The Fallacy of: "Practice Makes Permanent."

by Neil Anderson


Perfect!


There is a thought among fitness professionals that goes like this,

"Practice makes permanent.  Exercising in a way that is sloppy makes the slop permanent.  This slop breaks people and leads to crappy workouts."  

I simply disagree with certain exceptions. 

I can think of no natural movement or process of skill development that supports this.  None.  Instead it is my experience that the opposite is true.  Movements, even sloppy ones get better with practice.  Not worse. We see this every day at GPP.  People who come to our place with crappy running technique get better and better at running over the years.  Those who start off with terrible dead lifts, terrible squats, terrible cleans and etc., get better and better with practice.  In fact, the ONLY way we have of truly teaching movements, is to put someone on the bar and have them try.  All the instruction in the world will not make up for time on the bar.  Period.  

Your body is an amazingly adaptable machine.  It is nothing if not efficient.  It is nothing if not self-correcting.  Its' entire goal is to keep you well and safe (self-preservation).  To think it would perform movements again, and again which aren't safe or efficient, undermines the entire purpose of your being.  Think about it.  Why else would you get better at walking after you learned to go a couple of steps as a toddler?  I mean, if "Practice Makes Permanent" you'd never get better at walking.  You'd stumble around like a baby first learning to walk your entire life.  It takes years for children to get good at walking.  If fitness "experts" were right, all that crappy walking would just lead to more crappy walking at infinitum.  Yet we see this isn't so.  Neither is it so when someone learns to ride a bike.  Or when someone learns to throw a ball, and so on, and so on ... 

There is no amount of instruction that can prepare a person like DOING can.  None.  So at GPP we DO!  It is our best teaching tool.  

Many have asked why we don't hold beginner classes, or require folks to receive (read: "pay for") hours of instruction before asking them to squat, or dead lift, or clean and jerk.  The real question is: why are they doing it in other places?  The most effective way to teach a movement is to let someone move.  It always has been.  It is how we (humans) learned to do virtually EVERY movement we've ever mastered.  Can you imagine sitting your 10 month old down in front of a white board and teaching the fundamentals and rudiments of walking and making them master certain elements before "letting" them take their first step?  No, teaching movements before "allowing" you to move has nothing to do with teaching movements.  More likely it is about lining pockets.   

Practice does not make permanent - with few exceptions.  If you are conscious of trying to be more and more healthy, you will practice in a way that ensures mastery.  Those who are not serious about health (the "exceptions") will never master anything.  The thing about these folks is they never intended to get healthy in the first place.  All the instruction in the world (white board, and etc.) wasn't going to help them anyway.   

Your GPP trainers will show you the basics of every movement we perform.  We will also show you the best ways to keep safe while obtaining the most benefits possible from the workouts and movements.  There will be parts of this instruction you retain and parts you forget.  In that case, we will simply remind you or show a new principle or fundamental.  But we will ALWAYS let you move.  It is the most important part of this process.