Training Challenged?

Why do some people instantly seem to master things while others take forever?

For example, Olympic 25-year-old Silver Medal pole-vaulter Jenn Stuczynski made it to world class status in less than 4 years. While the Gold medalist 26-year-old Russian Yelena Isinbayeva spent over 10. What was different about their training?

The difference is the ‘Spiral Z-Factor

What is the ‘Spiral Z-Factor’? Let me separate it into three parts. First off the ‘Z’ is the “Zone”.  The “Factor” is the hidden aspect behind your results. The ‘Spiral’ I will describe after you understand the ‘Z-Factor’.

OK, so what is the Zone? Remember driving from your house to the store listening to the radio, sipping your coffee. Along the way you stopped for lights avoided traffic and all other kinds of activities. All of these were on auto-pilot.

That is an example of being in the zone. You remember getting into the car and arriving at the store. Everything in between is a blur. But, your driving mastery is what kept you out of harms way.

There are however two ways to look at the zone

One way is to be so entrenched with what you are doing that, you and what you are doing, are a symbiotic relationship. Like driving the car. But, there is very much only you and what you are doing in that relationship.

The Second way is much more profound. Not only are you and what you are doing unconsciously connected, but you are further, an organism that collects and redistributes energy from your surroundings. A race car driver would be at this level of mastery. You become a vessel that is a higher dimension from that which you are doing. And, there is an impact that is greater than you or you in the action.

You become part of something much larger than the activity at hand.

Here is another view. Think of Lance Armstrong as an example. When he competed, he was not just riding the bicycle. The air he was breathing, the road he was on, the bicycle pedals, the tires, handlebars, his seat and his body, along with the other bikers were all part of the larger organism of the race.

OK, now what is the spiral part?

Recall for a moment, the spiral lines of certain sea shells. They have a path that starts at the wide opening at the base. Then its pattern moves in a spiral to a point that is a little bit lopsided. This spiral represents your path to “Master Level” competency.

Let me describe how you learn from a psycho-physiological standpoint.

When you begin training at something totally new, you start in a void (don’t take it personally everyone does). Then you move through several stages until you become capable without having to think about it. The normal training approach is to Observe – Do – Accomplish. Then you step back and Evaluate – Modify – Improve.

You observe the outside world, then internalize what you see and finally your actions reconnect you to the outside world. Your brain samples the outside. It then aligns those images into neuronal stimulation of your muscles.

Internally you try and repeat movement patterns to strengthen correct motion. Successful actions reinforce those passageways. Several iterations are necessary to solidify the nerve pathways with the brain. After these paths are generated and strengthened is when “Zone” action begins to occur.

Back to Lance

In the tour de-France, while everyone else was competing against Mr. Armstrong, he was reaching other dimensions of his effectiveness. He trained in ways that pushed his performance with lower levels of exertion. He found ways to use the subtle resources he discovered were only available to him.

He was not alone, his coaches and team helped him. Coaches, help people reach new dimensions of themselves. Levels that they have never experienced before. A coach guides and persuades their student to go further.

As I see Mr. Armstrong’s development, rather than stepping back, instead of evaluating what he had done to reach his present state. He was taught to accept the ever increasing current state of his ability. From there, were higher aspects of understanding.

A new level to start over from

He moved forward from accomplishment of reflective exploration through his veiled ignorance. An ignorance that most of his contemporaries would envy.

The way to transcend astounding execution skills is to start over by getting into to “the void” then uncovering subtleness that were originally missed. From there pushing a new level, opening hidden doors.

Look at what is being done right, even while failing. Further look for areas of the void to develop better ways to improve.

Even though I’ve been talking about a sports analogy, the same hold true in any training or Training Challenged program. You move from some level of ignorance, acquire awareness of possible outcomes, practice repetitive development of skills, and then reach an autopilot level of aptitude. This last part is getting to the “Zone Factor”.

In order to reach the “Master Level” you want to advance forward into “The Void” and start again. Each time reaching new ‘Z-Factor’ levels, each time spiraling back to the void. Along the way, new doors of subtlety begin to open that were closed before.

Abandoning your ego, your accomplishments and releasing your fears of the void you begin to experience even greater achievements than you ever thought possible.

By using the “Spiral Z-Factor“, you reach deeper mastery levels of performance in a fraction of the time. On top of this higher level of performance, your struggle is also reduced. Instead of training as an obligation, it becomes a welcomed adventure.

Furthermore, you become a master that brings to the world something greater than yourself. You become a vessel for the divine light deep inside us all. You are not merely a champion, you are a legend.

Feel free to check out a teleconference replay regarding my training challenged friend John.

One Response to “Training Challenged?”

  1. You wrote: “Olympic 25-year-old Silver Medal pole-vaulter Jenn Stuczynski made it to world class status in less than 4 years. While the Gold medalist 26-year-old Russian Yelena Isinbayeva spent over 10.”

    This is just flat wrong on multiple points. First, Jenn was born February 6th, 1982, while Yelena was born June 3rd 1982, so Jenn is actually four months older than Yelena. Second, although Yelena has NOW been vaulting for over ten years, she began pole vaulting at age fifteen and first broke the world record at age twenty-one, which is obviously less than ten. Furthermore, breaking the world record isn’t the litmus test for “world class status”, or Jenn wouldn’t be there yet, so one can reasonably claim that Yelena reached that level in something like five years.

    Jenn’s progress has indeed been impressive, but comparing the rate of progress for a woman starting at age twenty-two to the rate of a girl starting at fifteen is apples and oranges. Fifteen may be prime time for gymnasts, but it’s quite rare for teenage girls to reach “world class status” in track & field events because it simply requires more physical maturity to achieve such results.

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