Four months has passed since making my decision to drop conditioning sessions and focus exclusively on my technique training. I have also included working on my mental factor within my technique training.
In the past few months I have been training, I have been working off my written list of techniques, which consisted of techniques, obstacles and mental barriers that I seen as weaknesses within my Parkour. I knew deep down I could or should be capable of executing particular challenging moves, but put them off. It was very important to complete as much of that list as possible with it's tasks and reps.
I said in my previous blog entries, that “Rendezvous 2” was a turning point for me. I had the strength but I knew I had to improve on the following from that Special night:
* Up my technique level
* Up my ability level
* Increase my confidence
* Increase my endurance
* Lose muscle mass (de-bulk) and become lighter and become more athletic.
Up my technique level
When watching video clips of myself, I look for flaws in my technique or listen to constructive criticism from my fellow Traceurs. As an example when I did precisions I often did not lift my knees up high enough, or when I did wall climbs I relied on brut strength over fluid technique with strength. So on my list along with many other flawed techniques I drilled my weaknesses until they improved.
Up my ability level
For a few months leading up to “Rendezvous 2” I felt my ability had stagnated and it was getting me down which affected my confidence as well as mood, and “Rendezvous 2” was the icing on the cake. So I decided enough is enough, and ask why I am not improving... I realised I was only drilling moves, obstacles or single techniques that where in my comfort zone. The decision I had taken was to include on my “Written List” was jumps, moves, obstacles that where on my limit and feared, but knew if I stuck to my gut feeling I could do.
Increase my confidence
I always knew that with better technique and ability my confidence would grow. I drilled the jumps, moves and obstacles that I feared but knew deep down I could do in my mind. I had to push my mental fear barriers sensibly and drill these jumps moves and obstacles until they become a natural reflex to me. The higher my confidence the more I will challenge myself but with becoming complacent when moving or becoming arrogant.
Increase my endurance
Yes on my “written list” was a decent sized challenges that where executed without rest. One such weakness for me was cat-walking on rails, so on my list was to 10 reps of a large rail, as well as dealing with upward and downward gradients to really sharpen up my technique as well as endurance.
Lose muscle mass (de-bulk) and become leaner, lighter and more athletic
In the past I spent so much time conditioning I was becoming heavy in muscle and the hypertrophy of my body frame hindered my movement. I had good strength but my techniques had to match my strength potential. Now due to doing very little to no conditioning recently I have become less bukly in muscle, more leaner, and much lighter on my feet. My power and technique has increased dramatically. Although my strength has decreased a little, my strength is perfect for Parkour at this present time. I will however introduce some conditioning sessions in the near future, to keep my strength topped up and more importantly to prevent future injuries. I am really grateful that I did a hell of a lot of conditioning for the first year and half of my Parkour training, as it has benefited me physically, mentally and kept injuries at bay.
I still feel it is important to keep a balance of conditioning and technique training to be a strong and capable Traceur. Over the past 4 months my technique has improved as they have become cleaner, natural and powerful. My ability has progressed dramatically, such as my jump distance going up by 1 foot. My endurance has increased but can be worked on a lot more. My confidence is an area that has increased more than I planned and grateful for. Lastly I have become more athletic, powerful and lighter, due to not doing more conditioning than technique training.
I look forward to the next 4 months with great optimism. I will optimise and adapt my written list accordingly on a fortnight basis to ensure steady progress, and that I challenge my fears and weaknesses.
The point of posting this is not to tell you to drop conditioning. It is to say... Write out your personal weaknesses and go and work on them until they become a strong point!