journey to masterclass

If you look at the setup of most commercial gyms today you’ll see row after row of funny looking machines. Each workout machine works a different muscle. One might work your biceps, another your calfs, and another one your lateral muscles. Most gym goers hop from machine to machine until they feel that they have worked all their body.

Maybe in the corner of the gym you’ll see a single hollow metal box with a barbell. This is called a “power rack” and is avoided my 90% of gym goers. Barbell exercises are mostly a lost art form as they are thought to be dangerous and reserved for professional body builders. But this is a fallacy brought to life by gym owners in the past 35 years. Most gyms don’t want you to do barbell exercises. It requires their personal trainers to have more training, the horror, and is considered a legal liability.

If the workout machines were just as good as doing barbell exercises, this wouldn’t be a problem. But they are not. The machines provide isolation exercises while barbell exercises are compound exercises. Working one muscle at a time has many downfalls. If you are only working a single muscle, you can’t move much weight. This is a problem because it is hard to progress in strength. If you are doing 30 pound bicep curls and the machine increases in 10 pound increments you’re suddenly doing 30% more weight when you more to the next level. This is near impossible. But if you’re doing 100 pound chest presses with a bar, and increase by 5 pounds your only increasing your weight by 5% that is distributed across multiple muscle groups. This allows one to make progress in their weights every time they visit the gym.

A few years ago I was assembling my main computer from scratch. Trying to keep the insides nice and compact, I used zip ties to bind the wires together. After assembling the insides of the computer I started working with my external accessories. I had a keyboard, mouse, microphone, and webcam. I figured I would use the same principles as I did inside the computer. Using some more zip ties I bound all of my accessories wires together. This worked great up until this week when my new keyboard arrived.

I unwrapped my new keyboard from its packaging and instantly tried to remove my old keyboard from my desk. The problem was that every time I tried to remove the keyboard, the mouse would be dragged off the desk with it. When I tried getting my mouse more slack, the microphone would fall over.

I realized that I had to cut the zip ties I had put on years ago, but there was yet another problem. The ties were bound so tight that I couldn’t get he scissors around the tie, without being dangerously close to cutting the wires of my accessories.

After a couple hours work of using knife from my kitchen I was finally able to remove my old keyboard without pulling the rest of my equipment off of my desk. What was supposed to be a relatively easy task, replacing a keyboard, turned into a nightmare because I couldn’t replace one external dependency without touching the rest of them.

How to learn to jungle in three easy steps.

1. Throwing from hand to hand

The first step to juggling is working your hand eye coronation. Start with one ball, and practice throwing it from your right hand to your left. Try to throw the ball at the same height every time. The less your have to move your hands the better.

Do this until catching the ball is easy and your rarely drop the ball.

2. Throwing two balls

Its time to graduate to two balls. Many people when the start to jungle try throwing both balls at the same time. This is wrong and doesn’t help you learn to juggle. To properly practice with two balls start with one ball in each hand. Start just like you did before and toss the first ball from your right hand to your left. A second before the ball reaches your left hand throw the left ball up in the air. Catch the ball in your left hand and don’t worry about catching the ball in the air.

Make sure that the ball you throw in the air goes up and not sideways. Again, repeat this motion until you aren’t dropping any balls. When your comfortable, try catching the second ball in the air with your right hand. It may be difficult at first to get the timing down, but with a short amount of practice you’ll find your rhythm.

3. Juggling

Juggling with three balls is the biggest mental hurdle, but believe it or not by now you have all the skills you need to juggle. Start now with three balls, two in your right hand and one in your left. Start as you always have throwing one ball from your right to your left. Again, right before it lands throw your left ball to your right. Wrapping it all together, you are going to repeat exactly what you just did, but mirrored. Right before your left ball reaches your right hand throw the last ball to the left just as you did in the beginning. Congratulations your juggling.

Wash, rinse, and repeat these motions trying to juggling more and more times in a row. From here its pure practice until you can juggle like a pro.