Lets face it regularity in training is key to becoming proficient in anything, be it martial arts, video games, racing, etc.
If you’re like me, when you started studying martial arts, you were convinced that you’d practice for a few hours a day, every day. But since starting I’ve never been able to practice that long on a day-to-day basis.
Only recently (the last couple years) I’ve really started to pay attention to practicing regularly outside of classes.
Only more recently I’ve realized how important it is to start small with your rates of training so you don’t burn yourself out. I found this out after about 7 years of trying to go too quickly too fast. Always with the grand training schedules like “I’ll train for 2 hours a day every day.”
Yeah, that worked great for maybe a couple of days and it was back to my regular routine with a bit of guilt because I didn’t stick to my schedule.
Fast forward to a couple of months ago. An assignment for my Abnormal Psychology class was to write-up a behavior change program for myself. The goal for the program is to work up to practice/training for at least 1 hour a day, 6 days a week for two weeks in a row outside of my regular classes. (The program is still ongoing)
Instead of just throwing myself into it, I’ve set myself smaller goals. The first week (well 4 days from when I turned my behavior change plan in), I had a goal of 3 days in a row. Starting the next week, my goal was to go 4 days in a row for 2 weeks, then 5 days in a row for 2 weeks. I’m now up to 6 days in a row for 2 weeks (currently done 4 days in a row week 1).
Giving myself smaller plateaus has made the process easier to do. Although, with as hectic as my schedule is lately, a number of nights I’ve only been able to spend an hour stretching and doing some basics/going through forms. But it’s better than I was doing before.
But on top of the goals I also have a reason for wanting to step up my training. My goal is to open a gym after I get done with my undergraduate degree (that and I don’t want to be the overweight martial arts instructor), so that’s also a big motivator in wanting to change the amount I train.
So in short, if you’re having trouble getting on a regular training schedule, start small. Make sure you’re attending your classes regularly, then start by practicing for an hour 1 or 2 days of the week outside of class. Do that for a couple of weeks, then move to 3 days, then on up until you’re satisfied with your regimen.