Archives for February 2013

3 Steps To Make Your Training Work With a Volatile Schedule

Photo Credit: fabiennew

My schedule is almost always jam packed. Between the ”day job,” running my new dojo, serving on the BoD at my local fish and game club, and all of life’s other little surprises, there is almost always something I need to be doing.

Some of these demands on my time are constant. I know I’ll always be in the dojo certain nights and that most of the day I’ll be on site working for my clients. Working my training around these fixed obligations is relatively easy.

What’s more difficult is finding time when my schedule changes rapidly. A deadline approaches at work, an impromptu meeting, or maybe even just coming down with a cold all throw a wrench in the works. It’s dealing with an ever changing schedule that really makes consistent training hard.

Fitting your training in

In my situation I’m pretty much forced to find a way to make my training fit in around the rest of my life. I’ve found a few tricks that really help me, hopefully they can help you too.

Break your program into manageable chunks

If you have a tight schedule to work around, you should consider breaking your training program into smaller manageable chunks. Maybe 10 or 20 minutes each.

Breaking your program into small pieces provides two benefits: firstly, shorter sessions can easily be worked in and around your schedule. If your schedule changes, it is a lot easier to move a 20 minute workout around compared to a 2 hour mega workout.

You might even plan to do 3 of your mini sessions back to back under ideal circumstances – but when things change you can easily reorganize your schedule.

Organize your ‘chunks’ into your program

Once you have multiple sessions to draw from, you want to organize them to form a training program. For dry-fire training you might have 5 different dry-fire days, each of which consists of a different routine. Work your dry-fire days in order to ensure an appropriate balance regardless of whether you can do 10 sessions a week or 1.

Using multiple sessions like this means that when something unexpected comes up, it doesn’t destroy your program.

Pick optimal training days and times

My dry-fire days are usually Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, since those are the days I’m free of most of my evening obligations. As a result I tend to tentatively plan on working my dry-fire sessions in on those days. By keeping these evenings open for dry-fire I force myself to make a consistent effort to work on my goals. Don’t just assume that once you have broken your program into smaller chunks you will train when it strikes you as convenient. You still need a plan, but being flexible with that plan will help you stay on track.

This is how I work around my volatile schedule. Do you have a crazy work or travel schedule to work around? How do you handle it? Do me a favor and post a comment to share your strategies.

What Are Your Goals for 2013?

Photo Credit: Peter Kaminski

In case it wasn’t already obvious… this post is about a month late. Life got busy… Hopefully this is timeless content and you don’t mind the delay. Thank you for reading!

Well, it is here: 2013. A new year, and coming with it new challenges. Many people set out with New Year’s resolutions, goals and changes they intend to make to their lives. This is also a great time for reflection on the goals of the previous year.

Looking back at 2012

Looking back at 2012 I made a lot of training goals to go along with my ambitions to build this blog. Looking back now I’m actually happy that I didn’t publish a list of these goals, because honestly it is a little embarrassing how poorly I performed.

I only achieved a few goals, but worse than making progress and not meeting the mark is the large number of goals I set that I never even attempted to make progress on. I think this demonstrates a few things about setting goals.

  1. Too many goals can be a huge problem. In a previous post about setting goals, I pointed this out but failed to follow my own advice. 18 goals was way too many.

  2. I didn’t follow up or have intermediate goals. That means that it was easy to forget about the things not immediately on my radar. As a result I made no progress on them.

  3. For the goals I did make progress on, I fell short on almost all of them. I set goals that I thought were attainable, but honestly it seems like I set the bar too high.

New Philosophy for 2013

This brings me to the coming year. Obviously how I set my goals needs to change, both to make them more attainable and to make sure I have a proper plan in place to keep on top of these goals.

First, I’m going to limit the number of goals. I’ll follow my own advice and try for 7. That is much more reasonable than 18, and is basically the number of goals I actually worked on out of my 18 for 2012.

Second, I’m going to set intermediate milestones every 2 months, and set up reminders to check my progress against these milestones. If I fall behind in two months, I’ll have another kick in the ass to keep moving.

Third, I’m lowering the bar on my goals. Since most of these goals are almost exactly the same in nature to goals from 2012, I’ll use the amount of progress I made last year as a guide for setting my new goals.

Goals for 2013

To keep myself honest I’m even going to publish my goals as well as my intermediate milestones.

  1. Improve my 3 F.A.S.T. Avg (in a given range session) to be < 6 seconds

There isn’t much to say about this other than the fact that I’m scaling back from my goal of < 5 seconds for this year… and making the goal tracking more towards consistency. I want to be consistent as well as fast.

Milestones:

Feb Apr Jun Aug Oct Dec
< 7.0s < 6.8s < 6.6s < 6.4s < 6.2s < 6.0s
  1. Achieve a 50/50 Dot Torture at 6 yards

In 2012 my goal was a 50/50 at 5 yards, and I almost made it. I’m raising the bar a little since I have a whole year to go, but I want to achieve my goal this time.

Milestones:

Feb Apr Jun Aug Oct Dec
50/50 @ 5yds 46/50 @ 6yds 47/50 @ 6yds 48/50 @ 6yds 49/50 @ 6yds 50/50 @ 6yds
  1. Participate in 5 IDPA matches in 2013

Last year I made it to 2. I want to make sure I get to some more matches if for no other reason than to keep pressure testing my shooting skills.

Milestones:

Feb Apr Jun Aug Oct Dec
0 0 1 3 5 5
  1. Get classified in IDPA

I wanted to make it to IDPA Expert in 2012, but didn’t even get a chance to get classified. Instead my goal is to get classified this year, because quite frankly I need a point to measure from.

Milestones: N/A

  1. Study all Kata up to Sandan

One of my life goals in 2013 is to get my new NH dojo off the ground. I’ll be launching I launched the dojo in January and will hopefully get enough students to keep the doors open. As part of this goal I want to dedicate more of my life to regular karate training. A major piece of this is not only studying the Kata I know already, but to learn the new Kata that I should for my next grade.

Milestones: Rather than list the entire litany of Kyokushin Kata here I’ll generalize: I have picked a few for each milestone to focus on for each 2 month period. At a minimum I should be able to check off that I have spent the time or I haven’t up until I get to the ones I am starting to learn.

  1. Increase my one set max for pullups to 15

Improving my pullups was a major goal last year. I increased my total by a few, but fell well short of my goal of 25. This year I’m decreasing my goal to be only 4 or 5 above my usual one set max.

Milestones:

Feb Apr Jun Aug Oct Dec
10 11 12 13 14 15
  1. Increase my one set max for pushups to 40

I also spent a lot of time in 2012 working on improving my pushups. Now I do need to qualify that when I am talking about pushups, I am talking about knuckle pushups where my chest goes all the way to the floor. This full range of motion is much more difficult than the more common dinky pushups, and hence why the goal number is fairly low.

Milestones:

Feb Apr Jun Aug Oct Dec
20 24 28 32 36 40

What are your goals for 2013?

I’ve told you about my goals, but what are yours? Please post your goals in the comments below, or email me. If I get enough feedback I plan on putting together a post listing everyone’s goals for 2013 to hopefully help people in determining what kinds of goals they should make for 2013.

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