We all have things we plan to work on “someday.”
Sometimes, it’s a basic skill we wanna go back and really master. Sometimes it’s something we know is holding us back, like shoulder flexibility.
Doesn’t really matter what it is – in the rush to progress and see improvement, we skip the veggies because we want to get on to the desert.
You know what? Now is the perfect time to eat some veggies.
To go back and shore up weaknesses. To put some energy into doing things right that you’ve always just settled for good enough.
Ryan’s got a simple plan for doing that, so stick this in your earhole.
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Transcript: Seizing the Opportunity to Aim for Mastery
Andy: All right, all right. Welcome to the Gooder Movement Basics podcast.
Ryan: We’ll learn you good.
Andy: We will, we will. You’re lucky that we are not teaching language skills or grammar, at the very least.
Ryan: We will be talking about those today in the show.
Andy: We will.
Ryan: What are we talking about today, man? Come on. What is it?
Andy:: Well, so one of the things, it’s really interesting. We’re in this really interesting time in society and not just acutely, but generally as well. Everyone thinks that the ability to perform a Google search makes them an expert. Right?
Ryan: Mm-hmm (affirmative), yeah.
Andy: Last week or so or two weeks ago, pretty much everyone on Twitter was suddenly an epidemiologist.
Ryan: Because we’re right in the middle of the COVID-19 scare, right?
Andy: Yeah. Literally, every person has a theory because they know these things, they’re knowledgeable. Now that everyone is locked down at home, now that everyone is at home, everyone is a personal trainer. It’s amazing. It’s amazing how many free workouts you can join. I have seen quite a few of them and, “Good luck to you guys,” is what I want to say, but-
Ryan: Well, if you’re looking at those. Because I’ve refused to look at any of them.
Andy: You’re smart. I actually punched my computer monitor, which is, let you guys know is not something I recommend. GMB has its own way of doing things and we have for a long time. We’ve always looked at training in terms of cycles. Doing what’s appropriate for you at a given time, and changing that when your needs change. If you are locked down at home, or if you are just changing your environment or your situation, maybe what you need to be doing isn’t going after your personal best, or trying to get jacked, or whatever.
Maybe you could use this as an opportunity not to just try to get your sweat on, but to do something you normally wouldn’t do. Maybe this could be an opportunity to train some things that you normally would not fit into your training. To do stuff that you know is good for you, but you’ve always told yourself, “Oh, I’ll focus on that later.” Well, this is the time.
Ryan: Yeah, it’s a perfect time. Because you’re listening to this, you probably know a little bit about GMB anyways. The thing is, is we’re not about trying to do more exercise. It’s about really figuring out what’s good for you. Then we focus on learning skills, a skill-based learning. That’s going to be a big focus about what we’re talking about today. This is a great opportunity, just like Andy said, to actually go back and look at the things that you were probably neglecting. By doing that, it’s going to help you to move towards mastery, further mastery of these particular skills. Really, it just comes down to the three things, strength, flexibility and control.
Today, I just want to cover and give you an example of something that you can actually do every single day, which might surprise you for me to say that. I’m not saying you should necessarily exercise every day, but something that you can go back to practice a little bit on, brush up on, and it’s going to help you to move towards that mastery as well. When things are back to normal, when you’re back to being able to do the activities that you really love, then it’s going to help you to continue to be able to do those activities in a way that’s positive. What I mean by positive is looking at this not just physically but also mentally, because this is also an important thing right now.
Like Andy says, maybe the last thing you need right now is not just crushing your workouts, killing yourself every single day. It might feel good to sweat, but looking at stress, looking at everything else that’s going on in your life, mentally, might not be the best thing. Of course, it’s dependent upon your own opinion, but we are going to go ahead and give you an example today of some things that you can work on. A particular routine, if you will, that you can do every single day that’s going to help you work towards mastery once things are back to normal.
Andy: Right. A lot of the times, we talk a lot, basic skills and fundamental capabilities that we think are important, a lot. On the surface, we’re hitting on a lot of those. We’re going to give some, like Ryan said, a routine that you can try. The purpose of this, if you imagine having a whole buffet of options in front of you. You’ve got some prime rib, you’ve got those little mini quiches. You’ve got, “Oh, man, there’s some vegetables over there.” That’s not why you go to a buffet. Man, you’re here for the rosemary chicken. Well, sometimes you still need to eat your vegetables. This is the time to eat vegetables. This is what we’re saying. We are going to give you a plate of vegetables today. If you’re not into that, turn this off now, move on.
This is the stuff that you know is important, that you know is good for you, but you’ve avoided because you’ve been going for that prime rib. Because you’ve been stuffing yourself with mini quiches, which are delicious. You’re not wrong to do that, but you’re so full of mini quiche that you have not had the full complement of veggies that you need for vitamins and minerals. We are going to tell you how to use this time as an opportunity to get those vitamins and minerals that you need, to do the stuff in your training that is necessary and important. Yes, most of it is basic, but it’s the stuff that’s important that gets left out.
Ryan: Now the thing about this is you already know these movements. That’s looking at it as far as vegetables, you know you should be eating your vegetables but it’s not necessarily something that you look forward to. That’s where we’re going with this. This is the opportunity to go back and polish up these particular basics that you already know. I said “know” in air quotes because this is an opportunity to get to know them better. The better that you know something and the more understanding that you have of that, the better off it’s going to help everything else that you’re doing.
To give an example, I love language, and speak a couple of languages. English not so well, but Japanese though, for example, get to a level and Andy is there as well, where we’re proficient in Japanese. The thing is, is if we go back from time to time and polish up particular places within our language, it could be part of our reading, part of our writing, part of colloquialisms that are happening. Looking, again, further at, in this particular case, what is actually being conveyed? If we go back and have a deeper understanding of that, it’s going to help us overall in our communication, which means that our lives are going to be better. Especially, the fact that our wives are Japanese and it’ll make our marriage, hopefully, better. It’s kind of a joke there, but not really.
What we’re going to do as far as looking at moving forward today is we’re doing the same with these movements, and so going to keep it super simple. Because that’s really what we need to do is simple, and keeping these restricted, if you will. Just looking at simple things like the Spiderman, which is our push. Looking at a Monkey, which is going to be our squat. Just practicing these particular movements is going to allow us to get really good at them, get a better understanding. It’s going to translate into everything else that we’re doing. Anything else before we actually jump right into it?
Andy: No. Let’s jump right into it.
Ryan: All right. I had to get a drink of my coffee there. Now, we’re going to be looking at strength, we’re going to be looking at flexibility, and we’re going to look at body control. The way that we do everything here in GMB is we look at our five Ps. Five Ps is just a protocol that we use in order to set up a particular workout session. Now, in this particular session, because the focus is really just on Practice and Play, we won’t be including a push portion of this. Now, let me go through things.
The first P that we have is a Prep. This is going to be our warmup, if you will. What we’re going to use for this is going to be the basic GMB warmup. We’ll have links to all of the stuff here. If you’re listening to this, go ahead and check out online to get the links for this. Basically, you’re just going to go through the GMB warmup. That’s it. That’s your Prep. Nothing else to add to that. It’s really simple. You can just follow along, and just do it every single day. It’ll only take you, actually, a couple of minutes.
Now, next thing that you’re going to look at is the Practice, so that’s our next P. Within Practice, we’re going to be looking at three things. This is going to be actually the strength portion of it. Now, there’s three movements that I’m going to ask you to look at when you’re doing this. Some of you are going to be thinking, “Oh, but I can’t do the pull portion.” Well, I’m going to give you some ideas and some thoughts on how you can actually do this at home. I’ve already mentioned two of these. The first one, we’re looking at a push. Our push is going to be the Spiderman movement. If you’re not familiar with that, again, just check it out online, plenty of resources in there.
The next thing that we’re going to be looking at is going to be a pull. Now again, you might be thinking, “I can’t do a pull,” but if you have a table at home, yes, you can do a pull. The other thing, I even saw something on Instagram where a guy took two bedsheets, and he draped them over the door, then shut the door. He held onto to the sheets, and it allowed him to be able to work on his pulling movements. All you’re going to do for the pull though is a reverse row. That’s your pull. Your squat’s going to be your Monkey.
Now, I’m going to go through these in-depth here in a second. I just want to cover everything. That’s our Practice portion of it. The next thing up, you’re going to look at Play. Play is our exploration. In this case, you’re going to be focusing on a single-leg balance. Then you’re going to be lowering yourself down to the floor. Getting down on the floor, and then going back up, standing back up. That’s it. You’re simply going to play with that. Again, that’s it. In essence, let’s say that you’ve got 10 minutes, maybe 15 minutes. That’s plenty of time to be able to go through these. This is not a workout. This is really what I want to stress. The purpose of this is to actually look at how you could make each movement better every single day. What does that mean?
What that simply means is, what did you learn from that movement that day, and how are you applying it to the next time that you perform these particular movements? Let’s go ahead and go really deep, and look at each portion of this. The first thing that we talked about, again, is Prep. This is where we’re going to be using the GMB warmup. We’ve got videos on YouTube you can follow. Just type into the Google, if you want, “GMB Fitness warmup.” It’s all going to come up there.
Now, the very beginning, of course, is going to be getting yourself familiar with that warmup, so you’re follow along with the video and then you’ll just try it out. This is an assessment of sorts. Now, whenever you’re performing these, this particular session, in the very beginning, the first time you do it I really suggest that you take out your camera, take out your iPhone, your mobile phone, whatever you got. Take a video of yourself doing these movements. That’s your assessment. You’re just seeing where you’re starting. Then at the end of five days, which is what I’m going to suggest you do this, then you take another video of you performing these movements. You’re going to improve. I guarantee you, you’re going to improve, but what does improvement mean? Improvement sometimes is not just looking at a video and seeing that you’re able to perform it at a higher level.
The thing about this is that understanding, that internal understanding and being able to show better control within those movements. This is something else of looking at when you’re going through it. Coming back to that Prep, you’re going through that warmup. In the very first session, all you’re doing is you’re trying to get a feel for what’s going on in that warmup. You’re not crushing anything at all, you’re just trying to do it.
Next thing up is you’re going to try the Spiderman. You’re taking a video of yourself. You’re not even thinking about really too much. You’re just going to try it, that’s it. It doesn’t matter how you do it, you just try. You do the same with a row, a reverse row, whether it be using a table or on your door, whatever you have to be able to do a row. Then you’re going to try a Monkey, and that’s it. Then you’re going to go ahead and you’re going to try a single-leg balance. Now, what single-leg balance should you do? The answer is, yes, it doesn’t matter. It really does not matter. You’re simply going to see how you can balance on one leg.
Now, my Instagram account, I recently posted an example of a single-leg balance that has a lot of different things inside of that. Great. Whatever. It doesn’t matter. It’s just an example, but it really … Even if you just put your leg out in front and try and balance on that one leg, great. Now, remember, you’re taking a video of this and so you’re seeing how your balance is. Then you’re simply going to lower yourself down to the floor. Actually lie on the floor, and then try and get back up. Now, you might find that, “Wow, trying to do this on one leg is really tough.” In fact, you might not be able to do it. Okay, cool. Put your other leg down on the floor, squat down to the floor, lie on the floor. Then just see how you get up off the floor. That’s it. There is no correct way to do this. You are exploring how you do that, and this is why this is in the Play portion of the five Ps. All right? That’s it, that’s all you do.
You Prep, you go through the GMB warmup. You try the Spiderman, you try the Monkey, you try a reverse row. Then you play, go to the Play portion of that. You try, you do your single-leg balance. You get down on the floor, and you get back up. Now, you might be asking, “That sounds pretty easy.” Yeah. Great, it is. Again, what you’re focusing on is, how can you make these better each and every time? By doing this, you’re going to find you are going to be getting stronger. You are going to be improving your flexibility and your mobility. You’re also going to be improving your control.
Now, I’m not saying that you can’t do any other workouts. For example, a couple times a week during these five days, let’s say two times you really like to get your sweat on. Cool, that’s great. Well, the place to do your workout, for example, you might be going through a HITT circuit or something else. That happens after your Play within here. In GMB that would be considered the Push portion. You just basically start off with the warmup, you practice these couple things. (silence)
… When you’re performing this. That’s really the shell of it, if you will, and this is the way that you can do every single day. Again, it’s not really looking at a workout at all. It’s simply looking at practice. The thing is, that’s just the overview of that. We’re going to get in the nuts and bolts of that in the next section, and go into actual details of what you can be looking at and where your focus should be when you’re practicing this stuff. Anything to add to that, Andy?
Andy: No. I think that’s really good. It’s important just to know that these aren’t magical, special exercises or anything. These are just basic things. You can choose whatever you want to do. Any kind of movements that you think are important, that you would like to go back to and get better at. Anything that you feel like you haven’t given it the time it deserves. You can pick those for this.
Ryan’s using the example of a row, the Monkey and the Spiderman because two of those are very, very full body and have a lot of movement. The other one uses, actually, most of your body too, but is often neglected. These are things that are very fundamental and have a lot of value and are easy for people to understand, is why we’re giving these examples. Choose anything, but the idea is that it’s not to challenge you to do the exercise. It’s not to make it difficult.
This isn’t a workout the way you normally think of it. This is kind of like, this is review. This is like going back and getting better at something. This is the thing, like the example I give a lot where a pro athlete will go back to basic things and work on refining that thing. Where somebody who’s really good at a sport will drill on a certain skill. I don’t know the names of any single pro NBA player, but where a basketball player will work on one passing drill like a thousand times because that’s where their coach identified a weak point in their game. This is going back and filling a hole. Pick the movements that you feel are necessary for this, or use these because they’re really good for all-purpose, general things. The purpose isn’t that it’s hard for you to do. What you’re going to see in the next bit is that we’re taking these and refining them.
Ryan: I want to reiterate that fact that again, this shouldn’t be hard. This is what we’re going to be talking about. It’s you finding a level, a variation, if you will, of this particular movement that’s going to allow you to learn. If a particular movement is so difficult that you’re having even trouble doing it, what you’re going to learn is you can’t do it, and that’s ….
The thing is, is what I really want us to focus on when we’re going through this particular session, and the reason that I chose these particular movements, again, is because of what Andy said before. It’s allowing us to be able to keep things simple, and then keeping things easy, if you will. Challenging yourself is good, but keeping them at a level that you’re able to perform them is going to allow you to look at things throughout your body and bring better awareness so that you’re practicing and polishing up these particular things.
That’s exactly what you’re going to be doing. Again, in the very beginning, you’re going to just have to try out these movements and just look and see, “This is what I’m going to be doing,” that’s it. You can’t hope to just jump in there and just nail it right away. These are possibly things that you’ve done a lot, depending on your history here within GMB, or other places. You might have done the Spiderman many, many times. You might have done the Monkey many times, reverse rows many times. In this case, it’s your opportunity to go back and look at it really for something that you might have not noticed before. This is where you can actually look at your entire body when you’re doing this and, literally, go from head to toes when you’re performing a single repetition of these movements. This is why it’s going to be very important to do these slowly.
If you’re having trouble doing them slowly, that means that that level is too difficult for you and you need to drop down a level. This isn’t a time, again, to try and crush things. You’re really, really actually taking a step back and getting really good, and becoming more aware of what’s going on in that movement so that when you go back to the higher levels and the other things that you want to do, they’re going to be better, they’re going to be easier because you’ve cleaned up and polished up your form. The quality has improved, awareness has improved. Your breathing will improve when you’re doing this, so that when you put it into motion in another example, for example, your activities or whatever else it is, you will have that awareness which translates into better performance. That’s really what we’re after.
The GMB warmup then. You watched it, you did it the next day. Start thinking, “What am I feeling when I’m doing this?” I’m not talking about happy or sad or anything like that. Literally, what’s going on in your body. “When I perform this particular movement, where do I feel it in my body?” That’s it, that’s all you’re thinking. That’s it. You’re not trying to change things up or anything like that. You’re simply trying to go, “All right, what’s going on here?” Period. Just bringing awareness to that. The same thing is going to go for the Spiderman, the Monkey, and the table row.
