Watching To Learn While Learning To Watch

Zach Homol

As I woke up this morning I felt an overwhelming desire to advance my knowledge in my craft. This is not an uncommon feeling for me. I seem to get a slight anxiousness every morning upon getting my day started. I feel, in a sense, anxious to get back to the gym to study material and watch individual’s movement patterns to help better understand training as a whole. 

I’ve explained in a recent article how, conservatively speaking, 85% of my knowledge and understanding of lifting weights has come from sitting in the gym and watching as many individuals lift weights as I could. I would sit awkwardly off to the side and just watch. I studied each individual in depth from their structure, intensities, strength, endurance and movement patterns, while continually asking myself questions that I didn’t have answers for. I continued to ask these questions and challenge myself to figure out the answers on my own. By challenging myself I was, more times than not, forced to learn “the hard way.” Now looking back I believe that’s the best way! I now teach in a very original manner. Mostly everything I’ve learned has been through observation and my own case studies. While I of course continue to search for outside education, especially from those who have “been there, done that”

I’m always cautious of WHO and HOW much advice I take from each source. The who comes from specific individuals whose methods and approaches have been proven to work time and time again. The how much is established from not “drinking the kool aid” - a term I like to use. I like to look at things from the outside, with a clean and clear mind where I can make my own observations, ask my own questions and receive the answers in a manner that I will understand. Notice how I didn’t just say get the answers to the questions- rather LEARN the answers to the questions in a manner I FULLY understand. There is always multiple answers to each question but  not all the answers you receive will work for YOU or will work for the people you coach, if you are in that type of position. To truly understand a question I challenge myself to learn the answers more than one way so that when the question is asked to me, I will have more than one view point, as well as an arsenal of answers, that I will be able to choose from for that specific individuals questions or misunderstanding. 

Now I want to leave you with a challenge this week to not only take the time to watch and learn but to challenge yourself to LEARN while watching!

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