Simulators For Training?

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A primary flaw of simulators like the Weaponeer were/are there aren’t enough of them around in routine use to make an actual difference. The Army’s EST 2000 suffers the same problem. Dry practice remains the best “simulator” based on availability and price, but only if you can get people to actually do it regularly and care enough to pay attention when they do.

Improvements via training require regular, programmed, on-going sessions. Instruction serves as an introduction, and may be adequate for tasks/skills that aren’t time-critical, but this ceases to be training after ideas are introduced.

Even lousy physical fitness programs commonly found in military and police PT use recognize that about 3-6 sessions each week are needed for improvement. Skill development for tasks that must be trained – like shooting – are no different.

The Weaponeer could have accomplished the designer’s intent if trainees used it 3-6 sessions a week for the duration of basic training. Instead, recruits get shuttled through it once so the Drill Sergeant can check a block and that’s it.

Weaponeer: A US Army Rifle Simulator from a Bygone Era

Maintenance vs. Progress

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Once a given capability is reached there will be a need for training just to maintain that level. Maintenance is training in that some will be required just to hang on.

A skilled practitioner is a competitor. Being a “competitor” doesn’t necessarily require winning formal competition. It could mean “competing” to continue to hit a certain measurable marker of skill, an indicator that you’ve still “got it.”

A Marine that trains rifle marksmanship until he always shoots in the 240+ range on Table One and then maintains that for the rest of his career (or, better still, the rest of his life) needs some on-going marksmanship training just to hold on. This isn’t a particularly high skill level but it’s achievable by anyone knowledgeable of what good shooting entails and willing to do a little work to get there. Merely maintaining such a level puts you in great standing among Marines and better-than-fair standing among good riflemen.

Maintaining what you’ve got is a form of progress, moreso for more physically demanding skills and capabilities. A person that earns a higher skill classification and then remains competitive within that peer group has maintained. More on this from Ross Enamait:

http://rosstraining.com/blog/2014/04/07/maintenance-vs-progress/

I like that this applies not just to conditioning and strength training, but to maintaining skill at sports, too. During the off season and whatnot.

– Hany H.

Fitness is Hygiene

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Hygiene [hy·giene]
noun
conditions or practices conducive to maintaining health and preventing disease

Maintaining minimum physical fitness is a form hygiene and failing to do so is unhygienic.
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P90X3 Results

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Four Buzzfeed staffers follow P90X3 for three months and report on their “gains.”

https://www.yahoo.com/health/we-worked-out-for-90-days-straight-and-this-is-118867976882.html

TL;DR
Starting advice to the 150 pound, 11% BF, 22 BMI male was there was “no need” to gain muscle mass or size, though it was suggested to the 140 pound, 8.8% BF male to gain a bit.

Results of 90 days were a few pounds lost among the females and a slight increase in size on the small male who is now almost 150 pounds (9 pounds gained) after three months. No report on any actual fitness or performance metric was taken or mentioned.

Learning How To Learn

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One of the benefits of formal education is simply learning how to learn.

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