The 'multiple gains' approach to rehab, fitness and elite performance
This is perhaps my biggest secret. Well, not anymore! Mind you, it's a very long and boring article. I'm not sure you want to read it...
Oh, you're still here? Ok, so the secret is that...
Your best results do not come from a single activity, intervention or behaviour.
The truth is far more complex and you can take advantage of it for better results at anything. Of course we can say things like "perseverance is the key to getting results" but here I'm not talking about traits as such. I'm talking about the actions that ultimately get your results.
I will give you an example. If I want to improve my running time 800m I could:
- do the appropriate running training for all the energy systems and attributes needed
- do drills for technique, speed and efficiency
- strength and strength endurance training for all the muscle groups used in the 800m
- warm-up properly to get the most from sessions
- look at all aspects of macronutrition
- supplements for micro-nutrients
- get sufficient sleep
- apply as many recovery methods as possible after and between training sessions
- look at how my running clothing could affect my race and training
- assess my footwear and orthotics
- train at the best time of day for me
- assess my biomechanics and movement patterns for inefficiencies
- use visualisation and other psychological methods
- use races to help me at key points in my training period
- watch videos of races for motivation and study of strategy
- avoid prolonged sitting and other activities which could interfere with my recovery and adaptation.
- Use Powerbreathe to train the inspiratory muscles and blow up balloons for the expiratory muscles.
- Make sure that any allergies are properly dealt with
- Keep myself away from likely sources of infection - colds etc
- Practice race starts
Notice that many items in the list above can be brainstormed to create a sub-list in their own right.
The mindset is very interesting. I've noticed in the clinic that the people that make the best progress seem to have this way of thinking. They will ask questions like "what things can be do to help this? What else can I do". They are open to, and looking for, many possibilities. People who have been stuck for a while tend to come in asking something like "what treatment will help this?" They are looking for a single solution. The truth is that no single solution is likely to work a miracle by itself and so they go from one thing to the next always missing the possibility for change.
I hope you will find a way to apply this mindset to whatever you do. Whether you are learning the piano or training for 800m. Even if you just add one or two things in to your strategy you will be going better in the right direction.