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For the last 3 weeks, I have been skulling a bizarre concoction of coffee and shrooms. I heard about the magic potion on an episode of The Tim Ferriss Show podcast. I rarely listen to advertisement roll outs but my ears pricked up like an alchemist when I heard buzz words like ‘productivity’ ‘shrooms’ and ‘zero crash’.
A few days before Christmas and I open a present from a friend to find 10 sachets of ‘Good Day In A Cup’.
The great John Danaher is back, this time with some nuggets on the importance of learning how to learn and why it is such an important skill.
Juggling was the medium that first shone the light on the process of learning for me. From there, I transferred my methodology from learning to juggle, to learning how to slackline. Next, rock climbing, where I used Tim Ferriss’ “D.S.S.S.” method to progress from a grade 5a climber to completing a 7a sport climb in just 16 weeks, a feat that should have taken on average 2-3 years. And since then, coming full circle to developing and exploring my grappling skills.
Danaher breaks down the skill of learning into three techniques that can and should be used;
1. The Trial and Error method (“Phrasing it as an experiment gives you permission to fail” – A.J. Jacobs)
2. The Great Person method (known as “modelling” in N.L.P.)
3. The Organic Nature of Skill Development (Gradualism is the pace of Nature)
Coach Sommer doesn’t really need an introduction from me. If you’ve never heard of him, it’s worth your time checking him out. In a nutshell, he’s coached a load of gymnasts to championship level over a few decades and knows what it takes to build a real gymnastic body – one that can function and perform to a high level but can also adapt and manage day-to-day realities and challenges. Sans bullshit.
Tim Ferriss did a wicked interview with Sommer, questioning him lots on the training process and various important points surrounding it.
A personal favourite takeaway from the interview was that it takes 211(+/-) days for soft tissue to adapt to a stimulus, apparently. I didn’t know it took that long for a change to be made but it makes sense when you realise muscle adapts nearly twice as fast compared to other softer tissues.
In terms of your own experience, what’s easier to build in less time, guns or range of motion? Continue reading →
The beauty of this new program that I’ve started – a gymnastic-based, bodyweight system – is that you have way less muscle-soreness (DOMS) in the days following the workouts.
That means Wednesdays, rest days, can be used for skill training. In this case, Handstands, with one of the coaches at Locker 27, Ben Lee.
Check this short clip out of our session :
We warmed up with some wrist mobility for about 5-10 minutes – vital to prep the wrist joint when getting into hand balancing territory. Then some shoulder dislocations to warm the shoulder joints.
I’ve just returned from my first snowboarding trip ever, with massive success. I managed to get cruising on my board in a mere 4 hours, compared to the average 3 days.
In those 4 hours, I managed turns, carving steep, intermediate runs and even a couple of tricks, despite never being on the snow before.
By the end of this post you’ll have a bombproof Cheat Sheet on how to hack your first time snowboarding, to yield the best results. I’ll include 80/20 analyses on how to prepare for your first day efficiently, what to focus on during your slope session, and I’ll even throw in a post-shred breakdown for efficient muscle recovery and memory retention for the skills you just learnt.
Is 4 hours realistic? Most definitely, and I’ll explain how you’ll be using Parkinson’s Law to master the basics of snowboarding in such a short time.
Note: I am assuming that you already have your snowboard gear sorted. This is a skill-based tutorial, with a couple of gear tips thrown in.
My self-experiment was to learn how to rock climb, in 16 weeks. I set myself the challenge of reaching a V6 bouldering, and/or a 7a sport grade.
I was what you would term a royal newbie. My background of slacklining, weight-lifting and MMA would prove to be advantageous, however, as I undertook a completely new and different physical challenge.
By the end of the 16 weeks, I had reached bouldering grade V5, and even sent my 7a sport climb, after weeks and weeks of attempts.
I achieved it all by hacking the learning process, discarding the useless info, people and attitudes, and embracing relentless change in the name of achievement. Not to mention suffering an injury and healing it in record time.
This post should help explain how I achieved my climbing goals, briefly cover how I got injured and what I did to rehabilitate, and offer you some resources and tips so that you too, can push your climbing grade, whether you’re a noob or a veteran.
I’ve tried to include the 20% of vital knowledge I gained over the 16 weeks that contributed to 80% of my results, to save you wading through…
When it comes to learning a new skill, training or just transforming into a BEAST in general, I like to let Nature do most of the work. After all, she’s a much stronger force than I could ever be, so why not let her take most of the load?
A little confused as to what I mean?
Read on and allow me to explain how I use Nature and the subtle, but very powerful force of Reflex Action to my advantage, whilst on this journey of learning a fantastic and complex new skill: rock climbing.
And bear in mind that this trick can be applied to learning anything new….
So the first 4 of my 16 weeks learning to climb are up.
I have used this time as a trial period for testing ideas out, noting my body’s responses to the abundance of new stimuli and using the results to set up the next 12 weeks properly.
As with any new goal or target, you’re going to increase your likelihood of success if you incorporate it into your lifestyle. This essentially forces you to look at lifestyle design; specifically, how to design your own.
If you’ve been following my LEARNING TO CLIMB series thus far, you should have already figured out your goals list. Part 2 showed you how to get your secret formula in place if you’re goal is to learn a new skill, thanks to a heroic influence of mine, Tim Ferriss, who much to my delight, actually posted part 2 on his facebook page.
Now in Part 3, we’re going to look at the importance of a 4 week trial period, how you can use it to increase your chances of success, and have a laugh at some of the lessons I’ve learnt during mine….
Alright, so it’s not really a secret anymore. But it’s still a formula, and it’s been used to achieve amazing results. This is part 2 of my LEARNING HOW TO CLIMB series. If you haven’t already, go back and read Part 1 to get an idea of why I am doing this and some tips for setting goals to be smashed.
This post goes over the formula I am using to learn how to rock climb, taken from uber-man-machine Tim Ferriss. The video below gives a brief intro to this formula, but placed in the matrix of learning how to cook, instead of climb. Have a watch, specifically from 1 min 30 onwards: