Monday, December 10, 2012

Novelty in Exercise

Really interesting thought from Henry Abbott at TrueHoop:
And here's a Joakim Noah story that's, amazingly, somewhat related. The story is that Noah has been in incredible shape after training in the offseason with, of all people, big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton. Now here's how that's related: As a runner I have put a ton of trust into the evidence-based insight of Jay Dicharry, who has written a book about running form and the like. I met Dicharry when I interviewed him at SXSW, and at that event he said that he thought one of the best things an athlete could would be to train like ... Laird Hamilton. The main reason he says that is that Hamilton goes to great lengths to put himself through new things, rather than spending all that training time perfecting well-known skills. Hamilton and Dicharry are also both very into working on balance, something that isn't a big part of most workout regimens, but that I've been working on for the past several months and that I believe has made big impact. I'm guessing Joakim would agree.
 This reminds me of the recent studies on deliberate practice, described as:
a constant sense of self-evaluation, of focusing on one’s weaknesses, rather than simply fooling around and playing to one’s strengths. Studies show that practice aimed at remedying weaknesses is a better predictor of expertise than raw number of hours; playing for fun and repeating what you already know is not necessarily the same as efficiently reaching a new level.

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