In practice the first time I was introduced to the notion of incremental change was through a boxing gym.
At the back of the gym past the boxing ring itself was an all in one weight machine.
My boxing coach, mentor and owner of the gym brought me over and demonstrated how to correctly do a bench press rep.
Now it was my turn.
I was 16 years old at the time and had never performed that exercise before.
After a few warm up sets my coach placed the pin so as to lift some heavier weights. I cranked out as many reps as I could, all the time receiving feedback to keep my form and breathing.
After the last set my coach took out a piece of chalk from his pocket and marked off on one of the plates my current personal best.
The idea was the next I’d come to the gym I’d see the chalk mark and aim to do better by way of an added rep or an added plate.
That memory stuck with me and so too did the practice.
Here is how Wooden describes it.
You have to apply yourself each day to become a little better. By applying yourself to the task of becoming a little better each and every day over a period of time, you will become a lot better. Only then will you will be able to approach being the best you can be. It begins by trying to make each day count and knowing you can never make up for a lost day.”
“When you improve a little each day, eventually big things occur. When you improve conditioning a little each day, eventually you have a big improvement in conditioning. Not tomorrow, not the next day, but eventually a big gain is made. Don’t look for the big, quick improvement. Seek the small improvement one day at a time. That’s the only way it happens—and when it happens, it lasts.”)
Some pointers for you…
· What’s your metric of improvement? In order to know that you need to know one area or activity you want to marginally yet consistently improve.
· If its reading, the extra rep might be reading x number of lines per day and adding one extra line of reading.
· If its time, it might be adding an extra 10 seconds every day.
· Get a baseline score first so you know your starting point (lift light to lift big).
Get the chalk ready.
One extra plate or one extra rep outta do it.