Viewing entries tagged
LARP

Goals Focused Training

2 Comments

Goals Focused Training

One of our main programs here at EST is goals based programming. For a lot of people that might mean weight loss, improved health, or body sculpting. However we are a nerd gym, and we have nerd clients, with nerd goals. So how, and why, do we program for those goals? We use sport specific training just like an athlete would. For this article I'm going to use the examples of baseball and esports and compare how their training really is the same.

For sports or nerd goals you want to focus on two forms of training; skills and strength and conditioning. Skills are going to be the specific things you are going to use during a game. For baseball your skills focusing are going to be on running, catching, throwing, as well as learning your teams plays and strategies. For Esports and gaming your skills training is going to be reflexes, hand dexterity, hand eye coordination, and game play strategies. For strength and conditioning your looking to improve your general athletics, so that can execute your skills better. You also want to work the areas around and supporting what you use for skills training but in a different and/or corrective way. For example a catcher isn't going to do tons of squats on their strength and conditioning day because it's all they'll be doing on their skills and game day. A gamer who stares at a screen for his game is not going to want to use screen based drills or they may impair their vision on game day. That is the basics of sports specific training. Your looking to improve the skills most directly associated with your hobby, and the general conditioning and strength to execute those skills well.

Now that we have an understanding of sports specific training how do we apply that to our hobbies. First thing you want to do is figure out what your goal is, and be clear and specific. Derek Jeter didn't just want to “be good and baseball.” He wanted to be the best hitter, that was his main focus. He focused on baserunning and fielding as part of his skills training. He also took on a position of leadership, this is also part of his skills training and play. These are all skills that he focused on developing in his training. So the first thing you have to ask yourself is what are your goals. If we go back to gaming; do you want a better kill to death ratio? Would clicks per minute up your game? Do you need to get better at reading the map or spotting enemies? Do you want to follow plot points and solve puzzles better? Figure out what your specific goals are and what skills you want to improve. Next set up a training program and schedule around those skills. This is going to mean playing the game but not necessarily in a fun way. Go into a practice mode or replay earlier levels looking not to win or rack up a high score but to work on one skill. If you want to get better at being sneaky and finding cover, play with no weapons and just see how long you can survive. This is going to be super frustrating and take a lot of fun out of the game, you will die…a lot, but you will also get better, it will help you to focus on a specific skill. You can also use different games or skill based exercises to help you develop. Juggling for hand eye coordination or jigsaws for pattern recognition. We are using gaming here as our example but again this works for all hobbies. Once you have your skills training down it is on to your strength and conditioning.

Now this were I get a lot of push-back, this is were even gamers start to tell me that e-sports isn't really sports. I can't tell you how many time I get told that you don’t need conditioning because, gaming, LARP, DnD, cosplay, Fanfic, comic books, are all sedentary hobbies. I get it...you don't want to get on the treadmill, don't worry neither do I. However strength and conditioning can improve all of these skills. Remember strength and conditioning is putting your body in a position that it can execute the skill better. Joe Manganiello is a better D&D player then most because he has a well conditioned body. This allows his skills at role playing, puzzle solving, and basic arithmetic to come through. He has the energy, focus, posture, to play the game because he is well conditioned. Olympic level archers have talked about know they will win over someone who is less conditioned then them not because they are the superior archer but because in the moment their conditioning will help them deal with elevated heart rate, stress, energy, and focus, and their skills training can shine through. Now again I don't need you to jump on a treadmill or being looking to get abs like Joe. For your own strength and conditioning look at what gives out first in your hobby, what is sore the next day, when do you lose focus and why. You want to build your conditioning programming around that. If you lose focus every time the battle gets intense and your heart rate spike then work on sprint style drills that spike your heart rate so you get comfortable there. If you have to stop because your hands cramp up then maybe you need to work on some grip recovery work. Remember just like the catcher doesn't squat, you want to do stuff that strengthens your weak spots without overworking those movement patterns.