When you’re performing the Spiderman, what is going on? “Wow, you know what? This is similar to a pushup, but I really feel it in my shoulders.” Then you happen to notice, “Oh, I’m shrugging my shoulders when I do this. I did not realize that before.” You can do this every single day when you come back to that particular movement. By being open to what’s going on, your body’s going to teach you, literally, what’s going on. A lot of us, because we do these movements and think that we’ve got the movements, and we end up just blowing past them and not really seeing them for what’s going on in our bodies.
That’s the real goal of this, is to polish up these things. Be aware by noticing what’s going on. The way to polish it is super simple. If you’re shrugging your shoulders, and maybe you shouldn’t be shrugging your shoulders, don’t shrug your shoulders. That’s it. Then you focus on that single point. That’s it. There’s no magical way to do this except simple awareness. Because you know what’s going on in the movement. You know if something’s going on.
Another example for the Spiderman would be like even in the push up, really flaring your elbows out to the side. You might not have noticed that before because you were so busy cranking out pushups. By pulling the shoulder … Pardon me. Pulling your elbows in, it’s also probably going to help you to keep you from shrugging your shoulders. You also might notice that it makes the movement much more difficult, and therefore you drop your hips. Well, then the focus next time could be simply pull the elbows in and keep your hips from dropping. That might mean you actually going to a lower level by placing your knees on the ground and doing the pushup. Cool, that’s great. Remember, it’s a single repetition and you’re trying to do this as beautifully as possible. Just a single time, that’s it.
Now, you can do it multiple times if you want in terms of throughout that session, you could do a Spiderman really nice and slow. You focus on what’s going on. You take a break, 30 seconds or whatever to catch your breath if you need to. Then you can do another one. This is practice. We’re not looking at working out here. We’re really, really taking a look at a single repetition, and performing that as beautifully as possible in order to get information that’s going to help us to make it more beautiful the next time we do it. Make it gooder, more gooder. That’s the the phrase here for today’s podcast, right?
Andy: That’s right. Making this gooder. It’s important … The point of this isn’t those specific things Ryan mentioned. It’s not keeping from shrugging the shoulders. The point isn’t about your elbow position or any of these things. It’s kind of like, if you think about posture, is a good example. What Ryan’s saying isn’t that you need to sit a certain way, but what’s super interesting, that in the time between when I said the word “posture” and right now, 75% of the people listening to this sat up straighter. Why? By saying “posture” and asking you to think about posture for just a second, even kind of offhand, you’ve become aware of your posture, and what happens? You sit in a better posture than what you normally, habitually do.
This is all we’re trying to do. We’re not trying to say, I don’t have to say, “Sit up straight. Pull your shoulders down and back, and make sure that your chin isn’t jutting forward.” I don’t have to say those things. You know those things. Just being aware of your posture makes you change the way you’re standing or sitting. Being aware of the movement makes you change the way you’re doing it. It’s not about some magic kind of cue, some magic form, some exact right way to do things. It’s about trying these things, and being aware, and noticing where you are doing something that doesn’t feel comfortable or right. Then, just letting yourself do it in a way that does that.
Ryan: That’s it.
Andy: All you have to do.
Ryan: Yeah, and that’s really good, and that’s the big thing. Don’t look at it as bad or good. Think of it just as, “It is,” and how does that feel to you? Is that something that’s going to be good for you? Language is the same deal. There are certain phrases that we all use over, and over, and over, and over again. Or in Japanese, whatever, it doesn’t matter, that you might not be aware of using. Now again, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s bad or good. It’s simply a habit, if you will, that you have. As soon as you become aware of that, then you can start making changes if need be. That’s what we’re talking about when we’re doing this. Bringing better awareness to whatever it is you’re doing so that you can truly evaluate that and say, “All right. Is this good for me or not?” And really, “Am I doing it?”
This is something, when we first started out in GMB, there were certain words that I would say all the time and Jarlo and Andy brought it to my attention, saying, “Don’t say this. Quit saying this particular,” whatever it was. Thanks to that, it helped me in the videos that I was doing. This is similar, actually, to what we’re doing right now but you’re doing this for yourself, you’re assessing. This is also why I ask all of you, when you’re doing this, start off, be sure to take video. You don’t need to shoot every single day, but having that starting point and seeing what’s going on in the beginning, and you know what you were feeling when you took that video.
