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The simple way to get good at something

By Marcus Santer

It was October 31st 2013 and I was landing at Gothenburg (Sweden)

As the pilot engaged the thrust reversal system to slow us down I looked out of the window and wondered if perhaps I’d got the wrong flight.

Where we’d arrived looked like Dartmoor on a bad day.

Cold, wet and very windswept.

I’d gone to Gothenburg to take the 3 day Progressive Callisthenics Certificate (PCC). And at the end of the course we all had to take The Century in order to gain our certificate.

Long story short… I failed.

Fortunately though I had 90 days to retest.

Now for those of you who don’t know what The Century is, here’s a quick recap:

  1. 40 Bodyweight squats
  2. 30 Push-ups (Kneeling Push-ups for women)
  3. 20 Hanging leg raises
  4. 10 Pull-ups (Horizontal Pull-ups for women)

All to be done in less than 8 minutes.

The course ended and as I was leaving I saw Danny Kavadlo (one of the instructors) and asked him what I should be focusing on for the next 90 days to make sure I nailed The Century.

His answer?

“The Century”

*DoH!*

It was great advice.

Whilst reading the book: Body by Science by Doug McGuff and John Little there’s a neat story that demonstrates the importance of training for a test in exactly the same way you’re going to be tested.

As Doug writes: “You don’t, for instance, go into a math test having studied only English before hand.”

So that’s what I did.

I scrapped my current callisthenics routine and went to work on The Century.

5 weeks later I did it.

You can see the proof here:

There’s a powerful lesson in this story.

Quite simply, if you want to get good at something practice it.

I know, I know.

ZEN+ prides itself on being simple, but that’s just too simple right?

Ugh, Ugh.

Lot’s of people think you get good at something by reading about it or thinking about it.

Sure, that can help.

But doing it – whatever your ‘it’ might be – is where the rubber meets the road. Reading and thinking might make you sound like you’re good at something. But doing is where you put your money where your mouth is.

Moving on…

This Saturday I’m going to start running Fantastic Sleep February.

And you’re invited to join me.

For the whole month of Feb I’ll be hosting a FaceBook page where the focus will be on getting fantastic sleep.

Why?

Because a good nights sleep makes you feel ready to take on the world. And a bad nights sleep, or worse a run of bad nights, can leave you feeling lower than a snakes armpit.

Stay tuned for that.

Bye for now

Marcus

P.S. And in case you thought you were going to get away with it…

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