Getting Those Extra Reps

Image by DrJimiGlide

Practice makes perfect, or at least perfect practice does. With our busy lives and many responsibilities, it is often hard to find ways to get the practice we need to really improve or even maintain our skills.

If I had the time, I would invest a few hours a day doing various dry fire drills, and spend a day or two a week at the range practicing there. I would love to spend a few hours a day working on strength, flexibility, and general fitness. Finally, spending a few hours working on various combative skills in the dojo, on the mat, or both would round out my training for the week.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m currently working a full time job that has nothing to do with training. I can’t afford the 6+ hours a day of training that would be my ideal. My guess is that you don’t have that kind of time either.

One way to maximize your training time is to find ways to include the things you really want to practice in your everyday life. By finding time for a few extra reps throughout your day, you help to build your ability to recall a skill on demand. More importantly, you take advantage of those moments of downtime in your day to accomplish your goals.

In strength training this is often called greasing the groove. The idea is that if you want to get better at a specific exercise, you work on that exercise throughout the day. For example if you can only do 1 or 2 pullups and want to increase your max reps for pullups, do 1 or 2 pullups at various intervals throughout the day. This improves your capacity to do pullups, and will add up to make a big difference.

Firearms training can work the same way to an extent. I have a good friend who takes an extra draw stroke when putting his carry pistol away for the night (and he does the same with every knife he carries as well). What this does is build extra repetitions into his day at points where it is safe to do so. I would strongly caution you not to take an extra draw stroke at the office throughout the day, you might cause some… office tension.

Fighting skills can work the same way. If you are working on training your default position, you can get reps in on this just about anywhere and anytime you can avoid looking silly in public. You can also work reps of various strikes throughout your day as well. If you carry a knife, anytime you need it for an everyday task you have an opportunity to practice deploying it as you would for self-defense (just be wary of doing this in public).

You can add reps to your day for just about any skill or attribute you are trying to train. Adding reps fits just a little more practice into your busy day so you can make more significant improvements with the same amount of dedicated effort. If you are having trouble making gains in a particular area or are having a hard time fitting training time into your schedule, try adding some extra reps to your daily routine. With a little creativity, you could turn some of the monotonous moments in your life into perfect training opportunities.

Do you fit extra reps into your day? What do you work on and how? Post a comment and let us know.

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