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Episode 86: Excellence Begets Excellence

Video Highlights

- SAID in action.
- Options for getting better at what matters to you.
- A simple exercise to know for sure.

Hey Z-Health Community, Dr. Cobb back with you.

Today we’re going to be talking about the idea that greatness is practiced, it doesn’t just emerge spontaneously.

Now why I’m talking about this there is a fantastic blog post by Daniel Coyle who wrote a beautiful book on talent called ‘The Talent Code’. It’s one that we still recommend; he wrote it years ago we still recommend it.

It talks about how excellence is built through excellent repetition, and excellent repetition is built through excellent practice habits. As I said it’s one of our most powerful books, and he recently published a blog. It is fantastic, so I’ve put a link below this video. What I’m going to do is I’m going to pause here. I want you to pause the video, go watch the videos on the blog post that he did, read it real quick and then come back.

The Talent Code Blog

All right so you’re back. Hopefully you went and watched those videos; you read what he had to say. What you should have seen is excellence or greatness being practiced intentionally with regularity. The reason I’m bringing this up is that one of the preeminent things we talk about in our early coursework with our students is something call the SAID principle.

In human physiology, SAID is an acronym. It stands for Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand. All right Specific Adaptation to Impose Demand which basically means that you get better at what you practice.

Now the reason that this is so important to us is that we see tons of people coming into the health and fitness world with really no idea what they want to be good at. Or with a very clear idea of what they want to be good at thinking that they need to do a lot of other things that other people are doing in order to get good at this one skill.

I have an exercise I’d like for you to go through because again after reading what Coyle had to say and looking at those videos, hopefully you’re thinking about this a little bit differently. The exercise is this. Pull out a sheet of paper. And again set your timer, you’re to go to need seven minutes today. Seven minutes, set your timer.

What I want you to do is I want you to write down the numbers one, two, three, four, five. One, two, three, four, five. I want you to if possible list out the last five workouts that you did. The last five exercise sessions, the last five things, whatever it is. In the middle of those or beside those, figure out, “Work out one that was last Monday and I did some chest work and some shoulder work. Then I got on the exercise bike.”

What I’d like for you to do is look at those workouts and then answer a simple question. Are you making yourself better at things that matter to you? Simple question. Is your practice taking you in the direction that you want it to go?

Now that doesn’t mean that if you’re a football player, it doesn’t mean that you only have to play football. You may need to do other accessory things.

What I want you to understand is that there’s a high degree of specificity in the human nervous system. That whenever you’re training just generally you’re probably going to get general results.

What we always ask our clients to do is set a goal for every training session. Let’s say that next week your big exercise plan just because you’re going on vacation is to relax and walk around. Is there potential for you to train yourself, train your brain, train your eyes, train your inner ears just in walking?

Absolutely. Lots of different options. You can see in our vision gym, our balance gym we give you moving options for doing exercises. Would improving your vision perhaps improve your walking? Would improving your balance perhaps improve your walking? Yeah.

Like I said this is a big topic to consider but it’s a simple to question to ask. Am I regularly practicing the things that I want to be good at or do I not know what I want to be good at? In both cases what you run into is that you can spend a lot of time getting good at the wrong things. That’s what we always are trying to help prevent for our clients.

Do the exercise. If you have questions about the results. If you’re not really sure, you’re like, “Okay I did these workouts and I think I’m getting better at doing squats and lunges and running on the treadmill. Is that really going to carry over to my tennis game whatever or are there other options?”

The honest answer is there’s probably other options that we could help you explore or if you’re working with a Z trainer you need to have a conversation with them about. Do the exercise, if you have questions about it please let us know.

This again is one of the most important things we have our athletes do on a regular basis. Just like these guys up on the wall behind me, they’ve learned that it’s the level of precision that we bring to our practice that really ultimately determines the results that we generate.

If you’re going to invest the time, let’s make sure that you’re getting out of it what you deserve.

Thanks guys, have a great week.

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