Then, after five days when you take another video of you going through the things, you’re going to see things because you’ve through that awareness process on camera that I might not be able to see because I don’t know your feeling of what’s going on in your body when you were doing it. That’s why I keep bringing it back to slowing things down, just being aware of what’s going on. By doing this every single day, you’re going to have that feedback. You’re going to have that data, if you will. It’s going to allow you to be able to really, really figure out exactly what was going on. Plus, by doing it every single day, then you’re going to be creating a habit moving forward that’s going to be a good one for whatever it is you’re doing. Similar to posture. If you’re always being aware of your posture, you know what you need to do in order to make it better. It’s not that I need to sit here and tell you how to say it or talk or anything like that.
A lot of stuff, we just talked about that. Basically, again, it’s in the very beginning, simply trying out the movement, seeing what’s going on. Then each and every day, just being aware of different places in your body when you’re doing that movement. That’s really what this is. Like Andy said, these are particular movements that I chose because I think they’re pretty simple in terms of, I’m not making this complicated.
The other reason for this is that the play aspect of it, especially going from a single-leg to the floor and back up. Yes, it’s a challenge. By the end of these five days, you might actually find that you can squat down on one leg, and you can get back up on what leg. That’s really though not the goal. The goal is simply of what’s going on in your body, being aware and to be honest, not working out. That’s a huge thing. This is really about looking at the concept of Practice, and the concept of Play, and just polishing these basics. Anything else in there?
Andy: Well, yeah. I think another good thing here is that you’re doing this in a short amount of days. If we’re talking about a temporary span of a couple weeks or a month or something where you’re going to be off your normal routine, then you have a lot of options of things you can do. In a handful of days, there’s nothing you can do that is going to make you noticeably stronger in less than a week. There’s nothing you can do that is going to increase your endurance, noticeably, in less than a week. There’s nothing you can do that’s really going to get you more in shape in a handful of days.
This is a good time to not have to worry about that, and instead, focus on the things that you leave out. What it gives you is, you can notice. This is why Ryan is saying to take a video. If you practice a thing, even just a few minutes, but if you practice it like 15, 20 minutes every day or even three days a week, or something like that, and if you film yourself and you put in some practice, and your work on these things, and you’re aware and you notice, you will absolutely see that you can markedly increase your control of a particular skill in a handful of days.
This is why this is a great opportunity to focus on these things. Because you have, we hope, a small amount of time that you can chunk down to, and you have this opportunity to do things that are outside of your normal routine. It’s something where you can actually see the benefits of it accruing over time, over a short amount of time, where you might not have noticed the benefits if you were just tossing this stuff in to something else. It makes it doubly valuable because you get the benefits of it, but you can also feel like you’re accomplishing something in a short amount of time. Which I think is really important to have a little bit of a positive feedback loop internally, like mentally, physically, to get some feeling that you’re accomplishing something based on the effort that you put in.
Ryan: Yeah, that’s really it. It’s just looking at the next five days and doing that. I actually don’t suggest changing the movement. Making adjustments according to your level, I think that’s good. Again, the goal is not to go from Spiderman to Planche or anything like that. It’s literally trying to use the same movement over the course of these five days to just gain better awareness of what’s going on.
Andy: Yeah. Don’t think about progressions, don’t try to get somewhere.
Ryan: No, not at all.
Andy: Be where you are.
Ryan: That’s why I suggested these simple movements, if you will. The basic movements of just using the warmup, Prep. Then you’re going to go through for your Practice. You’re going to use Spiderman, you’re going to use Monkey, use a table row. Then for your Play, you’re just going to do a single-leg balance, down to the floor and then back up, and that’s it. Explore. See what’s going on within your body. The other thing too is, have fun with it. Look at it as a way to just have fun. If you can do that, it will be fun.
Andy: All right.
Ryan: Thanks for listening.
Andy: If you can have fun, it will be fun.
Ryan: That’s right. There’s your Zen for the day.
Andy: There’s your moment of Zen. All right. Thanks everybody.
Ryan: All right. Bye, bye.
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