Ok now for the mushy wellness, let’s be happy and healthy part. As you work on these skill and training you may find that it’s a way to work in some healthy habits into your life. It might even making them a part of your everyday habits more then an awful chore you don’t want to do. Much like when we pick up a new hobby, start getting better at it, and slowly start you make it a part of our everyday life. Adding skills training can both enhance that and making different healthy habits a part of your everyday life. As always if you find yourself lost, or don't know how or where to start please reachout, we are here to be that reacorse for you

2 Comments

What Super Power Do You Covet?

Comment

What Super Power Do You Covet?

When you prepare for your crime fighting mission, what power do you expect to most rely on? The sheer amount of cardio you have to do will happen regardless. We discussed this in a previous post. But once you swoop into action, would you prefer to save the day as quickly as possible, pick something up and move it to safety, or deduce how the crime took place, so you can stop it from happening again.

Basically, would you prefer to have super speed, super strength, or super deduction?

All three skills, speed, strength, and deduction, are needed in some capacity for any hero. The super power describes which of the three you prefer to rely on, enjoy using the most, or use by default without thinking. 

For example:

You come to a stone wall. How do you get to the other side? Do you smash a whole and walkthrough? Do you run up and jump it?  Do you look for a door? 

Your instinctive answer is your super power. The primary gift you should look to hone and keep sharp in case of use. The other two skills are viable options you should always mix in, just in case. It would suck to rely solely on finding a door, only to determine there isn't one.  

Your super power is the anchor to your training. It's what you should resort to when you fall of the wagon, when you're feeling unmotivated, and what you measure and test your progress against.  

We are going to analyze and break down what parameters will be most useful for your desired super power.

 

Super Strength

upload.jpg

You are going to pick up anything that isn't strapped down. You are the one your friends call when they are moving. Some asshat parked their car in your spot? Move it. Locked yourself out of the house? Knock down the door. You prefer to wield giant hammers, clubs, axes, or two handed swords, swing them once, and go home.

The first rule of strength training, is that you don't get strong by being strong. You don't improve strength by trying to lift 500lbs that won't budge. You don't improve strength by always and only lifting your max. You can realistically hit your max lift once. It takes so much of your energy to do so however, that you can't do it a second time.  

To improve your strength you want to work in full body compound movements. You want weights heavy enough to tax your whole body, while at the same time being light enough that after you have set them down, you can still pick them up again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And then maybe rest.

 

Super Speed

upload.jpg

Lines are the worst. Walking in a pack downtown makes you want to pull the skin off your face. You can totally run faster than rush hour traffic. The fastest way to get from point A to point B is a straight line, walls and private property be damned. Your jab is your favorite weapon and your wit is quick.

Speed is most effective in short bursts. The longer you spend doing something, the more energy it takes to keep doing it, the more you slow down. So when training for speed really you want to focus on two things. 1) Your top speed being higher. 2) The amount of time you can maintain your top speed, or close to it.

Plyometrics are your best friend.  Sprints, jumps, and other short bursts of power are going get you going faster, sooner. 

 

Super Deduction

upload.jpg

You know who the killer is within the first act of the episode. Crosswords and sudoku are your jam. Getting a question to something you don't know the answer to is both exciting AND an excuse to jump down a rabbit hole of research and thought experiments.  Your quick thinking prevents fights from escalating in the first place. Your understanding of physics and obsessive nature help you excel at things like climbing, darts, and billiards.

Just like strength and speed, your ability to deduce information from observing the world around you is physically trainable. To make it a superpower you have to be able to rely on it when you don't have time to think. When panic sets in and the chips are on the table, being able to tell whether someone is left or right handed doesn't matter unless you can apply the knowledge at full speed.

To train your deduction you want stimulate your mind in between spikes of adrenaline.  Playing memory in between a tabata, or tick tack toe in between heavy lifts can scratch this itch.

Which  of these powers do you feel calling to you? Which of the descriptions best describes how you see or would prefer to interact with the world? Lets discuss! If you want to learn more about how to exercise for character type, make sure to check out "How to Train for the Life You're Currently Living Part 2: Superhero Special Moves," on the products page!

Comment