Friday, April 4, 2014

Reverse Engineer Your Goal and Attack

I once read Dan John talk about to improve in something you don't use moderation.  You attack it.  Want fat loss, the 28 day Velocity diet.  It was extreme, but it worked.  You didn't just alter, you changed it dramatically.  Moderation is great for maintaining.  Attacking is great for changing.  (my words, not his)

So what are you trying to change?

 What goals do you have?

 Can you have multiple goals?

Why is reverse engineering key?

I do believe having multiple goals is OK.  In fact, I think having more then one, can in fact be a good thing.  I'll explain.  Having set things to do that you accomplish every day usually creates momentum.  The problem, is that you're not going to just do that one goal 24/7.  So if you have several goals that can be worked on though out the day or week, you are creating massive momentum.  Keep the attack mindset.

The caveat is that the goals should not contradict each other.  Having a goal to gain 5 pounds of muscle and become competitive in a 100 mile mountain bike race will not be productive.  One will defeat the other, or they will cancel each other out and you will get no where.

Now lets say my goal is to increase mobility of the right hip.  I also want to increase my squat 30 pounds.  These goals will actually be synergistic goals.  If my hip mobility improves, my squat technique will improve.

Create you goal list and work backwards.  Reverse engineer from the end point.  Great programs always start with the end, not the beginning.  If a race is in 3 months, you work backwards from the race date to create your day to day, week to week, month to month programming.

Here is an example.  One of my goals is to improve my 3rd world squat.  I want to be able to squat down and chill.  Not work.  Reverse engineering what was giving me the largest stumbling block for me was my left ankle dorsiflexion.  It sucks.  Probably because of repeated ankle sprains and also not using it for years.   Using Functional Range Conditioning  I've created a game plan to slowly start to improve this.  I have to make an anatomical adaptation for my talus mortise joint.  It will take time.

Improve Pull Ups.  For me, the weakness was my left scapular shoulder girdle from an old rugby dislocation injury.  The arching shown in this video from Dewey Neilson has been very helpful.

Improve my elbow range of motion.  Once I thought this was a lost cause.  Thanks to Dr. Michael Chivers using some Mulligan work/Pails/Rails it is gradually improving.

Get better at Bouldering.  An old hobby that I've resurrected.  My weakness is grip strength.   My forearm extensors need work.

Build up a a large aerobic base.  Patrick Wards writing/seminars have really opened my eyes to the importance of doing aerobic work.  The problem is I HATE aerobic work.  Realizing the health benefits has been an important lesson.  Another was the bias I had that aerobic work would eat my muscles/strength.  I now realize this is just as dumb as the "If I lift heavy weights I will get bulky."
My weakness was my bias.

Improve my palpation skills and diagnosis.  Professionally I wanted to get better at soft tissue therapy.  I'm currently in the process of taking the Functional Range Release courses and I have been getting better.

Eat better.  Use a crock pot.  Weakness was my laziness.  It's hard to mess up a crockpot.

Read more.  I switched to a bigger phone and have multiple books at my disposal on the Kindle app.  I loved Apple, but found myself not really reading on it,  with it's small screen.  I got a bigger phone and now find myself reading much more.  5 min here and there really add up when you look at a weeks time.

These are just a handful of the goals I have.  But, you can see that none really contradict each other and most in fact will by synergistic.  If my grip improves, my bouldering will improve.  If my pull ups improve, my bouldering will also.  If my aerobic base is bigger, I probably won't dislike it as much and I will be healthier in all the above.

Find several goals.  Break them down.  Find the biggest weakness and repeatedly attack it.  Build off the momentum of working on your goals.  Momentum is a powerful force.  Go attack stuff.

Wrote this while listening to "Promise," by Ben Howard on repeat.


rafael susigan said...

really identified myself now. (ben howard)

How are you going to build this aerobic base without destroying your strength and continue to gain in strength / power etc. ..

Even when i do aerobic "recovery" i have a problem with my strenght to mantain your gain

Jason Ross said...

I make sure my aerobic is very easy. I'm talking heart rate under 120 bpm. I work on breath control. In the nose, out the mouth. If you can't maintain this, your working to hard. I do these checks for 3-4 minutes every 10 minutes. I stay relaxed.

If you start exerting real energy, it does tend to sap your power/strength. GPP is nothing new. Westside Barbell does this and they are strongest dudes on the planet.