Setting yourself up for the What The Hell Effect
Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post by strength coach Mark Limbaga, SFG.
What exactly is the what the hell effect?
This is the phenomenon that happens when your current practice results in a high upkeep of a certain skill, or even a PR despite not having practiced that skill for a given timeframe. In some cases, unlocking a skill despite learning it for the first time.
Other examples of this phenomenon can also be dropping fat, building some muscle and increased work capacity. This is also not limited to just skills in strength, musicians, for example, may often have a carryover from the keyboard to the strings as an example. (Mr. Big’s “just take my heart” is one fine illustration.)
So how exactly do we set things up to allow this said phenomenon to manifest when we practice? Let’s field-strip the skills and principles to the bare essentials and get cracking.
Emphasize high quality reps. You want each rep done as smooth and as crisp as possible. Pushing the envelope every single session only puts your mind and body into fight or flight. Save those moments for testing. For now, focus training.
Marinate the sweet spot. The sweet spot varies from person to person. One thing remains constant, however: The zone in which you operate at the edge of your ability, and the need to be mindful of your execution to maintain quality and integrity of repetitions. You must learn to dance along a subtle line.
Stack your skills. One skill often builds up with another. In boxing, better footwork helps you set up better offense and defense. Learning to tighten up as needed when lifting allows reps to be performed with more control. and less effort.
Sandwich your skills. This technique allows you to foolproof your skillset since you are often operating under a dose of controlled fatigue, hence, the emphasis on being more mindful is heightened. This could be playing defense in basketball after a scrimmage to check for gaps and lapses. Performing kettlebell ballistics at the middle of your sessions.
By thoroughly and intensively practicing these skills but still operating within your level of control, you organically allow your skill to develop without having to push the envelope.
– Mark Limbaga
Mark is one of the few pioneers of strength and movement in the Asia-Pacific region. He is A strongfirst level 2 kettlebell instructor, a strongfirst bodyweight instructor, One of only two level 2 coaches of Original Strength in the Philippines. He also runs Girevikstrong.
He is also the strength and conditioning coach for the Philippine boxing team, a workshop presenter for gi.jo fitness and movu systems. He can be often found smashing weakness in northern metro manila at The Gravity Chamber, and spending weekends with his wife, Kathleen.
Mark Joseph Limbaga, Quezon City, Philippines email: firstname.lastname@example.org website: www.marklimbagastrength.wordpress.com