August 29

Practice On The Days You Eat


Master Coach: Shinichi Suzuki
Master Coach: Shinichi Suzuki

The secret, there is no secret, the story of good health and fitness is practice on the days that you eat. Without question. A consistent training base of smaller sessions will trump any large training binge you can concoct impulsively.


I always say to people, “If you rolled up to work one day a week you aren’t going to make much money, are you? The deep gaze and nodding of the head reveals the lack of respect they’d shown to their health once I bring money into the equation. Like Richard Pryor said “I had to threaten to cut off their allowance before they decided to help me.” (Talking about his kids who thought he was playing a gag after diving in the deep end of the pool. Richard couldn’t swim).


Plenty of people have the audacity to think that they can beat practice. The get fit quick regime, let me promise you it’s about as reliable as the get rich quick version.


Invest here for this long and we’ll give you this. Righto Ponzi.


Notable actress/dancer Lisa O’Neil once told me, “Life is long” regarding staying focussed and training hard towards your goal. A stauncher, more consistent practitioner than Lisa I have not met.


So when people come to the realisation that working one day week is not really going to buy you the ‘house and land’ package of your dreams (if you’re into that), they begin to understand that consistent training is the only route to prosperity in the your personal fitness life.


As music-education pioneer Shinichi Suzuki puts it, “Practice on the days that you eat.” (Coyle 2012, p. 50)


People who work often can enjoy the rewards of that labour, in the words of John Kennedy “Dollars on the back, fast cars in the car park and Brut under the arm.” Sorry John, don’t know if Brut is associated with class today like it was in the 1960‘s, but you get the idea. In Sean Bowes’ words I could say the same things about the rewards of consistent training, “Feel great, stay healthy and avoid hospitalisation in later life due to obesity or diabetes (it’s a big, expensive problem in this country).”


Another advantage of training regularly is:


  • It becomes habit.  The act of training properly to achieve the skill becomes your skill. (Coyle 2012, p. 51)


  • By making this your skill you will become better at training and more efficient that practice. Regular practice lets you fix small problems and conquer challenges as you go rather than letting it pile up like the ‘In’ tray of the man who works one day a week. So maybe it is a get fit quick? Well quicker.


Consistent trainers produce better performances when pressure rises because they’ve got the existing base, moreover they know a more efficient way to get there because they’ve done it a bunch of times. You’re hot-to-trot while the fitness binger is trying to locate his spandex tights from the last fitness quest and hopes he doesn’t stretch out the ankle parts too much.


Remember, “Life is long” and being healthy doesn’t come fast and hang around long after you’ve given up the ghost to focus on Four ‘n’ Twenty’s, Victoria Bitter and Winny Blues. It must be maintained on the days that you eat.


References: Daniel Coyle, The Little Book of Talent. New York: Bantam Books, 2012.


Hanging Tough, Staying Hungry: Photo from training tonight. Some of the boys pumping weights after boxing. Notice the flags of Cuba and Mexico in the background. We train to be 'Blaxican' fighters - speed of the Black Man, heart of the Mexican.
Hanging Tough, Staying Hungry: Photo from training tonight. Some of the boys pumping weights after boxing. Notice the flags of Cuba and Mexico in the background. We train to be ‘Blaxican’ fighters – speed of the Black Man, heart of the Mexican.




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