Train smarter by training twice per day

Originally posted by speedracer

If you suck, and wish to discontinue sucking as quickly as possible, consider training skills twice per day. This is not new science, but from what I’ve seen, it’s probably news to many shooters.

It takes 5-6 hours for motor memory to organize inputs from skills training. A nap is a great benefit, since sleep is the only way to achieve “permanent” memory adjustment.

Also, focusing on a single skill in a session produces better results than trying to tackle many areas. Remember that focus is voluntary – you control it, so even if you’re doing an El Prez, arguably working all kinds of skills, if you’re sufficiently focused, it can be any kind of training session you want, from trigger control to reloads to turning quickly.

So, by training twice per day (separated by at least 5-6 hours and hopefully a nap), you can tackle two different focuses on separate skills in the same day, and still get good (5-6+ hours separation) to maximum (nap also) benefits from both training sessions.

Note that this does not preclude adding a third training session focusing on the physical, for example strength or endurance training.

How many reps per session is the wrong question. A better question is, how many reps can you perform with complete and deliberate attention? Are you objectively improving with each session? How do you feel? It’s a cliche, but did you learn or feel or see something new? Did you write it down?

15 minutes of utter focus will provide more value than virtually any amount of hours of just going through the motions. However, going through the motions is important too because sometime when a training session starts out weak, just going through the motions, you will can sometimes get over that hump into deliberate practice and those are sometimes the best sessions of all.

The elite players were spending almost three times more hours than the average players on deliberate practice — the uncomfortable, methodical work of stretching your ability.

For further reading:

NEURAL CORRELATES OF MOTOR MEMORY CONSOLIDATION, Dr. Henry H. Holcomb, University of Maryland, and Dr. Reza Shadmehr, Johns Hopkins Science 8 August 1997: Vol. 277 no. 5327 pp. 821-825 DOI:10.1126/science.277.5327.821

Neuroscience: Re-recording human memories Karim Nader, McGill University Nature 425, 571-572 (9 October 2003) | doi:10.1038/425571a

Daytime sleep condenses the time course of motor memory consolidation Maria Korman & Avi Karni, University of Haifa, Julien Doyon & Julie Carrier, University of Montreal, Julia Doljansky & Yaron Dagan, Chronobiology & Sleep Laboratory, Sheba Medical Center Nature Neuroscience 10, 1206 – 1213 (2007) doi:10.1038/nn1959