Friday, November 27, 2009

Master Technique WITHOUT Fatigue

Throughout my twelve years of training experience, I am often reminded of the bodybuilding cliche, "No pain, no gain!" I am not a bodybuilder, and neither are most of the people I work with on a daily basis. Despite this obvious fact, occasionally someone spouts out such nonsense, as if suddenly they will snap me out of my ignorance! Of course, after a few seconds of education on basic motor learning theory, they are quickly brought back to my world of intelligent training. Using a kettlebell requires skill, and mastering the kettlebell requires perfect practice. You see, in the world of strength and conditioning, we know that practice does not NECESSARILY make perfect. However, "PERFECT practice makes PERFECT!" And to practice perfectly, you must minimize fatigue. Don't believe me? Watch a UFC or other mixed martial arts fight. After 5 minutes of combat, the best fighters in the world start making rookie mistakes, like dropping their hands! They CAN'T hold their hands up, because their fatigued nervous system won't allow it...not because they aren't highly skilled. Still don't believe me? Check out this video of Marcus Martinez playing with "The Beast," as he hardly breaks a sweat, because he avoids training fatigue!

So pick up your kettlebell and start drilling your swings and getups, but stop well before you start getting tired for the first few weeks. Keep your reps low, meaning five or less. Practice everyday, for just a few minutes at a time, maybe even multiple times throughout the day. You'll quickly surpass all your friends who have insisted on performing higher reps for an hour straight, insisting that the "burn" they feel means they had a great workout, only to be confused by the exhaustion they experience throughout the rest of the day. In a matter of weeks, your kettlebell skill will drastically improve, and your mind and body will "thank you" for training smarter...instead of longer!

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