?
Stakes: How do I set up stakes to create real consequences and guarantee I follow the program?

Compression: Can I encapsulate the most important 20% into an easily graspable one-pager?
Frequency: How frequently should I practice? Can I cram, and what should my schedule look like? What growing pains can I predict? What is the minimum effective dose (MED) for volume?
Encoding: How do I anchor the new material to what I already know for rapid recall?  Acronyms like DiSSS and CaFE are examples of encoding.

Applying DiSSS to Crossfit, the hollow and arch positions immediately come to mind.  These two “LEGO” blocks form the foundation for the kipping swing, which is necessary to later develop the kipping pullup, butterfly pullup, and muscle up.  The hollow position by itself is also present in strict pullups, strict dips, hollow rocks, handstands, and pushups.  It’s easy to see how deconstructing gymnastics into smaller blocks and focusing on the most important 20% (hollow and arch positions) can lead to 80% of the desired results (a plethora of gymnastic movements and increased body awareness).  The teaching progressions we do in class which are also recorded in the video library are the sequencing.  This is the order we recommend learning a particular skill, but will be slightly different for each athlete.  A quick example that comes to mind is false grip vs non false grip when trying to learn the muscle up.  Different sequencing will lead to different results for each person.  The final process is creating stakes and consequences that will keep you accountable.  That last part is up to you!  

I hope you enjoyed Tim Ferriss’ process for learning any skill.  He has applied this same process to multiple languages, cooking, dancing, and kickboxing with great success.  What new skills would you learn if you could do it quickly and easily? Always remember that our gym is one giant resource to help you in your journey towards a healthier lifestyle.  Whether it is running, lifting weights, losing weight, cooking, or purchasing higher quality foods, we are here to help you break it down into more manageable parts so that it can become a normal part of your lifestyle.  

You might also like