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Sunday, June 12, 2016

POST-SFL Brain Dump

Just finished (as in, about five hours ago) re-certifying my StrongFirst Barbell Lifter's Instructor cert (hereafter referred to as SFL). This is going to be a brain dump. No attempt at organization or coherence here--I may do a more coherent review later.

Observation One: Repeat performance helps with learning.

The first time I went through the SFL, I was using up a lot of mental energy worrying about getting through the course, especially after I missed the bench press test. I learned a ton, but coming through the course a second time with a stronger foundation meant I was able to relax, pay attention to more of the details, and focus more on learning, rather than just surviving. Makes me almost curious if redoing an SFG would be a similar experience. Almost.

Observation Two: These are good people.

Everyone likes to argue about the various camps in the strength training/fitness world (just like everyone likes to argue about various martial arts styles). I couldn't care less about most of these arguments, but my experiences have been that the vast majority of the people I've met through StrongFirst have been awesome, and the SFL's have uniformly been packed with cool people who I'd love to spend more time training with. Everyone was helpful, supportive, and engaged the whole time. It was awesome.

Extra awesome, because (as my friend Lore pointed out to me), I train almost entirely alone. 99% of my workouts are done in my basement, and even those that are done at a gym are usually done alone. To lift in and around a community of like minded people was invigorating.

Observation Three: Plenty to Learn

I had, I think, been starting to get a little bit of, if not training ADD, what John Connors referred to as FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). I was vaguely poking at some bodyweight stuff, and wondering about other things. This course really helped refocus me on a basic truth: between the SFG and the SFL, there are about 13 lifts that I would like to have dialed in much better. That's plenty.

Observation Four: 

I don't know what to call this one, but I felt like I made some qualitative skill gains in some of my lifts over the last few months, and through the entire SFL. The best analogy I can draw is that there's a point in the martial arts where you don't need to think through the basics of the movements, and you can start focusing on the nuances--you know what a jab is, but you can feel where the jab isn't right. I feel like I'm getting there with my lifting.

Observation Five

There's a balance to all things, but lifting heavy shit really is fun.

Gold Quotes/Concepts

The set up is everything. (I got that last time, but it's worth repeating)
Speed hides dysfunction. (Gray Cook got named checked here, but Lore sent me another version of the quote that was attributed to Dan Inosanto. Considering the great application this has to the martial arts, this is not a big surprise)

I'm happy to say I passed the course straight through this time. That was due in no small part to the nutrition coaching I got from Amanda Perry, and the strength coaching and programming I got from Mike Perry. Skill of Strength is where it's at folks. Go check 'em out.

And finally, Lore introduced me to what Starbucks apparently calls a "black hat?" This may or may not have been a wise idea. On the upside, I may see through time someday.

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